Archive for the ‘Entries #301-350’ Category

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

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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.]

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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!) 😉

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One of the many things that strikes me as being quaintly Montréal can be found inside the black boxes attached to the street lights downtown along Sainte-Catherine.

As the lights change from one colour to another, you’ll hear a hum and a clack from many of the boxes.

Mmmmm… flac!
Mmmmm… flac!

That’s because inside each box is a little monkey hired by the Ville de Montréal who hums away as he works, flipping the switch on the lights.

There’s a louder hum from certain boxes. I guess some of the little monkeys enjoy their work more than others.

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En burnout? (#339)

L’épuisement professionnel, that’s what burnout at work is called in French. Well, that’s the medical term and the way you’ll see it called in a lot of writing. But during regular conversations, you’ll often hear burnout in French, and the expression être en burnout.

I found this article on La Presse, which talks about detecting burnout, dépister le burnout. The author talks about a laboratory in Toronto that can analyse a person’s hair to see if they’re in burnout (they check the accumulation of cortisol in the hair).

Hmm. I think there’s an easier way to detect burnout. When you ask a co-worker first thing in the morning Ça va bien?, and she answers back Va chier (up yours), I think there’s a good chance she’s en burnout.

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Oh sure, maybe you’re good at le ski de fond (cross-country skiing),
or even le ski alpin (downhill skiing),

but how do you measure up when it comes to…

… le ski freestyle
… le ski de rue
… le ski URBAIN !

If those terms don’t mean much to you yet, they will after you check out this incredible video of the freestyleur québécois JP Auclair, as he rips through the streets of Trail, in British Columbia:

Who needs mountains?

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

Thanks to Adam for pointing this out. I highly recommend this web-documentary featuring 16-year-olds, de jeunes slameurs, who put words to their life experiences and narrate them in a slam in front of their peers:

Le bruit des mots, c’est la chronique du quotidien de jeunes de 16 ans qui, dans l’ordinaire de leur école secondaire, se retrouvent plongés dans l’univers de la poésie et apprennent à apprivoiser la scène, dans tout ce qu’elle a de terrifiant, pour monter y déclamer leur slam.

You can have their words appear on the screen by clicking on Mots animés. (The words only appear when the speaker begins to déclame his slam.) Discover the different slams by clicking on the names and images on the main page, and by navigating the plan of the school up in the top right corner.

What each young person has to say is very moving and poetic; it’s a refreshing contrast to the tired old refrain we hear too often today from some people about the “poor” quality of young people’s language.

Listen to the slams here.

Or keep reading about this web-doc in entry #343.

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