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Posts Tagged ‘chez nous’

Only 15 posts away from 1000...!

Only 15 posts away from 1000…!

In #984, I pulled together a list of informal contractions used in Québécois French and that have come up in recent videos added to OffQc.

Let’s do another list here in #985 — useful phrases from the same videos that you can learn and start using right away when you speak French. The links take you back to the original posts so you can listen again if you want.

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Here are 3 more videos from the SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec). Don’t worry, there aren’t any violent surprise car accidents at the end of these ones. 🙂

All 3 videos will be added to the Listen to Québécois French section.

I made a small but important change to the title of this blog recently, which maybe you’ve noticed. This blog is now “OffQc | Québécois French Guide” (changed from “OffQc | Quebec French Guide”). Considering that I’ve been referring to the variety of French spoken in Québec as “Québécois French” (rather than “Quebec French”) for quite some time, the change is appropriate.

Video 1
Regarder avant d’ouvrir votre portière

Belle journée aujourd’hui pour faire du vélo! En passant comme ça, faites don’ attention aux cyclistes avant d’ouvrir la porte de votre voiture.

« Bonne journée! »

On ne vous demande pas de devenir les meilleurs amis du monde, juste de faire attention avant d’ouvrir votre portière.

It’s a nice day to go biking! By the way, look out for cyclists before opening your car door.

“Have a nice day!”

We aren’t asking you to become best friends, just to be careful when opening your car door.

Usage notes for this video

  • Don’ comes from donc (faites donc attention). I’ve spelled it don’ here to highlight that the c isn’t pronounced.
  • What’s the difference between portière and porte when talking about car doors? In terms of meaning, there’s no difference. But, spontaneously in regular conversations, porte is the usual usage.

Video 2
Laisser plus de place aux cyclistes

Gros week-end, pas mal de vélos sur la route. Un petit conseil : garder une distance d’au moins un mètre entre vous et les cyclistes quand vous les dépasser… Alors maintenant, on enchaîne avec le…

« Eh salut! »

On ne vous demande pas de devenir les meilleurs amis du monde, juste de leur laisser plus de place sur la route.

Busy weekend, lots of bikes on the streets. A bit of advice: keep a minimum distance of one metre between you and cyclists when overtaking them… And now, let’s continue with…

“Hi there!”

We aren’t asking you to become best friends, just to give them more space on the road.

Usage notes for this video

  • Pas mal de means lots of, so pas mal de vélos means lots of bikes. It’s not a negative formation; it’s a set expression.

Video 3
Partageons la route

« Hé! On devrait aller à la pêche ensemble. Barbecue chez nous, ça t’tente? Aller dans des manèges! Mieux qu’ça, karaoké! »

« On s’connaît même pas. »

On ne vous demande pas de devenir les meilleurs amis du monde, juste de vous respecter.

« C’est quoi ta couleur préférée? »

“Hey! We should go fishing together. Barbecue at my place, you up for it? Go on rides together! Even better, karaoke!”

“We don’t even know each other.”

We aren’t asking you to become best friends, just to respect each other.

“What’s your favourite colour?”

Usage notes for this video

  • Chez nous can be used in the French of Québec in the same sense as chez moi. Similarly, chez vous can be used in the sense of chez toi.
  • On s’connaît même pas means the same thing as on ne se connaît même pas or nous ne nous connaissons même pas. In spoken language, on is generally used in the place of nous. Listen to how on s’connaît is pronounced. Rather than on se connaît (4 syllables), it sounds like on sconnaît (3 syllables).
  • The verb tenter is used frequently: Ça te tente? / Ça t’tente? You want to? You feel like it? This could also be asked with the informal yes-no question marker tu (it doesn’t mean you; it’s used to form a yes-no question): Ça te tente-tu? / Ça t’tente-tu? You want to? You feel like it? Similarly: Ça me tente / Ça m’tente. I want to. I feel like it. Ça me tente pas / Ça m’tente pas. I don’t want to. I don’t feel like it. In the 1000 Québécois French guide with 1000 examples of use, there are examples of tenter in numbers 70, 135, 255, 952 and 990.

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On Urbania, Kéven Breton writes about the challenge of getting into different bars in Montréal on his wheelchair, in Vie nocturne à roulettes : tous ces bars qui ne veulent pas de moi.

He says some bars pass the test, and others don’t.

And then there are the bars in between… a sort of fake kind of accessible, as in:

Ah ouais c’est accessible chenous monsieur! Vous avez juste à passer par l’arrière, dans la petite ruelle qui pue le cadavre. Y’a une petite porte en métal, à côté des vidanges. Cognez, on va aller vous ouvrir! Pis rendu là, y’a juste deux petites marches!

Yeah sure, we’re accessible here, sir! You just have to go around the back into the alley that smells like a dead body. There’s a small metal door beside the garbage. Knock and we’ll let you in! Then after that, there are only two small steps!

We first looked at Kéven’s use of chenous (chez nous) in #861. Maybe you’ll remember that chez nous can mean “at my place” in Québec, just like chez moi. For example, a person who lives alone might say chez nous to talk about his place, instead of chez moi. And even if you live alone, he might say chez vous to talk about your place, instead of chez toi.

In the example above, we really can understand chez nous to refer to more than one person though. Chez nous here (or chenous) refers to the bar and its employees.

Kéven also used vidanges in his text: à côté des vidanges, or “next to the garbage.” Elsewhere on OffQc, we’ve see the term un sac à vidanges, which is a garbage bag.

Learn the verb cogner! Every learner of French learns to say frapper à la porte for “knock on the door,” but have you learned cogner à la porte too? You need to!

You’ll hear the Québécois use the adjective rendu a lot too. We won’t look at all the uses of rendu here, just the one in the example above. Broadly speaking, rendu means “arrived” or “become.” Using “arrived,” we can say that rendu là means “arrived there” — or in more natural-sounding English: “at that point.”

Finally, the word cadavre… This word can be added to the list of 50 words pronounced with the â sound in Québec but not spelled with the accented â. That’s because cadavre is pronounced cadâvre. Only the second a is pronounced â, not the first one. You can hear it pronounced on this Wiki page, near the bottom.

Kéven also wrote y’a a couple times instead of il y a. If you listen to a lot of spoken French, you know that the most normal way of pronouncing il y a during regular conversations is certainly y’a. The negative form is y’a pas.

You can continue reading Kéven’s text on your own, discover more vocabulary and understand how Kéven feels about accessibility in Montréal bars. (You’ll also find an example of pogner in there, when Kéven says pogner le métro, or grab the métro.)

Summary

chez nous can mean chez moi
chez vous can mean chez toi
à côté des vidanges, beside the garbage
un sac à vidanges, a garbage bag
cognez!, knock!
cogner à la porte, to knock at the door
pis rendu là, then at that point, then after that
cadavre is pronounced cadâvre
y’a is an informal pronunciation of il y a
pogner le métro,
to grab the métro

P.S. Pogner and cogner rhyme. Be sure not to pronounce the g in these words. They sound like ponnyé and connyé.

_ _ _

Quote by Kéven Breton in Vie nocturne : tous ces bars qui ne veulent pas de moi, on Urbania, 7 October 2014.

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Kéven Breton writes about how autumn is the perfect season to be boring and stay home in La saison parfaite pour être plate (The perfect season to be boring), which appeared on Urbania.

Kéven admits to liking when someone cancels plans at the last minute because then, as he says, je peux rester chenous. I can stay home.

Chenous? It’s an informal way of saying chez nous and, in this example, it’s synonymous with chez moi.

But why didn’t Kéven say chez moi if he was only talking about himself?

The plural forms are often used like this — chez nous, chez vous, chez eux instead of chez moichez toi, chez lui/elle.

If you hear someone say chez nous, or like Kéven said, chenous, it doesn’t necessarily mean that person lives with someone…

je veux rester chenous
I want to stay home, chez moi

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