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Posts Tagged ‘neige’

Found another good clip from QuébecOriginal promoting winter to European visitors. (We saw the first one here.) As usual, the French text is below the clip, followed by a translation into English and usage notes. This clip will be added to the Listen to Québécois French section.

Au Québec, on aime tellement l’humour qu’on a la seule baie au monde qui rit : la baie du Ha! Ha!

En fait, ici, tout se peut, surtout quand on se lâche lousse. «Lousse» — en liberté totale!

Des fois, la neige fait sortir le meilleur de nous. Pour avancer partout, on a réinventé la roue. Quand on veut rester au chaud, on sort nos vieux mots : tuque, chandail, combine, mitaines, bas.

Mais comme on a vraiment quatre saisons, ça se peut que vous croisiez du monde qui s’est trompé en s’habillant. Ça s’appelle le Québec!

Mais ce qu’on a de plus grand, c’est notre hiver. Le plus blanc, le plus stupéfiant des hivers. On est fiers de notre hiver. On est QuébecOriginal.

In Québec, we love humour so much that we’ve got the only laughing bay in the world: la baie du Ha! Ha! (literally Ha! Ha! Bay).

In fact, here, anything’s possible, especially when we let loose. “Lousse(from the English “loose”) — total freedom! (Lousse is a Québécois usage; the speaker is defining it for European listeners.)

Sometimes the snow brings out the best in us. To get around everywhere, we reinvented the wheel. When we want to stay warm, we pull out our old words: tuque(tuque/winter hat), “chandail(sweater), “combine(from combinaison, long johns/long underwear; can also be the piece of clothing that covers the entire body and buttons down the chest), “mitaines(mittens), “bas(socks). (These words are all Québécois usages.)

But because we’ve really got four seasons, it’s possible you’ll bump into someone who got dressed wrong. That’s Québec!

But the best thing we’ve got is winter. The whitest, most stupefying of winters. We’re proud of our winter. We are QuébecOriginal.

Notes:

se lâcher lousse, to let loose, to let it all hang out, to let ‘er rip
Note how the speaker pronounces lâche; it uses the â sound. She says it quickly, but try to hear it.

Note how she pronounces lousse. It sounds slightly different to the English loose. The words mousse, pousse, rousse, etc., all use that same vowel sound.

Note how the speaker pronounces bas. The words pas, cas, tas, t’as all rhyme with this, using that same vowel sound. We heard this vowel sound before in the words pas and chat in this video.

tuque, nom féminin
chandail, nom masculin
combine, nom féminin
bas, nom masculin
mitaine, nom féminin

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While listening to the radio, a woman called in to request a song.

The radio host told us the woman had requested the song for her boyfriend who had to work late.

New snow had fallen in Montréal, and her boyfriend had to spend the night snowploughing the streets. The last part of what the host said was:

[…] son chum qui doit passer la gratte jusqu’à trois heures du matin.
[…] her boyfriend who has to snowplough until three o’clock in the morning.

Another example of gratte, this one found online:

Quand la gratte passe… dégage!
When a snowplough comes along… get out of the way! [NRJ Gatineau-Ottawa 104.1]

… to avoid getting buried in snow!

You’ll also hear a snowplough called une charrue. Both gratte and charrue are Québécois words used in colloquial conversations.

Related:

Une souffleuse à neige is a snowblower.

It’s that machine that picks up the snow and sends it flying onto your neighbour’s property. 😉

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In this Facebook update from Carnaval de Québec, we’re told to take advantage of the neige collante (packing snow) to make a bonhomme de neige (snowman):

Mes amis, profitez de cette neige collante pour construire un beau bonhomme de neige.

Neige collante is snow that sticks together when you compact it in your hands.

Neige collante is heavier than fluffy snow. It’s the snow you need to make a snowman.

You’ll also hear packing snow called neige lourde because of its weight. You can injure your back when you shovel it away.

There’s also an informal term for packing snow: neige à bonhomme. It’s “snowman snow” after all!

neige collante
neige lourde
neige à bonhomme
heavy packing snow

un bonhomme de neige
snowman

_ _ _

Bonne année la gang! Thanks for a great year and for continuing to read OffQc. We’ll meet again in the new year.

Feliz año nuevo
Feliz ano novo
Buon anno
سال نو مبارک
Yeni yılınız kutlu olsun
سنة سعيدة
Happy new year

😀

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Fuck you l'été [Jordan Dupuis]

Fuck you l’été [Jordan Dupuis]

In an Urbania article called Le monde selon J : Fuck you l’été published at the end of March, Jordan Dupuis describes his displeasure over the fact that winter was ending and that hot weather was on its way. He writes:

Bref, 99,9% des gens sont à boutte de l’hiver… mais pas moi.
In short, 99.9% of people are sick of winter… but not me.

être à boutte de l’hiver
to be sick of winter
to have had it with winter

As usual, this Urbania article is full of colloquial language similar to what you’ll hear in real conversations. If you haven’t checked Urbania out yet, I encourage you to do so.

Unlike the author himself, Jordan says that people can’t take the snow anymore:

Les gens sont officiellement pu’ capables d’endurer la neige […].
People are officially no longer able to stand the snow.

endurer quelque chose
to be able to stand something

les gens sont pu’ capables
people are no longer able

Maybe you’ll remember pu capab from yesterday’s entry devoted to the word marde as used in Québec.

Jordan explains the reasons he hates summer. One of them is that his summer clothes no longer fit after gaining weight throughout the winter. As he looks at his summer shirts spread out on his bed, he realises he should forget about wearing them and donate them instead. He says that he should sacrer ses chemises d’été dans un beau grand sac à vidanges, or “throw his summer shirts the hell out into a huge garbage bag.”

One of the other reasons he hates summer so much is that some people (but not him) seem to be devoid of sweat glands. He curses these “chosen ones” for not sweating a drop in their cream-coloured linen shirts:

Ces êtres élus et gâtés par la vie, même à 38 degrés et avec un facteur humidex à te faire friser le poil de la noune, ne transpirent pas une goutte de sueur dans leur chemise en lin couleur crème.

38 degrés
Americans, remember: 38 degrees is hot! Québec uses Celsius.

Le facteur humidex is the humidex factor. In Québec, we LOVE to talk about the humidex factor. The humidex factor is what the temperature feels like because of humidity. So, the actual temperature might be 38, but the humidex factor might make it feel more like 45.

But, oh my, what does faire friser le poil de la noune mean?

Do you remember the word plotte from a previous entry? It’s a vulgar word that refers to the female sex organ. Une noune is the same thing. Le poil de la noune, well, that’s the pubic hair surrounding it. Faire friser (quelque chose) means to make it curl.

à 38 degrés et avec un facteur humidex à te faire friser le poil de la noune

In other words, he curses those chosen ones who don’t sweat a drop even when the temperature is hot enough to make pubic hair curl.

I’ll let you discover the rest of his text on your own!

_ _ _

French quotes by Jordan Dupuis, «Le monde selon J : Fuck you l’été», Urbania, Montréal, 31 March 2014.

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It surely comes as no surprise to you — Montréal gets a lot of snow in the winter: de la marde blanche (the white shit)!

If you drive a car, you’ll need a shovel, une pelle, to dig yourself out after a snowfall, une bordée de neige.

If you have a driveway, you’ll need to shovel that too, pelleter l’entrée. To pronounce pelleter, say it with two syllables: pelter. You can also say pelleter la neige.

When snow is fresh, it looks clean. But when it begins to melt on the roads, it turns into slush, de la slush (de la sloche).

At street corners in downtown Montréal, you’ll often need to jump across a pool of water.

If you get your feet wet in the slush and water, you’re going to be pretty miserable.

Be sure to choose a good pair of winter boots for walking around in Montréal, choisir une bonne paire de bottes d’hiver.

If you’re new to Montréal, walking on slippery sidewalks requires practice. You’ll need those good boots to avoid breaking your back by falling down on the ice, se péter le dos en pognant une débarque sur la glace!

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This cool video from the magazine Urbania lets us in on some facts about Montréal that may surprise you.

The video is from 2007. Feel free to update any numbers that have changed in the comments if you can.

514, code régional

1 854 442 habitants

492 235 immigrants

7 630 rues

522 km de ruelles

233 mètres, hauteur du mont Royal

179 graffiteurs

Montréal est à
10 379 km de Tokyo
5 897 km de Paris
532 km de New York
32 km de Saint-Amable

Le 4 mars 1971,
48 cm de neige
sont tombés sur
Montréal
en 24 heures.

19 ponts

1 île

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Issue number 33 of the magazine Urbania has just come out. You may remember this magazine from earlier entries, where I recommended it as interesting reading material in French.

Ironically, just as the cold weather is ending, issue number 33 is devoted to the theme hiver québécois.

But as the authors of the magazine explain on page 2, to be authentic, it was important that the writers prepare this issue during the winter months, avec une pelle dans la main et les deux bottes dans la neige, and then release it in the spring.

On page 9, we read an interesting fact in the section L’hiver en chiffres:

27 100 : Nombre de Québécois qui se blessent chaque année en pelletant ou en soufflant leur neige. […]

27 100, that’s the number of Québécois who injure themselves every year by shovelling their snow or using a snow blower.

In entry #383, you read about the verb pelleter (to shovel). Remember, it’s pronounced pelter.

pelleter la neige, to shovel the snow
pelleter les marches, to shovel the steps
pelleter l’entrée, to shovel the driveway

And souffler la neige, that’s to clean the snow away like this, with a snow blower (une souffleuse).

[Quote from “L’hiver en chiffres,” Urbania, printemps 2012, numéro 33, Montréal, p. 9.]

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