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Posts Tagged ‘chiâler’

1. In the last entry, we saw how je suis en can contract to j’t’en, where j’ makes a ch sound (ch’t’en).

We’ve seen je suis reduced to just a ch sound before in Lisa LeBlanc’s song J’pas un cowboy (official video on YouTube here). J’pas is a contraction of je (ne) suis pas, and it sounds like ch’pas.

2. In a radio ad, I heard a woman say prendre une marche avec mon chum, to take a walk with my boyfriend.

The expression prendre une marche is a calque of the English expression to take a walk (and felt to be incorrect by certain people for that reason).

3. Parle-moi can be negated informally as parle-moi pas. Parle-moi pas comme ça. Don’t talk to me like that.

The same goes for dis-moi ça (dis-moi pas ça), demande-moi (demande-moi pas), dérange-moi (dérange-moi pas), etc.

4. Learn the phrase on peut-tu…? It means can we…?, is it possible to…? The tu here signals that this is a yes-no question. On peut-tu aller le voir? Can we go see him, it? On peut-tu arrêter de chiâler? Can we stop complaining?

5. OK, not Québécois French, but still of interest — Montréal’s got a street name change in the city centre, boulevard Robert-Bourassa.

If you’re new to OffQc, check out C’est what? 75 mini lessons in conversational Québécois French for an overview of important features of spoken language. (You can buy and download it here immediately.)

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A good expression to learn is arrête donc de. With this expression, you can tell people to stop doing whatever it is that’s bothering you.

Google is our friend again. I typed arrête donc de to find 10 things that people want others to stop doing.

Donc is pronounced don here. I’ll use the spelling don’ to help you remember.

I’ve translated arrête don’ de in the examples as “stop (doing whatever)” and “stop (doing whatever), will you.”

Arrête don’ de chiâler contre les chiâleux.
Stop complaining about people who complain.

T’aimes pas ça te faire gosser?
Ben arrête don’ de gosser les autres.
You don’t like to be bugged?
Well stop bugging others then.

Arrête don’ de faire ta moumoune.
Stop acting like a sissy, will you.

Arrête don’ de capoter pour rien.
Stop freaking out for nothing.

Arrête don’ de dire des niaiseries.
Stop saying such stupid things, will you.
Stop talking nonsense, will you.

Arrête don’ de blâmer les joueurs.
Stop blaming the players.

Arrête don’ de péter d’la broue.
Stop showing off. (Péter sounds like pèté.)

Don’t forget the form arrêtez donc de, of course. This one can be used when speaking to more than one person.

Arrêtez don’ de bitcher sur les posts des autres!
Stop bitching on other people’s posts!

Arrêtez don’ de niaiser, c’est sérieux tout ça.
Stop messing around, this is serious stuff.

Arrêtez don’ de chercher des bibittes partout!
Stop finding fault with everything!
Stop looking for problems everywhere!

I’ll end with this note about the word une bibitte: it means “bug” (insect). So the last example literally means “stop looking for bugs everywhere.” This word is also said as une bébitte. We’ll look more closely at how this word is used in another entry.

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I’m always on the lookout for good sources of vocab and expressions for you to learn, and I’ve found a pretty good one for learning how people complain and insult others in French:

Comments that appear on paid ads in your Facebook feed.

The bigger the company, the more likely you are to find complaints and juicy insults, either directed at the company itself or other commenters. The comments are also very good for learning all kinds of useful French vocab and expressions in general.

For example, if you want to know how people complain in French about coffee that tastes like dirty dishwater, check out the comments on a Tim Hortons ad.

If you want to know how people accuse a restaurant of serving fake meat, then take a peek at the comments on an ad from McDonalds. You won’t be disappointed.

There’s an ad that’s been appearing in my Facebook feed for many weeks now. The company isn’t a big one — it’s from a butcher located south of Montréal — so a lot of the comments on it are a little more tame compared to the ones on, say, an ad from Tim Hortons.

The guy’s been advertising that he’s got a lot of steaks to get rid of because of an ordering error made by a client. To sell the steaks as fast as possible, he explains in his ad that he’s selling them with no mark-up in price just to break even.

The comments on his advert range from praise over the quality of the meat to accusations that he’s a scammer just looking to sell more steaks with a bogus story.

Many commenters wanted to know practical information, like what time he opens and if he delivers:

Faites-vous la livraison?
Do you deliver?

À quelle heure vous ouvrez?
What time do you open?

À quelle heure ouvrez-vous aujourd’hui?
What time do you open today?

One commenter said that when the ads first started appearing on Facebook, he was interested in buying some of the steaks. But now that the ad has been running for so long, he smells a scam:

Ça me tentait au début, mais ça commence à sentir le scam. Désolé, je passe.

I was interested at first, but this is starting to smell like a scam. Sorry, I’ll take a pass.

The standard word for scam in French is une arnaque. The commenter could have also written ça commence à sentir l’arnaque.

The person who does the scamming is called un arnaqueur. The next commenter used the word arnaqueur when he said that people were getting the impression the butcher was a scammer because of how long the ad and his sob story have been running:

Tu devrais arrêter cette annonce payée, elle te nuit. Regarde les commentaires des gens. Ils n’apprécient pas ton genre de pub sur Facebook. Tu passes pour un arnaqueur.

You should end this paid advertisement; it’s hurting you [i.e., your reputation]. Look at people’s comments. They don’t appreciate this kind of ad on Facebook. You come across as a scammer.

The word for advertisement in French is une publicité, but you’ll often come across the informally shortened form une pub. It’s similar to how “advertisement” in English shortens to “ad” and “advert” more informally.

The commenter also used the expression passer pour un arnaqueur. He said: tu passes pour un arnaqueur (you come across as a scammer). You can replace un arnaqueur with other nouns, for example: tu passes pour un con (you come across as a shithead).

And, in fact, our next commenter used the noun con when he came to the butcher’s defence by attacking other commenters:

Le monde est chiâleux, arrêtez de chiâler comme d’habitude. Bande de cons.

Everybody keeps complaining; stop complaining all the time. Bunch of shitheads.

Chiâler in Québec — we’ve seen it before, like here in entry #808 — means “to complain.” And someone who does the complaining can be described as chiâleux. Other ways to translate con in the sense used in the comment include: idiot, moron, ass, dickhead.

Those Facebook ads can be annoying, but if you change your perspective and see them as a language-learning opportunity, you might find you don’t mind them as much… or at least I don’t — they give me ideas for OffQc!

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STOP COMPLAINING

stop complaining

I have a little birdie who whispers ideas to me for OffQc to keep me inspired (thanks, Maude!), so today I’m going to pick five of those ideas for us to take a look at:

1. sérieux
2. chiâler
3. stooler
4. être chaud, chaudasse, feeling
5. virer fou

1. sérieux

Listen for statements in French that begin with sérieux during colloquial conversations. It’s the equivalent to how anglophones begin a statement with “seriously.”

Sérieux, t’es full parano.
Seriously, you’re totally paranoid.

Sérieux man, t’es pathétique.
Seriously man, you’re pathetic.

Sérieux, ç’a pas d’allure.
Seriously, it makes no sense.

Non mais sérieux, t’es donc jamais satisfait, toi?
OK seriously, are you like never satisfied?

Don’t pronounce the c in donc in that last example. Parano in the first example is an informal short form for paranoïaque.

2. chiâler

Dictionaries say this verb is spelled chialer, but it’s pronounced chiâler in Québec and often spelled like that for this reason. Remember that â sounds rather like “aww.” I’ll spell this verb with the accent in the examples below.

In Québec, the verb chiâler can be used in the sense of “to complain.”

Arrête de chiâler.
Stop complaining.

Arrête de chiâler après moi.
Stop chewing me out.
Stop nagging me.

Sérieux là, on chiâle sur tout et sur rien.
Seriously, people complain about anything and everything.

Non mais sérieux, l’hiver tu chiâles contre le froid pis l’été tu chiâles contre la chaleur. J’ai mon voyage!
OK seriously, in the winter you complain about the cold and in the summer you complain about the heat. I’m sick of it!

3. stooler

This verb is pronounced stoulé. Stooler quelqu’un means “to rat someone out” or “to tell on someone.” If you’re not familiar with those English expressions, it means dénoncer quelqu’un.

For example, imagine a kid who wants to get back at her brother (get revenge on him) for something he said to her; she might decide to stooler her brother by telling their parents what he said so that he gets in trouble.

Mon frère m’a stoolé à mon père.
My brother told on me to my father.
My brother ratted me out to my father.

Le voisin m’a stoolé et m’a fait pogner un ticket.
The neighbour ratted me out and made me get a ticket.

The t in ticket is pronounced in that last example. Learn the noun form of stooler too: someone who does the stooling is un stool.

4. être chaud, chaudasse, feeling

If you’re chaudasse, then you’re on your way to getting drunk. You’re not full-on drunk yet; you’re buzzed or tipsy. But once you really are drunk, then you’re chaud.

Être feeling means the same thing as être chaudasse.

être chaudasse, to be tipsy, buzzed
être feeling, to be tipsy, buzzed
être chaud, to be loaded, drunk

J’étais chaudasse, mais pas chaud.
I was buzzed, but not drunk.

J’commence à être feeling.
J’commence à être chaudasse.
I’m starting to feel the alcohol.

Après deux shooters, j’étais déjà pas mal feeling.
After two shooters, I was already pretty buzzed.

The part that means “pretty” in that last example is pas mal. Don’t pause between the words pas mal. These two words must be pronounced together because they form an expression:

j’étais / déjà / pas mal / feeling
I was / already / pretty / buzzed

5. virer fou

In an article written by Brigitte Lavoie in Le Soleil (24 December 2013), a man named Rémi Guérin is quoted as saying:

Quand j’ai su que j’avais le cancer, je me suis dit : « Faut que je fasse quelque chose sinon je vais virer fou. »

When I found out that I had cancer, I said to myself: “I gotta do something or I’m gonna go crazy.”

That “something” was build a model of a church in La Malbaie.

virer fou
virer folle
to go crazy

Apart from the expression virer fou, there’s another useful bit of French to learn in that quote: quand j’ai su que…, “when I found out that…”

Virer fou is used in Québec, but quand j’ai su que is used by all francophones.

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On Urbania, Jonathan Roberge writes about an accident he had while mountain biking.

The accident probably had something to do with the fact that he chose to go mountain biking on a volcano in Peru at an altitude of 4600 metres.

He says:

Faire du vélo de montagne sur un volcan, au Pérou! À 4600 mètres d’altitude, quelle idée de marde parfaite pour moi!

Mountain biking on a volcano in Peru! At 4600 metres in altitude, what a perfectly shitty idea for me!

Altitude is a tsitsu word. It’s pronounced al-tsi-tsude in Québec.

In his accident, he suffered massive injuries, like: deux vertèbres de chiées dans la nuque (two messed up vertebrae in the neck), quatre côtes fracturées (four fractured ribs), la mâchoire débarquée (a dislocated jaw) and all sorts of other fun stuff.

I’ve pulled three verbs from his text for us to look at:

1. embarquer
2. chialer
3. pogner

1. embarquer

To get to the volcano, Roberge paid a guy $100 to take him there by jeep.

Je donne 100 $ au gars pis j’embarque dans son 4×4 […].

I give the guy $100 and then get in his 4×4.

Embarquer can be used to get in a car, and débarquer to get out: embarquer dans l’auto (to get in the car), débarquer de l’auto (to get out of the car). If you’re travelling on the bus or métro with friends, you can tell them on débarque ici (this is where we get off) when you arrive at your stop.

4×4 is said as quatre par quatre.

In addition to dollar, you’ll also hear the word piasse used a lot: 100 piasses = 100 dollars.

Remember: gars is pronounced gâ, and pis (a reduction of puis) is pronounced pi.

2. chialer

Roberge wasn’t the only foreign traveller in the jeep. There were also some fussy British girls.

Dans le jeep, il y avait des princesses britanniques habillées comme M.I.A. qui chialaient parce qu’elles n’avaient pas de réseau pour leur téléphone intelligent […].

In the jeep, there were some British princesses dressed like M.I.A. who kept complaining that their smartphones had no signal.

In Québec, chialer is pronounced chiâler. The letter combination comes close to what “yaw” sounds like in English. This verb is frequently used in the same sense as se plaindre sans arrêt.

3. pogner

Roberge was going too fast on his bike. When he hit a hole in the path, he came crashing down hard on a rock.

J’allais vite, beaucoup trop vite, j’ai pogné un trou et j’ai été propulsé sur une énorme roche.

I was going fast, way too fast. I hit a hole and was sent flying into an enormous rock.

The verb pogner (rhymes with cogner) is often heard in Québec in the sense of “to catch” or “to grab.” What Roberge “caught” here was a big hole in the path that sent him flying off his bike. You can learn all about the verb pogner here.

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French quotes by: Jonathan Roberge, « Le Pérou, c’est médium le fun », Urbania, 21 février 2014.

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Bienvenue aux chialeux et aux chialeusesI saw this illuminated ad in the métro for the Petit Larousse 2014 from France:

Bienvenue aux
CHIALEUX et aux
CHIALEUSES.

The Larousse people are letting us know that these québécois usages have been added to the new edition of their dictionary.

Un chialeux is a nag, a complainer, a whiner. Chialeux and chialeuse are pronounced chiâleux and chiâleuse.

A blogger has this to say about himself:

Personne n’aime un chialeux. Sérieux là, même moi en me relisant, je me trouvais chiant.
Nobody likes a complainer. Like seriously, even I found myself annoying when I reread my writing.

The verb chialer (pronounced chiâler) means to complain, to whine.

The Usito dictionary gives us some examples:

Arrête de chialer!
Stop complaining!

chialer contre le gouvernement
to complain about the government

chialer sur tout et sur rien
to complain about anything and everything

Qui sont ces gens qui chialent?An Urbania article asks:

Qui sont ces gens qui chialent?

Jamais contents. Toujours en train de pleurer. Super blasés. Continuellement en train de se lamenter. Sur toutes les tribunes, dans tous les salons, pour un oui, pour un non, on les entend chialer tout le temps.

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Two words used in the French of Québec for you to learn or review today:

chiâler
to complain

quétaine
tacky, cheesy

In an article in Montréal’s Métro newspaper, Les Justiciers masqués comment on those friends of ours who always complain about Valentine’s Day. They use the words chiâler and quétaine in their description:

« À la Saint-Valentin, il y a toujours des amis rabat-joie pour dire qu’il s’agit d’une fête commerciale quétaine et un peu arnaqueuse envers les couples, toujours prêts à faire des folies, question de raviver la flamme. Ce sont d’ailleurs habituellement ces amis qui sont d’éternels célibataires, qu’on écoute chiâler du 10 au 16 février, en sachant très bien qu’ils pleurent secrètement en se bourrant de chocolat et en écoutant un film de Meg Ryan le soir de la fête des amoureux. »

If you suffer from a sweet tooth, you might also like to remember another expression from the quote:

se bourrer de chocolat
to stuff oneself with chocolate!

[Quoted text by Les Justiciers masqués in “Bouder son plaisir? Pas question!” Métro Montréal, 15-17 February 2013, p. 13.]

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