Posts Tagged ‘égoportrait’

I came across an example of the word égoportrait in use in the Montréal edition of the Métro newspaper. Égoportrait, you’ll remember, is an OQLF-approved word meant to replace the English-derived selfie.

In the Métro article, Catherine Deneuve is quoted as saying that she hates selfies:

Elle avoue également «détester les selfies» dans une interview publiée dans le Journal du Dimanche […].

In an interview published in the Journal du Dimanche, she also admits to hating selfies.

Métro (Montréal edition), “Vie de stars,” 11 May 2015, p.17.

A bit farther along in the article, we read that the Cannes Film Festival has launched a campaign this year to restrict the taking of selfies on the red carpet:

Notons que le Festival de Cannes mène cette année une campagne pour limiter les égoportraits sur le tapis rouge, une pratique jugée «ridicule et grotesque» par son délégué général, Thierry Frémaux.

It should be noted that the Cannes Film Festival has launched a campaign this year to restrict selfies from being taken on the red carpet, a practice deemed “ridiculous and grotesque” by managing director Thierry Frémaux.

Métro (Montréal edition), “Vie de stars,” 11 May 2015, p.17.

I don’t feel that égoportrait and selfie are entirely synonymous. Because of the égo prefix, égoportrait might work if you want to shed a negative light on the practice, like in this article. Selfie, on the other hand, doesn’t immediately sound negative to me. Could you imagine casually saying that you’re going to take an égoportrait of yourself for your Facebook profile? I think the OQLF would’ve done well to consider this before backing the word.

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I saw this first image — an ad from the SAQ — when walking past a bus shelter. Click on the image to see the full size. The text in the ad reads:

Aspergez-vous de bruine en pouche-pouche ou passez à la SAQ Spray yourself with mist from a spray bottle or visit the SAQ

What on earth does this mean?

The SAQ is where you buy wine, spirits and liquors in Québec. It’s similar to the liquor corporations, commissions and control boards in other provinces, like Ontario’s LCBO. SAQ stands for la Société des alcools du Québec.

In this ad, the SAQ is telling us we can keep cool this summer by a) spraying mist on ourselves with a spray bottle or b) getting drunk by consuming refreshingly cold alcoholic drinks bought at the SAQ.

Do you remember the words feeling, chaudasse and chaud from entry #808 to describe two different states of drunkenness? The expressions être chaudasse and être feeling mean only partially drunk, like when you’re buzzed or tipsy, but être chaud is used to describe being completely drunk.

And what about the term un pouche-pouche, which refers to a spray bottle? We first saw an example of pouche-pouche in entry #800. In that example, a mother-to-be with a slightly detached placenta asked in an online forum if it’s okay to take a dip in the pool on hot days. Another woman provided her with this advice to keep cool:

Moi, j’ai toujours un pouche-pouche d’eau dans le réfrigérateur. Quand je me peux pus, je m’arrose de cette eau très froide et OH que ça fait du bien! I always keep a spray bottle filled with water in the refrigerator. When I can’t take it anymore, I spray myself with the cold water and OH does it ever feel good!

The mother-to-be referred to her slightly detached placenta as un léger décollement placentaire. I do try my best to find the most relevant French vocabulary for you to learn, you know!

Oh, and do you remember in entries #762 and #771 how we looked at the use of the word un selfie in French? And how the OQLF has endorsed the use of the words une autophoto and un égoportrait in an attempt to replace selfie?

In #762, I posted the image of an ad from Vidéotron where the word selfie appeared in French. But, just the other day, I noticed that Fido (another mobile phone company) had chosen to use the word autophoto instead at their kiosk in a shopping centre.

The text in the image reads:

Partagez une autophoto de votre chien sur les réseaux sociaux Share your dog’s selfie on social networks

This doesn’t mean the word selfie has already been replaced in regular language, of course. Despite the use of autophoto in this example, my guess is that selfie is here to stay.

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Un selfie spatial

Recently on OffQc, we saw the image of a sign in Montréal that used the word le selfie on it. The selfie is a photo taken of yourself with your phone.

Meanwhile, the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) has stated their preference for two different words in an attempt to replace selfie:

une autophoto, and
un égoportrait

As a learner of French, have you ever wondered if you should actually use the words that the OQLF prefers? It’s up to you, of course, but remember that a word preferred by the OQLF is just a proposition, unless it takes hold.

An OQLF-preferred word isn’t necessarily the actual word in use in Québec. It’s the word that the OQLF has decided they’d like to see in use, but this is not the same thing as what the Québécois themselves say in regular conversations.

I think it’s safe to say the québécois word for “selfie” is still selfie.

In a Wikipédia article about the word selfie, the introduction reads:

Un selfie (déclinaison du terme anglais self, « soi »), autophoto ou encore égoportrait1 au Québec, est un autoportrait photographique réalisé avec un appareil photographique numérique, un téléphone mobile (téléphone intelligent ou photophone) voire une webcam puis téléversé sur les réseaux sociaux (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, et autres Flickr) […].

I take issue with the wording: égoportrait au Québec. Québec and the OQLF are not the same thing. In theory, égoportrait may have a certain currency in Québec because the OQLF has backed it, but that doesn’t make it the standard word in use by speakers of the language.

I think it’s important to remember that an OQLF-preferred word is not a Québécois French word unless it’s adopted by the population en masse.

My opinion: as a learner of French, use an OQLF-preferred word if the native speakers have chosen to adopt it. Otherwise, wish it good luck and stick with what the natives say. What do you think?

Image: Wikipedia

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6 gigs, ça fait beaucoup de selfies

6 gigs, ça fait beaucoup de selfies

I saw this ad in the street from Vidéotron advertising a smartphone special.

6 Go
Ça fait beaucoup de selfies

6 GB
That’s a lot of selfies

Sorry for the quality of the image. There was a lot of light when I took the photo, and I had to position myself to avoid getting my fat face de bœuf in the reflection.

Go (gigaoctet), gigabyte
Mo (mégaoctet), megabyte
ko (kilooctet), kilobyte

Gigaoctet is often shortened to gig when speaking, and mégaoctet to meg.

The selfie is a picture taken of yourself with your phone. When I was at university, before cellphones and later smartphones took over the planet (and before I had even sent my very first email ever), we used to playfully call the selfie une autophoto in French!

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Update (2014/04/11)

Some readers have made comments that I’d like to add here. On Twitter, @desrosier_j suggests moivatar for selfie. In the comments below, iericksen mentioned égoportrait. On the OffQc Facebook page, Maria pointed out that the OQLF has already recommended autophoto and égoportrait.

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