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Posts Tagged ‘fun’

This list of 13 English-derived words used in Québécois French is, of course, nowhere near exhaustive. Even if you choose not to use these words yourself, do learn to understand them to increase your understanding of spoken French.

Caveat lector:

The words below are informal usages in Québec. If you’re required to use standard language (e.g., on a French exam), avoid using these words unless you know what you’re doing. That said, these words are fine to use during informal conversations with francophone friends. For each word, I’ve provided an equivalent in standard Québécois French (SQF) for the times when you need or want to avoid using a colloquial, English-derived one.

1. TOUGH

Pronounced as though written toffe; can be used as an adjective or noun. C’est tough à faire. It’s tough to do. C’est tough à accepter. It’s tough to accept. As a noun, tough means tough guy. Lui, c’t’un tough. He’s a tough guy. (C’t’un is a contraction of c’est un. It sounds like the French word un preceded by st, as though it were st’un.) There’s also the verb tougher, which sounds like toffé. Tougher means to tough out, to put up with. J’ai toughé ça deux mois. I toughed it out for two months. I put up with it for two months. SQF: dur (instead of tough), un dur (instead of un tough) and supporter or endurer (instead of tougher).

2. ROUGH

Rhymes with tough; in other words, it sounds like roffe. J’ai eu une adolescence pas mal rough. I had a pretty rough adolescence. (The part that means pretty here is pas mal. Say these two words together; they form a set expression.) SQF: dur.

3. TOUNE

Feminine noun meaning song, tune. ‘Est tellement bonne, c’te toune-là. That’s such a good song. (‘Est is a contraction of elle est; it sounds like è. C’te is a contraction of cette; it sounds like the French word te with an s sound at the beginning of it, as though it were s’te.) SQF: une chanson.

4. CUTE

Adjective pronounced as though it were spelled kioute. C’est tellement cute! That’s so cute! Y’est tellement cute, ton chien. Your dog’s so cute. (Y’est is a contraction of il est; it sounds like yé.) SQF: mignon.

5. FULL

Adverb meaning very, so. Pronounced like the French word foule. C’est full cute! That’s so cute! C’est full malade! That’s so amazing! The use of full is more typical of younger speakers. SQF: tellement.

6. WEIRD

Adjective pronounced as in English and meaning the same thing. C’t’assez weird, ton affaire. What happened (is happening) to you is pretty weird. Your situation is pretty weird. That’s pretty weird what’s going on (for you). (C’t’assez is a contraction of c’est assez. It sounds like assez preceded by st, as though it were stacé.) SQF: bizarre.

7. GANG

Feminine noun pronounced as in English; used to refer to a group of friends, co-workers. Amène ta gang! Bring your friends along! J’aime ça, sortir en gang. I like going out with friends. Aller souper avec la gang du bureau. To go out for supper with my friends from work. SQF: (mes, tes…) amis, (mes, tes…) collègues.

8. GAME

Pronounced as in English; can be used as an adjective or feminine noun. As a feminine noun, it means the same thing as match, which also happens to be from English. Grosse game à soir! Big game on tonight! As an adjective, it means willing. Es-tu game? You game? You up for it? SQF: un match, une partie (instead of une game); être d’accord (instead of être game).

9. FUN

Masculine noun pronounced as though written fonne. C’est l’fun! This is fun! It’s fun! C’t’un gars l’fun. C’t’une fille l’fun. He’s a fun guy. She’s a fun girl. When used adjectively, fun is preceded by le, which contracts to l’. (C’t’un and c’t’une are contractions of c’est un and c’est une. They sound like the French words un and une preceded by st, as though they were st’un and st’une. Gars rhymes with the French words pas, cas, bas. Don’t pronounce the rs.) On va avoir du fun! We’re gonna have fun! SQF: amusant (as an adjective); s’amuser or avoir du plaisir (instead of avoir du fun).

10. JOB

Feminine noun used literally in the sense of job and also in certain colloquial expressions. Une job d’été. A summer job. J’ai perdu ma job. I lost my job. Ça va faire la job! That’ll do the job! That’ll do the trick! SQF: un emploi, un travail; ça fera l’affaire (instead of ça va faire la job).

11. NAPKIN

A feminine noun meaning napkin, serviette. Amène des napkins! Bring some napkins! Napkin is pronounced as in English, but shift the stress to the final syllable instead. In the plural napkins, the final s isn’t pronounced. SQF: une serviette.

12. TATTOO

Masculine noun pronounced as though written tatou. J’ai un tattoo su’l’mollet. I’ve got a tattoo on my calf. (Su’l’ is a contraction of sur le. It’s pronounced exactly as written, as sul.) SQF: un tatouage.

13. SHIFT

Masculine noun, pronounced as though spelled chiff. It sounds much like the way an anglophone would say shiff, not sheef. Shift de jour, shift de soir, shift de nuit, day shift, evening shift, night shift. J’travaille su’l’shift de soir. I work on the evening shift. (Su’l’ is a contraction of sur le. It’s pronounced exactly as written, as sul.) Shift is sometimes analysed by francophones as being the French word chiffre. This is because shift and chiffre are both pronounced as chiff, at least in colloquial language. This means that, in informal writing written off the cuff (e.g. a text message), you might see chiffre de jour, chiffre de soir, chiffre de nuit, but it’s still pronounced chiff. SQF: un quart (quart de jour, quart de soir, quart de nuit).

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The OffQc guide 1000 Québécois French will help you to increase your vocabulary and knowledge of essential, everyday expressions. It’s a condensed version of the first 1000 posts on OffQc; you can use it to become acquainted with the most important Québécois French vocabulary and expressions for the first time, or to review a large amount of material in less time.

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Here’s another funny text message conversation from Les Parent, found here on the show’s Facebook page.

The conversation takes place between a mother (grey) and her son Thomas (blue). Lots of great stuff to learn or review in this.

You can click on the image of the phone to see a larger version, but I’ve included the text below as well.

I’ve included notes below about the underlined words.

  • Thomas! Viens donc! On fait un bonhomme de neige!
  • Yark!! Non! Y’a genre un blizzard dehors!!!
  • T’es plate! Température parfaite pour du fun en famille!
  • Ça compte pour du fun en famille si t’es toute seule dehors? P’pa fait dire d’arrêter de le texter. On écoute un film.

Y’a is a spoken contraction of il y a. Genre is used here like English’s informal like. Y’a genre un blizzard dehors!!!, there’s like a blizzard outside!!!

The adjective plate (also spelled platte) means boring here. T’es plate means you’re no fun, you’re boring. Remember, t’es is a spoken contraction of tu es, which sounds like té.

Température means temperature, of course, but here we can understand it to mean weather. This is a Québécois usage. The Usito dictionary gives us a few examples of this: annulé en raison de la mauvaise température (cancelled because of the bad weather), le retour de la belle température (the return of nice weather), profiter pleinement de la belle température (to really enjoy the nice weather).

Avoir du fun means to have fun. Du fun en famille, family fun.

P’pa is a contraction of papa.

Texter means to text, as in to send text messages.

Écouter un film means the same thing as regarder un film, to watch a film. Écouter is often used instead of regarder when talking about watching the TV, a movie, a show, etc.

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On risque d'avoir du pas pire fun!

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!

I really like the wording that Lisa LeBlanc used in her Facebook update:

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!
We just might have some not-bad fun!

If this sentence leaves you feeling a little WTF, don’t worry — we’re gonna pick it apart good.

Let’s start backwards from the end of this interesting sentence.

>>> avoir du fun

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!

The expression avoir du fun is “to have fun.”

Tu vas avoir du fun.
You’re going to have fun.

J’ai eu du fun.
I had fun.

>>> pas pire

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!

Pas pire is used in the same way as English’s “not bad” or like the other French expression pas mal.

Comment ça va?
Pas pire, pas pire!
— How’s it going?
— Not bad, not bad!

— Qu’est-ce t’en penses?
C’est pas pire.
— What d’ya think?
— It’s not bad.

Inquiète-toi pas. C’est pas si pire que ça.
Don’t worry. It’s not that bad.

If something’s “not bad,” or pas pire, does that mean it’s good? Not necessarily. But if one thing’s for sure, it’s not full-on bad. Or, at least, that’s the case with the three examples above.

Lisa’s Facebook update is different though. We really can interpret her use of pas pire as meaning “good” (and not just good but very good indeed). Saying “not bad” here is a form of understatement meant to make you smile.

Even more interesting is that she uses the expression pas pire in an unusual way — like an adjective that describes the fun to be had:

du fun — du pas pire fun
some fun — some not-bad fun

>>> risquer

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!

Literally, risquer (de faire quelque chose) means “to risk (doing something),” but we can translate risquer better here as “might” or “just might.”

Tu risques d’avoir du fun!
You just might have fun!

Écoute ça, tu risques d’aimer.
Listen to this, you might like it.

This usage might surprise you (or “risks” surprising you?) because there’s no real risk involved in these examples; there isn’t the negative sense you might have expected.

In colloquial Québécois French, the verb risquer is often used like this, in the general sense of “might.” There doesn’t necessarily have to be the risk of a negative outcome for it to be used.

If you haven’t already, check out Lisa LeBlanc and her music.

Mais attention — vous risquez d’aimer. 😀

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You’ll find all OffQc entries related to Lisa LeBlanc here.

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We’ve seen before that the expression c’est le fun can mean “it’s fun” in Québécois French.

C’est le fun can mean something else, though. Can you guess what it means in these sentences?

  • C’est le fun de te voir heureuse.
  • C’est le fun de savoir que tout va bien.
  • C’est le fun que tu m’en parles.
  • C’est le fun de pouvoir m’entraîner avec lui.
  • C’est le fun de recevoir tous ces mots d’encouragement.
  • C’est le fun que les journées rallongent.
  • C’est le fun que ça commence à marcher.

It doesn’t feel quite right to say that c’est le fun means “it’s fun” in these sentences, does it? That’s because le fun here means “great,” or génial.

C’est le fun de te voir heureuse.
It’s great to see you happy.

C’est le fun de savoir que tout va bien.
It’s great to know that everything is going well.

C’est le fun que tu m’en parles.
It’s great that you’re talking to me about it.

C’est le fun de pouvoir m’entraîner avec lui.
It’s great to be able to train with him.

C’est le fun de recevoir tous ces mots d’encouragement.
It’s great to receive all these words of encouragement.

C’est le fun que les journées rallongent.
It’s great that the days are getting longer.

C’est le fun que ça commence à marcher.
It’s great that it’s starting to work.

Here’s a pronunciation tip: c’est le fun (three syllables) is often pronounced as c’est l’fun (two syllables). To pronounce it this second way, first say c’est. Now say c’est again with an L sound on the end. (It sounds sort of like the English word “sail.”) Then say fun.

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French-language purists will tell you not to use the words below, but you gotta know ’em if you want to understand the Québécois!

We won’t concern ourselves with the ideas of the purists here. We’ll let them squabble amongst themselves as we get down to the more important work of learning French.

Even though these words are often referred to as anglicismes or as examples of franglais, I don’t see a reason why we can’t just think of them as French words that entered the language by way of English.

That said, it’s important to know that these words are reserved to informal speaking situations. They’re not used in formal speech or writing.

The examples below are not the only way those ideas can be expressed in French. For example, although you’ll hear a tattoo called un tatou in Québec, you’ll also come across the standardised tatouage. In the list below, we’ll just look at ways you might hear things said using a word taken from English.

If you like this list of 31 gotta-knows, there’s also a list of 50 must-knows and a list of 30 full-québécois on OffQc.

If you learn everything in those 3 posts, that’s 111 MB of example sentences uploaded to your brain. And if you learn everything on OffQc, then your brain will definitely need a memory upgrade pretty soon. 🙂

1. Tu m’as fait feeler cheap.
You made me feel bad (about myself).

2. Je badtripe là-dessus.
I’m worried sick about it.

3. J’ai eu un gros down.
I got really down.

4. C’est tough sur le moral.
It’s tough on your morale.

5. C’est weird en masse.
That’s totally weird.

6. Ce médicament me rend stone.
This medication stones me out.

7. C’est tellement cute son accent.
His accent is so cute.

8. Ça m’a donné un gros rush.
It got me all pumped up.

9. Mon boss est venu me voir.
My boss came to see me.

10. À l’heure du lunch, je fais de l’exercice.
I exercise at lunchtime.

11. Ça clique pas entre nous.
We don’t click with each other.

12. C’est pas cher, mais c’est de la scrap.
It’s not expensive, but it’s junk.

13. C’est roffe à regarder.
It’s tough [rough] to watch.

14. Je sais pas dealer avec ça.
I don’t know how to deal with this.

15. J’ai mis une patch sur la partie usée.
I put a patch on the worn-out part.

16. Es-tu game pour un concours?
Are you up for a contest?

17. J’ai rushé sur mes devoirs.
I rushed my homework.

18. Y’a un gros spot blanc sur l’écran.
There’s a big white spot on the screen.

19. Je veux vivre ma vie à full pin.
I want to live my life to the max.

20. Le voisin m’a blasté.
The neighbour chewed me out.

21. J’ai un kick sur mon prof de français.
I’ve got a crush on my French prof.

22. T’as l’air full sérieux sur cette photo.
You look full serious in this photo.

23. Écoute ça, tu vas triper!
Listen to this, you’re gonna totally love it!

24. Viens me voir, j’ai fuck all à faire.
Come see me, I’ve got fuck all to do.

25. J’aime les idées flyées.
I like ideas that are really out there.

26. J’ai pas de cravate pour matcher avec ma chemise.
I don’t have a tie to go with my shirt.

27. Je t’ai forwardé sa réponse.
I forwarded her answer to you.

28. Elle a un gros tatou sur l’épaule.
She’s got a huge tattoo on her shoulder.

29. Ça me fait freaker.
It freaks me out.

30. Merci, on a eu un fun noir!
Thanks, we had an amazing time!

31. J’ai lâché ma job parce que j’étais en burn out.
I quit my job because I was burnt out.

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Although I’ve written the examples in this post myself, they were inspired by Maude Schiltz‘s book Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer and by Rabii Rammal‘s blog posts on Urbania, both of which I encourage you to check out.

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