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Posts Tagged ‘let’s go’

I took a look at some of the search terms visitors have used recently to land on OffQc via Google. In this post, I’ll try to provide the answers these visitors were looking for.

The search terms (in blue) are reproduced here exactly as the visitor spelled them in Google.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #1:
french canadian pronunciation of the word “pet” (fart)

The French word for fart is un pet. What I think you were probably wondering is whether or not the t on the end of pet is pronounced. The answer is yes. You’ll hear pet pronounced pètt in Québec.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #2:
le mot quebecois away la

The word you’re looking for is enweille or aweille. (The weille part sounds like the English word way. Other spellings are used as well, like awèye and enwèye.) Saying enweille! to someone is a way of motivating that person (as in you can do it!) or telling that person to get a move on, to hurry up (as in come on!).

For example, a coach might say enweille! to his players to encourage them (i.e., let’s go, you can do it!), or an angry parent might say it to his dillydallying child (i.e., come on, let’s go, move it!).

The expression let’s go! is also used in French, and it might be used alongside enweille:

Enweille, let’s go, let’s go!
You can do it, let’s go, let’s go!

Enweille, let’s go, let’s go!
Hurry up, let’s go, let’s go!

The Google searcher also wrote la in his search terms, which is of course là. can be used with enweille for emphasis: Enweille, là!

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #3:
meaning je capote

Je capote can mean either I love it! (when happy) or I’m flipping out! (when angry).

For example, if someone’s really excited about something (winning a prize, for example), that person might say je capote! (I love it! This is so awesome!). A person who’s really angry about something might also say je capote! (I’m flipping out! I’m freaking out!).

The spontaneously used pronunciation is in fact j’capote, which sounds like ch’capote. 

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #4:
expression prendre une brosse

The Québécois expression prendre une brosse means to get drunk, wasted, sloshed, etc. A variation on this expression is virer une brosse.

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #5
tu es fine in English

Tu es fine literally means you’re nice, you’re kind. It can also be translated as that’s kind of you. Fine is the feminine form. The masculine form is fin.

Remember, tu es contracts to t’es in regular speech (sounds like ), so you’ll hear it said spontaneously as t’es fine (for a woman) and t’es fin (for a man).

Other ways you can hear it said are: t’es ben fine, t’es ben fin and t’es don’ ben fine, t’es don’ ben fin. Ben sounds like the French word bain; it’s a contraction of bien. Ben fine and ben fin mean very kind, very nice. Don’ (from donc) adds even more emphasis. T’es don’ ben fine! (to a woman) You’re really kind! You’re really nice! That’s so very kind of you!

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #6
capoti bain bain raide

What you want is capoter ben ben raide. Here’s the verb capoter again. Capoter ben raide means to totally flip out (in anger), to flip out big time, to totally lose it, etc.

Again, ben is a contraction of bien; it sounds like the French word bain. It means really here, and it can be repeated for emphasis. Raide literally means stiff, but it’s used here to reinforce, like ben.

J’ai capoté ben raide!
I totally flipped out! I totally lost it! I lost it big time!

GOOGLE SEARCH TERMS #7
en calvaire québécois

In a recent post, we saw that être en tabarnak is a vulgar way of saying to be angry, similar to the English to be pissed off. Être en calvaire means the same thing. If you’re en calvaire, then you’re pissed off.

En calvaire can also be used as a rude reinforcer, like a vulgar version of the word très. (This goes for en tabarnak as well.) I’ fait chaud en calvaire, for example, means it’s really goddamn hot out.

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The STM is Montréal’s public transportation provider (bus and métro).

In French, the name is feminine: la STM.

Here are 3 things for you to learn in French that I’ve heard said by ruffled STM employees recently.

1. Madame, avec le carrosse!

Madame, with the baby carriage!
(i.e., hey you, with the baby carriage!)

This was shouted angrily by an STM employee in the Montréal métro.

The employee was angered by something a lady pushing a baby carriage had done, so she came running out of her ticket booth and yelled this before the lady could walk off.

I don’t know what the lady had done wrong, but I noticed her baby carriage was empty. Maybe she forgot the bundle of joy at the turnstile or something.

2. Let’s go! Let’s go!

Let’s go! Let’s go!
(i.e., hurry the fuck up, people!)

As people boarded the bus at a busy métro station, this was said by an STM employee standing on the pavement beside the bus door.

This employee was encouraging people to get on the bus faster. There was a long queue of people waiting to get on, and some people were taking their sweet time boarding the bus (as usual).

Obviously this expression is English, but you’ll definitely hear it in French too.

3. Déplacez-vous vers l’arrière, s’il vous plaît!

Please move to the back of the bus!
(i.e., will you people stop blocking the door goddamnit!)

An exasperated driver had to yell this a few times when riders of the bus kept crowding the front portion of the bus. There was room at the back of the bus for more standing passengers.

Sometimes when you board a bus, you’ll have to push your way through a wall of stubborn people all huddled together near the front door.

P.S. My respect to STM employees. I’d get pretty exasperated too if I were one.

Image: Wikipedia

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MontréalThese 7 examples really are “street French” because I overheard someone say each one of them in the street!

1. Pardon, ‘scusez!

While waiting in line to get on an STM bus, an elderly woman behind me burped. It caught her off-guard, and she apologised to the people around her by saying pardon, ‘scusez!

‘Scusez is a shortened form of excusez. Instead of saying just pardon or just excusez, she said both. I guess she was particularly embarrassed.

2. J’viens d’avoir un flash.

A woman on her Vespa was parked along the side of a street. She was talking into her mobile phone and said j’viens d’avoir un flash, “I just had an idea” or “I just thought of something.”

I didn’t catch much else, but I think she was making plans to meet up with the friend she was talking to.

3. Un peu d’change, monsieur?

A homeless man in the street asked me for spare change by saying un peu d’change, monsieur? You’ll often hear change referred to as change in Québec.

On the other hand, the word monnaie is used throughout the French-speaking world, including Québec, in the sense of spare change.

I’ve also been asked un peu d’monnaie, monsieur? in the street in Montréal.

4. Fouille-moi, là.

The woman who said this was explaining to someone else that a package had been delivered to the wrong address. When she was asked how it happened, she used the expression fouille-moi, “beats me” or “who knows.”

Fouiller means “to search.” The idea behind this expression is “search me (for the answer, but you’re not gonna find it!).”

If you don’t know how to pronounce fouille, it sounds something like the English “phooey” (as in “oh phooey!”). If you were to pronounce this expression as “phooey-moi,” you’re pretty close to the way it sounds.

She also stuck in a at the end of her expression. Maybe you’ll remember that is added to end of all kinds of statements in Québec during conversations.

5. Y’a-tu quelqu’un qui était là?

A woman said this while speaking into her mobile. It means: “Was anybody there?” or “Is there someone who was there?” It’s not as difficult to understand as you may think.

Il y a is often pronounced y’a during conversations. The opposite, il n’y a pas, is often said as y’a pas. So, now you know that y’a-tu quelqu’un qui était là? means il y a-tu quelqu’un qui était là? But what about that tu in there?

That tu is a yes-no question word used during informal speech. To understand it, we can render it as oui ou non:

Il y a (oui ou non) quelqu’un qui était là?

6. Let’s go, let’s go!

A man was leading a group of school kids in the street. When they started to scatter about a bit, he urged them to hurry up and come all together again as a group. He called out: let’s go, let’s go!

This expression obviously comes from English, but everybody in Québec understands it. In fact, it’s used often enough that I think we can just call it a French expression used in Québec!

7. OK les amis, suivez-moi!

That same group of school kids was also led by a woman accompanying the man who said the expression above. When she wanted the kids to follow her in the street, she said: OK les amis, suivez-moi!, “OK friends, follow me!”

When you want to call out to your friends in French, you say les amis!, with the les included in it. For example, you can call out to a group of your friends by saying: hey, les amis!

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