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1. mes amis

Say: mé za mi

2. aux études

Say: au zé tude

3. vous avez

Say: vou za vé

When the liaison occurs between two words, it’s really the second word whose pronunciation changes, not the first.

Mes amis is pronounced mé za mi, not méz a mi. If you put a pause between each syllable, you’ll hear the difference between the two.

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On trouve de tout... même un ami

Jean Coutu is a pharmacy in Québec whose slogan is:

On trouve de tout… même un ami!

And it’s true. You really will find a friend at Jean Coutu.

They’re called condoms.

1. condom

condom

In Québec, the standard word for condom is un condom (sounds like condon). The French word un préservatif is understood, but its use is limited.

The expression “to use a condom” is utiliser un condom.

There’s also an informal word for condom, like “rubber” in English: une capote. In Montréal, you may have even noticed a sex shop downtown called La Capoterie.

2. pâte à dents

pate à dents

In addition to le dentifrice and la pâte dentifrice, toothpaste is also known as la pâte à dents in Québec, which is similar in form to la brosse à dents, or toothbrush.

On tubes of toothpaste, you’ll see the term dentifrice, not pâte à dents.

3. soie dentaire

soie dentaire

In Québec, dental floss is called la soie dentaire. In France, it’s called le fil dentaire. Soie dentaire is the standard term in Québec, used on packaging and in conversation (if you like to talk about dental floss!).

4. bas

bas

A sock is called un bas in Québec, which sounds like bâ. For example, un bas de laine is a wool sock.

5. chaise roulante

chaise roulante

In addition to un fauteuil roulant, understood by French speakers everywhere, you’ll also hear a wheelchair called une chaise roulante in Québec.

6. sac à vidanges

sac à ordures

The package says sacs à ordures, meaning “garbage bags.” In addition to this term, you’ll also hear un sac à vidanges at a more informal level of language. The word vidanges is often used in Québec in the sense of garbage. Un vidangeur is garbageman.

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Adviser: Mr Harper, I think you may be showing too much neck, even for Québec. Harper: Oh je m’en crisse. C’est la fin de semaine. Donne-moi ce café.

You’re becoming experts at saying that you don’t give a shit (or a fuck either) in French, and it’s all OffQc’s fault. But, if Mr Harper knows how to say it, then you probably should too.

In entry #635, you discovered how to say “I don’t give a fuck” or “I don’t give a damn” using the verb s’en câlisser:

1. Je m’en câlisse.

Then, in entry #641, you discovered the verb s’en sacrer:

2. Je m’en sacre.

And now here’s a third way, inspired by this Urbania article:

3. Je m’en crisse.

This third way uses the verb s’en crisser.

You now know three québécois verbs to express not giving a shit about something:

s’en câlisser
s’en sacrer
s’en crisser

Here are a few examples using this new verb, s’en crisser.

On s’en crisse!
Nobody gives a shit!

Je m’en crisse que tu t’en crisses.
I don’t give a damn that you don’t give a damn.

Je m’en crisse royalement!
I don’t give a flying fuck!

J’ai coulé mon examen, mais dans le fond, je m’en crisse.
I flunked my exam, but really, I don’t give a shit.

Image: Emperor Haute Couture (Margaret Sutherland)

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Le petit guide du parler québécoisTo give more depth to your knowledge of Quebec French vocabulary, I can suggest the Petit guide du parler québécois by Mario Bélanger, 3rd edition.

This book is the size of a paperback novel, organised by keywords in alphabetical order. The entries contain useful example sentences.

I like this book for five reasons:

1. affordable ($13)
2. pertinent choice of vocabulary
3. good example sentences
4. culture and pronunciation notes
5. easy to browse

If you’re a word nerd, I’m sure you’ll like it. It’s the sort of book that you can dip into at any point and discover something new.

For the amount of vocab included, $13 is a really good price. There are other books out there for about the same price, even cheaper ones, but the content isn’t very satisfying. The vocabulary presented in this book will be pertinent to your everyday life as a learner of French.

Two sample entries:

The keyword is in bold. The example sentence is in italics. In parentheses, an equivalent in “international” French.

COUDON adv. Coudon, c’est qui ce gars-là? (Au fait, pendant que j’y pense.) R. Déformation de « écoute donc ».

ÉPICERIE n.f. Elle profite de sa sortie pour faire l’épicerie. (Faire le marché.)

I can suggest casually browsing this book to familiarise yourself with lots of vocabulary and examples, and then complement this by listening to large amounts of spoken French from Québec.

When you’re done browsing, it becomes a good reference.

You can buy it or see a sample page here. You can also buy it in the major bookshops in Québec.

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Here are 5 new examples of French from around Montréal.

1. Bonjour, bonjour, rebonjour!

A guy who I bumped into twice within the space of about 15 minutes rebonjoured me with rebonjour! It’s a playful usage and, as you probably guessed, it means “hello again.”

2. Vous voulez vous asseoir?

If you’re on the bus or métro, you can offer your seat to someone who needs it more than you with this question.

3. L’avenir appartient à ceux qui se réveillent.

I didn’t hear this, I saw it. It’s from a promotional poster for an energy drink displayed in dépanneurs around Montréal.

“The future belongs to those who wake up.”

The poster is really about waking up by drinking the energy drink. But if we ignore that, it conveys a nice message about just waking up early in general. For us late-risers, it’s good to be reminded to wake up every now and again.

4. Tabarouette!

This is a milder version of tabarnak. It sounds like “tabarwett.” It’s maybe similar to “jeez” or “darn it” in English.

5. Es-tu correct?

As I passed in front of a hotel entrance, an employee was carrying the bags and suitcase of a guest at the hotel. Another employee asked him if he could manage on his own by saying es-tu correct? (are you OK?). Informally, you’ll hear correct pronounced as correc.

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At Dollarama, you’ll find all kinds of crap you never knew you needed.

What you won’t find though are lessons in Quebec French. For that, you need OffQc.

Let’s go on a Dollarama field trip.

Birthday cards for great-grandsons…

Bonne fête, cher arrière-petit-fils!

In Québec, a birthday is called une fête. You can wish somebody a happy birthday by saying bonne fête.

It’s your birthday today? You can say c’est ma fête aujourd’hui.

Temporary Habs tattoos…

The packaging in the image uses the word tatouage for tattoo, but you’ll very often hear a tattoo called un tatou in Québec.

The word tatouage is the standard one for tattoo in French, which is why the package says tatouage and not tatou.

Tatou is heard at an informally spoken level of language.

$100 bill serviettes…

The official word for dollar is un dollar, but you’ll also hear une piasse during conversations. Cent piasses means the same thing as cent dollars, but it’s an informal use.

Speaking of money, Canada recently eliminated the penny. No more sou noir… A quarter (25 cents) is called un vingt-cinq sous in Québec.

Canadian money erasers…

The package in the image uses the term une gomme à effacer, but you’ll also hear an eraser referred to as une efface in Québec. You probably won’t see une efface on packaging though.

Miniature hockey sticks…

A hockey stick is called un bâton de hockey in Québec, or just un bâton when the context is clear.

Bâton is written with the accented â, which you’ll remember sounds something like “aww.”

The puck is called la rondelle in Québec, but sometimes also la puck (la poque).

At métro station Berri-UQÀM in Montréal, maybe you’ve noticed people sitting on a black, circular bench in the shape of a puck, near the turnstiles. That spot is known by many as la puck. It’s a popular meeting spot.

And Habs tissues…

For when the team makes you cry?

In Québec, you’ll hear “to cry” said two ways: pleurer and brailler (pronounced brâiller). The verb brailler can also mean “to whine.”

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Mike Ward is a comedian from Québec. Here’s what he tweeted on 15 July:

Pu de batteries AA pour ma souris, j’en ai patenté une avec une batterie AAA et du papier d’alu… MacGyver serait fier de moi.

Out of AA batteries for my mouse, I improvised one with an AAA battery and some tin foil… MacGyver would be proud of me.

1. pu de

This is an informal pronunciation of plus de, as in “no more left (of something).” For example, y’a pu d’lait is an informal pronunciation of il n’y a plus de lait.

2. une batterie

In French everywhere, une batterie refers to the battery of a car. In Québec, batterie can also refer to household batteries used in gadgets, like an AA or AAA battery — une pile. It’s in this sense that Ward used it.

3. patenter

The verb patenter here is used in the sense of inventing or concoting stuff, à la MacGyver. In this case, Ward says that he improvised an AA battery.

Patenter in this sense is a québécois usage. In an Urbania article, we find this example of use: patenter une app, which means “to come up with an app,” but more in the sense of concocting one.

4. du papier d’alu

Alu is an informal short form for aluminium.

@MikeWardca

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