Posts Tagged ‘hiver’

It’s winter, and Natalie and Louis (from the television show Les Parent) exchange text messages about the salt that was *supposed* to have been put down by their son Zak to prevent someone from slipping on the ice and getting hurt…

The text from the image is all typed out below, but you can click on the image for a larger version.

grey: Louis
blue: Natalie

Attention, chérie, c’est glissant dans l’entrée.
Careful, dear, the driveway’s slippery.

C’est réglé. J’ai envoyé Zak mettre du sel tantôt.
It’s been taken care of. I sent Zak to put salt down earlier on.

Wow! T’es sûre qu’il y est allé?
Wow! You sure he did it (you sure he went)?

Ha ha! La confiance règne!
Ha ha! What confidence (confidence prevails)!

Désolé. C’est juste qu’il y a des indices qui mentent pas.
Sorry. It’s just that there are some dead giveaways that he didn’t (some clues that don’t lie).


Moi, effoiré dans l’entrée, le dos barré.
Me, sprawled in the driveway with my back thrown out.

Viens me chercher quand t’auras fini de rire.
Come get me (find me) when you’ve finished laughing.

Usage notes

  • In the winter, we put salt (du sel) on surfaces outside to melt the ice on them and make them safe to walk and drive on
  • tantôt, before, earlier on (e.g., désolé pour tantôt, sorry about earlier on; merci pour tantôt, thanks for earlier on)
  • t’es, contraction of tu es, sounds like
  • effoiré, sprawled (e.g., s’effoirer sur le divan, to crash on the sofa; the oi in effoiré may sound like ; more about effoirer in #900)
  • dos barré, back that’s been thrown out, pulled, injured (literally, locked back; remember that barré is pronounced bârré, where sounds approximately like “baw”)
  • t’auras, contraction of tu auras

This exchange of textos was found here on the Facebook page for Les Parent. There, the page administrator asked:

Avez-vous hâte à l’hiver? 😂
Are you excited for winter?
Are you looking forward to winter?

avoir hâte à
to be looking forward to
to be excited for, etc.

J’ai hâte à lundi!
I can’t wait until Monday!

J’ai hâte à demain.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Non, j’ai pas hâte à l’hiver!
No, I’m not looking forward to winter!

Like barré, hâte also uses the â sound. You can hear â pronounced in this video when Martin Matte says j’me fâche and tasse-toi.

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Found another good clip from QuébecOriginal promoting winter to European visitors. (We saw the first one here.) As usual, the French text is below the clip, followed by a translation into English and usage notes. This clip will be added to the Listen to Québécois French section.

Au Québec, on aime tellement l’humour qu’on a la seule baie au monde qui rit : la baie du Ha! Ha!

En fait, ici, tout se peut, surtout quand on se lâche lousse. «Lousse» — en liberté totale!

Des fois, la neige fait sortir le meilleur de nous. Pour avancer partout, on a réinventé la roue. Quand on veut rester au chaud, on sort nos vieux mots : tuque, chandail, combine, mitaines, bas.

Mais comme on a vraiment quatre saisons, ça se peut que vous croisiez du monde qui s’est trompé en s’habillant. Ça s’appelle le Québec!

Mais ce qu’on a de plus grand, c’est notre hiver. Le plus blanc, le plus stupéfiant des hivers. On est fiers de notre hiver. On est QuébecOriginal.

In Québec, we love humour so much that we’ve got the only laughing bay in the world: la baie du Ha! Ha! (literally Ha! Ha! Bay).

In fact, here, anything’s possible, especially when we let loose. “Lousse(from the English “loose”) — total freedom! (Lousse is a Québécois usage; the speaker is defining it for European listeners.)

Sometimes the snow brings out the best in us. To get around everywhere, we reinvented the wheel. When we want to stay warm, we pull out our old words: tuque(tuque/winter hat), “chandail(sweater), “combine(from combinaison, long johns/long underwear; can also be the piece of clothing that covers the entire body and buttons down the chest), “mitaines(mittens), “bas(socks). (These words are all Québécois usages.)

But because we’ve really got four seasons, it’s possible you’ll bump into someone who got dressed wrong. That’s Québec!

But the best thing we’ve got is winter. The whitest, most stupefying of winters. We’re proud of our winter. We are QuébecOriginal.


se lâcher lousse, to let loose, to let it all hang out, to let ‘er rip
Note how the speaker pronounces lâche; it uses the â sound. She says it quickly, but try to hear it.

Note how she pronounces lousse. It sounds slightly different to the English loose. The words mousse, pousse, rousse, etc., all use that same vowel sound.

Note how the speaker pronounces bas. The words pas, cas, tas, t’as all rhyme with this, using that same vowel sound. We heard this vowel sound before in the words pas and chat in this video.

tuque, nom féminin
chandail, nom masculin
combine, nom féminin
bas, nom masculin
mitaine, nom féminin

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In the QuébecOriginal video from #970, we heard the speaker say on se calme le pompon! The expression is se calmer le pompon. (The video is below if you want to listen again. The speaker’s words have been transcribed in #970, or here in the Listen section.)

In English, we can say that on se calme le pompon means (let’s) settle down (now), (let’s) take it easy, chill out, etc. As its definition on Wiktionnaire reads, it’s a way of telling someone who’s carried away with excessive enthusiasm or panic to settle down: se calmer le pompon — cesser d’être exagérément enthousiaste, scandalisé ou paniqué devant une idée ou une situation.

Why did the speaker say it in this video? She used it because she was listing all the things that can be done in Québec in the winter (marcher, ramer, glisser, etc.) and that hockey is like a religion, so it was a playful way of telling herself (or ourselves) to calm down with all that. She also said it because it provided the opportunity to inject a Québécois expression into the ad for flavour.

The Usito dictionary defines pompon (or pompom in English) as: petite boule de fils, généralement de laine ou de soie, qui sert d’ornement, and gives an example of use: une tuque à pompon (or a winter hat with a ball on the tip; that’s why we see an image of a tuque with a shaking pompom right when the speaker uses the expression).

The Wiktionnaire page for se calmer le pompon gives us two examples of use:

Calme-toi le pompon!
Settle down! Take it easy now!

Il y en a souvent qui crient au drame parce que leur chum a oublié de leur acheter des fleurs le 14 février… Calmez-vous le pompon, les filles! L’important, c’est qu’il pense à vous le reste de l’année.
(Voir, 9 février 2006)

There are often those who get all dramatic because their boyfriend forgot to buy them flowers on 14 February… Take a chill pill, girls! What’s important is that he thinks of you the rest of the year.

In short, on se calme le pompon and calme-toi le pompon mean the same thing as on se calme and calme-toi, but they’re informal and playful-sounding usages.

The text for this video is here.

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I found this video from QuébecOriginal (Tourisme Québec) promoting winter in Québec. In it, you’ll hear a few Québécois usages that we’ve looked at on OffQc.

This video was made to promote Québec to the European francophone market, which is why the speaker provides a couple definitions as she speaks.

L’hiver au Québec — attache ta tuque!

Tuque = bonnet de laine.

L’hiver, on marche, on court, on rame, on glisse, on promène les chiens, et ici le hockey, c’t’une religion. Eh bon, on s’calme le pompon!

Bref, l’hiver, pas l’temps d’niaiser.

Niaiser = perdre son temps.

On en profite au maximum. On a les mains froides, mais le coeur chaud. Ça, ça s’explique pas ; ça se ressent. Faut venir le vivre.

On est QuébecOriginal.

Winter in Québec — hold onto your tuque/hat! (Prepare yourself! Brace yourself!)

Tuque = woolly hat/winter hat. (Tuque is a Québécois usage; the speaker is providing bonnet de laine as an equivalent for the benefit of European listeners.)

In the winter, we walk, we run, we row, we slide, we walk the dogs, and hockey is a religion here… OK, let’s settle down now!

In short, no time to “niaiser” (waste time doing nothing) in the winter. (Time to get busy.)

Niaiser = waste your time. (The speaker is explaining to the European audience again; here, she’s defining the verb niaiser, which is a Québécois usage.)

We take full advantage. Our hands are cold, but out hearts are warm. You can’t explain it; you have to feel it. You have to come and live it.

We are QuébecOriginal.

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It surely comes as no surprise to you — Montréal gets a lot of snow in the winter: de la marde blanche (the white shit)!

If you drive a car, you’ll need a shovel, une pelle, to dig yourself out after a snowfall, une bordée de neige.

If you have a driveway, you’ll need to shovel that too, pelleter l’entrée. To pronounce pelleter, say it with two syllables: pelter. You can also say pelleter la neige.

When snow is fresh, it looks clean. But when it begins to melt on the roads, it turns into slush, de la slush (de la sloche).

At street corners in downtown Montréal, you’ll often need to jump across a pool of water.

If you get your feet wet in the slush and water, you’re going to be pretty miserable.

Be sure to choose a good pair of winter boots for walking around in Montréal, choisir une bonne paire de bottes d’hiver.

If you’re new to Montréal, walking on slippery sidewalks requires practice. You’ll need those good boots to avoid breaking your back by falling down on the ice, se péter le dos en pognant une débarque sur la glace!

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