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Posts Tagged ‘Lisa LeBlanc’

This post is all about how the Québécois marde can be used. Yes, that’s right, shit. Below — 6 examples. Let’s begin.

This image is entirely unrelated to the contents of this post.

This image is entirely unrelated to the contents of this post.

T’ES DANS’ MARDE, MAN…

The first thing you can do with shit in Québec is get yourself in it. (Try not to.) T’es dans’ marde, man. You’re screwed, man. You’re in trouble.

T’es is a spoken language contraction of tu es. T’es sounds like té.

Dans’ is a spoken contraction of dans la. First, la loses its l, which leaves us with dans ’a. When you say dans ’a, the ’a gets virtually swallowed up in the vowel sound of dans. There’s perhaps still a trace of it left over, but, practically speaking, we can say that dans la marde sounds like dans marde (although, in reality, dans is probably held just a millisecond longer than a regular dans in this case). We can use an apostrophe — dans’ — to signal that there used to be a la (or a contracted ’a) in there: dans’ marde.

AH BEN MAUDITE MARDE!

You can express anger by damning shit. The interjection maudite marde literally means damned shit, but you can use it the way you might say things in English like damn it, bloody hell or even just shit. Maudite marde, j’ai perdu ma Rolex! Damn it, I lost my Rolex!

For effect, maybe you’ll even want to add ah ben to it. Despite its spelling, ben sounds like the French word bain. In other words, the en of ben sounds like the nasalised in, not en! We could also spell it bin to make it phonetic, but the spelling ben is much more common. Ben is a contraction of bien. Ah ben helps to add desperation. Ah ben maudite marde! Well, damn it! Well, shit!

ÇA VAUT PAS D’LA MARDE

If you’re having a shitty day, maybe you’ll want to exclaim, aujourd’hui, ma vie, c’est d’la marde. My life’s shit today. Well, that’s what Lisa LeBlanc said in a song, anyway. You might even want to take it a step further and say, aujourd’hui, ma vie, ça vaut pas d’la marde. My life’s not worth shit today.

D’la is a spoken language contraction of de la. This contraction is used quite literally all the time. In ça vaut pas d’la marde, if you visualise the the d’ as coming at the end of pas instead of the beginning of la, you’ll probably find it easier to pronounce. In other words, first say pas with a d sound on the end of it, then say la.

J’VAS Y DONNER D’LA MARDE

Christmas is the season of giving, so why not give some shit? J’vas y donner d’la marde means I’m gonna give him shit, which is really just a shitty way of saying I’m gonna yell at him.

J’vas is a spoken language equivalent of je vais. The vas in j’vas rhymes with pas. To pronounce the contracted j’vas, just say vas with the French j sound on the front of it, all in one syllable.

Y here is a spoken language contraction of lui. (J’vas lui donner d’la marde.) There’s no liaison between vas and y.

MANGE DON’ D’LA MARDE!

If you’re gonna give someone shit, then you might as well go all the way and tell him to eat it – if you’re prepared to take a fistful of shit in the face in return, that is. Mange don’ d’la marde! Eat shit, will you! Don’ here is really donc, but don’t pronounce the c.

AH PIS D’LA MARDE!

Pis sounds like pi. It rhymes with the French word si. Pis is a contraction of puis.

Have you run out of shits to give while making a decision? Ah pis d’la marde! Imagine a child taking her first steps on her own in the living room with her parents looking on encouragingly. She takes one step, then two, then… boom! She crashes to the floor. She knows she’s supposed to get back up and try again; she can see the fiery glow of excitement in her parents’ eyes. But trying again is hard work. What she really wants to do is sit down and throw up her lunch.

She hesitates… try again or sit and throw up? try again or sit and throw up? OK, fine, I’ll try just one more time for mummy and daddy. But just as she begins to push herself up, she changes her mind. It’s just not worth the effort, and that mashed butternut squash she just ate really isn’t sitting right in her stomach. She sits back down, and, much to the horror of her parents, exclaims with resignation, ah pis d’la marde! Ah screw it!

Keep reading about swearing in Québécois French:

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1. In the last entry, we saw how je suis en can contract to j’t’en, where j’ makes a ch sound (ch’t’en).

We’ve seen je suis reduced to just a ch sound before in Lisa LeBlanc’s song J’pas un cowboy (official video on YouTube here). J’pas is a contraction of je (ne) suis pas, and it sounds like ch’pas.

2. In a radio ad, I heard a woman say prendre une marche avec mon chum, to take a walk with my boyfriend.

The expression prendre une marche is a calque of the English expression to take a walk (and felt to be incorrect by certain people for that reason).

3. Parle-moi can be negated informally as parle-moi pas. Parle-moi pas comme ça. Don’t talk to me like that.

The same goes for dis-moi ça (dis-moi pas ça), demande-moi (demande-moi pas), dérange-moi (dérange-moi pas), etc.

4. Learn the phrase on peut-tu…? It means can we…?, is it possible to…? The tu here signals that this is a yes-no question. On peut-tu aller le voir? Can we go see him, it? On peut-tu arrêter de chiâler? Can we stop complaining?

5. OK, not Québécois French, but still of interest — Montréal’s got a street name change in the city centre, boulevard Robert-Bourassa.

If you’re new to OffQc, check out C’est what? 75 mini lessons in conversational Québécois French for an overview of important features of spoken language. (You can buy and download it here immediately.)

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On Urbania, Donavan Lauzon lists his top 10 signs you’ve failed Valentine’s Day.

Number 9?

Tu t’es fait domper au mois de février.

You got dumped in the month of February.

Domper is an informal usage. It comes from the English dump.

But se faire domper isn’t the only way he says to get dumped in his post. He also uses the swear word crisser in the expression se faire crisser là.

[…] tu te fais crisser là, la semaine ou la journée même de la St-Valentin.

Maybe that expression will remind you of Lisa LeBlanc’s song Câlisse-moi là. Câlisser is a swear word. Câlisse-moi là is a rude way of saying dump me. If you follow that link, you’ll find another example of this: Maude Schiltz in Ah shit, j’ai pogné le cancer says she’s dumping a health professional at the hospital where she’s receiving treatment because she’s lost all faith in him. She says:

C’est fini, je le câlisse là.

Crisser and câlisser are often used when talking about getting rid of things (and people!). Crisser quelqu’un dehors and câlisser quelqu’un dehors both mean to kick someone the hell/fuck out. But when the sense is one of dumping or ditching someone, instead of dehors it’s là.

Tu te fais crisser là.
Je le câlisse là.
Câlisse-moi là, etc.

The author goes on to explain that getting dumped on or around Valentine’s Day is bad timing:

Être en break-up à cette période de l’année, c’est comme pogner une érection en public : vraiment pas un timing optimal.

Being broken up this time of the year [around Valentine’s Day] is like getting an erection in public: really not the best timing.

Broadly speaking, pogner means to catch. So pogner une érection means to “catch” an erection, in other words, to get an erection.

se faire domper
se faire crisser là
crisser quelqu’un dehors
pogner une érection

_ _ _

Donavan Lauzon, Le Registre : les 10 signes que tu échoues ta St-Valentin, Urbania, 12 February 2015.

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On her Facebook page, singer Lisa LeBlanc recently posted the update in the first image related to the show on the plaines d’Abraham in Québec. You can click on all the images in this post to see a larger version.

Remember, Lisa LeBlanc was born in New Brunswick, in a place called Rosaireville. She was born in 1990.

The French in this entry is how Lisa LeBlanc uses it as a francophone from New Brunswick, not Québec. More specifically, this variety of language is called Chiac.

In her update, she comments on the size of the stage:

Si jamais tu veux faire ton jogging, t’as juste à courir d’un boute à l’autre du stage des plaines une couple de fois pi tu seras all good. #cecittecesthuge

If you ever wanna go jogging, you just have to run a couple times from one end of the stage to the other on the Plains and you’re all good. #itshuge

Learn the expression si jamais. This is used all time. It means “if ever.” Si jamais tu veux parler, je suis là. Si jamais t’as besoin d’aide, appelle-moi.

Lisa didn’t write bout, she wrote boute. This pronunciation of bout is something you’ll hear often in colloquial French. Courir d’un boute à l’autre du stage.

She called the stage le stage, which is pronounced like its English equivalent. Note that if you pronounce stage as a French word, it refers to on-the-job training offered by educational institutions.

Une couple de fois? A couple times! This expression isn’t borrowed from English, despite appearances. It’s the other way round: English got the expression from French. You’ll hear couple pronounced colloquially as coupe.

What about the hashtag? If we pull it apart, we get cecitte, c’est huge. Cecitte means “this,” like ceci. (Compare to ici and icitte.)

Lisa uses two more borrowings from English: c’est huge and tu seras all good. Both huge and all good are pronounced like their English equivalents.

I wanted to take another look at Lisa’s use of cecitte, so I did a search on Google for examples.

In the results, I came across more examples of cecitte from none other than Lisa LeBlanc herself!

In the second image, Lisa writes:

Well, cecitte, ça vient de blower ma mind.

Well, this just blew my mind.

You gotta love Lisa’s French!

Apart from another example of cecitte, we’ve also got blower ma mind.

La mind is pronounced like its English equivalent, and so is blower but then transformed into an -er verb (sounds like blow + é).

Hold on, we’re not done…

Here’s one more example from Lisa where she uses cecitte again, this time in a tweet:

Trouver cecitte. Être vraiment contente. YES.

Finding this. Being really happy. YES.

Lisa has written this tweet in a style typical of the updates on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s not unusual to hear francophones say YES! when happy about something.

Apprendre le français de Rosaireville sur OffQc. YES!

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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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Pu capab' !

Pus capab’, moé !

Moi là, l’hiver, pas capable!

Literal translation:
Personally, the winter, not capable!

Huh??
Not capable of what?
Not capable of standing the winter, of course!

Moi là, l’hiver, pas capable!
Personally, I can’t stand the winter!

The le in capable often drops in colloquial speech: capab’. It sounds like capabe.

Moi là, l’hiver, pas capab’!

Honnêtement là, c’te fille-là, pas capab’!
Honestly, I can’t stand that girl!

C’te is an informally contracted form of cette. To understand what c’te sounds like, first say te. Now put an s sound at the beginning of it: ste.

People also say chu pas capab’. Remember, chu is an informally contracted form of je suis. So chu pas capab’ is a contracted form of the much less informal sounding je ne suis pas capable.

Chu pas can contract even further to ch’pas. Maybe this contraction will remind you of Lisa LeBlanc’s song J’pas un cowboy, where j’pas is pronounced ch’pas. I’ll use the spelling ch’pas here because it’s more phonetic, but remember that you might read j’pas instead in authentic texts.

L’hiver, ch’pas capab’.
I can’t stand the winter.

C’te fille-là, ch’pas capab’.
I can’t stand that girl.

J’aime tous mes voisins. Y’a juste toi que ch’pas capab’.
I like all my neighbours. You’re the only one I can’t stand.

Ouch!

If pas capab’ means “can’t stand it,” then pu capab’ means “can’t stand it anymore.” Remember, pu is an informally contracted form of plus, which means “no more.” It’s also often spelled pus (don’t pronounce the s).

C’te fille-là, pu capab’.
I can’t stand that girl anymore.

Ch’pus capab’ d’habiter au centre-ville.
I can’t stand living downtown anymore.

Honnêtement là, l’hiver, ch’pu capab’.
Honestly, I can’t stand the winter anymore.

Lots of contractions in this post! If you can manage them, you’ll go a long way in making your French sound more natural.

If these contractions are still too challenging for you, don’t stress out about it. Keep listening to lots of spoken French and you may just find that you start using them without having to think too much about it.

Image credit: Watyrfall

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On risque d'avoir du pas pire fun!

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!

I really like the wording that Lisa LeBlanc used in her Facebook update:

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!
We just might have some not-bad fun!

If this sentence leaves you feeling a little WTF, don’t worry — we’re gonna pick it apart good.

Let’s start backwards from the end of this interesting sentence.

>>> avoir du fun

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!

The expression avoir du fun is “to have fun.”

Tu vas avoir du fun.
You’re going to have fun.

J’ai eu du fun.
I had fun.

>>> pas pire

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!

Pas pire is used in the same way as English’s “not bad” or like the other French expression pas mal.

Comment ça va?
Pas pire, pas pire!
— How’s it going?
— Not bad, not bad!

— Qu’est-ce t’en penses?
C’est pas pire.
— What d’ya think?
— It’s not bad.

Inquiète-toi pas. C’est pas si pire que ça.
Don’t worry. It’s not that bad.

If something’s “not bad,” or pas pire, does that mean it’s good? Not necessarily. But if one thing’s for sure, it’s not full-on bad. Or, at least, that’s the case with the three examples above.

Lisa’s Facebook update is different though. We really can interpret her use of pas pire as meaning “good” (and not just good but very good indeed). Saying “not bad” here is a form of understatement meant to make you smile.

Even more interesting is that she uses the expression pas pire in an unusual way — like an adjective that describes the fun to be had:

du fun — du pas pire fun
some fun — some not-bad fun

>>> risquer

On risque d’avoir du pas pire fun!

Literally, risquer (de faire quelque chose) means “to risk (doing something),” but we can translate risquer better here as “might” or “just might.”

Tu risques d’avoir du fun!
You just might have fun!

Écoute ça, tu risques d’aimer.
Listen to this, you might like it.

This usage might surprise you (or “risks” surprising you?) because there’s no real risk involved in these examples; there isn’t the negative sense you might have expected.

In colloquial Québécois French, the verb risquer is often used like this, in the general sense of “might.” There doesn’t necessarily have to be the risk of a negative outcome for it to be used.

If you haven’t already, check out Lisa LeBlanc and her music.

Mais attention — vous risquez d’aimer. 😀

_ _ _

You’ll find all OffQc entries related to Lisa LeBlanc here.

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