Posts Tagged ‘poil’

Here’s more French heard on the radio.

A speaker, in reference to Lenny Kravitz, said an equivalent of this in French on air: He hasn’t changed one bit.

Can you guess how? She used the word poil.

Here’s what she said:

Y’a pas changé d’un poil.

This is a colloquial equivalent of il n’a pas changé d’un poil. Ne pas changer d’un poil means to not change one bit.

Poil, though, wasn’t pronounced the way you’re probably thinking it was. It was pronounced as pouèl, or as “pwell” using an anglicised spelling.

This is an alternate pronunciation heard in Québec. If you came to Québécois French by way of traditional music, for example, you’ve maybe noticed in songs that oi might be pronounced in other words too, like toile and étoile.

It’s not necessary for you to adopt this pronunciation, but it’s good to be aware of it. You may hear some older speakers use it, or hear it in rural settings.

The speaker who used it on the radio did so not because it was her usual way of pronouncing the word, but as a form of emphasis. Here’s how she really said it:

Y’a pas changé d’un pouèèèlllll.

She used this pronunciation and drew it out for effect.


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