Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘chu’

I like Lisa LeBlanc’s profile description on Twitter (@lisaleblancyo):

J’fais du Folk-Trash, j’viens d’un village de 40 personnes pi j’u tannée de chanter des chansons fi-filles.

I do trash folk, I come from a village of 40 people an’ I’m sick of singing girly-girl songs.

Le folk-trash is what Lisa LeBlanc calls her musical genre. Her music is folk, but the lyrics are bolder and… trashier.

For example, her song called Câlisse-moi là means “Fucking dump me,” and the one called Ma vie, c’est de la marde means “My life is shitty.”

We’ve seen hundreds of times on OffQc that pis is very frequently used as a synonym of et. Pis is a contraction of puis. It’s pronounced pi, and that’s exactly how Lisa LeBlanc has chosen to spell it here.

Unlike et though, pis is an informal usage only. We can say pis is just as informal sounding (and just as normal sounding) as English’s “and” contracted to “an’.”

What’s that j’u in there? It means je suis. We’ve also seen many, many times on OffQc how je suis can contract informally to j’suis, which sounds like chu or chui. Lisa LeBlanc has chosen to spell it as j’u here, but it sounds like chu.

Do you wonder where the ch sound in chu comes from? When je suis contracts to j’suis, the j’s is pronounced ch.

The informally contracted j’s always sounds like ch, which is also why je sais contracted to j’sais sounds like ché.

Every self-respecting learner of Québécois French must master the expression être tanné de! It means “to be fed up with,” “to be tired of,” “to be sick of,” “to have had enough of.”

The expression être tanné de can be followed by a noun or a verb: Chu tannée de chanter des chansons fi-filles. Chu tannée des chansons fi-filles.

Remember that tannée is the feminine form; the masculine form is tanné.

One last word to look at from the description: fi-fille. If Lisa LeBlanc’s music is trash folk or du folk-trash, then it’s definitely not gonna sound all prissy with sappy love songs and shit. I mean, just fuckin’ câlisse-moi là, right?

The fi part of fi-fille is a shortening of fille. If we wanted to translate fi-fille very literally, we’d get gi-girl or gi-girly. Nobody says that in English though, so fi-fille means “prissy,” “girly-girl” or just “girly.”

If you had trouble understanding Lisa LeBlanc’s profile description at the beginning of this post, read it again now:

J’fais du Folk-Trash, j’viens d’un village de 40 personnes pi j’u tannée de chanter des chansons fi-filles.

Now go read or reread all the posts on OffQc related to Lisa LeBlanc or discover her trashy, anti-fi-fille music on her website!

Read Full Post »

Pu capab' !

Pus capab’, moé !

Moi là, l’hiver, pas capable!

Literal translation:
Personally, the winter, not capable!

Huh??
Not capable of what?
Not capable of standing the winter, of course!

Moi là, l’hiver, pas capable!
Personally, I can’t stand the winter!

The le in capable often drops in colloquial speech: capab’. It sounds like capabe.

Moi là, l’hiver, pas capab’!

Honnêtement là, c’te fille-là, pas capab’!
Honestly, I can’t stand that girl!

C’te is an informally contracted form of cette. To understand what c’te sounds like, first say te. Now put an s sound at the beginning of it: ste.

People also say chu pas capab’. Remember, chu is an informally contracted form of je suis. So chu pas capab’ is a contracted form of the much less informal sounding je ne suis pas capable.

Chu pas can contract even further to ch’pas. Maybe this contraction will remind you of Lisa LeBlanc’s song J’pas un cowboy, where j’pas is pronounced ch’pas. I’ll use the spelling ch’pas here because it’s more phonetic, but remember that you might read j’pas instead in authentic texts.

L’hiver, ch’pas capab’.
I can’t stand the winter.

C’te fille-là, ch’pas capab’.
I can’t stand that girl.

J’aime tous mes voisins. Y’a juste toi que ch’pas capab’.
I like all my neighbours. You’re the only one I can’t stand.

Ouch!

If pas capab’ means “can’t stand it,” then pu capab’ means “can’t stand it anymore.” Remember, pu is an informally contracted form of plus, which means “no more.” It’s also often spelled pus (don’t pronounce the s).

C’te fille-là, pu capab’.
I can’t stand that girl anymore.

Ch’pus capab’ d’habiter au centre-ville.
I can’t stand living downtown anymore.

Honnêtement là, l’hiver, ch’pu capab’.
Honestly, I can’t stand the winter anymore.

Lots of contractions in this post! If you can manage them, you’ll go a long way in making your French sound more natural.

If these contractions are still too challenging for you, don’t stress out about it. Keep listening to lots of spoken French and you may just find that you start using them without having to think too much about it.

Image credit: Watyrfall

Read Full Post »

(official site)

César asks if I can write a little about Acadian French and Chiac on OffQc.

I haven’t spent enough time around speakers of Acadian French to be able to do here what I do with Québécois French. But what if we took a look from time to time at some of Lisa LeBlanc’s music? In this way, maybe you can infer certain things about Lisa LeBlanc’s variety of French without me having to explicitly say things like “this is Acadian.”

First, let’s return to Lisa LeBlanc’s song Câlisse-moi là. (You can read what câlisse-moi là means here.) We’ll look at another song of hers farther down.

In this song, you’ll very clearly hear the “aww” sound made by the accented â when Lisa pronounces the word câlisse. This sound is also used in Québec. It’s the sound you’ll hear in words like pâtes, fâché and ramasser.

There are three things in this song that strike me as less Québécois and more the variety of French spoken by Lisa LeBlanc, who, remember, is not from Québec but New Brunswick:

1. so
2. j’te bette
3. rolled r

1. so

We looked at Lisa’s use of the word so in her chorus here. Remember, the Québécois say faque instead of so, or at least this is the case in cities like Montréal and Québec. You can also hear so among franco-Ontarian speakers who live farther away from the borders of Québec.

2. j’te bette

In one line, Lisa sings: j’te bette que t’es pas game, or “I bet (you) that you’re not game.” Here, game means “willing,” and this informal usage is also used in Québec. On the other hand, I’d say that the verb most frequently used in Québec in the sense of “to bet” is gager. In Québec, you could say: j’te gage que t’es pas game.

3. rrrrr

Listen to how Lisa pronounces words like rut, vrai and peureux. Can you hear her rolled r? In Montréal, that rolled r used to be in common use up until about the middle of the 1900s. The rolled r today, in Montréal, is associated with older speakers. From what I understand, the rolled r is standard in Acadian French.

Here’s another song by Lisa LeBlanc that you might like: J’pas un cowboy.

Let’s look at these four parts of her song:

1. j’pas
2. pogner
3. tavarne
4. but j’feel

1. j’pas

If you’ve been reading OffQc for a while, you know very well that je suis often contracts to chu. Je ne suis pas un cowboy can be said informally as chu pas un cowboy.

Lisa takes the contraction one step further and pronounces je suis just as a ch sound, which is shown in the title of her song as j’. The j’pas in her title (which means je [ne] suis pas) sounds like chpâ. This can also be heard in Québec.

2. pogner

In one line, Lisa sings about a cowboy hat. She says: pis un chapeau que j’ai pogné à St-Tite, or “and a hat that I picked up in St-Tite.”

St-Tite is in Québec. Every year, there’s a western festival held there.

If you’ve been following along with OffQc for a while, you must be experts in the verb pogner by now, especially in the book title Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer written by Maude Schiltz.

The verb pogner, used very frequently in Québec, usually takes on the sense of “to catch.” Here, in this song, we can say it means “to pick up.”

3. tavarne

Listen to how Lisa pronounces taverne. It sounds like tavarne, right? Pronouncing ar instead of er is often associated with older speakers in Québec. For example, to the ears of someone from Montréal, la porte varte est ouvarte (meaning la porte verte est ouverte) sounds rural or spoken by an older person.

The exception, in Québec, is with vulgar words, which conserve the ar sound in all age groups, like marde, tabarnak and viarge.

When Lisa says tavarne (taverne), it rhymes with farme (ferme) in the line before it. It’s unclear to me if this pronunciation is standard in her variety of French, or if she’s chosen this pronunciation as a stylistic element to sound more folksy. I can’t comment on the social perception of the ar sound (as opposed to er) in Acadian French. If you know something about this, feel free to comment.

4. but j’feel

Lisa says: but j’feel toute seule en calvaire, or “but I feel as lonely as hell.” In Québec, “but” is definitely said as mais. This line would sound perfectly québécois said instead as: mais j’feel toute seule en calvaire.

The verb feeler (also spelled as filer) comes to French via English, and is only used informally. J’feel cheap. I feel bad. I feel like a low-life. J’feel pas ben. I don’t feel good.

We saw in entry #803 (Ma vie, c’est de la marde) the expression en esti, where the comic strip character says: il fait beau en esti, or “it’s fucking nice out.” The expression en calvaire works the same way: j’feel toute seule en calvaire.

There are other elements for us to look at in this song, but let’s leave some stuff for future entries! 😉

Read Full Post »

Je tripe fort sur les orignaux de jardin!

Je tripe fort sur les orignaux de jardin!

Review time!

Here are 51 example sentences to file away in the folder marked Québécois French in your head. Note: Some of these sentences are for a mature audience only and blah blah blah, this is OffQc.

Credit where credit is due — a very large number of these example sentences are heavily inspired by Maude Schiltz and the colloquial language found in her book Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer (tome 1).

I’ve included notes where I thought it would be helpful.

All of these example sentences feel like the sort of things you could say in everyday language situations with people you know well. These are not examples of formal language.

There’s an exception though, and that’s number 33. This example sentence isn’t strictly informal.

Are you getting excited? I am! We’re only a few posts away from #800, which means post #1000 will soon be poking its head on the horizon!

1. Je tripe fort sur les orignaux de jardin!
I’m totally crazy about garden moose!

Or should that be “garden meese”?
The singular of orignaux is orignal.

2. Y a été assez poche avec moi.
He was pretty bad to me.

Y a is an informal way of saying il a.
Y a sounds like yâ.

3. Là, ça va faire!
OK, that’s enough!
Right, enough is enough!

means “now,” but “now” doesn’t sound right in the translation here.

4. J’ai pris mes cliques pis mes claques.
I grabbed all my stuff.

Pis is pronounced pi.
Pis means “and” here.
You can use this expression when getting all your stuff together to move out quickly or when you’re being kicked out, for example.

5. J’ai sacré mon camp.
I got the hell outta there.

Camp is pronounced like quand.

6. Je commence à badtriper là-dessus.
I’m starting to freak out about it.

Badtriper is pronounced bade-tripé.
Use badtriper to talk about freaking out in a bad way (stress, worry, etc.).

7. C’t’une joke, capote pas!
I’m just kidding, calm down!

C’t’une is an informal pronunciation of c’est une.
C’t’une sounds like stune.
Use capoter to talk about losing one’s calm.

8. Je tripe là-dessus solide.
I’m totally crazy about it.

9. Chu down depuis hier.
I feel down since yesterday.

Chu is an informal pronunciation of je suis.
Down
is pronounced like its English equivalent.

10. Y mérite que je le câlisse là.
He deserves for me to fuckin’ dump him.

Y is an informal pronunciation of il.

11. Chu sorti avec ma gang de bureau.
I went out with my group from the office.

Chu is an informal pronunciation of je suis.
Gang
sounds like its English equivalent.

12. C’est ben correct si t’aimes pas ça.
It’s perfectly fine if you don’t like it.

Correct is pronounced informally as correc.

13. On s’est quitté sur une note poche.
We left each other on a bad note.

14. J’ai pogné mon chum à cruiser des filles.
I caught my boyfriend going after girls.

Cruiser is pronounced crouzé.

15. Ça, c’est le boutte le fun!
That’s the fun part!

Boutte is an informal pronunciation of bout.

16. Je file tout croche.
I feel bad. I don’t feel well.

17. J’ai pété une sale coche.
I lost my temper big time.

Péter is pronounced pèté.

18. J’ai tripé en crisse.
I had a hell of a great time.

19. Je trouve que c’est de la bullshit.
I think that’s bullshit.

Bullshit is pronounced boulechitte.

20. Y pogne avec les filles.
He’s lucky with girls. Girls find him hot.

Y is an informal pronunciation of il.

21. Le timing a pas été bon.
The timing wasn’t good.

22. J’ai de la misère à le croire.
I’m having a hard time believing him.

23. J’ai fait freaker tout le monde.
I freaked everybody out.

Freaker is pronounced friquer.

24. J’ai pogné un down.
I’m feeling really down.

Down is pronounced like its English equivalent.

25. T’es vraiment magané ce matin.
You’re in really rough shape this morning.

T’es is an informal contraction of tu es.
T’es
sounds like té.

26. J’ai la chienne de me faire mal.
I’m terrified of getting hurt.

27. Y est carrément épeurant, ce gars-là.
He’s downright scary, that guy.

Y est is an informal pronunciation of il est.
Y est sounds like yé.
Carrément is pronounced cârrément.
Gars is pronounced gâ.

28. T’es cheap en maudit, toi!
You’re so damn cheap!

T’es is an informal contraction of tu es.
T’es
sounds like té.
Cheap here is used in the sense of not liking to spend money.

29. Tu te fais bullshitter solide.
You’re getting played solid, lied to big time.
He (she, they, etc.) is totally bullshitting you.

Bullshitter is pronounced boulechitté.

30. Je file cheap en maudit.
I feel so damn bad.

Cheap sounds like its English equivalent.
Cheap here is used in the sense of feeling like a low-life.

31. C’est pour le fun!
It’s just for fun!

32. Chu raqué et j’ai mal à la gorge.
I’m sore all over and I have a sore throat.

Chu is an informal pronunciation je suis.

33. Le brigadier scolaire a fait traverser des écoliers.
The crossing guard helped some schoolchildren to cross.

34. Le français québécois, c’est tripant!
Québécois French is such a blast!

35. On m’a booké un rendez-vous.
They booked me an appointment.

Booker is pronounced bouké.

36. Y a pogné le creux de la vague.
He’s down in the dumps.

Y a is an informal pronunciation of il a.
Y a sounds like yâ.

37. Arrête de m’écoeurer avec ça.
Stop nagging me about that.
Stop driving me nuts about that.

38. La semaine s’annonce rough.
Looks like a rough week ahead.

Rough is pronounced roffe.

39. T’es full pas de classe, toi.
You’re so unclassy.

T’es is an informal contraction of tu es.
T’es
sounds like té.
Full sounds like foule.

40. Je file pas ben pantoute.
I don’t feel good at all.

41. Shit, tu viens de passer sur la rouge!
Shit, you just went through a red (light)!

Sur la is often pronounced informally as s’a.

42. Peux-tu checker ça avec ton patron?
Can you check that with your boss?

Checker sounds like the English word “check” followed by é.

43. Es-tu game de faire ça demain?
Are you up for doing it tomorrow?

Game sounds like its English equivalent.

44. T’es aussi ben de l’appeler aujourd’hui.
You better call him today.

T’es is an informal contraction of tu es.
T’es
sounds like té.

45. Crisse-moi patience!
Leave me the hell alone!

46. Ces produits sont pleins de chnoute.
These products are full of crap.

47. Le médecin m’a gelé ben comme faut.
The doctor drugged me up good.

Ben comme faut is an informal way of saying bien comme il faut.

48. Chu vraiment tanné d’entendre ça.
I’m really sick of hearing that.

Chu is an informal pronunciation je suis.

49. Des livres, j’en ai un char pis une barge.
I’ve got heaps and heaps of books.

Pis is pronounced pi.
Pis means “and” here.

50. C’est un crisse de gros cave.
He’s a huge goddamn idiot.

Don’t mistakenly pronounce cave like an English word.
Cave is a French word and rhymes with bave.

51. On l’a pogné à se crosser sur la job.
They caught him jerking off on the job.

Sur la is often pronounced informally as s’a.

Read Full Post »

Here’s a summary of the informal language covered in this post:

  • chus pressé
  • tu penses-tu que…?
  • y’a aucun problème
  • a me dit que…
  • kess tu (veux, fais…)?

On 12 February 2014 in the Montréal edition of the Métro newspaper, comedian Alexandre Barrette wrote an article describing an experience of getting his hair cut at the salon.

He was on a tight schedule, so he didn’t have much time to get his hair done. The hairstylist, who he described as very zen (elle est très zen), was much too slow cutting his hair for his liking.

Alexandre used a lot of informal language in his article, which we can take a look at now.

As Alexandre begins to get frustrated with the hairstylist’s slowness, he tells her that he’s in a rush and hints at whether or not she can speed things up:

… chus pressé. Tu penses-tu qu’on est capables de faire ça en 25-30 minutes?

Je suis pressé. Penses-tu qu’on peut faire ça en 25-30 minutes?

I’m in a rush. D’ya think we can do this in 25-30 minutes?

On OffQc, I’ve usually adopted chu as the spelling for the informal pronunciation of je suis. Alexandre spelled it with an s instead. Chu and chus mean the same thing (je suis), and they both sound like chu.

He also asked tu penses-tu que…? That’s a yes-no question using that informal yes-no question word again. This question means the same thing as est-ce que tu penses que…? and penses-tu que…?

When the hairstylist answers Alexandre’s question, she says:

Y’a aucun problème. On va faire ça rapidement.

Il n’y a aucun problème. On va faire ça rapidement.

There’s no problem. We’ll do this quickly.

Y’a is an informal way of saying il y a.

Despite what the hairstylist says, she doesn’t do things quickly at all. Alexandre then tells us that she wanted to wash his hair. He writes:

A me dit avec douceur : «Viens, avant, on va aller te laver les cheveux.»

Elle me dit avec douceur : «Viens, avant, on va aller te laver les cheveux.»

She says to me softly: “Come along, we’re going to go wash your hair.”

Alexandre wrote a instead of elle. This is an informal pronunciation of elle that you’ll catch people using. Try to say this: ame-dzi, with two syllables. That’s how you may hear people say elle me dit informally.

If elle is pronounced as a, it’s only when elle is a subject (like je, tu, il, elle, nous…). Nobody would ever say pour a instead of pour elle, for example. That’s because elle isn’t a subject in the phrase pour elle. The same goes for à côte d’elle, autour d’elle, avec elle, etc., where elle can only be pronounced as elle.

Alexandre jokes that the hair wash was so slow and intense that he feels raped by her (je me sens violé)! After this, he becomes even more impatient and says to himself in his head:

Kess tu comprends pas dans l’expression CHUS PRESSÉ? Le mot CHUS ou le mot PRESSÉ?

Qu’est-ce que tu ne comprends pas dans l’expression CHUS PRESSÉ [je suis pressé]? Le mot CHUS [je suis] ou le mot PRESSÉ?

What part of the expression CHUS PRESSÉ [I’m in a rush] don’t you understand? The word CHUS [I am] or the word PRESSÉ [in a rush]?

You’ll often hear the question qu’est-ce que tu…? pronounced informally as qu’est-ce tu…?, or as Alexandre wrote more phonetically: kess tu…? Two more examples: qu’est-ce tu veux (kess tu veux)? and qu’est-ce tu fais (kess tu fais)?, which mean “whaddya want?” and “whadd’re ya doin’?”

_ _ _

French quotes written by: Alexandre Barrette, «Expérience capillaire», Métro, Montréal, 12 février 2014, p. 16.

Alexandre Barrette, site officiel

Read Full Post »

Carrot slop again? ffffff... chu tanné de t'ça.

Carrot slop again? Pffffff… chu tanné de ça.

In Montréal today, a woman in her 60s said:

Je suis tannée, je suis tannée de t’ça.
I’m fed up, I’m fed up with it.

What’s de t’ça?

It’s an informal pronunciation that you’ll sometimes hear for de ça.

The de t’ part just sounds like de with a t sound on the end, followed by ça, as if it were deutt ça.

It was a woman in her 60s who said de t’ça, but it can be heard in any age group during informal conversations.

You don’t need to start saying de t’ça yourself. Just learn to recognise it. The regular de ça pronunciation works in any language situation, for example: je suis tanné de ça, or more informally: chu tanné de ça.

If you are going to use de t’ça though, keep it for informal language situations.

By the way, the woman really did say je suis, and not the informal contracted forms j’sus (chu) or j’suis (chui).

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts