Archive for the ‘Entries #301-350’ Category

In a scene from Les Parent, Natalie is at the hockey rink with her sons. She’s watching her youngest son play a match.

When the team that her son is on scores, she cries out:

Bravo les gars! Wooouuu! Allez les gars! Allez les gars!
Allez! Allez les gars!

Allez les gars means “go guys go.” Gars is the same in both the singular and plural: le gars, les gars.

But be careful how you pronounce it.

gars is pronounced

No r sound, no s sound.

Don’t pronounce it as garce. Please don’t do that. If you don’t know what garce means in French, I think this short article will give you a good idea.

[The quote above was said by Natalie in Les Parent, “Noël emballant,” season 4, episode 11, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 21 November 2011.]

Read Full Post »

More thoughts about getting francophones to speak to you in French if you’re an anglophone living in Montreal or spending extended time here:

If you find that francophones often switch to English on you and it’s begun to frustrate you, ask yourself who the francophones are that are switching.

Are they your good friends?
Are they girlfriends or boyfriends?
… or are they just random strangers and people you don’t know well?

I encourage you to speak in French whenever you get the opportunity, including with strangers, but the best way to learn is through conversations in French with francophones that you share a strong bond with. They’re much more likely to keep speaking in French with you.

Make francophone friends or — even better — find a francophone girlfriend or boyfriend, if you’re single and looking! Find work where you speak French with your co-workers.

If you arrange your personal life so that you have a lot of meaningful conversations in French with people who matter to you, the language switching of random strangers on the streets will no longer seem like such a big deal.

You won’t be relying on them anymore to “behave” the way you want them to, and then you’ll be free to start enjoying the messiness of language use in Montreal and letting things go with the flow.

If you find that you’ve got few to no strong bonds with francophones, this can become your challenge for 2012 — forming new relationships with francophones and relying less on random strangers for speaking opportunities.

Of course, no matter what city you’re learning French in, you should aim to form strong bonds rather than rely on strangers for speaking opportunities. Aim for long conversations in French with people you enjoy being around, not just short dialogues with strangers.

Read Full Post »

Last week in entry #337, I encouraged you to check out Le bruit des mots : slam-poésie et chroniques de polyvalente, a web-documentary featuring a group of 16-year-olds who reveal aspects of their personal lives in a slam.

Since posting about this documentary last week, there’s one slam in particular that I’ve returned to listen to many times:

le slam de Noémy

I find Noémy’s slam very moving because it touches a delicate issue for this young girl: the drug abuse of her father.

The refrain of her slam is particularly powerful because of its rhythm and message, and it’s been running through my head since I first heard it:

Peu importe comment tu te l’envoies
On connaît déjà le résultat

[Noémy in Les bruit des mots : slam-poésie et chroniques de polyvalente by Catherine Therrien]

In the third line, what Noémy means is that it doesn’t matter how her father takes the drug — smoked or sniffed, the result of his drug abuse is the same.

What I also like is how, in the beginning of her slam, we’re lead to believe that the problem may have something to do with a female person — of course, she’s not talking about a person at all.

The ending of Noémy’s slam contains a very biting message for her father. It gives me shivers when I hear it. I’d link directly to her slam but you’d have audio problems by accessing it that way. Just look for her image on the main slams page; she’s the third image on the left. (Remember, you can have her words appear on-screen by clicking on Mots animés.)

Two other slams I like:

I like Kloé’s presentation for the way she plays with the language to express herself in her slam: la lightskinisation, charboniser les coeurs, mulâtriser, barackobamer, nelsonmandeliser. Sabrina’s slam is also powerful; the conviction with which she speaks and the way she openly asserts her spiritual beliefs impressed me.

Really, though, I could list all of the slams as my favourite. I think this documentary is an amazing piece of art by Catherine Therrien.

I don’t know how long this web-doc will be available online, so I suggest you check it out sooner than later if you haven’t seen it yet. As far as I know, it can be viewed from anywhere in the world.

Le bruit des mots : slam-poésie et chroniques de polyvalente

Read Full Post »

Macha and Éric are characters from the TV series Tout sur moi. In this show, both Macha and Éric play the role of struggling actors always looking for a new role to star in.

Macha is single but wants to find a boyfriend. Her friend Éric has agreed to help her find one among the male actors of Quebec.

Actors live by auditions. So Éric rounds up some attractive male actors and convinces them to audition to become Macha’s boyfriend.

When Macha discovers what men Éric has convinced to audition, she gets really excited at the idea that one of them might become her boyfriend. In her excitement, she decides that she needs to change into a fresh pair of clothes to look her best, and she tells Éric and another friend standing nearby to get out of her way as she runs off to her bedroom:

Tassez-vous! Faut que je m’change!
Get outta my way! I gotta get changed!

A new French verb for you: se tasser, or “to get out of the way”… and your new expression offqcoise (!!):

Tasse-toi! Tassez-vous!
Get out of my way!

The a in the verb tasser sounds like â, or “aww.”

You can also learn se changer, or “to get changed (into different clothing).” Example:

Je me suis caché derrière un buisson pour me changer.
I hid behind a bush to get changed.

By the way, faut que from the quote above is just an informal way to say il faut que. And je m’change means the same thing as je me change, except it’s a spoken pronunciation. Je m’ sounds like jeum.

For readers in Canada, season 5 of Tout sur moi can currently be viewed on tou.tv. There’s a lot of informal, conversational French in this TV series.

[The quote above was said by Macha in Tout sur moi, “Le loft… de Valérie,” season 5, episode 2, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 22 September 2011.]

Read Full Post »

A short clip from the humoriste québécois Martin Matte. 🙂

Attention! On s’en va dans la toilette!


Oh là là là là! Câline! Pourquoi tu l’as pas dit à papa que ça passait pas, mon grand? Hein?

Papa il jouera plus avec toi, là! Aaahh…

câline, gosh darnit
que ça passait pas, that there wasn’t room to pass through
mon grand, big guy
he pronounced this informally as y

P.S. Heh heh, no children were injured in the making of this video (in case you’re not familiar with Martin Matte’s irreverent style!) 😉

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »