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Posts Tagged ‘autobus’

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The STM has posted new rules in the métro in an attempt to get us barbarians to behave like civilised human beings when using public transport.

Some rules tell us what to do (green), whereas others tell us what not to do (red). It’s like being in school again!

I found the rules that I saw in the métro posted on the STM website in a section called Bien voyager ensemble.

I’ve put all the rules together in a single image that you can use to learn vocab and expressions in French. Under each rule there’s a short explanation from the STM on why they’ve included it.

Click on the image to see it in full size.

Descendre par la porte arrière
Use the back door to get off

Laisser sortir avant d’entrer
Let others get off before boarding

Sortir avec son journal
Take your newspaper with you

Avoir son titre en main
Have your fare ready

Céder son siège
Give up your seat

Bien tenir son cellulaire
Hold on to your cell phone

Appeler pour de l’assistance
Call for assistance

Prendre ses aises
Make yourself comfortable

Imposer sa musique
Force your music on others

Prendre toute la place
Take up too much space

Retarder tous les autres
Hold everybody else up

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The STM is Montréal’s public transportation provider (bus and métro).

In French, the name is feminine: la STM.

Here are 3 things for you to learn in French that I’ve heard said by ruffled STM employees recently.

1. Madame, avec le carrosse!

Madame, with the baby carriage!
(i.e., hey you, with the baby carriage!)

This was shouted angrily by an STM employee in the Montréal métro.

The employee was angered by something a lady pushing a baby carriage had done, so she came running out of her ticket booth and yelled this before the lady could walk off.

I don’t know what the lady had done wrong, but I noticed her baby carriage was empty. Maybe she forgot the bundle of joy at the turnstile or something.

2. Let’s go! Let’s go!

Let’s go! Let’s go!
(i.e., hurry the fuck up, people!)

As people boarded the bus at a busy métro station, this was said by an STM employee standing on the pavement beside the bus door.

This employee was encouraging people to get on the bus faster. There was a long queue of people waiting to get on, and some people were taking their sweet time boarding the bus (as usual).

Obviously this expression is English, but you’ll definitely hear it in French too.

3. Déplacez-vous vers l’arrière, s’il vous plaît!

Please move to the back of the bus!
(i.e., will you people stop blocking the door goddamnit!)

An exasperated driver had to yell this a few times when riders of the bus kept crowding the front portion of the bus. There was room at the back of the bus for more standing passengers.

Sometimes when you board a bus, you’ll have to push your way through a wall of stubborn people all huddled together near the front door.

P.S. My respect to STM employees. I’d get pretty exasperated too if I were one.

Image: Wikipedia

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Here’s some more everyday French overheard in Montréal for you to learn.

1. Elle cherche la chicane.

She wants to a pick a fight.

I overheard a woman say this to her friend. Une chicane is a fight or argument, so chercher la chicane is to go looking for a fight, or to pick a fight with someone.

A quarrelsome person cherche toujours la chicane.

2. C’est à quelle heure, l’autobus?

What time does the bus come?

A lady arriving at a bus stop asked this of a young girl who had already been waiting for a while.

3. Vous avez une très belle chemise!

That’s a really nice shirt!

Here’s a phrase you can use as a conversation starter with someone.

An employee in a shop said this to me when I was wearing my favourite shirt.

4. Un commis à la quincaillerie, merci!

A clerk in hardware, please!

Speaking of employees, this was announced over the loudspeaker by a Canadian Tire employee who was looking for un commis (clerk) in the hardware department.

Commis is pronounced commi. And don’t pronounce those Ls in quincaillerie. The caille part of quincaillerie rhymes with the French word faille.

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On an STM bus, a young man said on débarque ici to a friend sitting beside him, or “let’s get off here.”

A friend offered me a diet Pepsi to drink, un Pepsi diète.

The Pepsi was in a can, en canette.

A doctor that I won’t be seeing anymore had his receptionist call me. She said je ferme votre dossier, or “I’m closing your file.”

A sign at a fast food restaurant said veuillez faire la ligne ici, or “please line up here.”

Two friends wished each other a happy noon lunch break by saying bon midi! and bon lunch! to each other.

I saw a sign in shopping centre that said bon magasinage!, or “happy shopping!”

A Latin American tourist asked her husband what on signs outside buildings in Montréal could possibly mean. It’s the equivalent of a one-bedroom apartment available for rent.

Signs that read logement à louer mean that there’s an apartment available for rent.

The words diète and midi from above are dzidzu words. Diète is pronounced dziète and midi is pronounced midzi.

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