Archive for March, 2013

Even though the word pairs below have similar roots, take a look at how only one word in each pair is a tsitsu word.

patinage / patin

Patinage is a tsitsu word.
Patin is not.
1. patinage (patsinage)
2. patin (patin)

matinée / matin

Matinée is a tsitsu word.
Matin is not.
1. matinée (matsinée)
2. matin (matin)

latine / latin

Latine is a tsitsu word.
Latin is not.
1. latine (latsine)
2. latin (latin)

In the number 1s, the t is followed by the vowel sound i. So the t is pronounced ts.

In the number 2s, the t is followed by the nasal vowel sound in. So the t is not pronounced ts.

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In Québec, d gets pronounced dz before the French vowel sounds i and u. (dzidzu)

And t gets pronounced ts before the French vowel sounds i and u. (tsitsu)

Here are some dzidzu words:

dîner (dzîner), mardi (mardzi), duc (dzuc), perdu (perdzu)

And here are some tsitsu words:

tirer (tsirer), type (tsipe), tube (tsube), battu (battsu)

Here are some words containing d or t that are not dzidzu or tsitsu words (can you explain to yourself why?):

matin, douleur, information, Canada, côte, tour, donner

Now for some trickier stuff.

Words can never be dzidzu or tsitsu before the nasal vowels un, on, in, an:

patin, dingue, don, ton, tant, dans, inopportun

But they are indeed dzidzu and tsitsu if the nasal vowel sound is preceeded by a y sound:

canadien (canadzien), tiens (tsiens), Dion (Dzion)

And they are also dzidzu and tsitsu before the ui vowel sound:

tuile (tsuile), conduire (condzuire)

Remember, no need to stress over all of this because it’s never necessary to dzidzuate and tsitsuate to make yourself understood by the Québécois!

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Magane pas tes organes

A government of Québec health campaign aimed at preventing young people from taking up cigarette smoking tells us:

Magane pas tes organes

Maybe you’ve seen these promotional images around town, like on Montréal buses.

to wreck

Magane pas tes organes
Don’t wreck your organs

It sounds catchier in French because magane rhymes with organes.

In an attempt to appeal to young people, the wording has an informal feel typical of the spoken language — the ne is absent (magane pas tes organes instead of ne magane pas tes organes).

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Another « googlage » that led someone to OffQc:

why are the canadiens referred to in the singular in french

The Canadiens in question here are the Montréal NHL hockey team.

You’ll very often find the team referred to as le Canadien, as a nickname for the team.

Two headlines:

Le Canadien bat les Flyers 4-1 (Radio-Canada)
The Canadiens beat the Flyers 4-1

Le Canadien revient de l’arrière pour vaincre le Lightning (Le Devoir)
The Canadiens make a comeback and beat the Lightning

The plural is used too:

Les Canadiens ont inscrit deux buts […]. (TVA Sports)
The Canadiens scored two goals […].

But if you want to sound “in the know,” you can incorporate the singular into your French as well!

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A googler landed on OffQc with these search terms:

is fucké a word in french

Yes. It means “messed up” or “screwed up.”

Although it’s derived from the English word “fuck,” the French word fucké doesn’t carry the level of vulgarity you might expect it to.

It’s definitely an informal usage, however.

C’est fucké ton affaire!
That’s so messed up!
(i.e., Your situation is so messed up!)

Yé fucké ton ordi!
Your computer’s screwed up!

There’s also the verb fucker:

J’ai toute fucké mon ordi.
I’ve completely screwed up my computer.

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