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Posts Tagged ‘là’

I watched the first 10 minutes of an episode of 30 vies on tou.tv and picked some French for us to look at.

Each example of French below was said by a character on the show. If you want to find them on the show, the episode details are at the end of the post. After each quote, I’ve included the time where it appeared.

You can watch 30 vies on tou.tv if you’re in Canada.

Là, tu fais ça ou tu disparais de ma vie. C’est-tu clair?
Now you’re gonna do it or you get out of my life. Is that clear?
(0:22)

We’ve been seeing in the last few entries that often means “now.” Here’s another example of it. Here, it means more “now” in the sense of “right so,” as a way of signalling that the other person ought to listen up. The speaker used it to lead into her nasty comment.

We’ve also got c’est-tu clair? in this quote. Remember, the informal tu transforms c’est clair into a yes-no question. C’est clair. C’est-tu clair?

The question c’est-tu clair? here is really a warning. It’s like asking “is that understood?” in an authoritative way.

— Ça parle de toi en masse.
— Qui ça?
— People are totally talking about you.
— Who?
(6:55)

A student at school told his classmate: ça parle de toi en masse. The subject ça here just means “people” or “they.” It’s like the subject on. The expression en masse means something like “big time” or “totally.”

Notice that his classmate responded with qui ça? to ask who. You’ll also hear people say où ça? to ask where, for example: –Viens-tu avec moi? –Où ça?

J’en peux p’us. J’sus à boutte!
I can’t take it anymore. I’ve had it!
(7:53)

J’en peux p’us is a shortened, colloquial way of saying je n’en peux plus. Plus here is pronounced plu, but sometimes plus gets shortened to the pronunciation pu, which I’ve spelled above as p’us. It’s because the L dropped.

J’sus (pronounced chu) means je suis. J’sus à boutte literally means “I’m at the end,” because boutte means bout, but its figurative meaning is “I’ve had it.” You’ll notice that bout is sometimes pronounced boutte in Québec, especially in informal expressions like the one here; être à boutte, to have had it, to be fed up.

The character who said j’sus à boutte didn’t pronounce it as chu à boutte though. She pronounced it instead as chtàboutte. She shortened chu to ch and slipped in a T sound between ch and à (ch-t-à boutte).

_ _ _

Quotes taken from:
30 vies, saison 5, épisode 24
16 octobre 2014, Radio-Canada

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In #863, we found the adjective rendu in a text written by Kéven Breton about wheelchair accessibility. The wording was:

Ah ouais c’est accessible chenous monsieur! Vous avez juste à passer par l’arrière, dans la petite ruelle qui pue le cadavre. Y’a une petite porte en métal, à côté des vidanges. Cognez, on va aller vous ouvrir! Pis rendu là, y’a juste deux petites marches!

Yeah sure, we’re accessible here, sir! You just have to go around the back into the alley that smells like a dead body. There’s a small metal door beside the garbage. Knock, and we’ll let you in! Then after that (at that point), there are only two small steps!

[Kéven Breton, Vie nocturne : tous ces bars qui ne veulent pas de moi, Urbania, 7 octobre 2014.]

Maybe you’ve been hearing the adjective rendu a lot as you listen to francophones from Québec speak, which wouldn’t be surprising because it’s used frequently.

There’s an expression in particular using rendu that we can look at: c’est rendu que. In the examples below (all found online somewhere), we can say that c’est rendu que means “it’s to the point where.”

Mais là, c’est rendu qu’il fait 3-4 parfois 5 cacas par jour.
But now it’s to the point where he’s going poo 3-4 sometimes 5 times a day.

Là, c’est rendu que j’ose même plus regarder mon père dans les yeux.
Now it’s to the point where I don’t even dare look at my father in the eyes.

Là, c’est rendu que je me fais réveiller de deux à quatre fois par semaine par des gens qui font sauter des feux d’artifice.
Now it’s to the point where I’m woken up two to four times a week by people setting off firecrackers.

Interestingly, those three examples above began with là, which means “now.” This helps to insist on the change in the situation. Not all sentences using c’est rendu que begin with though. Here are a few last examples:

C’est rendu que je me mets toujours à douter de moi.
It’s to the point where I always start doubting myself.

C’est rendu que je n’aime plus sortir avec mon chum.
It’s to the point where I don’t like going out with my boyfriend anymore.

C’est comme une drogue les Olympiques. C’est rendu que je regarde les reprises des reprises!
The Olympics are like a drug, to the point where I watch reruns of reruns!

As you listen to French, see if you can catch examples of  used in the same way as in the examples above. is very frequently used in the sense of “now.”

Là, c’est rendu que…
Pis là, c’est rendu que…
Mais là, c’est rendu que…

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You can’t pass for a native without mastering the québécois verb niaiser!

You’ve seen this verb before in “Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois verb niaiser.” Here are some new examples for review. Using the phonetic alphabet, niaiser is pronounced [njɛze], which sounds like nyèzé.

1. Je te niaise pas, je te parle sérieusement.

This is taken from an interview by Les Francs Tireurs. It means: “I’m not kidding you. I’m being serious.” We can tell that the person was speaking informally because, instead of je ne te niaise pas, he left out ne and said je te niaise pas.

In fact, what he most likely said was j’te niaise pas, which sounds like ch’te niaise pas. When je and te come together, they often contract and the j makes a ch sound.

The same goes for the je te combination je te parle sérieusement, which you may hear pronounced as j’te (ch’te) parle sérieusement.

2. Arrête de me niaiser là, c’est pas drôle!

This means: “Stop messing with me, it’s not funny!” It comes from a book called Fais-moi confiance by Andréanne Parenteau.

This example also includes the famous québécois , which you can explore in “Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois use of .”

3. Niaise pas avec les gars en uniforme!

This example comes from a blog. It means “Don’t mess with guys in uniforms!” Remember, the letters rs in gars aren’t pronounced, so gars sounds like gâ.

This is also an example of dropping ne in an informal style because the author wrote niaise pas instead of ne niaise pas.

4. J’ai niaisé pendant deux mois.

This example comes from a comment left online. In full, the commenter wrote: J’ai niaisé pendant deux mois et demi avant de me trouver une job, “I did absolutely nothing for two and a half months before I found a job.” In this example, niaiser is used in the sense of goofing around, doing nothing.

During conversations, you’ll hear job in the feminine in Québec: une job.

5. Ils m’ont fait niaiser trois semaines pour rien! Câlisse.

This example comes from an online forum. It means: “They made me wait three weeks for nothing! Fuck.” Here, faire niaiser is used in the sense of making someone wait. This example also includes câlisse, which equates to saying “fuck” in Québec. You can also now review the expression je m’en câlisse.

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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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