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Posts Tagged ‘piasse’

An important Québécois usage related to shopping for food is the French equivalent of to go food shopping.

In French, this is faire son épicerie.

Je viens de faire mon épicerie.
I’ve just gone food shopping.

When you go food shopping, you push your items about in a wheeled shopping cart. This is called un panier in Québec.

The term in full is panier d’épicerie, but panier on its own is fine when it’s clear what you’re talking about.

Certain places may require you to put a coin in the cart to unlock it.

Ça prend une piasse pour débarrer le panier.
You need a loonie to unlock the cart.

If you’ve got no change, you might say:

J’ai pas d’change sur moi!
I’ve got no change on me!

Du change is often used in place of de la monnaie.

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The OffQc guide 1000 Québécois French will help you to increase your vocabulary and knowledge of essential, everyday expressions. It’s a condensed version of the first 1000 posts on OffQc; you can use it to become acquainted with the most important Québécois French vocabulary and expressions for the first time, or to review a large amount of material in less time.

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MONTRÉAL, JE SUIS LÀ!!!

MONTRÉAL, JE SUIS LÀ!!!

Here’s a challenging video with lots of informal language featuring a comedian from Québec called Korine Côté.

This video is part of a series in which Québécois personalities were asked to talk about their region of Québec.

Here, Korine extols the virtues of her region — Montréal.

The text is transcribed in French and translated to English. In the English translation, I’ve included contextual notes. After it, there’s a list of vocabulary with definitions.

There are three things in particular that I’d like to draw your attention to:

1. sur la

You’ll hear Korine pronounce the words sur la as s’a in a few spots in this video when she says s’a rue, which means sur la rue. This is an informal usage.

If you bought the OffQc Québécois French book 1000, you’ll find examples of the informally contracted s’a in numbers 415, 542, 550 and 848 (in case you’d like to hear it after having read those examples).

2. passer

When Korine says y’a une ambulance qui passe, listen to how she pronounces passe. This is the â sound that I’ve written about extensively on OffQc. It’s a very distinguishing feature of Québécois French. You’ll hear Korine pronounce it much like powss. The infinitive passer uses the same sound.

3. il y en a qui

In a few spots, Korine uses the expression il y en a qui, which she pronounces informally as y’en a qui. This is a very important expression to learn, which means there are people who, some people might…

On the first go, try listening without following the transcript to see how much you understand. You can follow along with it on subsequent listens.

[0:10] Ma région? C’est une ville, fa’que… hein!

[0:16] Montréal, ville de liberté. Y’en a p’t’-êt’ qui vont dire qu’on est individualistes pis qu’on s’sacre de tout l’monde, ben c’est vrai. Tu peux ignorer des itinérants sans jamais te sentir mal. Tu peux te faire tapocher en pleine rue tranquille sans qu’personne vienne te déranger.

[0:30] Tu peux t’commander d’la bouffe 24 heures sur 24… pas toi, hein?

[0:35] Ici, tu peux faire le tour du monde avec ta carte Opus. Pis en plus avec not’ quartier chinois, là, on possède la Chine!

[0:41] On a plein d’affaires que vous avez pas… un aéroport, une équipe de hockey, des BIXI, des comédiens qui s’promènent s’a rue, des deux et demie à côté d’la 40 à 1400 piasses. Bon, y’en a qui vont te dire que cher à payer, là, mais croiser Stefie Shock s’a rue, ç’a pas d’prix.

[0:54] Ça sera pas long, y’a une ambulance qui passe.

[0:57] Eh câlisse, les travaux, hein? Vos yeules!!!

[1:00] Y’en a qui vont dire que Montréal, c’est bruyant, là. Moi, j’m’en sacre, je fais de l’acouphène.

[1:04] On a un stade, un métro, des autoroutes pis plein d’ponts. OK, y sont brisés, mais on les a.

[1:09] Nous, on a La Ronde. Pas besoin d’attendre que la Beauce Carnaval débarque avec ses manèges rouillés pis tout usés, non! Nous autres, nos manèges rouillés pis usés sont là à l’année!

[1:18] Nous autres, on a pas ça, un accent. Non. On a raison. On est plus. Fa’qu’on gagne. Hein! Fait chier! Des fois, c’t’un accent français. C’est pour faire beau.

[1:29] Nous autres, on a pas besoin de dire ça, la phrase «aller en ville». On est d’jà là.

[1:33] MONTRÉAL, JE SUIS LÀ!

My region is a city, so… ha! (Take that!) (She’s bragging that Montréal is considered to be an entire region, not just a city.)

Montréal, city of freedom. Some people might say we’re individualists and that we don’t give a damn about anybody — well, it’s true. You can ignore the homeless without ever having to feel bad (about it). You can get beaten up in peace in the middle of the street without anybody coming to bother you.

You can order food 24 hours a day… but not you, right? (She’s joking that only other people would order food at all hours of the day and night… and not you, who’s better than that.)

Here (in Montréal), you can travel the world with your Opus card. (The Opus card is a credit-card shaped bus and métro pass.) What’s more, with our Chinatown, we own China! (We’ve got all of China right here!)

We’ve got all kinds of things that you don’t… an airport, a hockey team, BIXI bikes (these are pay-per-use bikes), actors walking in the streets, studio apartments next to (highway) 40 for 1400 dollars (a month). (La 40 is une autoroute, or highway. The part of autoroute 40 that passes through Montréal is known as la Métropolitaine.) Fine, some people might tell you that’s a lot of money to pay, but bumping into Stefie Shock in the street? Priceless.

Hold on, there’s an ambulance going by.

Ah goddammit, construction, huh? Shut up!!!

Some people might say Montréal is noisy, (but) I don’t give a shit (because) I’ve got tinnitus.

We’ve got a stadium, the métro (subway, tube), highways and lots of bridges. OK, they’re broken (the bridges), but still — we’ve got them.

Montréal’s got La Ronde. We don’t need to wait for Beauce Carnaval to show up with their rusty, worn-out rides — nope! Our rusty, worn-out rides are there all year long! (Beauce Carnaval rents out amusement park equipment, like rides; they were interested in the mayor of Québec City’s idea to install une grande roue.)

(In Montréal,) we don’t have an accent. No. We’re right. There’s more of us. So we win… huh! Bloody hell! Sometimes it’s a French accent (that we do). Just to sound nice.

(In Montréal,) we don’t need to say “I’m going to the city/going downtown.” We’re already there.

MONTRÉAL, IT’S WHERE I’M AT!

Vocabulary notes

  • faque, so (can be pronounced with two syllables as fa/que, or with one like fak)
  • y’en a p’t’-êt’, some (people) might (contraction of il y en a peut-être)
  • pis, and (sounds like pi; contraction of puis)
  • se sacrer de, to not give a shit/damn about
  • ben, well (sounds like bin; contraction of bien)
  • tapocher, to beat up
  • se faire tapocher, to get beaten up
  • la bouffe, food
  • des affaires, stuff, things
  • qui s’promènent, who walk (contraction of qui se promènent)
  • s’a rue, on/in the street (s’a rue is an informal contraction of sur la rue)
  • un deux et demie, this is an apartment with a kitchen (+1), a living room/bedroom all in one room (+1) and a bathroom (+0.5); it’s a contraction of un (appartement) deux (pièces) et demie; a one-bedroom apartment is un trois et demie (kitchen +1, living room +1, bedroom +1, bathroom +0.5)
  • une piasse, dollar, buck
  • y’en a qui vont, some people will, are gonna (contraction of il y en a qui vont)
  • ç’a pas d’prix, it’s priceless (contraction of ça n’a pas de prix)
  • y’a, there is, there are (contraction of il y a)
  • qui passe, that’s passing by (listen to how Korine pronounces passe; it uses the â sound: pâsse)
  • câlisse, fuck, shit, godammit (câlisse is vulgar language)
  • travaux, construction
  • vos yeules!, shut up! (vos yeules is said to more than one person, whereas ta yeule is the singular form; yeule is an informal pronunciation of gueule, which can also be used: vos gueules!, ta gueule!)
  • j’m’en sacre, I don’t give a damn/shit (s’en sacrer means to not give a damn/shit about it)
  • acouphène, tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • plein d’ponts, lots of bridges (plein de means loads of, lots of)
  • y, informal pronunciation of ils
  • brisé, broken, out of order
  • manèges rouillés, rusty (amusement park) rides
  • usé, worn-out
  • à l’année, all year long
  • fa’qu’on gagne, so we win (contraction of ça fait qu’on gagne)
  • fait chier!, sounds typically French
  • faire beau, to sound nice, look nice, come across nice
  • d’jà, contraction of déjà

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Six oranges, check. Five tomatoes, check. One locally grown child, check.

Last week, I went to a supermarket called Maxi.

At Maxi, you have to put une piasse (1 $) into a device on le panier (shopping cart) to release it from the other ones. The panier only accepts one-dollar coins.

When I had finished shopping and returned my panier, two women approached me. One of them asked if she could take my piasse in exchange for four quarters so that she could take a panier.

She asked:

Est-ce que je peux prendre ta piasse pour quatre vingt-cinq sous?
Can I take your loonie [one-dollar coin] for four quarters?

At Maxi, there’s a large sign posted at the spot where customers return their paniers in the parking lot, le stationnement.

I took a photo of the sign so that you could see it and learn French vocabulary from it.

Some of the vocabulary on the sign includes: dépôt, se procurer un panier, retourner le panier, magasiner, passer à la caisse, déverrouiller un panier, monnaie, jeton réutilisable.

The word panier doesn’t just refer to shopping carts with wheels, though.

I found another sign that uses the word panier on it at the entrance to a store called Dollarama.

On this sign, shoppers are told to use a panier (basket) when shopping in the store, and not one of their own sacs réutilisables, reusable bags.

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On Urbania, Jonathan Roberge writes about an accident he had while mountain biking.

The accident probably had something to do with the fact that he chose to go mountain biking on a volcano in Peru at an altitude of 4600 metres.

He says:

Faire du vélo de montagne sur un volcan, au Pérou! À 4600 mètres d’altitude, quelle idée de marde parfaite pour moi!

Mountain biking on a volcano in Peru! At 4600 metres in altitude, what a perfectly shitty idea for me!

Altitude is a tsitsu word. It’s pronounced al-tsi-tsude in Québec.

In his accident, he suffered massive injuries, like: deux vertèbres de chiées dans la nuque (two messed up vertebrae in the neck), quatre côtes fracturées (four fractured ribs), la mâchoire débarquée (a dislocated jaw) and all sorts of other fun stuff.

I’ve pulled three verbs from his text for us to look at:

1. embarquer
2. chialer
3. pogner

1. embarquer

To get to the volcano, Roberge paid a guy $100 to take him there by jeep.

Je donne 100 $ au gars pis j’embarque dans son 4×4 […].

I give the guy $100 and then get in his 4×4.

Embarquer can be used to get in a car, and débarquer to get out: embarquer dans l’auto (to get in the car), débarquer de l’auto (to get out of the car). If you’re travelling on the bus or métro with friends, you can tell them on débarque ici (this is where we get off) when you arrive at your stop.

4×4 is said as quatre par quatre.

In addition to dollar, you’ll also hear the word piasse used a lot: 100 piasses = 100 dollars.

Remember: gars is pronounced gâ, and pis (a reduction of puis) is pronounced pi.

2. chialer

Roberge wasn’t the only foreign traveller in the jeep. There were also some fussy British girls.

Dans le jeep, il y avait des princesses britanniques habillées comme M.I.A. qui chialaient parce qu’elles n’avaient pas de réseau pour leur téléphone intelligent […].

In the jeep, there were some British princesses dressed like M.I.A. who kept complaining that their smartphones had no signal.

In Québec, chialer is pronounced chiâler. The letter combination comes close to what “yaw” sounds like in English. This verb is frequently used in the same sense as se plaindre sans arrêt.

3. pogner

Roberge was going too fast on his bike. When he hit a hole in the path, he came crashing down hard on a rock.

J’allais vite, beaucoup trop vite, j’ai pogné un trou et j’ai été propulsé sur une énorme roche.

I was going fast, way too fast. I hit a hole and was sent flying into an enormous rock.

The verb pogner (rhymes with cogner) is often heard in Québec in the sense of “to catch” or “to grab.” What Roberge “caught” here was a big hole in the path that sent him flying off his bike. You can learn all about the verb pogner here.

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French quotes by: Jonathan Roberge, « Le Pérou, c’est médium le fun », Urbania, 21 février 2014.

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OffQc

Yes! Entry #600!

As #600 approached, I got curious as to the most googled québécois words and phrases that led people to OffQc since it began in December 2010… and there they are in the image above!

You can click on it to make it bigger.

Do you know them all?

Thanks everybody for continuing to read OffQc. It’s a privilege to have your attention.

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Olivier is a teenager in the TV series Les Parent. He asks his parents for money a lot. Of course, they never give it to him, but he still asks.

In one episode, Olivier asks his mother for $20 like this:

Est-ce que tu me passerais vingt piasses?

Maybe you’ll remember that the vowel sound made by the letter a in the verb passer is â (aww).

In another episode, Olivier asks his father for $20. But this time, he asks for it like this:

Tu me passerais-tu vingt piasses?

Both questions mean the same thing, and both belong to conversational Quebec French.

Do you remember that -tu is sometimes used to ask a yes-no question in French?

Tu me passerais-tu vingt piasses?
Tu me passerais-[oui ou non] vingt piasses?

The -tu in bold doesn’t mean “you” like the first tu that begins the question. (Another example: C’est-tu correct? = Est-ce que c’est correct?)

You’ll often hear tu me said in one syllable instead of two. The vowel sound of me can drop, leaving only tu m’ said like one word:

Tu m’passerais-tu vingt piasses?

Maybe you’ll also remember that tu sounds like tsu in Quebec French:

Tsu m’passerais-tsu vingt piasses?

Of course, the spelling tsu doesn’t exist. Tu is always spelled tu.

Remember, you can always ask yes-no questions with est-ce que. Don’t go thinking that it’s not used in Quebec French because that would be untrue. But you will hear the form with -tu used as well, so listen for examples of it so that you can learn to understand it.

[Both quotes from Les Parent. First quote from “Accident de parcours,” season 4, episode 16, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 13 February 2012. Second quote from “L’empire contre-attaque,” season 4, episode 17, Radio-Canada, Montreal, 20 February 2012.]

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