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Posts Tagged ‘girlfriend’

I was messaging back and forth with a reader of OffQc who was curious to know how to say “tic-tac-toe” (exes and ohs, noughts and crosses) in Québécois French. He wanted to know if the game is called morpion in Québec.

The game is called tic-tac-toe in Québec. On the other hand, you may hear the French call the game morpion instead.

But that word — morpion — is in fact used in Québec. But it means something else, something much more blood-suckingly sinister.

Crabs.

Not the seafood kind of crabs, but the in-your-crotch kind of crabs. The STD kind of crabs. Not gonna post a picture here, don’t worry.

That’s because crab lice are called morpions in French. Both the Québécois and the French call crab lice morpions.

Here’s a page from the Québec Ministry of Health about morpions, if you’re interested. It’s an easy read geared towards younger people, where you can pick up some vocab about the subject, like:

avoir des morpions
to have crabs

se débarrasser des morpions
to get rid of crabs

Ils s’agrippent aux poils du pubis.
They [les morpions] cling to hair on the pubis.

The website, called À bien y penser (When you think about it), is more generally about protecting yourself during sex. There’s a French and English version; you can refer to the English when you don’t understand the French. I’m not sure how long it will stay up in this current version, so check it out sooner than later if you want to learn more vocab in this area.

When you think about it... with a condom, there's no need to hold back. À bien y penser... avec un condom, pas besoin de te retenir.

When you think about it… with a condom, there’s no need to hold back. À bien y penser… avec un condom, pas besoin de te retenir.

Other things you can read on the site include:

Un condom pour sucer?
Allô! J’ai une question : est-ce que je dois demander à mon chum de mettre un condom avant de lui faire une pipe? Je ne voudrais pas avoir une ITS. Est-ce qu’on peut attraper une ITS par la bouche?

A condom for oral sex?
Hi! I have a question: should I ask my boyfriend to put on a condom before I give him a blow job? I wouldn’t like to get an STI. Can you catch an STI through the mouth?

mettre un condom
to put on a condom
(condom is pronounced condon)

faire une pipe à mon chum
to give my boyfriend a blow job

une ITS (infection transmissible sexuellement)
an STI (sexually transmissible infection)

Condom avec mon ex?
Je viens de reprendre avec ma blonde. On s’est laissés pendant quelques mois, mais avant, on a été ensemble un an. On ne mettait pas de condom parce qu’elle prenait la pilule et qu’on était fidèles. Certaines personnes m’ont dit qu’elle avait été avec d’autres gars depuis qu’on s’est laissés. En fin de semaine, on est supposés de se voir et je me demandais si j’étais mieux de mettre un condom. Merci à l’avance pour votre réponse.

A condom with my ex?
I’ve just got back together with my girlfriend again. We didn’t go out together for a few months, but before that, we were together for a year. We didn’t use a condom because she was taking the pill and we were faithful to each other. Some people have told me that she’s been with other guys since we broke up. We’re supposed to see each other on the weekend and I was wondering if I should use a condom. Thank you in advance for your answer.

je viens de reprendre avec ma blonde
I’ve just got back together with my girlfriend

on ne mettait pas de condom
we didn’t use condoms before

elle prenait la pilule
she was taking the pill

elle a été avec d’autres gars
she was with other guys [for sex]

est-ce que je suis mieux de mettre un condom?
should I use a condom?

P.S. Just kidding about not posting an image of the crab louse. 🙂

un morpion

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If you’ve got a francophone boyfriend or girlfriend who won’t speak to you in French, what can you do to change this?

Maybe the two of you have spent a considerable amount of time speaking in a language other than French, like English or some other language that you share. But your French has improved, and now you’d like to start communicating in French with your partner.

(I’m just going to say “partner” and “he” to keep the language simple. You can understand it to mean boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, he, she, etc.)

Is it possible for the language to switch in a relationship?

Yes, of course, it’s possible. It’s just that most people who attempt to make it happen go about it in selfish ways that backfire, like these:

Wake up one morning and declare that you’re both going to start speaking in French as of right now, whether your partner likes it or not.

Get upset when your partner speaks to you in English, whether on purpose or out of habit, and demand that he speak French.

Don’t do that stuff, okay? Let me explain.

Making a language switch is a monumental change in a relationship. Don’t underestimate it. If you go about it the wrong way, it’s not going to work.

You’re excited that your French has improved so much that you’re ready to start speaking in French with your partner. Good for you! Now come back down to Earth.

You may feel ready for the change, but that doesn’t mean your partner does too. When you start speaking in another language, the relationship is going to feel very different. Your partner will probably feel uncomfortable about this.

If you just wake up and decide that from now on it’s going to be French and only French, you can be pretty sure that your decision will be met with resistance, even if your partner seems to be willing to humour your crazy ideas at first.

You’re thinking: I can speak French now! I can speak to my partner in his language! Hooray for me!

He’s thinking: Oh shit. This is going to be hell.

And then the resistance starts. You start speaking in French and, maybe for the first ten minutes, he obliges. But then it’s back to English. And this frustrates you. Now when he says something to you in English, you get angry, when before it was perfectly normal for the two of you to speak English.

He thinks you’re crazy. “Why do we have to change?” he wonders. “Because I want to speak French now!” you retaliate. (Me! Me! Me!) And around and around you go, until all you’ve managed to do is create a whole lot of negativity around the idea of speaking French.

Ouch.

Can I make a few suggestions?

Find someone else to speak French with.

Don’t make your partner bear all the responsibility of providing you with speaking opportunities in French. Your French isn’t his responsibility – it’s yours. Find other people so that you don’t need to put this pressure on him and your relationship. You’re excited about speaking French, and that’s great. Now get excited about speaking French with someone else.

Take it very slowly.

When I say very slowly, I mean so slowly that he barely notices a change. Maybe for a long time the only thing you’ll say to him in French is je t’aime, or ça va?, or oui and non. You can try dropping in a little more French after a while, but always do it so slowly that it doesn’t feel like anything is changing between the two of you. He just thinks that you’re dropping in some French for the novelty of it, and you don’t require any French from him in return.

Let him speak English.

When he speaks to you in English, let him. You’ve been using that language for so long now that it’s unreasonable to expect him to make such a radical change on what seems to him like a whim. If you say something in French and he answers back in English, don’t sweat it. You’re already achieving a very nice result: he answered you back after you spoke in French.

Spend time with his family.

When you visit his parents, let him hear you speak French with them. He’s not used to the idea of French coming out of your mouth. Let him get used to it by hearing you speak French with other people, like his family or friends. If they answer you back in French, you’ll help him to start associating you with the idea of speaking French.

Let your partner convince himself.

Don’t try to convince your partner to switch to French. Let him convince himself of it. You go about your own business speaking French with other people. From time to time, you drop tiny bits of French into your conversations with him. You let him hear you speaking French with his family or friends. You let him speak with you in the language he wants.

If your partner is going to speak in French with you, let it be his decision, not yours. You’ve planted the seeds. Now be patient and let them grow.

Remember, your French is not your partner’s responsibility.

It’s yours alone.

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