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Posts Tagged ‘fin’

Can you guess how a woman said “he seems really friendly” in French? Make an attempt, and then read on.

Métro Saint-Michel, à Montréal [février 2016]

Métro Saint-Michel, à Montréal [février 2016]

Maybe your guess included the adjective gentil, but the woman didn’t use it. Instead, she used the adjective fin. Fin (masculine) and fine (feminine) are very often used to describe someone as being nice, friendly.

Really can be said as très, vraiment in French, of course, but that’s not what the woman said. Instead, she said ben. It’s a contraction of bien, and it rhymes with the French word fin we just looked at. We could also spell it bin, but you’ll most often see it spelled ben.

What about to seem here? You can use the expression avoir l’air, meaning to seem, to look. For example, you might say what the woman said as y’a l’air ben fin, where y’a is a spoken language contraction of il a.

But… that’s not what she said either!

Here is what she said:

Y’a d’l’air ben fin.

The expression she used is avoir de l’air (pronounced avoir d’l’air), which is an informal variation on the expression avoir l’air.

Here are a a few more examples of this:

Y’a l’air ben sérieux.
Y’a d’l’air ben sérieux.
He seems, looks really serious.

T’as l’air ben fine.
T’as d’l’air ben fine.
You seem, look really friendly.

T’as rhymes with pas; it’s a contraction of tu as.

Ç’a l’air compliqué.
Ç’a d’l’air compliqué.
It seems, looks complicated.

Ç’a sounds like sa; it’s a contraction of ça a.

Ç’a l’air que non.
Ç’a d’l’air que non.
It seems not. It doesn’t appear so. It doesn’t look like it.

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I took a look at some of the search terms visitors have used recently to land on OffQc via Google. In this post, I’ll try to provide the answers these visitors were looking for.

The search terms (in blue) are reproduced here exactly as the visitor spelled them in Google.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #1:
french canadian pronunciation of the word “pet” (fart)

The French word for fart is un pet. What I think you were probably wondering is whether or not the t on the end of pet is pronounced. The answer is yes. You’ll hear pet pronounced pètt in Québec.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #2:
le mot quebecois away la

The word you’re looking for is enweille or aweille. (The weille part sounds like the English word way. Other spellings are used as well, like awèye and enwèye.) Saying enweille! to someone is a way of motivating that person (as in you can do it!) or telling that person to get a move on, to hurry up (as in come on!).

For example, a coach might say enweille! to his players to encourage them (i.e., let’s go, you can do it!), or an angry parent might say it to his dillydallying child (i.e., come on, let’s go, move it!).

The expression let’s go! is also used in French, and it might be used alongside enweille:

Enweille, let’s go, let’s go!
You can do it, let’s go, let’s go!

Enweille, let’s go, let’s go!
Hurry up, let’s go, let’s go!

The Google searcher also wrote la in his search terms, which is of course là. can be used with enweille for emphasis: Enweille, là!

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #3:
meaning je capote

Je capote can mean either I love it! (when happy) or I’m flipping out! (when angry).

For example, if someone’s really excited about something (winning a prize, for example), that person might say je capote! (I love it! This is so awesome!). A person who’s really angry about something might also say je capote! (I’m flipping out! I’m freaking out!).

The spontaneously used pronunciation is in fact j’capote, which sounds like ch’capote. 

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #4:
expression prendre une brosse

The Québécois expression prendre une brosse means to get drunk, wasted, sloshed, etc. A variation on this expression is virer une brosse.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #5
tu es fine in English

Tu es fine literally means you’re nice, you’re kind. It can also be translated as that’s kind of you. Fine is the feminine form. The masculine form is fin.

Remember, tu es contracts to t’es in regular speech (sounds like ), so you’ll hear it said spontaneously as t’es fine (for a woman) and t’es fin (for a man).

Other ways you can hear it said are: t’es ben fine, t’es ben fin and t’es don’ ben fine, t’es don’ ben fin. Ben sounds like the French word bain; it’s a contraction of bien. Ben fine and ben fin mean very kind, very nice. Don’ (from donc) adds even more emphasis. T’es don’ ben fine! (to a woman) You’re really kind! You’re really nice! That’s so very kind of you!

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #6
capoti bain bain raide

What you want is capoter ben ben raide. Here’s the verb capoter again. Capoter ben raide means to totally flip out (in anger), to flip out big time, to totally lose it, etc.

Again, ben is a contraction of bien; it sounds like the French word bain. It means really here, and it can be repeated for emphasis. Raide literally means stiff, but it’s used here to reinforce, like ben.

J’ai capoté ben raide!
I totally flipped out! I totally lost it! I lost it big time!

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #7
en calvaire québécois

In a recent post, we saw that être en tabarnak is a vulgar way of saying to be angry, similar to the English to be pissed off. Être en calvaire means the same thing. If you’re en calvaire, then you’re pissed off.

En calvaire can also be used as a rude reinforcer, like a vulgar version of the word très. (This goes for en tabarnak as well.) I’ fait chaud en calvaire, for example, means it’s really goddamn hot out.

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Here are a few more examples of French overheard in Montréal today, and that I’ve managed to remember long enough to create a new post! 😀

Y’a-tu une caisse pop?

Is there a (Desjardins) credit union (around here)?

A man who passed by in his car asked me this.

Y’a-tu is an informal equivalent of est-ce qu’il y a? You’ll remember that y’a is a spoken pronunciation of il y a. The tu after it turns it into a yes-no question.

Caisse pop is an informal abbreviation of caisse populaire. Desjardins is a caisse populaire.

Attention à gauche!

Look out on your left!

A man on a bike yelled this just before passing by some people walking on a bike path. He said à gauche because he was coming up quickly from behind the walkers and intended to pass on their left.

It’s also possible to say just à gauche! or attention!

Jus d’ananas

Pineapple juice

The final s in ananas isn’t pronounced — anana.

The letter a appears three times in ananas — you’ll probably hear the last a pronounced like the vowel sound heard in the word bas in this video (at 0:15) or in the words pas and chat in this video (at 0:20). The other two sound like the vowel sound in la, sa, ta, etc.

T’es ben fin.

That’s really nice/kind of you.
(literally, you’re really nice/kind)

Fin is often used in the sense of nice or kind, like gentil. The feminine form is fine. T’es, an informal contraction of tu es, sounds like té. Ben, from bien, rhymes with fin. (A better spelling would be bin, which is phonetic, but I use ben here because it’s the more common spelling.) Ben means really here.

If this had been said to a woman, it would be t’es ben fine.

Even though fin and fine resemble English words, they’re not — pronounce them as French words. As for gentil, remember that the final L isn’t pronounced. In the feminine form gentille, the final ille sounds the ille in fille. Be careful not to use that ille sound in the masculine gentil, which just ends in an i sound.

C’est gentil, merci!
That’s kind of you, thanks!

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In the past two posts, we’ve looked at some language overheard on the radio:

Here’s more:

A speaker on the radio was talking about an April Fool’s joke played on someone. He described the joke as being vraiment pas fin, but funny nonetheless.

C’est vraiment pas fin, mais ça fait rire!
It’s really not nice [what they did], but it’s funny!

Fin is the masculine form, and fine the feminine.

This adjective can be used to describe a person: fin / pas fin and fine / pas fine mean nice / not nice.

T’es pas fin avec moi.
T’es pas fine avec moi.
You’re not nice to me.
You’re not good to me.

The feminine form fine might resemble an English word, but it’s not. Be sure to pronounce it as a French word. The same goes for the masculine fin.

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OffQc

Yes! Entry #600!

As #600 approached, I got curious as to the most googled québécois words and phrases that led people to OffQc since it began in December 2010… and there they are in the image above!

You can click on it to make it bigger.

Do you know them all?

Thanks everybody for continuing to read OffQc. It’s a privilege to have your attention.

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