Posts Tagged ‘dzidzu’

Here’s another ad spotted in Montréal. You can click on it.

The ad itself doesn’t matter; it’s just the last sentence that’s interesting because it contains a word I often get asked about: rendu.

T’es presque rendu là.
You’ve almost arrived.
You’re almost there.

(The ad was placed near the Salon de l’auto de Montréal where we can actually see the car. That’s why it’s telling us we’re almost there.)

In this sense, rendu means “arrived.” It’s the past participle of the verb rendre.

In a previous entry, we saw another example of where rendu meant “arrived.”

Il était à 3000 fans sur sa page Facebook, mais là il est rendu à 4000.
He was at 3000 fans on his Facebook page, but now he’s [arrived] at 4000.

That last example also includes là, another word that raises a lot of questions in the minds of learners of French! It just means “now” here.

If you remember the dzidzu (d sounds like dz before the i and u sounds), then you know that rendu sounds like rendzu when pronounced aloud.

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Say this sentence:

Puis là, je lui dis que je n’aime pas ça.
So then, I tell him that I do not like that.

If I asked you to transform this sentence into something more colloquial sounding, the way you might hear it said during a regular conversation, could you do it?

Maybe you know that the ne in the negative construction ne… pas generally gets dropped, so we can start with that:

Puis là, je lui dis que j’aime pas ça.

And maybe you also know that puis is almost always pronounced spontaneously as pis (pi) during everyday conversations, so we can change that too:

Pis là, je lui dis que j’aime pas ça.

There’s another thing we can change here to make it sound like something you might hear someone say spontaneously in a conversation. The title of this post gives it away — it has to do with the pronunciation of lui:

Pis là, j’y dis que j’aime pas ça.

Here, lui got pronounced as y (i). You don’t necessarily have to start pronouncing it like this yourself too, but do learn to recognise it.

je lui dis que…, j’y dis que…
je lui donne…, j’y donne…
on lui a dit que…, on y a dit que…

We saw an example of lui pronounced as y in #868: j’ai juste à y flasher ça dans’ face! If we spell everything in full, we get: j’ai juste à lui flasher ça dans la face!

You’d only ever catch lui pronounced as y when it’s put before a verb (either conjugated or in the infinitive form) like in the examples above, as an indirect object pronoun.

Lui wouldn’t be pronounced as y in these examples:

Sans lui, je pense que ça aurait été différent.
Je me suis beaucoup occupée de lui.
Avec lui, je pense que notre équipe ira loin.
Il s’appelle Martin, lui.

Let’s go back to the first example:

Pis là, j’y dis que j’aime pas ça.

Don’t forget that the Québécois pronounce the letter d as dz when it comes before the i sound. So dis sounds like dzi.

If you’ve been listening to lots of spoken French from Québec, then you know just what the vowel sounds like in the words là, pas and ça. If you’re not sure what it sounds like, please go turn your radio on!

Here’s the unmodified sentence from the beginning of this post:

Puis là, je lui dis que je n’aime pas ça.

Can you say it now the way you might happen to hear it said spontaneously during a conversation?

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Michael asks about a usage he’s heard in which qu’est-ce que is used instead of ce que, like this: je comprends qu’est-ce que tu veux dire.

Should you adopt this usage?

It’s not considered to be standard, not even in Québec where you’ll sometimes hear people use it.

You can continue to use ce que, which is always correct and won’t make you sound any less natural: je comprends ce que tu veux dire.

How do the Québécois pronounce je comprends ce que tu veux dire?

When said colloquially, je comprends tends to contract to j’comprends. When j’ comes before c, like it does here, it’s pronounced ch (like the sh in flash).


When you pronounce ce que, try to say it with one syllable rather than two. This will sound more natural. To say ce que with one syllable, first say que. Now add an s sound to the beginning of it: sque.

ch’compren s’que…

Don’t forget the letter t is pronounced ts before the French u sound. It’s like the ts sound in the English word “cats.” So tu is pronounced tsu.

ch’compren s’que tsu veu…

The letter d is pronounced dz when it comes before the French i sound. It’s like the dz sound in the English word “pads.” So dire is pronounced dzir.

ch’compren s’que tsu veu dzir

Of course, it’s never written like that, not even in an informal text. If you write it like that, people will think you’ve lost your mind!

At most, it might be written like this informally: j’comprends c’que tu veux dire.

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Oh hello, good morning!

Well good morning to you too!

In Québec, you’ll hear merde (shit) pronounced as marde.

Today’s a shitty day. Not because it’s a bad day but because marde is our word for today. Here are 13 example sentences of how marde likes to be kept busy in Québec.

It keeps your enemies entertained.

1. Mange don d’la marde.
Eat shit.

2. Qu’y mangent don d’la marde.
They can eat shit.

It keeps crappy objets company…

3. Crisse d’ordi à marde!
Fucking shitty computer!

… as well as crappy people.

4. Osti d’chien sale à marde!
You fucking shitty asshole!

It pays visits to people in a pickle.

5. Chu dans marde.
I’m so screwed.

6. T’es dans marde, man.
You’re screwed, man.

Shitty idea? Shitty day? Hell, shitty life? Why not.

7. Non mais quelle idée d’marde.
What a shitty idea that is.

8. Bonne journée d’marde à toi!
Have a shitty day!

9. Maudite vie d’marde.
Goddamn shitty life.

People can be treated like it.

10. Y me traite comme d’la marde.
He treats me like shit.

11. Y me parle comme d’la marde.
He talks to me like shit.

It loves the stink…

12. Ouache, ça pue la marde!
Yuck, it smells like shit!

… and the wintertime.

13. Chu pu capab d’la marde blanche.
I can’t stand the snow (white shit) anymore.


What is don in the first two examples? It’s how donc is pronounced. I used the spelling don so that you wouldn’t be tempted to pronounce it as donk. But are you wondering why donc is even used in these examples to begin with? Don’t try to analyse it too much; you’ll often come across donc in declarations like these. It sounds better with it!

Do you remember to dzidzuate and tsitsuate? Maudzite journée d’marde. Crisse d’ordzi à marde. Ostsi d’chien sale à marde. If you forget to do your dz and ts, don’t worry — you’ll still be understood. If you can manage it though, it’ll sound a lot more authentic. If you use the offcois nouns le dzidzu and le tsitsu with your French prof, he’ll either worry that you know something he doesn’t or think you’ve gone batshit crazy.

Don’t forget that il and ils are most often pronounced as y (or i) when people speak colloquially. Y me traite comme d’la marde means the same thing as il me traite comme d’la marde. Remember too that je suis very often contracts to chu, and tu es becomes t’es.

In 13, chu pu capab means the same thing as je ne suis plus capable. There’s a lot of contraction going on here! Je suis became chu, plus became pu (also spelled informally as pus), and capable lost its le sound on the end.

Bonne journée d’marde à vous tous!
Have a shitty day everybody!

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Related reading: Ma vie, c’est de la marde! (#803)

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Here’s a video of Ricardo describing the correct way to melt chocolate. There are some interesting things to note about the language in this video:

  • You’ve a great example of the dzidzu in this clip. At 1:18, Ricardo says the word dur, which you’ll hear very distinctly pronounced as dzur.
  • The expression une espèce de means “a sort of.” For example, le bonobo est une espèce de singe (the bonobo is a sort of ape). But Ricardo doesn’t say une espèce de in this clip; he says un espèce de. The feminine form is considered to be the “correct” one, so it’s best to use that one in writing. But note that you’ll also hear the masculine when people speak spontaneously.
  • The third-person singular form of the verb bouillir is bout. For example, l’eau bout (the water is boiling). If we follow the rules of written French, bout becomes bouille in the subjunctive: on veut pas que ça bouille. But Ricardo says boue instead: on veut pas que ça boue. There’s a helpful article from the OQLF about the verb bouillir. They use the word erreur to describe anything that deviates from the usual rules, but these “errors” are so prevalent that it seems misguided to call them that. Still, you should probably follow the rules in writing. Here’s a complete conjugation of the verb bouillir.

Quand on veut faire fondre du chocolat, le problème qu’on rencontre souvent c’est que plutôt que de le faire fondre, on le fait cuire. Et là, notre chocolat va devenir granuleux, et si on le fait refiger, souvent vous allez voir apparaître en surface un espèce de film un peu blanc.

Donc, pour mettre toutes les chances de notre côté, ce que je vous conseille d’utiliser, c’est un bain-marie. Un bain-marie, c’est une casserole avec un peu d’eau au fond. Faut pas que l’eau touche à la partie supérieure du bain-marie. Ce qui va faire fondre notre chocolat, c’est la vapeur, température égale, et on veut pas non plus que ça boue, ça va être trop chaud. Juste frémir, c’est parfait.

L’autre chose très importante, c’est de hacher le chocolat assez finement. Plus il sera haché, plus il va fondre rapidement.

Faites fondre le chocolat tout doucement, jusqu’à ce qu’il soit fondu à peu près aux trois quarts. Après ça, on ferme le feu; la chaleur résiduelle va faire le reste. Faites attention de jamais échapper une goutte d’eau dans cette préparation-là parce que le chocolat risque de figer. Si jamais ça vous arrive, ben ajoutez encore un peu plus d’eau. Ça va refondre et vous allez avoir quelque chose de soyeux et de lisse.

Par contre, ça redeviendra jamais dur. Mais pour une fondue au chocolat, par exemple, y’a pas de problème. Fondu tout doucement comme ça, vous allez avoir un chocolat parfait pour réaliser n’importe quelle recette. Il faut qu’il soit soyeux, brillant, onctueux.

J’aurais pu aussi faire fondre mon chocolat au micro-ondes, mais c’est délicat. Alors si vous voulez vous essayer, faites-le à puissance «médium», jamais plus de vingt secondes à la fois, remuez parce que le chocolat va fondre sans perdre sa forme. Ça c’est vraiment la façon la plus sécure de le faire — au bain-marie.

faire fondre du chocolat, to melt chocolate
faire cuire du chocolat, to cook chocolate
granuleux, rough, lumpy
faire figer du chocolat, to solidify chocolat
un espèce de film, a sort of film
pour mettre toutes les chances de notre côté, to be on the safe side
un bain-marie, you can read what a bain-marie is on Wikipédia
on veut pas non plus que ça boue, it shouldn’t boil either
frémir, to tremble, shake (just before boiling point)
échapper une goutte d’eau, to drop a drop of water
soyeux, silky
lisse, smooth
onctueux, smooth, creamy
au micro-ondes, in the microwave
s’essayer, to have a go
remuer, to stir
sécure, safe (sécure is borrowed from English; OQLF gives examples)

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I went to the post office yesterday to deliver a package. When the cashier asked how I wanted to send it, I said: en régulier, which means that I wanted to send it by regular post.

It cost 9,65 $ to send the package, which is said in French as: neuf et soixante-cinq. On the receipt, the cashier showed me the tracking number, le numéro de suivi, so that I could track online the package’s delivery.

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Yesterday morning, I heard someone ask a friend: Comment ça va? The friend answered back by saying: Pas pire!, which means “not bad” in Québec.

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Are you pronouncing the French word suggestion correctly?

The letter g appears twice in this word, and you must pronounce each one. The first g is hard, like the g in goutte. The second g is soft, like the j in joute. What’s more, suggestion is a tsitsu word. The t is pronounced ts.


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Chris asked about the expression péter la balloune de quelqu’un in the comments section of yesterday’s post about the verb péter.

The québécois expression péter la balloune de quelqu’un means “to burst someone’s bubble,” in the sense of disappointing or bringing the person back down to earth.

In the comments, JohanneDN provided a good example of the expression: Quand j’ai reçu les résultats de mon examen de philo, ça a pété ma balloune. (When I got the results of my philosophy exam, I was disappointed/let down.)

If you’re about to give someone a reality check, you could say: Je veux pas péter ta balloune, mais… or Désolé de péter ta balloune, mais… This expression can have a cutting tone to it.

Je veux pas péter ta balloune, mais la vraie diva du Québec, c’est Ginette Reno.
I don’t wanna burst your bubble, but the real diva of Québec is Ginette Reno.
I hate to burst your bubble, but…

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Most words that end in -tion aren’t tsitsu words. For example, in information and animation, the t is pronounced like an s. So, there’s no t sound to begin with to be pronounced ts. But in words like bastion and gestion, which end in -stion, the t is indeed pronounced like a t — or, more accurately, like ts in Québec. That’s why suggestion above is a tsitsu word.

Don’t go overboard pronouncing ts and dz in tsitsu and dzidzu words. It’s not tsssssssss and dzzzzzzzzz; it’s just ts and dz. It’s said quickly like any other sound.

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I saw the advertisement in the image above in a public space in Montréal. The Fonds is promoting their RRSPs. An RRSP is a Canadian investment for retirement. In French, an RRSP is called un REER, which is pronounced ré-èr.

And, finally, the moose in the image is called un orignal in French!

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1. en régulier, by regular post
2. 9,65 $, neuf et soixante-cinq
3. un numéro de suivi, tracking number
4. pas pire, not bad
5. suggestion, check your pronunciation!
6. péter la balloune de quelqu’un, to burst someone’s bubble
7. bastion, gestion, the t is pronounced ts in Québec
8. un REER, RRSP (pronounced ré-èr)
9. un orignal, moose

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When the letter d occurs before the French i or u sound, it’s pronounced dz.

Di and du are pronounced dzi and dzu.

When the letter t occurs before the French i or u sound, it’s pronounced ts.

Ti and tu are pronounced tsi and tsu.

To describe this phenomenon (and to help you remember), a word that contains the sounds dzi or dzu is called a dzidzu word. A word that contains the sounds tsi or tsu is called a tsitsu word.

For example, différent is a dzidzu word. It’s pronounced dzifférent in Québec. Tube is a tsitsu word. It’s pronounced tsube. On the other hand, doux is not dzidzuated and matin is not tsitsuated. That’s because the letters d and t in those words are not followed by the French i or u sounds.

The words dzidzu, tsitsu, dzidzuate, tsitsuate, dzidzuation, tsitsuation, etc., are all offcois words. Offcois is also an offcois word!

Is your head spinning yet?

Here’s a list of 100 dzidzu and tsitsu words. I took them from a car magazine. You’ll notice that a few words in the list are even bisexual in that they are both dzidzuated and tsitsuated, like distinctif (dzistinctsif).

At the end of this entry, I’ve also included 30 non-dzidzuated-non-tsitsuated words from the same car magazine.

  1. disposé, dzisposé
  2. grandissant, grandzissant
  3. titre, tsitre
  4. attendu, attendzu
  5. nomenclature, nomenclatsure
  6. perdu, perdzu
  7. identité, identsité
  8. direction, dzirection
  9. introduction, introdzuction
  10. objectif, objectsif
  11. continuer, contsinuer
  12. voiture, voitsure
  13. convertir, convertsir
  14. maintiendra, maintsiendra
  15. turbo, tsurbo
  16. répondu, répondzu
  17. entièrement, entsièrement
  18. satisfaire, satsisfaire
  19. ouverture, ouvertsure
  20. distance, dzistance
  21. effectuer, effectsuer
  22. ordinaire, ordzinaire
  23. utile, utsile
  24. répandu, répandzu
  25. modique, modzique
  26. utilisation, utsilisation
  27. traditionnel, tradzitionnel
  28. audio, audzio
  29. cardiaque, cardziaque
  30. attirer, attsirer
  31. sophistiqué, sophistsiqué
  32. produit, prodzuit
  33. mondial, mondzial
  34. sportif, sportsif
  35. asiatique, asiatsique
  36. typique, tsypique
  37. dispendieux, dzispendzieux
  38. petit, petsit
  39. conducteur, condzucteur
  40. splendide, splendzide
  41. alternative, alternatsive
  42. industrie, indzustrie
  43. distinguer, dzistinguer
  44. fluidité, fluidzité
  45. introduire, introdzuire
  46. pratique, pratsique
  47. estimer, estsimer
  48. disponible, dzisponible
  49. routier, routsier
  50. intermédiaire, intermédziaire
  51. dédié, dz
  52. fantastique, fantastsique
  53. quotidien, quotsidzien
  54. imperceptible, imperceptsible
  55. compétitif, compétsitsif
  56. partie, partsie
  57. bâtir, tsir
  58. moitié, moits
  59. prestige, prestsige
  60. style, stsyle
  61. gestion, gestsion
  62. dynamique, dzynamique
  63. conduire, condzuire
  64. Audi, Audzi
  65. condition, condzition
  66. positif, positsif
  67. adulte, adzulte
  68. distinctif, dzistinctsif
  69. multimédia, multsimédzia
  70. additionnel, addzitionnel
  71. divisé, dzivisé
  72. automatique, automatsique
  73. réduction, dzuction
  74. stimulant, stsimulant
  75. rapidité, rapidzité
  76. intimidant, intsimidant
  77. commodité, commodzité
  78. distribution, dzistribution
  79. séduire, dzuire
  80. sculpture, sculptsure
  81. actualiser, actsualiser
  82. ressortir, ressortsir
  83. activé, actsivé
  84. difficile, dzifficile
  85. conceptuel, conceptsuel
  86. applaudi, applaudzi
  87. négatif, négatsif
  88. futur, futsur
  89. dimension, dzimension
  90. rendu, rendzu
  91. diamètre, dziamètre
  92. type, tsype
  93. assortiment, assortsiment
  94. sentir, sentsir
  95. naturel, natsurel
  96. situé, sits
  97. diminution, dziminution
  98. éditeur, édziteur
  99. indications, indzications
  100. onctueux, onctsueux

30 words from the magazine that contain the letters d or t but are never dzidzuated or tsitsuated:

tout, sensation, orienté, options, automobile, temps, décevant, terme, désirer, hybride, technologie, route, intéressant, tendance, donc, génération, dans, stabilité, dépassement, mastodonte, départ, rétroaction, certain, prestance, comportement, modèle, étonnement, cadran, motorisation, traction

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