Posts Tagged ‘là là’

In the video below, which is a car ad featuring Martin Matte, you’ll hear features of spoken language used in Québécois French that have come up in recent posts.

Give it a listen. It’s short (30 seconds). The text is transcribed below, with notes. There are a few examples of the â sound, so listen for it.

This will be added to the Listen section, along with the other clips.

Avance! Là, là, là, là. Le nouveau CRV est assez remarquable. C’est un véhicule inspiré par la liberté, conçu pour rouler dans de grands espaces — sauf quand t’es pris quelque part!

Moi, c’est rare [que] j’me fâche, mais là, là, c’est… Tasse-toi, grosse vache! Dégage! Ça fait une heure et demie que j’attends, . T’es pas toute seule, hein?

Move [advance]! Ay, ay, ay. The new CRV is pretty remarkable. It’s a vehicle inspired by freedom, made to drive in open spaces — except when you’re stuck somewhere [i.e., in traffic]!

I don’t usually get angry, but this time, I’m… [but now, it’s…]. Get out of the way, you fat cow! Move! I’ve been waiting for an hour and a half. You’re not the only one here, uh?

Pronunciation and usage notes

c’est un, pronounced cé t’un
espaces, pronounced espâces, with â
t’es, informal contraction of tu es, sounds like
rare, pronounced râre, with â
j’me, informal contraction of je me
fâche, pronounced with â
mais là, là…,
 but now… (but this time…)
tasse-toi, pronounced tâsse-toi, with â
often heard at end of sentences in informal language
t’es pas, informal contraction of tu n’es pas, sounds like té pas

Ôte-toi de d’là, from entry #949

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Yes! Entry #600!

As #600 approached, I got curious as to the most googled québécois words and phrases that led people to OffQc since it began in December 2010… and there they are in the image above!

You can click on it to make it bigger.

Do you know them all?

Thanks everybody for continuing to read OffQc. It’s a privilege to have your attention.

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You’ll find lots of examples on OffQc of how is used in Quebec French. In this entry, I’ll pull together the most important ones that you want to know.

is a little word, but the Québécois give it a good workout. You won’t go long without hearing it.

One way you’ll hear used is in the sense of “that” when placed after a noun.

à ce moment-là
at that moment

C’est quoi c’t’affaire-là?
What’s that thing?

You’ll also hear used in the sense of “there.”

Mets-toi là.
Go there, go stand there, etc.

là-bas / là-haut
down there / up there

With a look of surprise, maybe you’ll hear someone exclaim:

Mais qu’est-ce tu fais là?! (Mais quesse tu fais là?!)
What the heck are you up to (there)?!

In spoken French, will frequently be tacked onto the end of a sentence. It can sometimes be translated with “oh” in English.

Arrête, là!
Stop it, will you! Oh, stop it!

Ben, là!
Oh, come on!

Tu vas capoter, là!
You’re totally gonna love it!

J’allais oublier, là…
Oh, I almost forgot…

Je sais pas, là.
I dunno. Oh, I dunno.

Ça va faire, là!
OK, that’s enough! Cut it out!

Sometimes you’ll hear used to express an opinion with moi là.

Moi là, j’m’en câlice!
Personally, I don’t give a fuck!

You’ll also hear take on the meaning of “now” (with the present tense) or “then” (with the past tense).

Ça finit LÀ!
End it now! This is where it ends!

Et là, on ajoute le beurre.
And now we add the butter.

Là, tu parles!
Now you’re talkin’!

Pis là, j’ai perdu mes clés.
And then I lost my keys.

If you hear repeated with the first more heavily stressed, it can take on a more urgent meaning, like “right away.”

Viens-t’en là là! (Come right away!)
Là là? (What, right now?)
LÀ là! (Yeah, right NOW!)

Or consider this example, where we can imagine a speaker who has just lost his temper:

OK, là là, j’suis tanné! (OK, là là, chui/chu tanné!)
OK, so now I’m fed up!

But not all là là‘s are created equal. Just because you hear two ‘s together, it doesn’t automatically mean “right away” in all cases:

Mets-toi là, là.
(Just) go there; (just) go stand there, etc.

The first means “there,” and the second one is an example of added to the end of a sentence.

That’s it, là! I suggest that you listen to a lot of spoken French so that you can hear the rhythm of sentences using là, tone of voice, and the pronunciation of in Québec.

Related reading:
Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois verb POGNER
Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois verb NIAISER
Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois adjective NIAISEUX

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In 19-2, officer Berrof stops a lady who’s driving a beat-up old car sputtering exhaust fumes. It’s the second time Berrof has caught her driving it.

In a different scene, her car is described as un char magané (beat-up car).

She’s lucky though: Berrof lets her off the hook and arranges for the repairs to be done for free, on the condition that she takes the car in to his mechanic — not just maintenant, but là là!

He says to her:

… faut y aller maintenant, genre là là.
… you have to go now, as in right now.

[Quote taken from 19-2, season 2, episode 5, Radio-Canada, Montréal, 25 February 2013.]

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In a scene from La Galère, Stéphanie goes to see her teenaged son’s new apartment. It’s a real dump.

The first thing that she says about the apartment is:

C’est pas cute cute, c’est pas prop’ prop’…
It’s not cute cute, it’s not clean clean…
(Not exactly cute, not exactly clean…)

She pronounced propre informally as prop’.

Now a quote from the magazine Urbania:

— […] Nomme-moi, vite vite de même, dix cinéastes femmes au Québec.
— Vite vite de même, là?
— GO!

— Name (quick quick just like that) ten female filmmakers in Quebec.
— What, just like that?
— GO!

Today: cute cute, propre propre, vite vite. Yesterday (#424): là, là? là, là! Sometimes French words are better in pairs!

[First quote from La Galère, season 4, episode 3, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 26 September 2011. Second quote by Robin Aubert in “Mon amie tout court,” Urbania, hiver 2012, numéro 32, Montréal, p. 83.]

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