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In his article on Urbania entitled Le Canadien, la société pis moi, Kéven Breton writes:

Parce que quand le Canadien gagne, je me réjouis, je high-five à qui mieux mieux. Je saute, je suis bien. Je flotte.

We’ve seen before how the Montréal Canadiens are very often referred to in the singular in French: le Canadien. So when Kéven says quand le Canadien gagne, it means when the Canadiens win.

What I really wanted to draw your attention to though was the verb gagner. You’ll hear the infinitive form gagner pronounced with the â sound, as if it were written gâgner. As an approximation, it sounds like “gone yay.” This is also how the past participle gagné is pronounced.

But what about the conjugated form gagne in Kéven’s quote quand le Canadien gagne?

In gagne, there are two things to point out. The first is that it doesn’t use the â sound like gagner does. It’s pronounced with an a, as written. The second thing to note is how the gne ending sounds. You’ll often hear this ending pronounced spontaneously like an ng sound. This means you’ll hear the conjugated form gagne sound like the English word gang.

On this page from Université Laval, you’ll hear examples of words with the gne ending pronounced like this. You can listen to a recording of the words vigne, cygne and ligne, which sound like ving, sing and ling.

Quote by
Kéven Breton in “Le Canadien, la société pis moi,” Urbania, 21 April 2015

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