Even if you choose not to pronounce dz and ts in the examples below, you’ll still be understood by francophones. So this is for the enthusiasts among you who are interested in the finer points of the accent québécois!
Note: dzidzu and tsitsu are made-up words. If you use them in the real world, people will think that you’re crazy. Check the glossary.
A dzidzu word is a word where the letter d is pronounced dz. This happens when the letter d is followed by the French i or u sounds.
All of these are dzidzu words:
A tsitsu word is a word where the letter t is pronounced ts. This happens when the letter t is followed by the French i or u sounds.
All of these are tsitsu words:
*OK, you caught me! The sound here is in fact not u. It’s this phonetic thing: ɥ. It’s the same sound that the u makes in lui, for example. You’ll also hear dz and ts before that sound, like in the words tuer (tsuer) and conduite (condzuite). And just to make things even more interesting, you’ll also hear dz and ts before the y sound that appears in words like canadien (canadzien) and tiens (tsiens).
Don’t let the spelling fool you! It’s the sound after d and t that counts, not the spelling. For example, the i sound might be spelled with a letter y. But nasal vowel sounds (in, im, un, etc.) aren’t dzidzu-tsitsu even when they’re spelled with a letter i or u.
So these are also dzidzu-tsitsu words:
But none of these words are dzidzu-tsitsu:
When the -tion ending is pronounced -sion, it obviously isn’t tsitsu. There’s no t sound in it to begin with!
All of these are dzidzu-tsitsu words:
festival, gardienne, canadien, relatif, répondu, vendu, perdu, production, dur, type, dynamiser, titre, tisane, tierce, tien, tiède, Portugal, portuguais, tuer, situer, habituer, habitude, Gatineau, Martine, tunnel, tunique, Tunisie, tuile, tulipe, conduite, enduire, duel, turc, médical, partir, entier
None of these are dzidzu-tsitsu words:
(don’t pronounce dz or ts in these words)
conspiration, confection, confédération, demain, doux, toux, de, porter, dingue, corridor, douze, national, tympan, tintamarre, tinter, radin, initier, initiation, taper, danger