In French, someone asked who sings that song? But the question didn’t include the French word chanson, and it didn’t begin with qui.
Any idea how the question might’ve been asked?
Here’s what the speaker said:
C’est qui qui chante c’te toune-là?
Who sings that song?
C’est qui qui is often used to ask who questions. C’est qui qui a dit ça? Who said that? C’est qui qui a écrit ça? Who wrote that? Maybe we can compare this formulation to English’s who is it that (e.g., who is it that sings that song?).
C’te toune-là means that song, where toune (a feminine noun) means song, just like chanson does. C’te is a contraction of cette. To pronounce c’te, first say te. Now put an s sound on the front of it: s’te.
Posted in Entries #1051-1100 | Tagged c'est qui qui, français québécois, Québécois French, toune | Leave a Comment »
The day after Thanksgiving in the United States is called Black Friday — it’s a day when stores offer their products at discount.
Black Friday exists in Canada now too, and on the same day as in the US. But, unlike in the US, the Canadian Black Friday isn’t a post-Thanksgiving event because Thanksgiving in Canada falls on a different day.
What’s Black Friday called in Québec?
There isn’t just one way — there are three!
1. Vendredi fou
2. Vendredi noir
3. Black Friday
Looking at shop windows in Montréal, there seems to be a definite preference for the term Vendredi fou (literally, Crazy Friday). Vendredi noir (literally, Black Friday) comes in second place. Finally, the untranslated Black Friday is much more rare than the other two, but I did see it in two shop windows.
Here’s some of what I saw (in Montréal):
Posted in Entries #1051-1100 | Tagged Black Friday, français québécois, Québécois French, Vendredi fou, Vendredi noir | Leave a Comment »
We’ve seen quite a few times now how the verb niaiser can be used to render the expression I’m just kidding (you) into French:
which is a contraction of je te niaise. J’te niaise sounds like ch’te nyèz. (Ch’te sounds like the French word te with the French ch sound stuck on the front of it.) It literally means I’m kidding you, I’m joking you.
During a conversation, though, an elderly woman said I’m just kidding in a different way. She didn’t say j’te niaise. In fact, she didn’t use the verb niaiser at all, but she did use the plural noun blagues, meaning jokes.
Can you guess how she said it?
Here’s what she said:
C’est des blagues que j’fais!
I’m just kidding (you)!
(literally, “I’m making jokes,” “it’s jokes that I’m making”)
J’fais is a contraction of je fais. It sounds like ch’fais.
Getting back to j’te niaise, if you haven’t learned that one yet, learn it now. It’s used frequently. The negative form is also used a lot: j’te niaise pas, meaning I’m serious, I’m not kidding, for real, etc.
Posted in Entries #1051-1100 | Tagged blague, français québécois, j'te niaise, j'te niaise pas, niaiser, Québécois French | Leave a Comment »
During a conversation, a guy said a French equivalent of my friend’s father. But he didn’t use the word ami, and he didn’t use de either.
Can you guess how he said it?
You’ve learned to show possession with de. For example, la maison de mon père means my father’s house. But there’s another way to show possession you should learn to understand — instead of de, it uses à.
Here’s what the guy said:
le père à mon chum
my friend’s father
Using à like this instead of de to show possession is felt to be an informal usage.
Finally, the guy referred to his friend as his chum. The ch in chum is pronounced the English way, not the French way. Chum sounds as though it were written tchomme in French. (Tch in French makes the same sound as the English ch, like the ch in church.) Chum is an informal Québécois equivalent of ami here.
Posted in Entries #1051-1100 | Tagged chum, français québécois, le père à mon chum, Québécois French | 2 Comments »
More French from the radio today — a radio host said this about a song she’d just played on air:
Eille, c’est què’qu’chose, là!
Hey, it’s really great [that song]!
Hey, it’s really somethin’ [that song]!
Què’qu’chose is a contraction of quelque chose, meaning something. This contracted form sounds as if it were written quèc chose in French, or like keck shows using English spelling.
If something’s què’qu’chose, it’s great, remarkable, or just like in English, “something.”
Eille, an interjection meaning hey, sounds like the eille ending of the French word abeille, meaning bee.
Posted in Entries #1001-1050 | Tagged eille, français québécois, Québécois French, quelque chose | Leave a Comment »
In an ad on the radio, a speaker says:
On est pognés dans’ neige pendant six mois.
We’re stuck in the snow for six months.
(He was talking about life in Québec, I think!)
Pogné (from the verb pogner) means stuck here. It’s an informal usage. The expression is être pogné, to be stuck. Pogné sounds like ponnyé.
Instead of pognés dans la neige, though, the speaker said pognés dans neige. That’s because the word pair dans la can contract to dans ‘a in spoken language, which essentially sounds like dans. This contraction is sometimes shown in writing as dans’.
Using the language heard on the radio, then, to be stuck in the snow is:
être pogné dans la neige,
which is most likely to be pronounced spontaneously as:
êt’ pogné dans’ neige.
Posted in Entries #1051-1100 | Tagged français québécois, pogné, pogné dans' neige, pogner, Québécois French | Leave a Comment »
On the radio, there’s an audio clip taken from a television show being used for promotional purposes. In the audio clip, the character from the television show can be heard saying:
Je suis dégoûtée de comment qu’on a pas protégé mes enfants.
I’m disgusted by how my children weren’t protected.
There are a few things I wanted to point out about the language in this quote:
1. Comment que was used instead of just comment. This can be heard frequently in spoken language. You saw this before in a past post where a speaker used comment que and quand que, instead of just comment and quand. She said:
quand qu’y’a fermé la porte
(an informal variation on quand il a fermé la porte)
when he closed the door
comment qu’y pensaient
(an informal variation on comment ils pensaient)
how they used to think
2. On a pas from the quote is an informal equivalent of on n’a pas, but they both in fact sound exactly the same. (I could’ve written on n’a pas in the quote above, but ne is almost always dropped in informal language — even if, here, including it or not including it makes no difference to the pronunciation of the quote.)
3. You know now that je suis frequently contracts to j’su’ in spoken language (sounds as if it were written chu in French — the ch sounds like the ch in chez). But the speaker here did in fact use the full je suis, and not a contraction of it. That’s because she wanted to stress what she was saying. By using the full je suis, she was able to emphasise her words more, which helped to convey her anger. Maybe we can compare it to the way an angry parent calls a child by his full name when he’s in trouble!
Posted in Entries #1051-1100 | Tagged comment que, français québécois, je suis, quand que, Québécois French | 2 Comments »