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Posts Tagged ‘icitte’

Here are 4 examples of French overheard in conversations in Montréal. You can scroll down for details about each one.

1. Y’est quasiment déchargé.
2. Moi, là, …
3. Ça s’peut!
4. Inquiétez-vous pas.

1. Y’est quasiment déchargé.

It’s almost dead (uncharged).

This is what a man said when looking at his cell.

Quasiment means the same thing as presque here, or almost in English. You’ll hear quasiment used frequently in conversations.

Y’est (sounds like ) is an informal pronunciation of il est.

2. Moi, là, …

Personally…
Me… As for me…

You’ll very often hear someone express a point of view or provide some sort of personal information with moi, là. You can understand it as meaning as for me, personally, etc.

Moi, là, ça fait deux mois que j’viens icitte.
Personally, I’ve been coming here for two months.
Me, I’ve been coming here for two months.

3. Ça s’peut!

Maybe! That’s possible!

Ça s’peut is an informal way of pronouncing ça se peut. Ça s’peut sounds like sass peu.

Ouais, ça s’peut…
Yeah, that’s possible…

Ça s’peut pas!
No way! That’s impossible!

4. Inquiétez-vous pas.

Don’t worry.

We’ve seen before that you might hear don’t worry said informally as inquiète-toi pas. The vous form inquiétez-vous pas is also heard.

Why are inquiète-toi pas and inquiétez-vous pas considered informal?

The affirmative forms are inquiète-toi and inquiétez-vous. The negated forms above were created by just adding pas, rather than changing word order and saying ne t’inquiète pas and ne vous inquiétez pas.

inquiète-toi pas, inquiétez-vous pas
informal, spoken language

ne t’inquiète pas, ne vous inquiétez pas
written standard

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Here’s some random French I overheard today in Montréal while out.

All of these examples of French were said by a group of three women in their 60s in the seating area of a public space.

1. Y’a une place icitte.

There’s a place (to sit) here.

Y’a is an informal pronunciation of il y a. Icitte means ici and is often heard at the informal level of language.

2. Amène une chaise.

Bring a chair. Get a chair.

The verb amener is used here to tell someone to bring something. There’s another example of this below.

3. Qu’est-ce tu veux?

What d’you want?

Qu’est-ce sounds like kess. Dropping que here (qu’est-ce tu veux instead of qu’est-ce que tu veux) is an informal usage.

4. Amène-moi un biscuit.

Bring me a cookie.

Here’s another example of the verb amener. The woman who said this yelled it out to her friend who was ordering food.

5. A s’en vient.

She’s coming.

You’ll often hear elle pronounced informally as a, like the a in ma, ta or la. The verb s’en venir is frequently used: je m’en viens, I’m coming; tu t’en viens, you’re coming; y s’en vient, he’s coming; y s’en viennent, they’re coming.

One of the three women said this as her friend was coming back to their table after ordering food.

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In Québec, you’ll hear ici also said as icitte. It’s considered to be a very informal way of saying ici.

The other day, I walked past a dépanneur serving the Haitian community in Montréal.

A small sign in the front window caught my attention. The sign is from a mobile phone company; it’s about recharging the minutes on a mobile.

The sign says: METE MINIT ISIT LA

I don’t speak Haitian Creole, but here’s my guess:

METTEZ DES MINUTES ICITTE, LÀ!

Hmm, too québécois with the là, maybe.

More seriously, I’m not entirely sure what la means on the sign. I’m going to hasard a guess and say that isit la means ici même. If anybody knows, leave a comment. (I should’ve gone in and asked…)

As for isit, it seems fairly clear it means icitte, I think!

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