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You’ve probably already learnt one of the meanings of évident: “obvious” or “evident.” Informally, évident can take on another meaning in French when it’s used in the informal expression c’est pas évident.

C’est pas évident de se faire des amis.
C’est pas évident de trouver la solution.

C’est pas évident de parler de ça.

Informally, if something is pas évident, it’s not easy. In the examples above, pas évident means the same thing as difficile or pas facile.

C’est pas is an informal way of saying ce n’est pas. You’ll come across c’est pas fairly frequently in spoken, informal French.

If you hear someone say c’est pas évident followed by nothing else, this can simply mean “it’s not easy” or “that’s not easy.” It could also translate to “it’s difficult” or “that’s difficult.”

C’est pas évident!
It’s not easy!

[This entry was inspired by the character Louis in Les Parent, “Blues d’automne,” season 3, episode 7, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 25 October 2010.]

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You won’t go long without hearing someone punctuate an informal conversation in French with this:

Ça fait que…

Ça fait que is used informally in the same way as the English “so” in the examples below:

Ça fait que… qu’est-ce qu’on fait?
So… what are we going to do?

Ça fait que… qu’est-ce qu’elle en pense?
So… what does she think about it?

On est en retard, ça fait que dépêche-toi.
We’re late, so hurry up.

You’ll also hear ça fait que shortened to fait que.

Examples:

Fait que… qu’est-ce qu’on fait?
Fait que… qu’est-ce qu’elle en pense?
On est en retard, fait que… dépêche-toi.

[This entry was inspired by the character Thomas in Les Parent, “Blues d’automne,” season 3, episode 7, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 25 October 2010.]

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Someone described as being fin in French is someone the speaker thinks is nice or kind, just like gentil.

Il est fin, ton voisin.
Your neighbour’s nice.

Informally, it sounds like:

Yé fin, ton voisin.

In a scene from Les Parent, Thomas describes some people he knows as being not just fins, but super fins.

Super is an informal way of making the following adjective stronger:

Ils sont super fins!

Informally, it sound like:

Y sont super fins!

[This entry was inspired by the character Thomas in Les Parent, “Blues d’automne,” season 3, episode 7, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 25 October 2010.]

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If you wanted to say “five bucks” in French, could you? Not “five dollars,” but something more informal like “five bucks.”

Here’s an example:

J’ai dépensé cinq piasses.
I spent five bucks.

Une piasse is more or less on the same level of informality as “buck” in English. Piasse is only used informally. Dollar is used at all language levels.

Piasse comes from an informal pronunciation of piastre.

[This entry was inspired by the character Louis in Les Parent, “Blues d’automne,” season 3, episode 7, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 25 October 2010. Here, he said he would give his son cinq piasses.]

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Ah, the Parent brothers! In a scene from the TV series Les Parent, Olivier tells his brother “where to go” in French by saying: Va chier!

Literally, the French expression va chier means… well, I think you’re probably able to figure out the literal meaning! (But, OK, just in case: go shit.)

This expression is sometimes used in a moment of anger to brush someone off in a not-so-friendly way: Up yours!!…

[This entry was inspired by the character Olivier in Les Parent, “Blues d’automne,” season 3, episode 7, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 25 October 2010.]

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at the end of a sentence in French? You’ll hear it all the time in Quebec when French is spoken informally!

If you haven’t picked up on this yet, start listening for it. Once you’ve started to “tune in” to it, I’m sure you’ll hear it all over the place…

OK, but what does at the end of a sentence mean?

First, some examples:

Je t’appelle comme ça, là.
Je sais pas, là.
Je pense que oui, là.

In fact, I’m not really sure that the in these sentences translates to any specific word in English. It’s just an informal word that often gets tacked on to the end of a sentence.

It adds an informal feel to what someone’s saying. Sometimes it can even help reinforce what a person says, too.

Don’t try to translate it. Start listening for it, and just learn to “feel” how people use it.

[This entry was inspired by the character Louis in Les Parent, “Blues d’automne,” season 3, episode 7, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 25 October 2010.]

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In a scene from Les Parent, we hear Olivier tell his brother that he’s ben cheap.

Cheap is pronounced as in English. Informally, you’ll sometimes hear cheap used to refer to stingy people or objects of poor quality.

T’es cheap.
T’es ben cheap.

C’est cheap.
C’est ben cheap.

You may even hear cheap used in the sense of “low” or “petty.”

Example:

Je trouve ça cheap de sa part.
I think that’s pretty low of him.

[This entry was inspired by the character Olivier in Les Parent, “Blues d’automne,” season 3, episode 7, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 25 October 2010.]

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