Posts Tagged ‘pas pire’

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. 😀

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

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I went to the post office yesterday to deliver a package. When the cashier asked how I wanted to send it, I said: en régulier, which means that I wanted to send it by regular post.

It cost 9,65 $ to send the package, which is said in French as: neuf et soixante-cinq. On the receipt, the cashier showed me the tracking number, le numéro de suivi, so that I could track online the package’s delivery.

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Yesterday morning, I heard someone ask a friend: Comment ça va? The friend answered back by saying: Pas pire!, which means “not bad” in Québec.

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Are you pronouncing the French word suggestion correctly?

The letter g appears twice in this word, and you must pronounce each one. The first g is hard, like the g in goutte. The second g is soft, like the j in joute. What’s more, suggestion is a tsitsu word. The t is pronounced ts.


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Chris asked about the expression péter la balloune de quelqu’un in the comments section of yesterday’s post about the verb péter.

The québécois expression péter la balloune de quelqu’un means “to burst someone’s bubble,” in the sense of disappointing or bringing the person back down to earth.

In the comments, JohanneDN provided a good example of the expression: Quand j’ai reçu les résultats de mon examen de philo, ça a pété ma balloune. (When I got the results of my philosophy exam, I was disappointed/let down.)

If you’re about to give someone a reality check, you could say: Je veux pas péter ta balloune, mais… or Désolé de péter ta balloune, mais… This expression can have a cutting tone to it.

Je veux pas péter ta balloune, mais la vraie diva du Québec, c’est Ginette Reno.
I don’t wanna burst your bubble, but the real diva of Québec is Ginette Reno.
I hate to burst your bubble, but…

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Most words that end in -tion aren’t tsitsu words. For example, in information and animation, the t is pronounced like an s. So, there’s no t sound to begin with to be pronounced ts. But in words like bastion and gestion, which end in -stion, the t is indeed pronounced like a t — or, more accurately, like ts in Québec. That’s why suggestion above is a tsitsu word.

Don’t go overboard pronouncing ts and dz in tsitsu and dzidzu words. It’s not tsssssssss and dzzzzzzzzz; it’s just ts and dz. It’s said quickly like any other sound.

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I saw the advertisement in the image above in a public space in Montréal. The Fonds is promoting their RRSPs. An RRSP is a Canadian investment for retirement. In French, an RRSP is called un REER, which is pronounced ré-èr.

And, finally, the moose in the image is called un orignal in French!

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1. en régulier, by regular post
2. 9,65 $, neuf et soixante-cinq
3. un numéro de suivi, tracking number
4. pas pire, not bad
5. suggestion, check your pronunciation!
6. péter la balloune de quelqu’un, to burst someone’s bubble
7. bastion, gestion, the t is pronounced ts in Québec
8. un REER, RRSP (pronounced ré-èr)
9. un orignal, moose

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Another example overheard on the radio:

A young girl called in to Rouge FM. The host asked her what year she was in at school. She said she was en quatrième année.

The host then asked if she found quatrième année to be difficult. She replied:

Jusqu’à date, c’est pas pire.

C’est pas pire is an expression used in Québec meaning “it’s not bad.” It means the same thing as c’est pas mal.

Jusqu’à date means “to date” or “so far” or “up until now.” It means the same thing as jusqu’à maintenant.

Although the expression jusqu’à date is considered by various sources in Québec to be incorrect (anglicism), you’ll still hear it used.

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