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Archive for the ‘Entries #451-500’ Category

In this comical clip from a TV show called Pure laine, a French teacher suffers from an inferiority complex about the way French is spoken in Quebec.

In this clip, she’s teaching French to adult newcomers. But she goes horribly overboard with the vocabulary she expects them to use. She insists that the verb for “to eat” isn’t manger but se sustenter!

She even goes so far as to use the obscure word gaminet for “t-shirt” when shopping in a store. (In reality, the French word in use is simply t-shirt.) This results in the shop employee supposedly believing that she’s not Québécoise at all but a foreigner. At least the young Ming gets it right!

A Haitian friend gives her a bit of advice regarding French and becoming Québécois, which she over-zealously adopts in class by teaching her students how to swear using câlice

A bit of help: Untel, c’t’un câlice. (Untel, c’est un câlice. So-and-so is a son-of-a-bitch.) M’as te câlisser mon poing su’a yeule. (Je vais te câlisser mon poing sur la gueule. I’m gonna punch your goddamn lights out.) Je m’en câlisse. (I don’t give a fuck.)

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It’s important to remember that il y a is very often pronounced y’a when French is spoken informally.

Although y’a isn’t used nearly as much in writing as it is in the spoken language, you can still sometimes find examples of it in advertising. This gives a more informal feel to the wording.

In the ad above from the café Second Cup (click on it to see a larger version), the slogan reads:

Y’a un peu d’amour dans chaque tasse.

This is an informal way of saying il y a un peu d’amour dans chaque tasse. (There’s a bit of love in every cup.)

In entry #491, you saw some ads for a zoo. The slogan used on these ads is:

Y’a pas plus animal!

This is an informal way of saying il n’y a pas plus animal! (Can’t get any wilder!)

y’a = il y a
y’a pas = il n’y a pas

There are lots of spoken examples of this informal pronunciation in entry #481, where Vincent Vallières speaks about the Fête nationale.

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Check out these ads from the Zoo de Granby. The photos were taken in the Montreal metro system. The ways of describing these animals are usually used for people: tête en l’air, tête dure, baveux, flasheux, p’tit clown!

Tête en l’air! (= Scatterbrain!)

Tête dure! (= Hard head!)

Baveux! (= Cheeky!)

Flasheux! (= Flashy!)

P’tit clown! (= Lil’ clown!)

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Je viens juste d’envoyer un texto à mon patron pour l’informer que je passerai la journée au lit avec un gros Russe. Évidemment je voulais écrire rhume. Comment qu’on enlève ça l’auto-correcteur?

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In entry #481, Vincent Vallières talks about a memorable Saint-Jean holiday from his past. As he recalls the feu de joie from that holiday, he uses the expression passer au feu, or “to catch fire,” at the 2:08 mark.

Listen to how Vincent pronounces the a in the verb passer. This vowel sound occurs frequently in Quebec French.

This vowel sound is often shown with the accented â. Words like fâché, tâche and mâle all use this sound.

Not all words that use this sound are written with the accented â, though. Even though passer doesn’t contain â in its written form, you’ll hear it pronounced with one. It also occurs in the conjugated forms of this verb, like tu passes and j’ai passé.

Other examples of words pronounced with an â sound even if their written form doesn’t show it include jaser, base, case, brasser, classe, tasse.

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Mike Ward uses a lot of informal French in the comedic sketch that you listened to in entry #472.

One of the informal verbs that he uses is shaker, which, maybe you guessed it, comes from the English “shake.”

In his sketch, Mike Ward relates his first experience with Viagra. He tells the audience that the effect on him was so strong that: mon pénis shakait!

It shook, it trembled, it vibrated…

Shaker is a verb that you’ll sometimes hear used in the spoken French of Quebec on an informal level.

It’s an informal equivalent of trembler, vibrer, etc.

You can go back and listen to Mike Ward’s sketch here.

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In this video from the YouTube channel Ça finit là, a father (and actor) talks about bullying to raise awareness about the problem.

Quand vous pensez à l’intimidation souvent on a l’impression qu’on a affaire à des gens qui sont peut-être plus faibles, c’est eux qui sont intimidés par les plus forts… les gens qui sont différents, des gens qui sont bizarres, des gens qui sont… étranges. Je veux juste dire que l’intimidation, ça peut arriver à n’importe qui.

Ma petite fille a été intimidée à l’école au début de l’année. Ma petite fille, c’est une fille qui est intelligente, qui est forte de caractère, qui est belle, qui est souriante, qui est de bonne humeur, qui aime la vie, qui aime les autres — et elle a eu cette aventure-là dans sa vie à elle.

Et comme père, moi, ça m’a surpris au plus haut point. Ça m’a donné une claque sur la gueule de voir que ça peut arriver à n’importe qui. Fait que je veux juste dire que l’intimidation à l’école… ça finit là.

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