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Posts Tagged ‘j’haïs’

During a conversation, a man said to another: “I’d have liked to see you.” Can you guess how he said this in French?

Before looking at the answer, let’s back up for a minute.

Maybe you’ll remember a while back we looked at j’haïs ça, meaning I hate it. (J’haïs sounds like ja / i.) More specifically, we looked at the example j’haïs ça, l’hiver, meaning I hate winter.

Ça means it, that here. It’s possible to say just j’haïs l’hiver, but ça is very often included even if the hated thing itself is also mentioned. More literally, j’haïs ça, l’hiver means I hate it, winter or winter, I hate it.

In that same post, we also looked at how ça is also often included with j’aime, such as in j’aime ça, l’hiver. Although it’s possible to say j’aime l’hiver without ça, you’ll typically hear it said in conversational French as j’aime ça, l’hiver.

J’haïs ça, l’hiver.
J’aime ça, l’hiver.
J’haïs ça, la neige.
J’aime ça, la neige.

Knowing this, can you make a new attempt at saying “I’d have liked to see you”?

Here’s how the man said it:

J’aurais aimé ça, te voir.

It’s possible to say j’aurais aimé te voir, but, again, that ça is often included in spoken language.

If you liked this post, you might like the new OffQc guide Entendu au Québec.

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If you’ve already bought and read the OffQc guide C’est what?, then you know the answer to this question.

J’haïs ça, l’hiver.
I hate winter.

That’s how someone said it in a conversation. Let’s take a closer look at this.

The verb haïr means to hate. Haïr sounds like a / ir, with two syllables. I hate, then, is j’haïs. It has two syllables and sounds like ja / i.

(In fact, another conjugation exists: je hais, which sounds like je / è. You’re not very likely to hear that in a conversation, but you can come across it in writing.)

In j’haïs ça, l’hiver, what’s the ça doing in there?

We can say that ça means it here. J’haïs ça, l’hiver is like saying I hate it, winter or winter, I hate it. It’s possible to say j’haïs l’hiver, but that ça is very often heard in spoken language.

You’ll also hear ça used with aimer. J’aime ça, l’hiver!

You can read more about the contents of C’est what? here, or you can buy it in the OffQc store here.

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Here’s a translation exercise you can do, similar to the ones in Say it in French: Translate 125 sentences to conversational Québécois French.

See if you can say the sentences below in French (the Québécois variety, of course!), without looking at the answers. If you need help, check the clues.

When you’re done, check the possible answers (they come after the image) and read the notes. You can try the exercise again after that to test yourself.

Say in French:

  1. No, thanks, I’m just looking.
    (what customers say to shop assistants when they don’t want help)
  2. I do my food shopping with reusable bags.
  3. Hahaha, what a hilarious video!
  4. I hate mosquitos.
  5. It’s too bad (it stinks, it sucks), but that’s how it is.

Clues:

  • regarder
  • maringouin
  • juste
  • plate
  • crampant
  • épicerie
  • haïr

Possible answers:

  1. Non, merci, je fais juste regarder.
  2. Je fais mon épicerie avec des sacs réutilisables.
  3. Hahaha, c’est crampant comme vidéo!
  4. J’haïs ça, les maringouins.
  5. C’est plate, mais c’est comme ça.

Notes:

  1. Je fais juste can be followed by a verb in the infinitive depending on what you want to say. Je fais juste te rappeler que… I’m just reminding you that… Informally, je fais can contract to j’fais, which sounds like ch’fais. Juste can sound informally like jusse.
  2. The expression faire l’épicerie means to do the grocery shopping.
  3. Something crampant is hilarious.
  4. Un maringouin is a mosquito. J’haïs is pronounced ja-i.
  5. Plate means too bad here (in the sense of unfortunate), but it can also mean boring. T’es plate! You’re boring! You’re no fun!

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In the last post, we saw an example of the Québécois verb gosser.

Let’s take a closer look at how the verb gosser can be used in the sense of “to bug someone” or “to give someone a rough time.”

Here are some good examples pulled from a quick Google search:

Au secondaire tu n’arrêtais pas de me gosser avec ça! In secondary school, you always bugged me about that!

Mon propriétaire est un vieux pervers dégueu qui arrête pas de me gosser. The owner is a disgusting, old pervert who keeps bugging me.

Ma blonde arrêtait pas de me gosser pour en acheter une. My girlfriend kept bugging me to buy one.

In the last entry, Rabii Rammal used se faire gosser instead. If gosser quelqu’un means “to give someone a rough time,” then se faire gosser means “to be given a rough time” by someone. Rammal wrote:

Tous, homme ou femme, ont le droit de ne pas se faire gosser dans la rueEverybody, male or female, has the right to not be bothered in the street.

Here are a few more examples pulled from a Google search:

Je me faisais gosser par les infirmières à l’hôpital pour que mes garçons boivent aux 3 heures. I was bugged by the nurses at the hospital to get my boys to drink every 3 hours.

Je me suis fait gosser par un policier. I was given a rough time by a policeman.

J’haïs tellement ça me faire gosser par un vendeur! I hate it so much when salesmen bug me!

Tips: Aux trois (quatre, cinq…) heures means “every three (four, five…) hours.” J’haïs is pronounced ja-i.

In short:

gosser quelqu’un
to give someone a rough time

se faire gosser par quelqu’un
to be given a rough time by someone

The verb gosser has even more uses than just the ones here. Let’s leave that for a future post…

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cochon d’Inde

And here you thought I totally forgot about part 2 of our mini-series about the Québécois French word bibitte

Actually, you’re right — I did forget. So let’s look at part 2 right now before I forget again!

In part 1, we saw that bibitte can be used to talk about bugs in Québecois French. If you haven’t read part 1, you can read it now and come back.

In part 1, we saw this example:

J’haïs ça les bibittes!
I hate bugs!

Now here’s part 2. Below are examples pulled from the wonderful world of the world-wide web. (I’ve made minor changes for simplicity.)

In a forum online where users discussed the animal they most feared, one commenter said:

Je truste pas les lapins. J’aime vraiment pas ça pantoute. Les cochons d’Inde pis toutes ces bibittes-là aussi.

I don’t trust rabbits. I really don’t like them one bit. Same goes for guinea pigs and all those kinds of critters.

Not only does the commenter dislike those bibittes, he doesn’t even trust them, il les « truste » pas (from the informal borrowed-from-English verb truster, which sounds like troster).

On a different site, a blog author had this to say about chickens:

Même si les poulets sont assez sédentaires, ça vole ces bibittes-là!

Even if chickens mostly just sit around all the time, those creatures can fly!

OK, so we’ve got one person who used bibitte to talk about rabbits and guinea pigs, and another who used it to talk about chickens. Let’s keep going.

This next blog author talks about the time she and her boyfriend made a discovery in the trunk of their old Buick 77 left parked in a barn:

Rendu chez ses parents à Thetford, il ouvre son coffre… ça couinait! Mon chum qui déteste ces bibittes-là, je prends des gants et commence la fouille […].

Once he got to his parents place in Thetford, he opened the trunk… something was squealing in it! My boyfriend hates those kinds of critters, so I grabbed some gloves and began searching (in the trunk).

The author goes on to explain that she found four squealing baby mice in the trunk of the car.

The author called the trunk le coffre. You’ll also hear francophones in Québec call the trunk of a car la valise.

There’s also a Wiktionnaire entry dedicated to bibitte. An example there reads:

— Viens-tu, on va aller voir les serpents!
— Ouh! Non, j’aime pas tellement ça, moi, ces bibittes-là.

— Come on, let’s go see the snakes!
— Ooh no, I don’t really like those things.

Rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, mice, snakes… What does the Usito dictionary from Québec make of all this?

In entry number 2 under bibitte, it says:

BIBITE ou BIBITTE, n.f.
2. Petite bête, souvent sauvage.

“A small creature, often wild.”

So now you can add this second use to your knowledge of the word bibitte:

2. Critters (and other beasts), often wild, often small and furry… but not always!

1. Bugs!

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In the last post I said we’d take a look at the word une bibitte in an entry of its own — but I think we’ll do it as a mini-series instead. Here’s part 1.

Before all else, know that this word has spelling and pronunciation variants, like bibitte, bibite, bébitte, bébite. In quotes, I’ll use whatever variant the author used, and bibitte everywhere else.

J’haïs ça les bibittes… Je parle des insectes longs de même qui sont laites en tabarnak.

1. Bugs!

The first thing to know about the feminine word bibitte is that it can be used to talk about bugs.

Here’s what a blog author had to say:

C’est le retour du beau temps, tout le monde s’en est aperçu. Mais qu’est-ce qui va de pair (malheureusement) avec l’été? Les *?&%$ de bibittes sales. Pis moi, j’haïs ça les bibittes, bon. Pas les moustiques ou les mouches noires. Nenon. Je parle des insectes longs de même qui sont laites en tabarnak.

The nice weather is back, as everybody’s noticed. But (unfortunately) what comes with summer? Those *?&%$ nasty bugs. And me, I so hate bugs. Not mosquitos and black flies. No, no. I’m talking about those really long ugly-as-all-fuck insects.

In fact, there might be even more than just bibitte in that quote that’s new to you, like:

pis moi, and as for me
j’haïs ça, I hate that (j’haïs sounds like ja-i)
j’haïs ça les bibittes, I hate bugs
nenon, no no
longs de même = longs comme ça (imagine the author indicating the size of the bugs with her fingers and saying “this long,” longs de même)
laite, ugly (informal pronunciation of laid)
laite en tabarnak, fucking ugly

We can understand the *?&%$ in les *?&%$ de bibittes sales to stand for a swear word, like esti. So les esti de bibittes sales means fucking nasty bugs.

OK, so that’s the first usage of bibitte. If you want to remember just one thing from the quote, then remember this: j’haïs ça les bibittes, I hate bugs. Why is that ça in there? Just ‘cos, ok! J’haïs ça les abeilles. J’haïs ça les dentistes. J’haïs ça les arbres. Whatever! Don’t forget: j’haïs is pronounced ja-i.

Continue on to part 2.

Image credit: Espace pour la vie

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