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Posts Tagged ‘marde’

A char de marde has nothing to do with Arctic char.

It’s the truth; a “char de marde” has nothing to do with Arctic char.

During your ventures into Québécois French, it’s only a matter time before you hear one francophone tell another to go eat un char de marde.

Now, if you had heard this when you were new to French and the way it’s spoken in Québec, perhaps you’d have thought that un char de marde was a strange way of pronouncing un char de mer and ended up thinking it was some sort of culinary delight, like Arctic char.

But I’ll bet you’re a little wiser now and realise that the char in question here tastes less like fish and a whole lot more like shit.

That’s because un char de marde is just that — a load of shit. And although it’s no culinary delight, this doesn’t stop the Québécois from encouraging one another to eat it.

Mange don un char de marde.
Eat a load of shit.

In other words, fuck off. 😀

You might even hear the expression used between friends, perhaps in a toned-down version. For example, if Friend A were teasing Friend B, Friend B could tell Friend A to take a hike by saying this in a playful tone:

Mange don un char!
Eat a load!

It’s understood that the load to be eaten is one of shit.

Of course, instead of mange don un char de marde, one could also simply say mange don d’la marde in a moment of anger, but it’s just not as fun, admit it.

The don in these examples should really be spelled donc, but I use don to remind you to not pronounce the c here.

You’ll also frequently hear this expression used with the verb aller:

Va don manger un char de marde.
Go eat a load of shit.

Je vous invite à aller manger un char de marde. Bon appétit.
I invite you to go eat a load of shit. Bon appétit.

Tu peux ben aller manger un char de marde.
You can just go eat a load of shit.

La prochaine fois qu’il t’appelle, dis-lui d’aller manger un char de marde.
The next time he calls you, tell him to go eat a load of shit.

Instead of just telling someone to go eat un char de marde, perhaps you’re feeling generous and would prefer to actually offer one to somebody? How sweet of you. The expression donner un char de marde à quelqu’un means exactly what it sounds like: to give someone shit (as in to yell at that person, to lecture them, to chew them out).

Le policier m’a donné un char de marde.
The policeman gave me shit.

Je vais l’appeler ce soir pour lui donner un char de marde.
I’m going to call him this evening to give him shit.

Mon ex vient de me donner un char de marde.
My ex just gave me shit.

Le garage était fermé, donc j’ai pas pu aller leur donner un char de marde.
The garage was closed, so I couldn’t go give them shit.

Je vais aller demain donner un char de marde au gérant.
I’m going to go tomorrow to give the manager shit.

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You know those sponsored ads that show up in your Facebook feed (do I even need to ask)? I’ve pulled seven comments left on those ads by other people for us to look at. Might as well turn those ads into something we can learn from.

I haven’t changed any of the words; the only changes I’ve made are to spelling and punctuation, or I may have included only part of a comment if it was long.

1. On an ad from Zoosk, an online dating site, we find this comment:

C’est d’la marde, ça.
This is shit. It’s garbage.

You’ll hear shit called marde very frequently in Québec!

If it’s crap, c’est d’la marde.

2. On an ad for a 5 km run from Color Vibe, held in different countries around the world, a Facebook user who wanted to participate named a friend in a comment and asked her:

T’es-tu down?
You down? You game?
Do you wanna go?
Do you wanna do this?

We’ve seen in other posts on OffQc that down can be used in the sense of feeling down (depressed). Chu down depuis hier, I’ve been (feeling) down since yesterday. Y’a pogné un down, he’s (feeling) down.

In this Facebook example, down means “to be willing” or “to be up for it” or, like the other informal québécois word that’s been coming up on OffQc lately, game.

T’es-tu game? T’es-tu down?
T’es-tu down pour demain?

This question uses the informal yes-no tu in it. The part that means “you” in this question is the t’. The tu is the part that signals to us that it’s a yes-no question.

3. Then there was this comment on an ad from CarrXpert promoting their body shop repairs:

Fini CarrXpert pour moi, une belle job de cochon sur mon auto.
Never again CarrXpert for me, (they) messed up my car good.

The word job in Québécois French is usually a feminine word in colloquial conversations. Job can refer to employment (for example: j’ai lâché ma job, I quit my job), but not in this example: here, it’s used in the sense of work that was carried out on a car.

4. On an ad from Keurig (they make single-serving coffee brewers that use small disposable cups), a commenter points out the negative effects of their coffee brewer on the environment:

Bravo pour faire plus de déchets! Je préfère ma vieille machine et composter ma mouture sans déchets! Gang de paresseux!
Bravo for making more waste! I prefer my old machine and composting my grounds without making waste! Bunch of lazy people!

The French word gang as used in Québec sounds much like its English equivalent. It’s a feminine noun. It can mean “gang” just like in English (like a street gang), but it’s even more often used in the general sense of a bunch of people — nothing to do with crime.

Ma gang de bureau, my friends from the office, my office group. Gang de caves! Bunch of idiots! Toute la gang est invitée, the whole gang is invited, all you guys are invited.

C'est du pink slime.

C’est du pink slime.

5. In a McDonald’s ad for the quart de livre (quarter pounder) showing an image of a horribly pink, uncooked hamburger patty being weighed on scale (to prove it really does weigh a quarter pound), we find this comment:

Quart de livre de marde rose et blanche.
Quarter pound of pink and white shit.

There’s that marde again!

6. Then there was also this comment on the same McDonald’s ad:

C’est dégueu. T’as-tu vu la couleur?
That’s disgusting. Did you see the colour?

And there’s that informal yes-no question marker again too. The part that means “you” in this question is the t’. The tu signals that it’s a yes-no question.

Dégueu is a short form of dégueulasse.

7. And this comment, again on the same McDonald’s ad:

Moi, du McDo, c’est pas mal fini.
For me, (eating) McDonald’s, it’s pretty much over.

Pas mal is an expression meaning “pretty” or “pretty much.” C’est pas mal cher. It’s pretty expensive. Y’est pas mal cute, lui. He’s pretty cute. J’ai pas mal de livres dans ma chambre. I’ve got quite a few book in my room.

Don’t pause between pas and mal. Say those two words together because they form an expression: c’est / pas mal / cher.

_ _ _

1. C’est d’la marde, ça.

2. T’es-tu down?

3. Fini CarrXpert pour moi, une belle job de cochon sur mon auto.

4. Bravo pour faire plus de déchets! Je préfère ma vieille machine et composter ma mouture sans déchets! Gang de paresseux!

5. Quart de livre de marde rose et blanche.

6. C’est dégueu. T’as-tu vu la couleur?

7. Moi, du McDo, c’est pas mal fini.

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ma-vie-cest-de-la-marde-francais-quebecois

Ma vie, c’est d’la marde.

Ma vie, c’est d’la marde.
My life is shitty.
[His life is shitty because he got D+ at school. Well, at least he got the +.]

Stresse pas, bro!
La vie est si belle!
Don’t stress out, bro!
Life is so nice!

C’est vrai, au moins il fait beau en esti!
That’s true, at least it’s fuckin’ nice out!

Hehe, j’niaisais!
Hehe, I was kidding!

_ _ _

[…] en esti, fucking […]
c’est beau en esti!, that’s fucking nice!
t’es hot en esti!, you’re fucking hot!

niaiser, to kid, to joke
arrête de niaiser!, stop kidding around!
me niaises-tu?, are you kidding me?

+ 13 example sentences of the québécois marde here.

Bon lundi!

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Wou-hou, check la madame, est toute énarvée!

Yes! Entry #800! I’m so excited!
J’suis tellement énervé!

Now there’s an expression that means the opposite of what you might expect…

In Québec, j’suis tellement énervé doesn’t have the negative meaning of “annoyed” or “irritated” like it does in France.

It has the positive meaning of “excited.”

Remember, je suis is very often pronounced informally as chu or chui.

I’ll use the spelling j’suis below to show these informal pronunciations.

J’suis tellement énervée, je tiens plus en place.
I’m so excited, I can’t keep still.

Je dors p’us, j’suis tellement énervé!
I can’t sleep anymore, I’m so excited! (P’us in informal pronunciation of the negative [ne] plus. It sounds like pu.)

Je capote, j’suis énervée, excitée…
I can’t calm down, I’m so excited…

J’suis toute énervée, là! J’ai plein de papillons!
I’m so excited! I’m all butterflies!

J’suis tellement énervé de partir.
I’m so excited to leave.

J’étais très énervé à l’idée de le rencontrer.
I was very excited at the idea of meeting him.

J’suis tellement énervée! J’me peux p’us! Maudit que j’ai hâte!
I’m so excited! I can’t take it anymore (can’t wait)! Damn I can’t wait!

In that last example above, j’me peux p’us is a contraction of je (ne) me peux plus and means essentially the same thing as j’ai hâte. The informal p’us sounds like pu.

You’ll remember that the Québécois pronounce â like “aww,” so hâte almost-sorta-kinda sounds like the English word “ought,” whereas in France hâte sounds more like the English word “at.”

J’ai hâte! J’me peux p’us!
I can’t wait! I can’t take it anymore!

J’me peux p’us… dans trois jours, je pars en vacances!
I can’t wait… in three days, I’m going on holiday!

Câline, j’me peux p’us, j’ai trop hâte de voir ça!
My goodness, I can’t take it anymore, I can’t wait to see it!

The expression je me peux plus can take on another sense: A woman asked online in a forum for pregnant mothers if she could take a quick dip in the pool on a hot day despite having a slightly detached placenta. Another woman responded with this advice for her on hot days:

Moi, j’ai toujours un pouche-pouche d’eau dans le réfrigérateur. Quand je me peux pus, je m’arrose de cette eau très froide et OH que ça fait du bien!

I always keep a spray bottle filled with water in the refrigerator. When I can’t take it anymore, I spray myself with the cold water and OH does it ever feel good!

Here, the idea behind je me peux plus is not being able to withstand any longer (and not “I can’t wait” like in the other examples).

Yes, un pouche-pouche is a spray bottle! Here, it’s used to talk about a spray bottle filled with water; it’s also used to talk about spray bottles filled with perfume. This funny term comes from the sound the spray bottle makes… pouche-pouche. 😀

And now I think this entry has officially gone off topic. We started with being excited and now we’re talking about… pouche-pouches!

P.S. Énarvé is a pronunciation variation of énervé. Pronouncing ar instead of er is more typically associated with older speakers (e.g., varte instead of verte). The exception to this is the ar sound in vulgar words, which can be heard in all age groups, like tabarnak, viarge, marde, as opposed to tabernacle, vierge, merde.

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Oh hello, good morning!

Well good morning to you too!

In Québec, you’ll hear merde (shit) pronounced as marde.

Today’s a shitty day. Not because it’s a bad day but because marde is our word for today. Here are 13 example sentences of how marde likes to be kept busy in Québec.

It keeps your enemies entertained.

1. Mange don d’la marde.
Eat shit.

2. Qu’y mangent don d’la marde.
They can eat shit.

It keeps crappy objets company…

3. Crisse d’ordi à marde!
Fucking shitty computer!

… as well as crappy people.

4. Osti d’chien sale à marde!
You fucking shitty asshole!

It pays visits to people in a pickle.

5. Chu dans marde.
I’m so screwed.

6. T’es dans marde, man.
You’re screwed, man.

Shitty idea? Shitty day? Hell, shitty life? Why not.

7. Non mais quelle idée d’marde.
What a shitty idea that is.

8. Bonne journée d’marde à toi!
Have a shitty day!

9. Maudite vie d’marde.
Goddamn shitty life.

People can be treated like it.

10. Y me traite comme d’la marde.
He treats me like shit.

11. Y me parle comme d’la marde.
He talks to me like shit.

It loves the stink…

12. Ouache, ça pue la marde!
Yuck, it smells like shit!

… and the wintertime.

13. Chu pu capab d’la marde blanche.
I can’t stand the snow (white shit) anymore.

***

What is don in the first two examples? It’s how donc is pronounced. I used the spelling don so that you wouldn’t be tempted to pronounce it as donk. But are you wondering why donc is even used in these examples to begin with? Don’t try to analyse it too much; you’ll often come across donc in declarations like these. It sounds better with it!

Do you remember to dzidzuate and tsitsuate? Maudzite journée d’marde. Crisse d’ordzi à marde. Ostsi d’chien sale à marde. If you forget to do your dz and ts, don’t worry — you’ll still be understood. If you can manage it though, it’ll sound a lot more authentic. If you use the offcois nouns le dzidzu and le tsitsu with your French prof, he’ll either worry that you know something he doesn’t or think you’ve gone batshit crazy.

Don’t forget that il and ils are most often pronounced as y (or i) when people speak colloquially. Y me traite comme d’la marde means the same thing as il me traite comme d’la marde. Remember too that je suis very often contracts to chu, and tu es becomes t’es.

In 13, chu pu capab means the same thing as je ne suis plus capable. There’s a lot of contraction going on here! Je suis became chu, plus became pu (also spelled informally as pus), and capable lost its le sound on the end.

Bonne journée d’marde à vous tous!
Have a shitty day everybody!

_ _ _

Related reading: Ma vie, c’est de la marde! (#803)

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Chère madame qui m'a vu me décrotter le nezHere’s more fun stuff from Rabii!

Rabii’s blog posts are written in the form of comical letters to different people who’ve crossed his path in Montréal.

Below you’ll find some entertaining French to learn from three different posts, or “letters,” that he’s written.

After each number below is the title of one of his blog posts, which you can click on to go the post in question.

1. Chère madame qui m’a vu me décrotter le nez

Dear lady who saw me picking my nose

Rabii says to the lady who witnessed the whole nose-picking scene:

Tu as tout vu, mais je m’en fous, je l’assume : je suis un décrotteur occasionnel.

You saw it all, but I don’t care, and I’m not afraid to say it: I’m an occasional nosepicker.

se décrotter le nez, to pick one’s nose
un décrotteur occasionnel, an occasional picker

Now that you know se décrotter le nez, you can also say:

se décrotter les yeux, to pick the crud out of one’s eyes
se décrotter les oreilles, to clean one’s ears out

2. Cher ami qui veut fourrer son iPhone

Dear friend who wants to screw his iPhone

Rabii says to his friend:

Pour vrai, j’ai peur d’arriver chez toi trop tôt un jour, d’ouvrir la porte de ta chambre et te pogner en train de le fourrer, ton iPhone.

Seriously, I’m afraid I’ll arrive at your place too early one day, open your bedroom door and catch you screwing your iPhone.

pogner quelqu’un, to catch someone
en train de fourrer, in the act of screwing
fourrer son iPhone, to screw one’s iPhone

You can read all about the verb pogner in “Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois verb pogner.”

3. Cher gars qui traite sa blonde comme d’la marde

Dear guy who treats his girlfriend like shit

Rabii comes to the defence of a nice girl whose boyfriend talked to her like shit while shopping in Montréal.

Nonetheless, Rabii admits to sometimes wondering if girlfriends are really even necessary:

Y’a des jours où j’me dis : « Qui a besoin d’une blonde quand on a Netflix? »

There are days when I think, “Who needs a girlfriend when you’ve got Netflix?”

une blonde, a girlfriend
traiter quelqu’un comme de la marde, to treat someone like shit

You can check out this earlier post on OffQc with content from Rabii.

You can read all of Rabii’s blog posts on Urbania.

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Chu dans marde!

In spoken French, you’ll often hear the word combination dans la said as dans. Before looking at that, let’s take two expressions used in Québec:

être dans la marde
avoir les yeux dans la graisse de bines

1. être dans la marde

This expression, which literally means “to be in the shit,” is used to describe being up shit’s creek, to be in a rough spot, to be screwed, to be in for it.

2. avoir les yeux dans la graisse de bines

This expression literally means “to have one’s eyes in the bean grease.” When someone has a dazed or spaced out look in their eyes, their eyes are in the bean grease!

Both of these expressions contain the word combination dans la:

dans la marde
dans la graisse de bines

Informal pronunciation of dans la

At an informal level of spoken French, sometimes la loses its initial consonant sound, leaving just ‘a.

When this happens in the word combination dans la, we could say that the remaining ‘a sound gets “swallowed up” in the nasal vowel sound of dans.

This is why you’ll hear dans la marde and dans la graisse de bines from the two expressions above sound like:

dans marde
dans graisse de bines

T’es dans marde!
(té dans marde)
You’re screwed!
You’re gonna get it!

J’sus dans marde!
(chu dans marde)
I’m screwed!
I’m so in for it!

On est vraiment dans marde, hein!
You can hear Cynthia pronounce this here at 3:44.

T’as les yeux dans graisse de bines!
(t’a les yeux dans graisse de bines)
You look so spaced out!

Dans la may contract whenever these two words come together during informal speech, not just in the two expressions above.

With certain informal expressions, like the two above, it sounds kind of unnatural to say them with the full dans la. So you can say them with the contracted form explained above.

But elsewhere, with regular expressions (like dans la rue, dans la bouteille, dans la vie, etc.), you can continue to say the full dans la. It’s not necessary for you to apply the contraction here, even though you may hear native speakers do it spontaneously.

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