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Posts Tagged ‘cabaret’

When paying the cashier in a store or restaurant, you’ll probably be asked a question or two. Here are 8 typical questions often heard in Québec, to help you be better prepared.

1. Avez-vous la carte de points?
Do you have the points card? Different stores have different names for their points card. At Pharmaprix, for example, it’s called la carte Optimum. Avez-vous la carte Optimum?

2. Voulez-vous la facture?
Do you want the receipt? At fast food restaurants, many customers don’t want the receipt, so cashiers have a habit of asking if you want it. In Montréal, the receipt is most often called une facture, and much more rarely un reçu.

3. Voulez-vous un sac?
Do you want a bag? Because many stores are now in the practice of charging their customers for plastic bags, you may be asked if you want one.

4. C’est tout? Ça va être tout? C’est complet?
Will that be all? We looked at these questions recently here. You might be asked one of these questions at a fast food restaurant. (You can review how to order in French at Tim Hortons here and at McDonalds here.)

5. C’est pour ici ou pour emporter?
Is it for here or to go? You can answer this question with pour ici (for here) or pour emporter (to go). Other times, the question might be asked as c’est pour ici? or c’est pour manger ici?, in which case you can answer with either oui or non, (c’est) pour emporter.

6. Voulez-vous un cabaret?
Do you want a tray? If you’ve ordered food, you might be asked if you want a tray to carry it on. In Montréal, a tray is most often called un cabaret. You might also hear it called un plateau, but this term is more likely to be used by francophones who aren’t from Québec.

7. Voulez-vous un cabaret de transport?
Do you want a coffee tray / a tray for the drinks? This is a smaller kind of tray, usually made of cardboard, used for carrying take-away cups of coffee or other drinks. There’s an image of a cabaret de transport here. In that same post, you’ll also discover (or review) what coffee cup sleeves are called in French, in case you want to ask for one.

8. Avez-vous dix sous?
Have you got a dime? When paying a cashier, you might be asked for five cents (cinq sous, cinq cennes), ten cents (dix sous, dix cennes) or twenty-five cents (vingt-cinq sous, vingt-cinq cennes) to facilitate making your change. For example, if you owe 4,10 $ (quatre et dix) and you pay with a five-dollar bill, you might be asked for ten cents (avez-vous dix sous?) so that your change will consist simply of a one-dollar coin (une piasse, in colloquial language), rather than a number of coins totalling 90 cents.

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Get caught up: The OffQc book 1000 Québécois French is a condensed version of all the language that appeared in the first 1000 posts on OffQc. You can buy and download it here.

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I grabbed a handful of usages that have appeared on OffQc since post #1000 and put them in a cloud. Can you explain to yourself how each one might be used? You can click on the image for a larger version.

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The woman in line in front of me ordered coffee.

She then wanted one of those cardboard coffee cup sleeves because her coffee was hot — except she didn’t know what they were called.

This is what she wanted:

It’s called un manchon.

She didn’t ask for a tray, but if she had, she could’ve asked for un cabaret, which is this:

If she’d wanted a tray to take outside of the restaurant, she could’ve asked for un cabaret de transport, which is this:

  • un manchon
  • un cabaret
  • un cabaret de transport

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In this post, just some random stuff — a question from a reader, some new vocabulary in French, an election sign from Option nationale, what YUL represents.

1. We’ve seen before that the Québécois French word for “tray” is un cabaret (in the sense of a tray that you carry food on, like at a fast-food restaurant).

A related term is un cabaret de transport. This is one of those cardboard trays that you can use to carry beverages out of the restaurant.

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2. Rob asks how to say “dark-roast coffee” in French: un café corsé. When coffee is corsé, it has a more robust flavour.

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3. De quoi can mean quelque chose. If you add an adjective after it, it becomes de quoi de. Examples:

Mais dis de quoi!
Say something, will you!

Comprends-tu de quoi là-dedans?
Do you understand any of that?

Il m’a dit de quoi d’intéressant.
He said something interesting to me.

J’ai jamais entendu de quoi de plus épais que ça!
I’ve never heard anything so stupid as that!

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4. I finally managed to spot an election sign (une pancarte électorale) from the party called Option nationale. I’ve now added it to this earlier post about what the 2014 election signs in Québec look like.

The slogan on the pancarte électorale is Réveiller le courage.

Supporters of the Option nationale are called onistes.

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5. Montréal’s international Trudeau airport code is YUL.

This code is symbolic of Montréal, in the same way that the 514 telephone area code is symbolic of the city.

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1. A reader of OffQc tells me that he overheard someone say what sounded like jézaime. He was happy when he realised that he had understood what this meant: je les aime. It was pronounced informally as j’es aime (jé-zaime), where je les contracted to j’es.

2. I was reminded of the word cabaret the other day when the cashier at a restaurant counter asked if I wanted a tray for the food I had ordered. Voulez-vous un cabaret? Do you want a tray?

Nice tuque!

Nice tuque!

3. Learn these six words related to winter clothing: un gant (glove), une mitaine (mitten), un manteau (coat), une tuque (tuque, winter hat), un foulard (scarf), une botte (boot), and how to say below-zero temperatures: -26, il fait moins vingt-six.

4. A group of kids opened a box of Timbits. Before they started attacking the box, one of the kids exclaimed: un chaque! un chaque!, one each! one each!

5. A friend said y s’en vient, he’s coming, he’s on his way. Y is an informal pronunciation of il. The verb here is s’en venir. Similarly, je m’en viens, I’m coming, I’m on my way. Viens-t’en! Come!

6. A man wanted to get past me on the metro because he was getting off at the next station. He used the verb débarquer to describe the action of getting off the train. This verb can also be used to describe getting off a bus. Pie-IX is a metro station in Montréal. It’s pronounced pi-neuf. If you got off at Pie-IX, you could say j’ai débarqué à Pie-IX.

Image from Kena & Brutus

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Some more French overheard (and seen) in Montréal for you:

1. J’ai comme pas trouvé la poubelle

After eating her meal, a young woman walked around with her finished tray of food. She was looking for the garbage bin where she could throw her garbage away and leave the tray. She couldn’t find the garbage bin, though.

She walked back towards her friends with her tray still in hand, and then said to them sheepishly:

J’ai comme pas trouvé la poubelle…
Yeah, so, I couldn’t find the garbage…

2. T’es ben niaiseuse

A young guy was talking to his friends about a girl. As he talked about her, he described her as niaiseuse, by saying:

T’es ben niaiseuse.
You’re so stupid.

The girl wasn’t actually there, but he said this as though he were speaking directly to her while talking to his friends.

Niaiseuse is pronounced nyè-zeuze. The masculine form of niaiseuse is niaiseux. T’es sounds like ; ben sounds like bain.

3. Ludo l’a lu

Can you say this five times fast? Ludo l’a lu, Lili le lit, Luca le lira! This ad in the métro promotes literacy.

Ludo l'a lu

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