Archive for March, 2012

An interesting video from Urbania:
Bonnie : profil de dumpster-diveuse

Bonnie has made Montreal her home. I’ll let you listen for where she says that she’s from originally. 🙂

In this video, Bonnie talks about “dumpster diving,” or recuperating edible food that has been thrown into bins by stores.

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Issue number 33 of the magazine Urbania has just come out. You may remember this magazine from earlier entries, where I recommended it as interesting reading material in French.

Ironically, just as the cold weather is ending, issue number 33 is devoted to the theme hiver québécois.

But as the authors of the magazine explain on page 2, to be authentic, it was important that the writers prepare this issue during the winter months, avec une pelle dans la main et les deux bottes dans la neige, and then release it in the spring.

On page 9, we read an interesting fact in the section L’hiver en chiffres:

27 100 : Nombre de Québécois qui se blessent chaque année en pelletant ou en soufflant leur neige. […]

27 100, that’s the number of Québécois who injure themselves every year by shovelling their snow or using a snow blower.

In entry #383, you read about the verb pelleter (to shovel). Remember, it’s pronounced pelter.

pelleter la neige, to shovel the snow
pelleter les marches, to shovel the steps
pelleter l’entrée, to shovel the driveway

And souffler la neige, that’s to clean the snow away like this, with a snow blower (une souffleuse).

[Quote from “L’hiver en chiffres,” Urbania, printemps 2012, numéro 33, Montréal, p. 9.]

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I hope that you’ve been enjoying the vocabulary from Ici et maintenant in these recent entries. In another episode of the show, host Pénélope McQuade meets Sébastien, a father of three who used to be a drug addict, un toxicomane.

Sébastien tells Pénélope and us the viewers that he began to take drugs, il a commencé à consommer, around age eleven.

Sébastien was a tough kid, un p’tit tough, and a follower, un suiveux. Other people around him were doing coke, ils faisaient de la coke, so he did too.

Pénélope tells us that Sébastien had trouble with la coke, le pot, la bière and le speed.

This year Sébastien is celebrating his three years of abstinence, il célèbre ses trois ans d’abstinence. But, as Pénélope explains, it’s also three years without any really big high, trois ans d’abstinence de gros high.

So Pénélope helps him to celebrate his three years by giving him une dose naturelle d’adrénaline — by encouraging him to go parachuting, sauter en parachute.

The rest of the segment is dedicated to Sébastien’s jump. As Pénélope explains, to jump out of a plane is to experience a natural high, vivre un high naturel.

[Vocabulary from Ici et maintenant, season 1, episode 6, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 18 February 2012.]

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Ça prend du guts (#459)

In another episode of Ici et maintenant, Pénélope McQuade shows up at a hospital to meet a nurse called Alexia. Even though Alexia works as a nurse, it’s always been her dream to become a comedian (humoriste).

Pénélope gives Alexia the chance to work with comedians François Massicotte and Geneviève Gagnon to write a sketch (écrire un sketch) and to present it on stage in front of an audience. Alexia nervously accepts.

Alexia admits that she’s never had the guts to become a comedian. She tells the host Pénélope that it takes guts to become one: ça prend du guts.

Alexia finally meets comedian Geneviève Gagnon to work on a sketch with her. Geneviève tells Alexia just how great the experience of writing a sketch and presenting it will be for her (and everybody involved):

Tu vas capoter, là! On va tripper, là!

Roughly, capoter in this context is to be ecstatic with happiness, and tripper is to have a whole lot of fun. Geneviève is telling Alexia that she’s going to be overcome with emotion and that they’re going to have a lot of fun during the whole experience.

[Quote from Ici et maintenant, season 1, episode 5, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 11 February 2012.]

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In a show called Ici et maintenant, host Pénélope McQuade challenges people to live in the present and take responsibility for their lives.

In the first episode, Pénélope surprises a man called Alexandre by showing up at his home very early in the morning. But… Pénélope shows up at his home in a fire truck.

Alexandre works as an engineer, but it was always his dream to become a fireman (pompier). So when Pénélope shows up at his house, she offers him the chance to train as a fireman for a day.

Alexandre will decide whether his childhood dream is something that he should make reality now, ici et maintenant.

When Pénélope asks Alexandre how he feels about spending the day training as a fireman, he becomes emotional and says:

En deux mots — j’ai l’motton.

With the expression avoir le motton, Alexandre said that he was all choked up with emotion, that he had a lump in his throat. He’s choked up because he’ll discover once and for all whether he should abandon his career as an engineer and go in the direction of what he’s always wanted to do.

At the time of writing this, Ici et maintenant can be viewed on tou.tv.

[Quote from Ici et maintenant, season 1, episode 1, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 14 January 2012.]

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Tu m’as mis 67 (#457)

Lots of good examples from 30 vies lately. Here’s another one.

A teacher talks to one of his students after class, called Carlo. He tells Carlo that he really liked his last assignment. Carlo is surprised by his teacher’s comment because he only got 67% on it:

(E = enseignant; C = Carlo)

E — J’ai beaucoup aimé ton dernier travail!
C — Tu m’as mis juste 67.
E — Oui, mais je l’ai aimé quand même.
C — Heureusement!
E — Carlo, je t’ai jamais coulé!

In the last line, with the verb couler, the teacher is reminding his student that he’s never failed him. Another example: couler un examen, to fail an exam, to flunk an exam.

Tu m’as mis juste 67 means “you only gave me 67 (percent).” Another example: il m’a mis zéro, he gave me zero.

[Dialogue from 30 vies, season 2, episode 101, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 19 March 2012.]

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In 30 vies, teenager Mélanie is jealous of one of her best friends.

To backstab her, she decides to flirt with the boy that her friend has a crush on at a party. One of her other friends notices that she’s flirting with the boy, and she calls her out on it because he’s supposed to be off-limits to her:

Qu’est-ce tu fais? Tu le cruises?

Qu’est-ce tu fais means the same thing as qu’est-ce que tu fais. It’s an informal usage that you’ll sometimes hear during conversations.

The verb cruiser (cruiser quelqu’un) sounds like crouzé. It’s used to talk about flirting or going after someone. It’s also an informal usage.

[Quote from 30 vies, season 2, episode 100, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 15 March 2012.]

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