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Archive for September, 2015

In the 1000 Québécois French PDF that you can buy here or read more about first here, there’s an example sentence (#24) that reads:

J’viens d’me faire une blonde.

Une blonde is a girlfriend. Literally, this sentence translates as I’ve just made myself a girlfriend, but it can be used where you might say in English something like I’m going out with someone new, I’ve got a new girlfriend.

The expression here is se faire une blonde.

A similar expression very good to know is se faire des amis, to make friends. In French, you make yourself some friends, so don’t forget to use se faire here.

Je n’arrive pas à me faire des amis.
I can’t make friends.
I’m having trouble making friends.

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In #1015, you saw how to order at Tim Hortons in French when in Québec.

Then you saw some random bits of McDonalds vocab in the posts following that one; let’s build on that now to create a more complete post here about how to order at McDonalds in French when in Québec.

Same concept as the Tim Hortons post — mock exchanges with a cashier typical of what you might hear in a McDonalds in Québec. The prices are made up.

— Passez ici, s’il vous plaît!
— Bonjour, je vais prendre le trio Big Mac.
— C’est pour manger ici?
— Non, c’est pour emporter.
— Neuf et dix, s’il vous plaît.

— Next, please!
— Hi, I’ll take the Big Mac combo (meal), please.
— Is it for here?
— No, it’s to go.
— Nine ten, please.

— Passez ici!
— Bonjour, ça va être le filet de poisson.
— Voulez-vous le trio?
— Non, merci.
— Ça va être tout?
— Oui.
— Quatre dollars.

— Next!
— Hi, I’ll take a filet-o-fish.
— Do you want the combo?
— No, thanks.
— Will that be all?
— Yes.
— Four dollars.

— Suivant!
— Bonjour, je vais prendre un cheese* pis une petite frite.
— C’est pour ici ou pour emporter?
— Pour emporter.
— Ça fait quatre et cinquante.

— Next!
— Hi, I’ll take a cheeseburger and small fries.
— Is it for here or to go?
— To go.
— That’ll be four fifty.

— Bienvenue chez McDonalds!
— Bonjour, je vais prendre un cornet.
— Autre chose?
— Oui, un sundae au caramel.
— Ensuite?
— Un McFlurry Oreo.
— Quel format?
— Collation.*
— Autre chose?
— Oui, le trio Quart de livre avec fromage.
— Quel breuvage?
— Un coke. Ah, pis je vais prendre un Joyeux festin Poulet McCroquettes, pis le trio CBO* deux fois.
— Ensuite?
— C’est tout.
— C’est pour emporter?
— C’est pour manger ici!
— Quarante dollars. (…) Bon appétit!
— Merci. (…) Ah, je vais juste vous demander du ketchup, s’il vous plaît.
— C’est juste là-bas, à côté des breuvages.
— Parfait, merci.
— Bonne journée.

— Welcome to McDonalds!
— Hi, I’ll take an ice cream cone.
— Anything else?
— Yes, a caramel sundae.
— Next?
— An Oreo McFlurry.
— What size?
— Snack size.*
— Anything else?
— Yes, the Quarter pounder with cheese combo.
— What drink?
— A coke. Oh, and I’ll also take a Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal, and two CBO combos.
— Next?
— That’s it.
— Is it to go?
— It’s for here!
— Forty dollars. (…) Bon appétit!
— Thanks. (…) Oh, can I just get some ketchup, please?
— It’s just over there, next to the drinks.
— Perfect, thanks.
— Have a good day.

*You can also say cheeseburger, of course. CBO is pronounced cé-bé-ô. The small McFlurry size is called collation; the large McFlurry size is called classique.

 

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In this post, I’ve taken some usages heard in Québécois French that were said by a woman in her 70s in Montréal.

  • faire peinturer

She was talking about getting a room in her house painted; faire peinturer means to have painted, to get painted (by someone else), for example faire peinturer les murs, to get the walls painted. If you look up the verb to paint in the dictionary, you’ll probably find peindre instead. Québécois usage prefers peinturer.

  • quand qu’y’a fermé la porte

Y’a is an informal pronunciation of il a, but there’s also a que slipped in here that maybe you weren’t expecting; it means when he shut the door. You’ll often hear que inserted after quand like this in colloquial language. Another example: quand qu’y’a fini, when he finished.

  • dans ma chambre de bain

She referred to her bathroom as une chambre de bain. In the Grand dictionnaire terminologique, we read something interesting about this term:

Chambre de bains (ou chambre de bain) est souvent présenté comme un calque de l’anglais à éviter, alors qu’il s’agit plutôt d’un terme d’origine française. Le mot chambre était déjà utilisé en ancien français pour désigner une pièce quelconque de la maison.

Par ailleurs, on trouve chambre de bains et chambre de bain chez des auteurs français du XIXe siècle. Ce terme est toujours utilisé dans certaines aires francophones. On en trouve des traces en France et en Belgique, et il est encore en usage au Québec et en Suisse. Il est toutefois en perte de vitesse dans ce dernier pays.

[chambre de bains | chambre de bain] Au Québec, il est surtout relevé dans des contextes de langue courante, tandis que salle de bains et salle de bain sont employés dans toutes les situations de communication.

Chambre de bains (ou chambre de bain) is often considered an anglicism to be avoided, whereas it is in fact originally a French term. The word chambre was already in use in Old French to designate any room of a house [as opposed to pièce].

Furthermore, chambre de bains and chambre de bain were used by certain French authors in the 19th century. This term is still in use in some French-speaking areas. There are still traces of it in France and Belgium, and it is still in use in Québec and Switzerland. It is, however, falling out of use in Switzerland.

In Québec, chambre de bains and chambre de bain are mostly used in colloquial language situations, whereas salle de bains and salle de bain are used in any language situation.

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Here’s even more wording you can add to your knowledge when asking for something in a restaurant; a guy in his 20s said:

Je vais juste vous demander une cuillère, s’il vous plaît, pis une autre coupe.
Can I just have a spoon, please, and another cup.

sundae, coupe glacée

The guy had just ordered ice cream in a cup (une coupe). Just as it was given to him, this was how he asked for a spoon and another cup — maybe to share with someone.

The image is of a McDonalds style coupe glacée or sundae. The sun part of sundae sounds like sonne; the dae part sounds like dé. If you want a chocolate one, add au chocolat to the term; if you want a caramel one, add au caramel.

un sundae au caramel

You can use the wording in the post about ordering in French at Tim Hortons in Québec to order at McDonalds as well.

Bonjour, je vais prendre le trio Big Mac.Ça va être le filet de poisson. / Un McFlurry, s’il vous plaît. Hello, I’ll take the Big Mac combo. / I’ll have the filet-o-fish. / A McFlurry, please.

You might be asked what size for certain items: Quel format? Some items have special names for sizes (collation, classique, etc.) so look at the overhead screens for the words. Otherwise, you can probably get away with petit, moyen, grand in many situations.

Pis from the quote above sounds like the English word pee, or as if it were written pi in French. It’s a contraction of puis, and it just means and here. If you want to hear it, search for this in Google: site:offqc.com/listen pis and all the videos in the Listen to Québécois French section where it’s used will appear in the results.

In case you missed it, I added a post yesterday about donne-moé don’ also heard when ordering.

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In #1015, you saw some different ways of asking for coffee and food items in French at Tim Hortons.

At a different restaurant, I was reminded of another way sometimes used to order food when I heard a woman say:

Donne-moé don’ […].

For example, donne-moé don’ un muffin. This is good to know if you’re working the cash and serving francophones. Donne-moé is a colloquial variation on donne-moi. Don’ is in fact donc, but the c isn’t pronounced.

You may remember I’ve mentioned before that nobody expects a learner or non-native speaker to say moé. I usually even discourage it — not because moé is wrong, of course, but because a learner’s use of it may strike some native-speakers as bizarre or even comical.

As a learner, you can go with some of the ways in #1015 instead; the easiest way is to just say the item followed by s’il vous plaît, for example: Bonjour, le trio Big Mac, s’il vous plaît. (Un trio is what a meal is called at McDonalds, i.e., a combo.)

It turns out donne-moé don’ is in fact already on OffQc — even I don’t remember what’s here sometimes! — in this video from the Listen to Québécois French section.

The speaker says:

Donne-moé don’ un gratteux à trois piasses.

Un gratteux is a scratch-n-win lottery ticket. Un gratteux à trois piasses is a ticket that costs three dollars to buy, where piasses is a colloquial equivalent of dollars.

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