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Ben, in the television series 19-2, works as a police officer. He and his blonde have received two guests at their place for a get-together.

The female guest, trying to be funny, makes a joke about the cops in the film Police Academy, describing them as:

une gang de colons qui se grattent la poche pis qui donnent des tickets

… or “a bunch of dolts who scratch their balls and hand out tickets.” Her joke doesn’t go over well. Ben takes it personally and the conversation goes sour.

In Québec, gang is a feminine word pronounced like its English equivalent.

Un colon refers to someone unsophisticated, without class or style, or someone who acts like a hick.

Pis (sounds like pi) is an informal pronunciation of puis; it means “and” here.

In un ticket, the final t is pronounced and stress falls on the last syllable (tick-ETT). In the plural tickets, the final s is silent.

[Quote taken from 19-2, season 2, episode 3, Radio-Canada, Montréal, 11 February 2013.]

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Here’s some more conversational Quebec French from the TV series Les Parent. If you have the possibility to watch it on television (on Radio-Canada) or on tou.tv, I recommend it. You can also check for it on DVD.

***

Natalie asks her teenaged son Thomas how his friend Félix is. Thomas tells his mother that he hasn’t seen him. He also tells her that he doesn’t hang around with that group of friends anymore:

Je me tiens plus avec cette gang-là.
I don’t hang around with those guys anymore.

Plus is pronounced plu is this example. (In full, it would be je ne me tiens plus…, but Thomas left the ne off.)

***

Olivier tells his younger brother Zak that he’s such an idiot:

T’es ben con!
You’re such an idiot!

***

Olivier explains to his parents why he got into a fight with another boy. It’s because the other boy was picking on his younger brother Zak and his friend:

Y’était en train d’écoeurer Zak pis son ami.
He was picking on Zak and his friend.

He also tells his parents that the other boy was going to hit Zak:

Y’allait fesser sur Zak!
He was gonna hit Zak!

Écoeurer isn’t as hard to pronounce as it looks. It’s just ékeuré.

[Quotes from Les Parent, “Fréquentations douteuses,” season 4, episode 4, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 3 October 2011.]

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