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Posts Tagged ‘j’suis’

In the videos I’ve posted to OffQc lately, quite a few informal contractions have come up. It’s imperative to learn these contractions to understand spoken French.

I’ve pulled together a list of these contractions; there’s a link for each one that will take you back to the video where it appeared so you can listen again and learn it.

Here’s something you can try. The sentences below have been written without contractions. Try to say them aloud applying whatever informal contractions are possible from the ones above.

Je suis bien content.
Tu n’es pas tanné?
Je l’ai croisée sur la rue.
Des fois je me fâche.
Il y en a qui disent ça.

Answers

J’su’ ben [chu bin] content. I’m really happy.
T’es pas tanné? You’re not fed up?
Je l’ai croisée s’a rue. I bumped into her in the street.
Des fois j’me fâche. Sometimes I get angry.
Y’en a qui disent ça. Some people say that.

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We’ve seen that je suis can contract in informal language to what sounds like chu or chui. But where does that ch sound come from in chu and chui, considering there isn’t any ch sound in je suis to begin with?

To get the pronunciation chui, je suis contracts to j’suis. Je loses its vowel sound, and the resulting j’s makes the French ch sound. The same thing happens with chu, which is je suis contracted to j’su’s.

So the ch sound comes from j’s.

This is why je sais contracted informally to j’sais sounds like ché. It’s also why je sois contracted to j’sois sounds like choi. Je savais contracted to j’savais sounds like chavais. Anywhere you have the informally contracted j’s, you have the ch sound.

Cynthia Dulude uses the pronunciations j’su’s (chu) and j’sois (choi) in one of her videos in the Listen section.

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I like Lisa LeBlanc’s profile description on Twitter (@lisaleblancyo):

J’fais du Folk-Trash, j’viens d’un village de 40 personnes pi j’u tannée de chanter des chansons fi-filles.

I do trash folk, I come from a village of 40 people an’ I’m sick of singing girly-girl songs.

Le folk-trash is what Lisa LeBlanc calls her musical genre. Her music is folk, but the lyrics are bolder and… trashier.

For example, her song called Câlisse-moi là means “Fucking dump me,” and the one called Ma vie, c’est de la marde means “My life is shitty.”

We’ve seen hundreds of times on OffQc that pis is very frequently used as a synonym of et. Pis is a contraction of puis. It’s pronounced pi, and that’s exactly how Lisa LeBlanc has chosen to spell it here.

Unlike et though, pis is an informal usage only. We can say pis is just as informal sounding (and just as normal sounding) as English’s “and” contracted to “an’.”

What’s that j’u in there? It means je suis. We’ve also seen many, many times on OffQc how je suis can contract informally to j’suis, which sounds like chu or chui. Lisa LeBlanc has chosen to spell it as j’u here, but it sounds like chu.

Do you wonder where the ch sound in chu comes from? When je suis contracts to j’suis, the j’s is pronounced ch.

The informally contracted j’s always sounds like ch, which is also why je sais contracted to j’sais sounds like ché.

Every self-respecting learner of Québécois French must master the expression être tanné de! It means “to be fed up with,” “to be tired of,” “to be sick of,” “to have had enough of.”

The expression être tanné de can be followed by a noun or a verb: Chu tannée de chanter des chansons fi-filles. Chu tannée des chansons fi-filles.

Remember that tannée is the feminine form; the masculine form is tanné.

One last word to look at from the description: fi-fille. If Lisa LeBlanc’s music is trash folk or du folk-trash, then it’s definitely not gonna sound all prissy with sappy love songs and shit. I mean, just fuckin’ câlisse-moi là, right?

The fi part of fi-fille is a shortening of fille. If we wanted to translate fi-fille very literally, we’d get gi-girl or gi-girly. Nobody says that in English though, so fi-fille means “prissy,” “girly-girl” or just “girly.”

If you had trouble understanding Lisa LeBlanc’s profile description at the beginning of this post, read it again now:

J’fais du Folk-Trash, j’viens d’un village de 40 personnes pi j’u tannée de chanter des chansons fi-filles.

Now go read or reread all the posts on OffQc related to Lisa LeBlanc or discover her trashy, anti-fi-fille music on her website!

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Carrot slop again? ffffff... chu tanné de t'ça.

Carrot slop again? Pffffff… chu tanné de ça.

In Montréal today, a woman in her 60s said:

Je suis tannée, je suis tannée de t’ça.
I’m fed up, I’m fed up with it.

What’s de t’ça?

It’s an informal pronunciation that you’ll sometimes hear for de ça.

The de t’ part just sounds like de with a t sound on the end, followed by ça, as if it were deutt ça.

It was a woman in her 60s who said de t’ça, but it can be heard in any age group during informal conversations.

You don’t need to start saying de t’ça yourself. Just learn to recognise it. The regular de ça pronunciation works in any language situation, for example: je suis tanné de ça, or more informally: chu tanné de ça.

If you are going to use de t’ça though, keep it for informal language situations.

By the way, the woman really did say je suis, and not the informal contracted forms j’sus (chu) or j’suis (chui).

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