The OQLF’s name in full is Office québécois de la langue française. Have you ever wondered about the meaning of the masculine word office?
Office is a French word, but it looks just a little like the English word “office,” doesn’t it? The French word office doesn’t come from the English word “office,” though. The OQLF would never dare use an English word in its name!
The French word office comes from Latin, and the English word “office” comes from French.
In the OQLF’s name, office means “bureau” or “agency.” Office québécois de la langue française means “French Language Bureau of Québec” or “French Language Agency of Québec.”
Don’t confuse the French words office and bureau. When you’re talking about the office at the company you work for, use bureau.
Je dois aller au bureau.
I have to go to the office.
Lui, c’est un collègue de bureau.
He’s an office co-worker.
J’ai fait un gros party à la maison avec la gang du bureau.
I held a big house party with my friends from the office.
Remember, la gang in Québec is pronounced like its English equivalent “gang.” In France, gang sounds like “gong,” is masculine, and isn’t used in the sense of a group of friends, like in Québec.