Posts Tagged ‘coloc’

On Urbania, Lysandre Nadeau writes about the approach of moving season — moving into a new apartment with a new coloc, that is. She writes:

Le soleil est enfin arrivé au Québec. Pis quand il se pointe, pas ben ben longtemps après, les gens déménagent. Eh oui, dans quelques semaines, le monde vont commencer à faire leurs boîtes.

pis quand il se pointe, and when it shows up
pas ben ben longtemps après, not too long afterwards
le monde vont commencer à, people are going to start to
faire leurs boîtes, to pack their boxes

Ben is an informal contraction of bien meaning really here. It sounds like bain. The author has doubled it for effect: pas ben ben longtemps après, literally not really really a long time afterwards.

Why has she used the plural vont with the singular noun le monde? Le monde vont commencer à faire leurs boîtes. It’s a feature of informal language where le monde, meaning people, is analysed as a plural noun like les gens.

Pis means and here. It’s pronounced pi and comes from puis. It’s similar to the way and in English can contract to an’ or ‘n’.

She continues:

Il va y avoir des gros camions partout dans les rues pis plein de vieux divans à motifs laittes sur les trottoirs.

plein de, lots of
vieux divans, old sofas
à motifs laittes, with ugly designs

Laitte is an informal pronunciation of laid that you’ll hear used spontaneously in conversations.

The author uses a few more words from conversational language:

Un nouvel appartement signifie aussi peut-être : un nouveau coloc. J’en ai eu en masse dans ma vie, des l’funs pis des pas l’funs.

un nouveau coloc, a new roommate, flatmate
en masse, lots, heaps
j’en ai eu en masse, I’ve had lots of them
des l’funs pis des pas l’funs, fun/great ones and not-so-fun/great ones

Coloc is a short form of colocataire. Locataire is a renter, so a colocataire is a “co-renter,” someone you share your apartment with. Coloc is used informally.

What does the first en mean in j’en ai eu en masse? It means of them here. In English, you can say I had many, but you can’t in French. In French, you have to say I had many of them, where the of them is said as en. J’en ai eu en masse, of them have had heaps.

Fun is a bit funny in that it uses the article le in front of it, even when used adjectively. Des gars le fun, fun guys. Unlike the author, I’m not sure I’d have put an s on fun in des l’fun pis des pas l’fun.

Source: All quotes written by Lysandre Nadeau in “Le guide de la pire personne en colocation,” Urbania, 22 May 2015.

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In 19-2, Ben and his blonde Catherine are in a fight. He’s recently discovered that she’s been taking la pilule behind his back — which explains why she’s not getting pregnant despite their efforts.

When Ben finally confronts Catherine about her deceitfulness, she storms off to the bedroom and locks the door. Ben bangs angrily on the door, telling her to open so that they can talk. He screams things like:

Talk to me!


Ouvre la porte pis parle-moé!
Open the door and talk to me!


Ouvre la crisse de porte!
Open the fucking door!

Later in the episode, we see that they’ve finally calmed down and are talking to each other. Ben wants to know why she doesn’t want a baby (and future) with him. He wonders aloud:

Qu’est-ce que j’ai fait de pas correct?
What did I do wrong?

Ben tries to accept the fact that a woman he’s spent two thirds of his life with doesn’t want to bear his child.

Realising they’ve reached the end of their relationship, Ben rhetorically asks what they’ll become now… roommates? fuck friends? des colocs? des fuck-friends?

A few notes: Ben pronounced qu’est-ce que j’ai fait de pas correct as qu’est-ce que j’ai faite de pas correc. Following the normal rules of French, the plural s is silent in both colocs and fuck-friends. In French, the stress in fuck-friend falls on the word friend.

[Language from 19-2, season 2, episode 3, Radio-Canada, Montréal, 11 February 2013.]

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