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Posts Tagged ‘chat’

In the video from entry #961, we heard pas de chat (three syllables) pronounced as pas d’chat (two syllables).

There are two things to look at here from pas d’chat.

In spoken language, de can contract to just a d sound even before a consonant. In pas d’chat, first say pas with a d sound on the end of it, then say chat.

If you can adopt this, you’ll make your French sound a little more natural.

Try saying these, but when you do, contract the de as was done in pas d’chat:

pas de temps
pas de nouvelles
pas de question
pas de problème
pas de compte

The second thing to point out is the vowel sound in pas and chat. Listen again if you have to. The way the vowel is pronounced in these two words is used frequently in the French of Québec. You’ll hear it at the end of these words, for example: bas, cas, cadenas, and sometimes in ça and là.

Why only sometimes in ça and and not always?

We looked at the two different pronunciations of ça and here.

In the following examples, ça rhymes with pas and chat from the Martin Matte video in #961:

j’aime ça
c’est quoi ça?
fais pas ça!

But in the next examples, where ça is the subject, it sounds like the possessive adjective sa (like in sa maison):

ça s’peut pas
ça fait mal
ça commence

As for là, it rhymes with pas and chat from the Martin Matte video in #961 when used like this:

j’aime ça, là
je sais pas, là
pis là, chu parti
viens t’en là, là!
là, chu tanné!

But when is joined to an adverb with a hyphen, it sounds like the definite article la (like in la maison):

là-dedans
là-dessus
là-dessous, etc.

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Here’s another short clip. Try to listen first without consulting the text below. This video features Martin Matte again, like the last one from #959. This video will be added to the Listen section.

— Qu’est-ce que tu regardes?

— Ha ha, oh attends, là… C’est parce que j’ai tapé «grosse chatte» sur l’écran parce que j’voulais trouver un moyen pour faire maigrir le chat, j’trouve ça p’us d’allure, pis j’su’ tombé là-dessus…

— Juste un problème, c’est qu’on a pas d’chat.

— Oh, tu vas rire, c’est cave, là… j’ai toujours été certain qu’on avait un chat. C’est, c’est, c’est bizarre. On sort de d’là! T’essayes, de toute façon…

— What are you watching?

— Ha ha, oh hold on… It’s just because I typed “big pussy [cat]” on the screen because I wanted to find a way to make the cat lose weight, I think it’s become ridiculous, and I stumbled on this…

— There’s just one problem; we don’t have a cat.

— Oh, you’re gonna laugh, it’s silly… I’ve always been sure we had a cat. That, that, that’s weird. Let’s get outta here. We’ll try to anyway…

Usage and pronunciation notes

j’trouve ça p’us d’allure, I think it’s become ridiculous, gone too far (the related expression ç’a pas d’allure means that’s ridiculous, insane, etc.)
p’us, informal contraction of plus; sounds like pu
pis, 
informal contraction of puis
j’su’, 
informal contraction of je suis; sounds like chu
pas d’chat, listen to how pas d’chat (from pas de chat) is pronounced so you’ll recognise it
cave, stupid, silly
de d’là, informal pronunciation of de là (we saw de d’là before in ôte-toi de d’là)

Listen to the difference in pronunciation between chat and chatte. The vowel a is not pronounced the same way in the two words.

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The irreverent Rabii Rammal

In case you forgot the meaning of the verb se crosser as used in Québec, Rabii Rammal provides a mini educational review lesson in this update on his public Facebook page.

Entendu dans la rue:

BLONDE: Je sais pas pourquoi, mais j’te crois pas.

SON CHUM: J’te l’jure que j’me crosse pas chez toi! De toute façon ton chat est tout l’temps là pis j’serais pas tant à l’aise de m’crosser devant lui pendant qu’y m’fixe.

Heard in the street:

GIRLFRIEND: I don’t know why, but I don’t believe you.

HER BOYFRIEND: I swear I don’t jack off at your place! Besides, your cat is always there, and I’d be pretty uncomfortable having a wank in front of it while it stares at me.

une blonde, a girlfriend
un chum, a boyfriend
je te le jure, I swear
se crosser, to jack off, to wank [masturbate]
de toute façon, besides, at any rate
être à l’aise de faire, to be comfortable doing
il me fixe, he stares at me

Related reading: The verb se crosser doesn’t refer to crossing yourself like a Catholic (#629)

Follow Rabii Rammal on Facebook.

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Je cherche ma petite chatteI came across this unusual (and passive-aggressive?) sign in a Montréal street for a lost cat. You can click on it to make it bigger.

There are a few mistakes in it, so I’ve fixed them below. I’ve also translated it into English.

Je cherche ma petite chatte, elle est noire, elle se tenait normalement dans ma cour. Son collier était sale. Je le lui avais enlevé pour le laver. Si quelqu’un pensait qu’elle était orpheline et qu’il l’a adoptée, c’est gentil, mais j’aimerais qu’elle revienne. Si vous l’avez capturée, un chat noir = malheur à vous. Vous pouvez la rapporter et le mauvais sort sera annulé. Merci! (Patrick le sorcier, 8 ans ½)

I’m looking for my little cat, she’s black, she usually stayed in my yard. Her collar was dirty. I took it off to wash it. If somebody thought she was homeless and adopted her, that’s kind of you, but I’d like for her to come back. If you took her, a black cat = woe to you. You can bring her back and the curse will be cancelled. Thank you! (Patrick the wizard, 8 ½ years old)

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L'accent québécoisThe â sound is one of the most distinctive features of the québécois accent.

You can always identify a French speaker from Québec by listening for the â sound!

The sound made by â in Québec sounds something like “aww” to an English speaker.

To hear â pronounced, listen to Ricardo pronounce carré, or hear Martin Matte pronounce câline and passait. All three of these words use the â sound.

The â sound occurs in words written with the accented â (like âge and fâché), but it can occur in certain words written with an unaccented letter a too (like tasse and case).

When the word is written with the accented â, there’s little doubt — say aww! But when it’s written with an unaccented letter a, it isn’t as obvious if it takes the â sound. That said, you may begin to notice some patterns.

To help you out a bit, below are 50 words taking the â sound in Québec but all written with an unaccented letter a. I’ve underlined the letter a in each word that makes the â sound.

This list isn’t exhaustive, it’s just a list of 50 words that I felt were useful.

  1. amasser
  2. barrage
  3. barreau
  4. barrer
  5. barrière
  6. bas
  7. base
  8. baser
  9. basse
  10. brassage
  11. brasser
  12. brasserie
  13. carré
  14. carreau
  15. carrément
  16. cas
  17. case
  18. casier
  19. casse-croûte
  20. casser
  21. chat
  22. classe
  23. classement
  24. classer
  25. classeur
  26. dépasser
  27. entasser
  28. espace
  29. gars
  30. gaz
  31. gazer
  32. gazeux
  33. jaser
  34. jasette
  35. matelas
  36. paille
  37. pas
  38. passage
  39. passager
  40. passe
  41. passeport
  42. passer
  43. ramassage
  44. ramasser
  45. rasage
  46. raser
  47. surpasser
  48. tas
  49. tasse
  50. tasser

Remember, the letters rs in gars aren’t pronounced. This word sounds like gâ. The final s in bas, cas, matelas, pas, tas is silent. These words sound like bâ, câ, matlâ, pâ, tâ.

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