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Posts Tagged ‘chu’

I came across this short clip taken from a show by comedian Korine Côté.

Her words were transcribed by a YouTube user in this video that he’s created and posted online, but I’ve written them out below.

In the video, c’est sûre should be c’est sûr.

Moi, moi j’ai un Mac. Ah ouais, j’ai un Mac, ah ouais. Ah, j’peux faire du montage vidéo sans problèmes, ah ouais. Bon, j’en fais pas, mais j’pourrais, ouais, parce que… parce que j’ai un Mac. Ah ouais, ah ouais. Ah! t’as pogné un virus? Ahh! Moi, j’pogne pas ça avec mon Mac, ah non!… [j’]pogne pas ça des virus avec mon Mac. Bon, c’est sûr j’su’s pas compatible avec le 7/8 de la planète, mais c’pas grave.

Me, I’ve got a Mac. Oh yeah, I’ve got a Mac, oh yeah. Oh, I can edit videos (make videos montages), no problem, oh yeah. Fine, I don’t actually do it, but I could (if I wanted to), yeah, because… because I’ve got a Mac. Oh yeah, oh yeah. Oh! You got a virus? Arg! Me, I don’t get them with my Mac, nope! Don’t get viruses with my Mac. Fine, it’s true I’m not compatible with 7/8 of the planet, but no big deal.

pogner, informal verb meaning to catch, grab
pogner un virus, to get a virus, catch a virus
j’pogne (sounds like ch’pogne), informal contraction of je pogne
t’as, informal contraction of tu as
j’su’s pas (sounds like chu pas), informal contraction of je ne suis pas
c’pas (sounds like s’pas), informal contraction of ce n’est pas

This video will be added to the Listen to Québécois French section.

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In the videos I’ve posted to OffQc lately, quite a few informal contractions have come up. It’s imperative to learn these contractions to understand spoken French.

I’ve pulled together a list of these contractions; there’s a link for each one that will take you back to the video where it appeared so you can listen again and learn it.

Here’s something you can try. The sentences below have been written without contractions. Try to say them aloud applying whatever informal contractions are possible from the ones above.

Je suis bien content.
Tu n’es pas tanné?
Je l’ai croisée sur la rue.
Des fois je me fâche.
Il y en a qui disent ça.

Answers

J’su’ ben [chu bin] content. I’m really happy.
T’es pas tanné? You’re not fed up?
Je l’ai croisée s’a rue. I bumped into her in the street.
Des fois j’me fâche. Sometimes I get angry.
Y’en a qui disent ça. Some people say that.

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We’ve seen that je suis can contract in informal language to what sounds like chu or chui. But where does that ch sound come from in chu and chui, considering there isn’t any ch sound in je suis to begin with?

To get the pronunciation chui, je suis contracts to j’suis. Je loses its vowel sound, and the resulting j’s makes the French ch sound. The same thing happens with chu, which is je suis contracted to j’su’s.

So the ch sound comes from j’s.

This is why je sais contracted informally to j’sais sounds like ché. It’s also why je sois contracted to j’sois sounds like choi. Je savais contracted to j’savais sounds like chavais. Anywhere you have the informally contracted j’s, you have the ch sound.

Cynthia Dulude uses the pronunciations j’su’s (chu) and j’sois (choi) in one of her videos in the Listen section.

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Yesterday we looked at how je suis can contract when the next word begins with a vowel. For example, je suis en maudit can contract to j’t’en maudit, where j’t’en sounds like ch’t’en.

Let’s look at another informal contraction containing je now.

Je me suis can contract to j’me su’s (sounds like jme su).

J’me su’s posé une question.
I asked myself a question.

C’est bon, que j’me su’s dit.
It’s good, I said to myself.

J’me su’s payé la traite.
I treated myself.

J’me su’s couché tard.
I went to bed late.

Review. Say what all of the following are informal contractions of:

  • j’t’en (sounds like ch’t’en)
  • j’t’à (sounds like ch’t’à)
  • j’t’un (sounds like ch’t’un)
  • j’t’allé (sounds like ch’t’allé)
  • j’pas (sounds like ch’pas)
  • j’me su’ (sounds like jme su)

Answers

  • je suis en
  • je suis à
  • je suis un
  • je suis allé
  • je (ne) suis pas
  • je me suis

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We’ve seen how je suis can contract to what sounds like chu at the informal level of language. But when the next word after chu begins with a vowel, an additional change can occur.

The expression en maudit, for example, means mad as hell, pissed off. Je suis en maudit. I’m mad as hell. I’m pissed off.

But when we apply an informal pronunciation to je suis en maudit, it can sound like ch’t’en maudit. What’s going on here?

The ch sound in ch’t’en is a contraction of je suis. Then a t sound is slipped in before en, which begins with a vowel.

So that’s how je suis en can end up being pronounced as ch’t’en, which you might see written informally as j’t’en.

Can you now say how the following might sound informally?

Je suis en train de…
I’m in the process of…

Je suis en forme.
I’m in shape.

Je suis en burn-out.
I’m burnt out. (Burn-out is pronounced as in English but with the stress on the last syllable.)

Je suis à boutte!
I’ve had it!

Quand je suis arrivé à Montréal…
When I arrived in Montréal…

Je suis allé fumer une cigarette.
I went to smoke a cigarette.

Answers
ch’t’en train de
ch’t’en forme
ch’t’en burn-out
ch’t’à boutte
quand ch’t’arrivé
ch’t’allé fumer

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I watched the first 10 minutes of an episode of 30 vies on tou.tv and picked some French for us to look at.

Each example of French below was said by a character on the show. If you want to find them on the show, the episode details are at the end of the post. After each quote, I’ve included the time where it appeared.

You can watch 30 vies on tou.tv if you’re in Canada.

Là, tu fais ça ou tu disparais de ma vie. C’est-tu clair?
Now you’re gonna do it or you get out of my life. Is that clear?
(0:22)

We’ve been seeing in the last few entries that often means “now.” Here’s another example of it. Here, it means more “now” in the sense of “right so,” as a way of signalling that the other person ought to listen up. The speaker used it to lead into her nasty comment.

We’ve also got c’est-tu clair? in this quote. Remember, the informal tu transforms c’est clair into a yes-no question. C’est clair. C’est-tu clair?

The question c’est-tu clair? here is really a warning. It’s like asking “is that understood?” in an authoritative way.

— Ça parle de toi en masse.
— Qui ça?
— People are totally talking about you.
— Who?
(6:55)

A student at school told his classmate: ça parle de toi en masse. The subject ça here just means “people” or “they.” It’s like the subject on. The expression en masse means something like “big time” or “totally.”

Notice that his classmate responded with qui ça? to ask who. You’ll also hear people say où ça? to ask where, for example: –Viens-tu avec moi? –Où ça?

J’en peux p’us. J’sus à boutte!
I can’t take it anymore. I’ve had it!
(7:53)

J’en peux p’us is a shortened, colloquial way of saying je n’en peux plus. Plus here is pronounced plu, but sometimes plus gets shortened to the pronunciation pu, which I’ve spelled above as p’us. It’s because the L dropped.

J’sus (pronounced chu) means je suis. J’sus à boutte literally means “I’m at the end,” because boutte means bout, but its figurative meaning is “I’ve had it.” You’ll notice that bout is sometimes pronounced boutte in Québec, especially in informal expressions like the one here; être à boutte, to have had it, to be fed up.

The character who said j’sus à boutte didn’t pronounce it as chu à boutte though. She pronounced it instead as chtàboutte. She shortened chu to ch and slipped in a T sound between ch and à (ch-t-à boutte).

_ _ _

Quotes taken from:
30 vies, saison 5, épisode 24
16 octobre 2014, Radio-Canada

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Do you remember chu, that informal pronunciation of je suis used in Québécois French?

je suis > j’suisj’su’s = sounds like chu

Sometimes you’ll also see chu spelled as chus. Either way, it sounds like chu. But what about chu-tu? What does it mean in the questions below?

Chus-tu la seule à faire ça?
Chu-tu en train de virer fou?

If chu means je suis, does that mean chu-tu means je suis tu? Yes! But it most definitely doesn’t mean something like “I am you.”

If you read OffQc, there’s no fooling you — you know tu here is used to ask yes-no questions and has nothing to do with the second-person singular subject tu.

You can replace the tu with oui ou non to help you understand the questions.

Chus-tu la seule à faire ça?
Chus-[oui ou non] la seule à faire ça?
Am I the only one who does that?

Chu-tu en train de virer fou?
Chu-[oui ou non] en train de virer fou?
Am I going crazy?

Asking yes-no questions with tu is an informal equivalent of asking yes-no questions with est-ce que. The difference is that est-ce que goes before the subject and verb, but tu goes after them.

Est-ce que c’est vraiment ça?
C’est-tu vraiment ça?

Est-ce que je suis le seul à faire ça?
Je suis-tu le seul à faire ça?
But pronounced:
Chu-tu le seul à faire ça?

Est-ce que tu as vu ça?
Tu as-tu vu ça?
But pronounced:
T’as-tu vu ça?

Est-ce que je suis en train de virer fou?
Je suis-tu en train de virer fou?
But pronounced:
Chu-tu en train de virer fou?

When the letter t appears before the French u sound, it’s pronounced ts (like the ts sound in the English words cats, bats and hats).

Chu-tu is really pronounced chu-tsu.
C’est-tu is really pronounced cé-tsu.
T’as-tu is really pronounced tâ-tsu, etc.

It’s a small difference, but the Québécois will hear it. If you’re not sure what this ts thing sounds like, there’s only one remedy — start listening to lots of spoken French from Québec. If you haven’t listened to much spoken French before, you might not notice the ts sound at first. But once you’ve managed to hear it, you’ll realise just how prevalent its use really is.

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