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When you want someone to drop the subject of conversation because it’s going nowhere or the other person just isn’t “getting” what you’re saying, you might say “just forget it!” in English, or “just drop it!”

In French, you might hear:

Laisse faire! or
Laissez faire!

If the person is angry, a strong tone of voice will be used.

This expression can said in a friendly way too with a gentle tone of voice. For example, you might hear this expression used if someone simply wanted to tell another person to nevermind something because they needn’t worry about it.

If you use this expression yourself, make sure your voice communicates what you intend it to.

[This entry was inspired by the character Fred in La Galère, season 2, episode 2, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 21 September 2009.]

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In Quebec, you’ll often hear linge used broadly in the sense of “clothes,” alongside its other usual meaning of “laundry” or “cloth.”

For example, in a scene from La Galère, a teenaged girl named Fred tells her mother that she’d like to get some new clothes. To say “get new clothes” in French, she said avoir du nouveau linge.

Example of this use:

Elle aimerait avoir du nouveau linge.
She’d like to get new clothes.

Another use of linge is when referring to a kitchen tea towel for drying dishes: un linge à vaisselle, or just un linge when the context is clear.

[This entry was inspired by the character Fred in La Galère, season 2, episode 2, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 21 September 2009.]

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Claude from La Galère has a foul mouth, and she’s always up to something sneaky. That’s why she’s everybody’s favourite character. In a scene where she’s angry, she insults her boyfriend while talking to a friend of hers:

Oh l’écoeurant! […] le salaud d’écoeurant!
Oh that bastard! That dirty bastard!

Claude didn’t say this straight to her boyfriend’s face; she said it to a friend: the l’ in l’écoeurant is equaivalent to “that” or “the” in English: “that bastard!” or “the bastard!”

[Quote said by the character Claude in La Galère, season 2, episode 2, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 21 September 2009.]

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In Quebec, a cellphone is called un téléphone cellulaire, or just un cellulaire.

Informally, you’ll also hear it called un cell.

Examples:

Rappelle-moi sur mon cell, OK?
Call me back on my cell, OK?

Il m’a appelé sur mon cell.
He called me on my cell.

In Quebec, you’ll rarely hear the terms un téléphone portable or un portable. But if you do use them, everybody will understand.

[This entry was inspired by the character Stéphanie in La Galère, season 2, episode 2, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 21 September 2009. Here, she told a friend to call her back on her cell.]

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In a scene from La Galère, Stéphanie talks about picking up the rest of the kids by car. To do this, she said that she was going to go chercher le reste de la gang, or “pick up all the other guys.”

Informally, gang is feminine and it’s pronounced more or less as in English. Gang is often used in the same way as “guys” in English (a group of people of any gender).

On a related note, you might hear someone call out Gang! Gang! when trying to catch the attention of a group of friends. This is similar to the way English speakers might call out “Guys? Hey, guys?” to a group of friends.

[This entry was inspired by the character Stéphanie in La Galère, season 2, episode 1, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 14 September 2009.]

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In Quebec, you’ll often hear échapper used in the sense of “to drop (something by accident).”

Examples:

J’ai échappé mon iPod.
I dropped my iPod.

Monsieur, vous avez échappé quelque chose!
Sir, you’ve dropped something!

Elle a échappé sa sacoche.
She dropped her handbag/purse.

In this entry, I’ve called this a Quebec usage; however, it’s possible échapper is used elsewhere in the same sense. I think it’s fair to say that it’s less common outside of Quebec/French Canada, though.

[This entry was inspired by the character Stéphanie in La Galère, season 2, episode 1, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 14 September 2009. Here, Stéphanie used the verb échapper to tell Jacques that he had accidently dropped an envelope in the garbage.]

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You know how to ask “who…?” questions in French:

Qui a dit ça?
Qui a fait ça?

This way of asking questions is used at all levels of speaking in French.

When people speak informally, you’ll sometimes hear:

C’est qui qui a dit ça?
C’est qui qui a fait ça?

Sometimes you’ll hear questions start with c’est qui qui, rather than just qui. When this happens, the first qui is stressed a little more than the second one.

Asking a question with c’est qui qui can add more emphasis to the question:

C’est qui qui a dit ça? feels more like
Just who said that anyway?

[This entry was inspired by the character Marc in Mauvais karma, “Ça fait désordre,” season 1, episode 1, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 8 September 2010.]

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