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Posts Tagged ‘â sound’

I spotted this Pages Jaunes ad in Montréal, which reads:

Rosemont compte 18 déménageurs. Et beaucoup trop d’escaliers pour s’en passer. There are 18 moving companies in Rosemont. And far too many staircases to be able to do without (the movers).

Un déménageur is a mover.

Rosemont is a neighbourhood in Montréal.

As for les escaliers, if you’ve visited Montréal, then you know there are lots of them here and that they’re very much part of the city’s look.

Screenshot of Google results showing outdoor staircases in Montréal

Screenshot of Google results showing outdoor staircases in Montréal

What does the expression se passer de mean? It means to do without, to go without. S’en passer then is to do without it/them, etc.

Je ne suis plus capable de me passer de mes verres de contact.
I can’t do without my contact lenses anymore.

Ça fait deux jours que je dois m’en passer.
I’ve had to go without (it, them) for two days.

Remember that passer is pronounced with â, as if it were written pâsser. You can hear the conjugated form passe pronounced here when Korine Côté says y’a une ambulance qui passe, there’s an ambulance going by.

Back to the ad, it’s saying that there are so many staircases in Rosemont that you’ll want to take advantage of the movers located there.

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Here are 5 photos I found lurking on my phone waiting to be commented and put on OffQc! You can click on all the images for the large version.

1. Dans les allées, utilisez un panier

Literally, this means: in the aisles, use a cart, but what we’re meant to understand here is that, while shopping in the store, you shouldn’t place products in your reusable bags; you should place them in a shopping cart. This is to prevent theft.

une allée
aisle (in a shop)

un panier
shopping cart

2. Veuillez garder votre chien en laisse

I saw this sign on the front door of a pet shop. Une laisse is a leash, so management are telling us to keep dogs on a leash when in the shop.

être en laisse
to be on a leash

3. Partagez le plaisir en jouant au tic tac toe avec un ami

This photo is of the side of a box of timbits (small doughnut balls sold at Tim Hortons). The English on the other side of the box read: Share the fun and play tic tac toe with a friend.

A reader of OffQc asked a while back what tic tac toe was called in French, so I took a photo when I saw this.

jouer au tic tac toe
to play tic tac toe

4. Hot-dogs, tout garnis

Over on the right in smaller text are the words tout garnis. A hot-dog that’s tout garni has all the toppings on it.

Another word for hot-dog is roteux, which is an informal usage. Although the term chien-chaud exists (literal translation of hot dog), its use is rare nowadays.

I did manage to catch a photo of the old sign at Chien-chaud Victoire in Montréal before it was finally taken down several years ago.

un hot-dog
a hot dog

tout garni
the works

5. Au diable l’hiver…

This photo was taken in April, just after winter had ended. It’s the front window of a clothing shop, and the words mean to hell with winter, or literally to the devil (with) winter.

au diable l’hiver
to hell with winter

Remember this list of 50 words using the â sound but aren’t actually spelled with the accented â? We could add diable to it. That’s because the a in diable sounds somewhere between the English aw and ow, which is the sound made by â in Québécois French.

If you don’t what â sounds like, you’ll hear Martin Matte pronounce it in this video when he says j’me fâche and tasse-toi. You’ll hear this sound very frequently when listening to French spoken by the Québécois.

But that’s not all…
Diable has a few more things of note in the pronunciation department. One of them is that the d in this word sounds like dz. That’s because d is pronounced dz before the French i and u sounds. (If you say the English words lads, pads and fads aloud, you’ve just pronounced the dz sound. These words sound like ladz, padz and fadz.) This means mardi sounds like mardzi, dur sounds like dzur, and diable like dziâble.

Hold on, not finished yet…
The le ending, like in table or possible, is often not enunciated in informal language. That’s why table can be pronounced informally as tab’, possible as possib’, and diable as dziâb’.

Oh! Just one more thing…
You may hear diable pronounced as ’iâb’ (sounds like yâb), where, in addition to the dropping of the final le, the initial d (or the initial dz sound) also drops. You may hear this pronunciation, for example, in Québécois folk music or folk tales. A similar thing happens when bon Dieu is pronounced as bon ’ieu (sounds like bon yeu). There’s a song by Les Colocs called Bonyeu that you can look for. «Bonyeu, donne-moé une job, faut que j’fasse mes paiements…»

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It’s winter, and Natalie and Louis (from the television show Les Parent) exchange text messages about the salt that was *supposed* to have been put down by their son Zak to prevent someone from slipping on the ice and getting hurt…

The text from the image is all typed out below, but you can click on the image for a larger version.

grey: Louis
blue: Natalie

Attention, chérie, c’est glissant dans l’entrée.
Careful, dear, the driveway’s slippery.

C’est réglé. J’ai envoyé Zak mettre du sel tantôt.
It’s been taken care of. I sent Zak to put salt down earlier on.

Wow! T’es sûre qu’il y est allé?
Wow! You sure he did it (you sure he went)?

Ha ha! La confiance règne!
Ha ha! What confidence (confidence prevails)!

Désolé. C’est juste qu’il y a des indices qui mentent pas.
Sorry. It’s just that there are some dead giveaways that he didn’t (some clues that don’t lie).

Comme?
Like?

Moi, effoiré dans l’entrée, le dos barré.
Me, sprawled in the driveway with my back thrown out.

Viens me chercher quand t’auras fini de rire.
Come get me (find me) when you’ve finished laughing.

Usage notes

  • In the winter, we put salt (du sel) on surfaces outside to melt the ice on them and make them safe to walk and drive on
  • tantôt, before, earlier on (e.g., désolé pour tantôt, sorry about earlier on; merci pour tantôt, thanks for earlier on)
  • t’es, contraction of tu es, sounds like
  • effoiré, sprawled (e.g., s’effoirer sur le divan, to crash on the sofa; the oi in effoiré may sound like ; more about effoirer in #900)
  • dos barré, back that’s been thrown out, pulled, injured (literally, locked back; remember that barré is pronounced bârré, where sounds approximately like “baw”)
  • t’auras, contraction of tu auras

This exchange of textos was found here on the Facebook page for Les Parent. There, the page administrator asked:

Avez-vous hâte à l’hiver? 😂
Are you excited for winter?
Are you looking forward to winter?

avoir hâte à
to be looking forward to
to be excited for, etc.

J’ai hâte à lundi!
I can’t wait until Monday!

J’ai hâte à demain.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Non, j’ai pas hâte à l’hiver!
No, I’m not looking forward to winter!

Like barré, hâte also uses the â sound. You can hear â pronounced in this video when Martin Matte says j’me fâche and tasse-toi.

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MONTRÉAL, JE SUIS LÀ!!!

MONTRÉAL, JE SUIS LÀ!!!

Here’s a challenging video with lots of informal language featuring a comedian from Québec called Korine Côté.

This video is part of a series in which Québécois personalities were asked to talk about their region of Québec.

Here, Korine extols the virtues of her region — Montréal.

The text is transcribed in French and translated to English. In the English translation, I’ve included contextual notes. After it, there’s a list of vocabulary with definitions.

There are three things in particular that I’d like to draw your attention to:

1. sur la

You’ll hear Korine pronounce the words sur la as s’a in a few spots in this video when she says s’a rue, which means sur la rue. This is an informal usage.

If you bought the OffQc Québécois French book 1000, you’ll find examples of the informally contracted s’a in numbers 415, 542, 550 and 848 (in case you’d like to hear it after having read those examples).

2. passer

When Korine says y’a une ambulance qui passe, listen to how she pronounces passe. This is the â sound that I’ve written about extensively on OffQc. It’s a very distinguishing feature of Québécois French. You’ll hear Korine pronounce it much like powss. The infinitive passer uses the same sound.

3. il y en a qui

In a few spots, Korine uses the expression il y en a qui, which she pronounces informally as y’en a qui. This is a very important expression to learn, which means there are people who, some people might…

On the first go, try listening without following the transcript to see how much you understand. You can follow along with it on subsequent listens.

[0:10] Ma région? C’est une ville, fa’que… hein!

[0:16] Montréal, ville de liberté. Y’en a p’t’-êt’ qui vont dire qu’on est individualistes pis qu’on s’sacre de tout l’monde, ben c’est vrai. Tu peux ignorer des itinérants sans jamais te sentir mal. Tu peux te faire tapocher en pleine rue tranquille sans qu’personne vienne te déranger.

[0:30] Tu peux t’commander d’la bouffe 24 heures sur 24… pas toi, hein?

[0:35] Ici, tu peux faire le tour du monde avec ta carte Opus. Pis en plus avec not’ quartier chinois, là, on possède la Chine!

[0:41] On a plein d’affaires que vous avez pas… un aéroport, une équipe de hockey, des BIXI, des comédiens qui s’promènent s’a rue, des deux et demie à côté d’la 40 à 1400 piasses. Bon, y’en a qui vont te dire que cher à payer, là, mais croiser Stefie Shock s’a rue, ç’a pas d’prix.

[0:54] Ça sera pas long, y’a une ambulance qui passe.

[0:57] Eh câlisse, les travaux, hein? Vos yeules!!!

[1:00] Y’en a qui vont dire que Montréal, c’est bruyant, là. Moi, j’m’en sacre, je fais de l’acouphène.

[1:04] On a un stade, un métro, des autoroutes pis plein d’ponts. OK, y sont brisés, mais on les a.

[1:09] Nous, on a La Ronde. Pas besoin d’attendre que la Beauce Carnaval débarque avec ses manèges rouillés pis tout usés, non! Nous autres, nos manèges rouillés pis usés sont là à l’année!

[1:18] Nous autres, on a pas ça, un accent. Non. On a raison. On est plus. Fa’qu’on gagne. Hein! Fait chier! Des fois, c’t’un accent français. C’est pour faire beau.

[1:29] Nous autres, on a pas besoin de dire ça, la phrase «aller en ville». On est d’jà là.

[1:33] MONTRÉAL, JE SUIS LÀ!

My region is a city, so… ha! (Take that!) (She’s bragging that Montréal is considered to be an entire region, not just a city.)

Montréal, city of freedom. Some people might say we’re individualists and that we don’t give a damn about anybody — well, it’s true. You can ignore the homeless without ever having to feel bad (about it). You can get beaten up in peace in the middle of the street without anybody coming to bother you.

You can order food 24 hours a day… but not you, right? (She’s joking that only other people would order food at all hours of the day and night… and not you, who’s better than that.)

Here (in Montréal), you can travel the world with your Opus card. (The Opus card is a credit-card shaped bus and métro pass.) What’s more, with our Chinatown, we own China! (We’ve got all of China right here!)

We’ve got all kinds of things that you don’t… an airport, a hockey team, BIXI bikes (these are pay-per-use bikes), actors walking in the streets, studio apartments next to (highway) 40 for 1400 dollars (a month). (La 40 is une autoroute, or highway. The part of autoroute 40 that passes through Montréal is known as la Métropolitaine.) Fine, some people might tell you that’s a lot of money to pay, but bumping into Stefie Shock in the street? Priceless.

Hold on, there’s an ambulance going by.

Ah goddammit, construction, huh? Shut up!!!

Some people might say Montréal is noisy, (but) I don’t give a shit (because) I’ve got tinnitus.

We’ve got a stadium, the métro (subway, tube), highways and lots of bridges. OK, they’re broken (the bridges), but still — we’ve got them.

Montréal’s got La Ronde. We don’t need to wait for Beauce Carnaval to show up with their rusty, worn-out rides — nope! Our rusty, worn-out rides are there all year long! (Beauce Carnaval rents out amusement park equipment, like rides; they were interested in the mayor of Québec City’s idea to install une grande roue.)

(In Montréal,) we don’t have an accent. No. We’re right. There’s more of us. So we win… huh! Bloody hell! Sometimes it’s a French accent (that we do). Just to sound nice.

(In Montréal,) we don’t need to say “I’m going to the city/going downtown.” We’re already there.

MONTRÉAL, IT’S WHERE I’M AT!

Vocabulary notes

  • faque, so (can be pronounced with two syllables as fa/que, or with one like fak)
  • y’en a p’t’-êt’, some (people) might (contraction of il y en a peut-être)
  • pis, and (sounds like pi; contraction of puis)
  • se sacrer de, to not give a shit/damn about
  • ben, well (sounds like bin; contraction of bien)
  • tapocher, to beat up
  • se faire tapocher, to get beaten up
  • la bouffe, food
  • des affaires, stuff, things
  • qui s’promènent, who walk (contraction of qui se promènent)
  • s’a rue, on/in the street (s’a rue is an informal contraction of sur la rue)
  • un deux et demie, this is an apartment with a kitchen (+1), a living room/bedroom all in one room (+1) and a bathroom (+0.5); it’s a contraction of un (appartement) deux (pièces) et demie; a one-bedroom apartment is un trois et demie (kitchen +1, living room +1, bedroom +1, bathroom +0.5)
  • une piasse, dollar, buck
  • y’en a qui vont, some people will, are gonna (contraction of il y en a qui vont)
  • ç’a pas d’prix, it’s priceless (contraction of ça n’a pas de prix)
  • y’a, there is, there are (contraction of il y a)
  • qui passe, that’s passing by (listen to how Korine pronounces passe; it uses the â sound: pâsse)
  • câlisse, fuck, shit, godammit (câlisse is vulgar language)
  • travaux, construction
  • vos yeules!, shut up! (vos yeules is said to more than one person, whereas ta yeule is the singular form; yeule is an informal pronunciation of gueule, which can also be used: vos gueules!, ta gueule!)
  • j’m’en sacre, I don’t give a damn/shit (s’en sacrer means to not give a damn/shit about it)
  • acouphène, tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • plein d’ponts, lots of bridges (plein de means loads of, lots of)
  • y, informal pronunciation of ils
  • brisé, broken, out of order
  • manèges rouillés, rusty (amusement park) rides
  • usé, worn-out
  • à l’année, all year long
  • fa’qu’on gagne, so we win (contraction of ça fait qu’on gagne)
  • fait chier!, sounds typically French
  • faire beau, to sound nice, look nice, come across nice
  • d’jà, contraction of déjà

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Found another good clip from QuébecOriginal promoting winter to European visitors. (We saw the first one here.) As usual, the French text is below the clip, followed by a translation into English and usage notes. This clip will be added to the Listen to Québécois French section.

Au Québec, on aime tellement l’humour qu’on a la seule baie au monde qui rit : la baie du Ha! Ha!

En fait, ici, tout se peut, surtout quand on se lâche lousse. «Lousse» — en liberté totale!

Des fois, la neige fait sortir le meilleur de nous. Pour avancer partout, on a réinventé la roue. Quand on veut rester au chaud, on sort nos vieux mots : tuque, chandail, combine, mitaines, bas.

Mais comme on a vraiment quatre saisons, ça se peut que vous croisiez du monde qui s’est trompé en s’habillant. Ça s’appelle le Québec!

Mais ce qu’on a de plus grand, c’est notre hiver. Le plus blanc, le plus stupéfiant des hivers. On est fiers de notre hiver. On est QuébecOriginal.

In Québec, we love humour so much that we’ve got the only laughing bay in the world: la baie du Ha! Ha! (literally Ha! Ha! Bay).

In fact, here, anything’s possible, especially when we let loose. “Lousse(from the English “loose”) — total freedom! (Lousse is a Québécois usage; the speaker is defining it for European listeners.)

Sometimes the snow brings out the best in us. To get around everywhere, we reinvented the wheel. When we want to stay warm, we pull out our old words: tuque(tuque/winter hat), “chandail(sweater), “combine(from combinaison, long johns/long underwear; can also be the piece of clothing that covers the entire body and buttons down the chest), “mitaines(mittens), “bas(socks). (These words are all Québécois usages.)

But because we’ve really got four seasons, it’s possible you’ll bump into someone who got dressed wrong. That’s Québec!

But the best thing we’ve got is winter. The whitest, most stupefying of winters. We’re proud of our winter. We are QuébecOriginal.

Notes:

se lâcher lousse, to let loose, to let it all hang out, to let ‘er rip
Note how the speaker pronounces lâche; it uses the â sound. She says it quickly, but try to hear it.

Note how she pronounces lousse. It sounds slightly different to the English loose. The words mousse, pousse, rousse, etc., all use that same vowel sound.

Note how the speaker pronounces bas. The words pas, cas, tas, t’as all rhyme with this, using that same vowel sound. We heard this vowel sound before in the words pas and chat in this video.

tuque, nom féminin
chandail, nom masculin
combine, nom féminin
bas, nom masculin
mitaine, nom féminin

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In the video below, which is a car ad featuring Martin Matte, you’ll hear features of spoken language used in Québécois French that have come up in recent posts.

Give it a listen. It’s short (30 seconds). The text is transcribed below, with notes. There are a few examples of the â sound, so listen for it.

This will be added to the Listen section, along with the other clips.

Avance! Là, là, là, là. Le nouveau CRV est assez remarquable. C’est un véhicule inspiré par la liberté, conçu pour rouler dans de grands espaces — sauf quand t’es pris quelque part!

Moi, c’est rare [que] j’me fâche, mais là, là, c’est… Tasse-toi, grosse vache! Dégage! Ça fait une heure et demie que j’attends, . T’es pas toute seule, hein?

Move [advance]! Ay, ay, ay. The new CRV is pretty remarkable. It’s a vehicle inspired by freedom, made to drive in open spaces — except when you’re stuck somewhere [i.e., in traffic]!

I don’t usually get angry, but this time, I’m… [but now, it’s…]. Get out of the way, you fat cow! Move! I’ve been waiting for an hour and a half. You’re not the only one here, uh?

Pronunciation and usage notes

c’est un, pronounced cé t’un
espaces, pronounced espâces, with â
t’es, informal contraction of tu es, sounds like
rare, pronounced râre, with â
j’me, informal contraction of je me
fâche, pronounced with â
mais là, là…,
 but now… (but this time…)
tasse-toi, pronounced tâsse-toi, with â
là,
often heard at end of sentences in informal language
t’es pas, informal contraction of tu n’es pas, sounds like té pas

Related:
Ôte-toi de d’là, from entry #949

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J’crois que j’ai utilisé toutes mes journées de maladie, faque j’vais caller morte. I think I’ve used up all my sick days at work, so I’m gonna call in dead.

If only!

The expression utiliser une journée de maladie means “to use a sick day (at work),” which is calqued on the English equivalent. We can also say this expression as prendre un congé de maladie.

Faque means alors, “so.” It comes from a reduction of (ça) fait que.

Caller (pronounced câllé; the â makes an “aww” sound) derives from the English verb “call.” Caller as used in this meme is strictly an informal usage.

Caller morte (to call in dead) is not a frequently used expression in Québec. Despite the Québécois’ reputation of having a laid-back attitude to life, not even here is it common to call in dead at work! The expression is just used for comic effect. It’s based on the equally informal expression caller malade (to call in sick).

Don’t confuse the informal caller with the verb caler. Not only are these two verbs pronounced differently (caler doesn’t use the â sound), they don’t mean the same thing. Example: caler une bière, to down a beer, to chug a beer. Caler une bière is a Québécois expression.

Image source: quebecme.me

_ _ _

Update:

To make this meme sound even more like colloquially spoken French, we could change j’vais to j’vas (sounds like jvâ). This alternate conjugation is frequently heard in the spoken French of Québec.

You’ll also hear m’as (sounds like ). It means the same thing as j’vas/j’vais (m’as caller morte, I’m gonna call in dead).

An alternate and more spontaneous sounding wording:

J’pense que j’ai pris toutes mes journées de maladie, faque m’as caller morte / faque j’vas caller morte.

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