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Posts Tagged ‘c’est n’importe quoi’

During a conversation, a man said in French an equivalent of:

They’re talking nonsense.

To say to talk nonsense, he used the expression dire n’importe quoi. Knowing this, can you now guess how he said it in a colloquial style?

He said:

I’ disent n’importe quoi.

I’, which sounds just like the French letter i, is a contraction of ils. In informal writing, this contraction is more often spelled y.

Do you remember that dire is pronounced by the Québécois as dzir? That’s because the letter d is pronounced dz when it comes before the French i and u sounds. Dire, then, sounds like dzir, and disent sounds like dziz.

N’importe quoi has four syllables — n’im / por / te / quoi. The final e of n’importe is heard.

To say that’s nonsense!, you can say:

C’est n’importe quoi!

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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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Here’s another example sentence taken from 1000, which has 1000 examples of things you can hear people say in French conversations in Québec:

C’est n’importe quoi!
That’s nonsense! Whatever!

This expression isn’t limited to the French of Québec.

It can also be shortened to just:

N’importe quoi!
Nonsense!

The final e of n’importe is pronounced, so n’importe has three syllables (n’im/por/te).

Tu dis n’importe quoi.
You’re saying nonsense.

Écoute-les pas, i’ disent n’importe quoi.
Don’t listen to them, they’re saying nonsense.

You’ll remember that the Québécois pronounce the letter d like dz before the French i sound, so disent from the example above sounds like dziz.

If you want to make your French sound more Québécois, you’ll definitely want to adopt this dz sound. It’s described in the 1000 PDF along with all the example sentences. You can buy it here.

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petit train va loin — slowly but surely

10 French phrases — random stuff you’ve asked how to say recently or things I’ve come across in conversations and wanted to share here.

For number 4, I tried to do a drawing like MarieBee does on her tumblr. It’s nowhere near as nice as the ones she does.

1. Tu t’enfarges dans les détails.
You’re splitting hairs.
You’re getting too caught up in the details.

2. On attend de la visite en fin de semaine.
We’re expecting company this weekend.

3. C’est n’importe quoi ça.
That’s such nonsense.

4. Petit train va loin.
Slowly but surely.
[This is how you’ll learn French: on a little train that goes very, very far.]

5. Je te trouve jeune pas mal.
I think you’re pretty young.

6. Je cours tout le temps comme une poule pas de tête.
I’m always running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
[It means that you’re overwhelmed, running around trying to get stuff done.]

7. Check ben ça.
Check this out.
Take a look at that, will ya.

8. Y connaît son affaire.
He knows his stuff.
He knows what he’s doing.

9. Tout ça c’est ben beau, mais…
That’s all fine and dandy, but…
That may very well be, but…

10. C’est deux rues à l’est de Saint-Michel, côté sud.
It’s two blocks east of Saint-Michel, south side.
[Saint-Michel is a boulevard in Montréal. You can also say: c’est deux rues à l’est du boulevard Saint-Michel.]

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