Posts Tagged ‘faque’

I went digging around the online version of Urbania for some expressions that you might like to learn. I’ve picked 7 and included some notes below.

1. On n’a pas besoin de gars pour se faire du fun!

= We don’t need guys to have ourselves some fun!

The author of this quote joked that girls who are secretly sad about being single say this to each other during girls’ night out on Valentine’s Day.

Gars is pronounced gâ. The final rs is not pronounced in gars. If you pronounce the rs, you’ll end up saying garce, which means “bitch” in French.

Other examples using le fun: j’ai eu du fun (I had fun), c’est le fun (it’s fun), une journée le fun (a fun day).

2. Avec le recul, j’ai honte en taaaaaa…

= Looking back, I’m embarrassed as hellllll…

The author of this sentence was talking about the embarrassment he felt when thinking back to something silly he had posted on Facebook.

The expression en ta is a shortened version of en tabarnak.

Another example: ça va mal en ta (things are damn awful).

3. à chaque fois qu’on voit une pitoune dans une pub de char

= every time there’s some hot chick in a car ad

Even though une pitoune is a very attractive girl, this word won’t be taken as a compliment by females. It’s similar to referring to a female as “a (hot) chick.”

The word pub is short for publicité. It can refer to ads on television or in print.

Words you’ll come across for “car” in Québec include: une auto, un char, une voiture.

Rather than just chaque fois (every time), you’ll hear people say à chaque fois very frequently.

4. Tu te flattes la bedaine.

= You pat your belly.

If you’ve got a belly, tu as de la bedaine. If it’s a really big one, tu as une grosse bedaine!

If someone’s got no shirt on, you can use the expression être en bedaine to describe what he’s wearing (nothing but his belly!).

Flatter means to pat, stroke.

5. Té crissment épuisée.

= Yer goddamn exhausted.

In entry #727 about two vulgar words for penis and vagina in Québécois French, you read an example of the verb s’en crisser (to not give a fuck, to not give a shit, etc.), which was je m’en crisse. In today’s example, we discover the related word crissment (or crissement).

is an informal reduction of tu es. This informal pronunciation is probably more often spelled t’es, but here we discover té, which means the same thing.

Épuisée is the feminine form of this adjective.

6. quelqu’un qui fourre le système

= someone who screws the system, who fucks the system

The author of this expression was putting forth his opinion about the difference between people who receive welfare out of a genuine need and those who milk the system for all it’s worth:

[…] il y a une GROSSE différence entre quelqu’un qui a besoin d’aide et quelqu’un qui fourre le système.

There’s a HUGE difference between someone in need and someone who fucks the system.

_ _ _


1-2. Jordan Dupuis, « Le monde selon J : La Saint-Valentin sur Facebook », Urbania, 17 février 2014.

3. Pascal Henrard, « Y a-t-il trop de féministes dans Urbania? », Urbania, 12 février 2014.

4-5. Véronique Grenier, « Amour », Urbania, 12 février 2014.

6. Jonathan Roberge, « Enlève ta banane de sur ma face », Urbania, 7 février 2014.

Read Full Post »

I have no idea who this guy is.

Just another stock photo. I have no idea who this guy is.

Here’s some everyday French to learn taken from a conversation that a guy in his 30s in Montréal had with a co-worker on the phone.

We can tell from the language that this guy is on familiar terms with the person he spoke to.

One of the first things the guy asked when the other person answered the phone was:

Je dérange-tu?
Am I disturbing you? Are you busy?

Remember, the -tu in this question doesn’t mean “you.” Instead, it’s an informal yes-no question word. We reviewed this in entry #703.

Tu is always pronounced tsu in Québec, whether it means “you” or used as the informal yes-no question marker. It’s a tsitsu word!

[In the Tranches de vie video from the Listen section, the girl asks the same question but in a different way: je te dérange?]

Throughout the guy’s conversation, he used the expression fait que a lot. It’s used essentially in the same way that anglophones say “so,” or like the French word alors.

Here are a few examples of things he said using fait que:

Fait que c’est bon.
So that’s good.

Fait que c’est ça.
So there you have it.

Fait que tu peux m’appeler.
So you can call me.

Fait que je vais t’envoyer le texte.
So I’m going to send you the text.

He also asked for his co-worker’s opinion by asking:

Qu’est-ce t’en penses?
(sounds like: kess t’en penses?)
Whaddya think?

If we remove the informal contractions, we get: qu’est-ce que tu en penses? The question form qu’est-ce que often gets shortened to qu’est-ce (sounds like “kess”) before the subject tu (another example: qu’est-ce tu veux?). The combination tu en often contracts to t’en (qu’est-ce t’en penses?).

At the end of his conversation, he ended with:

OK, on se r’parle! (verb: se reparler)
OK, we’ll be in touch again!

A final note about the yes-no question marker -tu from above:

The yes-no -tu is used at an informal level of speech very frequently in Québec. This doesn’t mean that est-ce que isn’t used in Québec, however.

An example of a yes-no question that the same guy asked during his conversation using est-ce que is:

Est-ce que tu penses que tu peux faire les modifications dans le texte?
Do you think you can make the changes in the text?

Read Full Post »

During a conversation in French last weekend, a young woman in her 20s used three expressions over and over while speaking:

1. Là, j’étais comme…
2. Moi là…
3. Fa’ que là…

Here’s what they mean (because you’ll definitely be hearing them during French conversations):

  • Là, j’étais comme…

This is similar to the English “then I was (just) like…” used by certain people when telling a story about something that happened.

She pronounced j’étais informally as j’tais. When j collides with t, the j makes a ch sound.

Là, j’étais comme : « De quoi tu parles?? »
Then I was like, “What are you talking about??”

  • Moi là…

She often gave her opinion about something by starting off with moi là. It’s similar to saying “personally” or “as for me” in English.

Moi là, j’aime pas ça.
Personally, I don’t like it.

Sometimes it’s also said with pis (an informal pronunciation of puis) when relating events. It’s just an informal way of saying “and.”

Pis moi là, j’étais comme : « De quoi tu parles?? »
And me, I was like, “What are you talking about??”

  • Fa’ que là…

This is similar to saying “so then” in English, where fa’ que (from fait que) means “so” and means “then.”

Fa’ que là, j’ai dit : « De quoi tu parles?? »
So then I said, “What are you talking about??”

She always said fa’ que là with three syllables, but you’ll also hear it said with two: fak là.

Read Full Post »

Here are five very useful examples of conversational French that have come up in conversations or that I’ve overheard in Montréal over the past few days.

You can read the notes for each example for tips on how to give a more natural feel to your French when you speak and to understand what you hear.

1. Comment il s’appelle, lui?

What’s his name? What’s that guy’s name?

When asking about names, you’ve learned to ask comment s’appelle-t-il? and comment t’appelles-tu?, etc., using the inversion after comment.

It’s perfectly correct, but it’s not usually what people say spontaneously. The person who asked comment il s’appelle, lui? didn’t use the inversion after comment. Similarly, you can ask comment tu t’appelles?

You’ll hear il pronounced very frequently as i during conversations. When this informal pronunciation appears in writing, it’s almost always written as y. The question sounded like comment y s’appelle, lui? There’s no liaison (no t sound) between comment and y.

2. T’as pas mal de stock.

You’ve got a lot of stuff.

This was said to me when I was carrying several bags of stuff. The word stock doesn’t refer to merchandise here. It just means “stuff” or “things.”

Pas mal here isn’t a negative. It’s a set expression meaning “a lot” or “quite a bit.” Another example: j’étais pas mal fatigué, “I was pretty tired.”

When using pas mal, keep the words pas and mal together in the same breath when you say them.

Don’t say: j’étais pas / mal fatigué.
Say: j’étais / pas mal fatigué.

Using the example from above:
Don’t say: t’as pas / mal de stock.
Say: t’as / pas mal de stock.

T’as is an informal way of saying tu as.

3. Fait que, dans le fond…

So, basically…

The expression fait que tends to pepper a lot of informal conversations in French. It means “so,” like alors or donc. For example: fait que, dans le fond, t’as deux choix, “so, basically, you’ve got two choices.” The expression fait que is a shortened form of ça fait que.

Fait que has two syllables, but you’ll also hear it pronounced with one as faque (sounds like fak).

As for dans le fond, it’s used in the same way that English speakers say “basically” to resume. You’ll hear faque dans le fond… just as often as the English expression “so, basically…” (in other words, often!).

4. Elle veut pas.

She doesn’t want to.

The speaker didn’t say elle ne veut pas. She said elle veut pas. To tell the truth, she didn’t say elle veut pas either. She said a veut pas!

Not only did she not include ne in her negative sentence, she pronounced the subject elle informally as a. If this happens, it’s only when elle is a subject. You’d never hear someone pronounce c’est pour elle as “c’est pour a” because elle isn’t a subject here.

It’s always acceptable for you to pronounce the subject elle as elle, even during informal conversations. Native speakers certainly don’t expect to hear a non-native pronounce elle informally as a.

Back to the example above — if you still wanted to maintain some informality when you speak, you could just leave out ne and say elle veut pas, avoiding pronouncing elle as a. Leaving out ne during regular, informal conversations with friends and co-workers will go unnoticed.

Of course, you can also say the full elle ne veut pas, no problem. It’s just that in spontaneous speech during informal conversations, ne is largely absent. But you don’t have to adopt this if you don’t want to.

5. C’est quoi la saveur? C’est quoi la grandeur?

What flavour is it? What size is it?

A customer in a café asked the employee working at the cash about a drink they serve. He wanted to know what flavour it was: c’est quoi la saveur? He also wanted to know what size it was offered in: c’est quoi la grandeur?

Questions using c’est quoi? are very commonly heard in French, for example: c’est quoi le problème?, “what’s the problem?” and c’est quoi la différence?, “what’s the difference?”

OffQc likes you, fait que like OffQc back on Facebook!

Read Full Post »

Thomas is a teenaged boy in the television comedy Les Parent. He and his brothers typically receive irrational and difficult-to-understand lessons about life from their parents.

See if you can decipher this near-incomprehensible quote by Thomas. In it, he provides his parents with a summary of what he’s supposed to have just learned from them about buying a car:

« Faque dans le fond, je peux pas acheter une auto qui coûte trop pas cher, mais j’ai pas d’argent non plus pour en acheter une qui coûte pas pas cher. Je peux pas en acheter une qui a trop roulé, ni une qui a trop pas roulé. Pis idéalement, ça serait mieux que je connaisse pas trop le vendeur, mais faudrait pas que je le connaisse trop pas non plus, c’est ça? »

This quote was posted on the Les Parent Facebook page.

I’ll risk a translation into English. To maintain the same level of incomprehensibility, I’ll translate pas cher (inexpensive) literally as “not expensive.” Here goes…

“So basically, I can’t buy a car that costs too not expensive, but I don’t have the money to buy one that costs not not expensive either. I can’t buy one that’s been too driven, nor one that’s been too not driven. And ideally, it would be better to know the car seller not too well, but not not too well either. Is that what you’re telling me?”

Hmm. I think Thomas will be taking the bus!

Did you wonder about the meaning of faque dans le fond at the beginning of the quote?

We can translate this as “so, basically” in English, where faque means “so” and dans le fond means “basically.”

Faque is an informal usage, a contraction of (ça) fait que. You’ll hear faque very frequently during informal conversations.

[Quote taken from the Les Parent Facebook page, 22 February 2013.]

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts