Archive for May, 2012

On a Montreal bus, this ad from a company that rents out moving vans:

Déménagez votre ex pour des pinottes.
Move your ex out for peanuts (i.e., really cheap, for next to nothing!).

Une pinotte: a peanut. But you’ll also hear a peanut called une arachide in Quebec (e.g., beurre d’arachide, beurre de pinotte: peanut butter).

Pour des pinottes from the ad above is an informal expression. Another example: travailler pour des pinottes, to work for peanuts (i.e., to work for a ridiculously low salary).

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Two common ways of talking about missing someone in French are with the verbs:

  • manquer (à quelqu’un)
  • s’ennuyer (de quelqu’un)

For example, “I miss you”:

  • Tu me manques.
  • Je m’ennuie de toi.

With manquer, the person missed becomes the subject. With s’ennuyer, the person doing the missing is the subject.

In the very first episode of a series called Les hauts et les bas de Sophie Paquin (currently available on tou.tv), we hear a female character use the expression s’ennuyer de quelqu’un:

Sa soeur s’ennuie beaucoup beaucoup beaucoup de lui.
His sister misses him very very very much.

If you have trouble using these expressions, you could maybe just remember for now tu me manques and je m’ennuie de toi as models of use.

Remember: je te manque doesn’t mean “I miss you,” it means “you miss me” (or more literally, “I am missing to you”). With manquer, “I miss you” is tu me manques (or more literally, “you are missing to me”).

[Quote from Les hauts et les bas de Sophie Paquin, “La tornade,” season 1, episode 1, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 19 September 2006.]

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Oli, the middle child in the TV series Les Parent, breaks the bad news to his father that he’s failed his exam at school. When his father gets upset, Oli defends himself by bad-mouthing his teacher:

C’est un vrai malade!
He’s really crazy!

Informally, Oli pronounced c’est un as c’t’un, as though it were one word.

In addition to meaning “ill” in the physical sense (like when you have a cold), malade can also take on the meaning of “crazy” during more informal conversations:

T’es malade ou quoi?!
Are you crazy or what?!

[Quote said by Oli in Les Parent,“Question existentielle,” season 4, episode 18, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 27 February 2012.]

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In a scene from the TV series 30 vies, two teachers are talking to each other in the staff room of the school where they work. The two teachers are Vincent and Ariane.

During their conversation, Vincent gets a little frustrated with Ariane. Ariane notices that Vincent is annoyed, and she tells him to not get angry:

Fâche-toi pas!
Don’t get angry (calm down)!

This is an informal way of saying ne te fâche pas. You can hear fâche-toi pas between people who are on familiar terms with each other.

While on the topic of anger, you might also like to learn the following expression:

M’en veux-tu?
Are you angry with me? Are you mad at me?

This is what a male character asks Ariane in this same episode because he believes that she’s upset with him. He also asks her:

T’es fâchée?

T’es is an informal way of pronouncing tu es. It sounds like té.

[All quotes from 30 vies, season 2, episode 118, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 17 April 2012.]

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