Posts Tagged ‘j’te niaise pas’

I went through the last dozen posts on OffQc, pulled out key expressions and vocabulary, then rearranged it all into this dialogue for review. (If you squint your eyes and plug your nose, it almost sounds like a real dialogue, with a surprise ending and all.)

Enweille! Qu’est-ce tu fais? C’est pas l’temps d’niaiser!
J’gratte ma guitare, man…
— Ah, c’est l’fun, hein?
Pas tant qu’ça. J’file pas… J’peux-tu t’bummer une smoke?
— Euh… non.
T’es ben gratteux, toé. Enweille, donne-moé une smoke. J’te niaise pas. J’ai un paquet d’problèmes! Mon restaurant spécialisé en grilled cheese a été vandalisé.
— Ah, ok. Bon ben… c’est pour ici ou pour emporter?
— Quoi?
Tes Timbits, c’est pour manger ici ou pour emporter?
— Ah, ouais… mes Timbits… euh, pour emporter… merci…

— Come on! What’re ya doing? Quit wasting time!
— Strummin’ my guitar, man…
— Ah, that’s fun, huh?
— Not really. I’m not feelin’ good… Can I bum a smoke off ya?
— Uh… no.
— You’re so cheap. Come on, give me a smoke. I’m not kidding. I’ve got a whole bunch of problems! My restaurant specialised in grilled cheese was broken into.
— Ah, ok. Right so… is it for here or to go?
— What?
— Your Timbits, are they for here or to go?
— Oh yeah.. my Timbits… uh, they’re to go… thanks…

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We’ve seen niaiser quite a few times now in the sense of to kid, to joke:

J’te niaise!
I’m just kidding!

J’te niaise pas!
I’m not kidding!
I’m serious!

The contracted j’te (from je te) sounds like ch’te.

We’ve also seen niaiser used in the sense of to waste time, such as in this video promoting the Québécois winter to European visitors.

The speaker there says pas l’temps d’niaiser (no time to waste, time to get busy, time to get going, etc.) because there are just so many things to do during a Québécois winter. (I thought we all just huddled inside and waited it out till spring, but ok.)

Now check out the image below. The owner of this beast is about to tear up some serious street because… pas l’temps d’niaiser.


The OffQc book C’est what? will help you to get your bearings in the colloquial variety of French spoken in Québec and pave the way for further independent study. You can buy and download it here.

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We’ve seen quite a few times now how the verb niaiser can be used to render the expression I’m just kidding (you) into French:

J’te niaise,

which is a contraction of je te niaise. J’te niaise sounds like ch’te nyèz. (Ch’te sounds like the French word te with the French ch sound stuck on the front of it.) It literally means I’m kidding you, I’m joking you.

During a conversation, though, an elderly woman said I’m just kidding in a different way. She didn’t say j’te niaise. In fact, she didn’t use the verb niaiser at all, but she did use the plural noun blagues, meaning jokes.

Can you guess how she said it?

Here’s what she said:

C’est des blagues que j’fais!
I’m just kidding (you)!
(literally, “I’m making jokes,” “it’s jokes that I’m making”)

J’fais is a contraction of je fais. It sounds like ch’fais.

Getting back to j’te niaise, if you haven’t learned that one yet, learn it now. It’s used frequently. The negative form is also used a lot: j’te niaise pas, meaning I’m serious, I’m not kidding, for real, etc.

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