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Posts Tagged ‘quand que’

On the radio, there’s an audio clip taken from a television show being used for promotional purposes. In the audio clip, the character from the television show can be heard saying:

Je suis dégoûtée de comment qu’on a pas protégé mes enfants.
I’m disgusted by how my children weren’t protected.

There are a few things I wanted to point out about the language in this quote:

1. Comment que was used instead of just comment. This can be heard frequently in spoken language. You saw this before in a past post where a speaker used comment que and quand que, instead of just comment and quand. She said:

quand qu’y’a fermé la porte
(an informal variation on quand il a fermé la porte)
when he closed the door

comment qu’y pensaient
(an informal variation on comment ils pensaient)
how they used to think

2. On a pas from the quote is an informal equivalent of on n’a pas, but they both in fact sound exactly the same. (I could’ve written on n’a pas in the quote above, but ne is almost always dropped in informal language — even if, here, including it or not including it makes no difference to the pronunciation of the quote.)

3. You know now that je suis frequently contracts to j’su’ in spoken language (sounds as if it were written chu in French — the ch sounds like the ch in chez). But the speaker here did in fact use the full je suis, and not a contraction of it. That’s because she wanted to stress what she was saying. By using the full je suis, she was able to emphasise her words more, which helped to convey her anger. Maybe we can compare it to the way an angry parent calls a child by his full name when he’s in trouble!

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In #1020, we saw an example of where a Québécois speaker in Montréal said:

quand qu’y’a fermé la porte
(an informal variation on quand il a fermé la porte)
when he closed the door

Instead of saying just quand, she said quand que. This is a feature of colloquial language. It’s not necessary for you to include this que yourself here, but it’s always good to understand what people are saying.

It’s not just after quand that you might hear que added in. I heard another example of it today, this time using comment instead:

comment qu’y pensaient
(an informal variation on comment ils pensaient)
how they used to think

Remember, il and ils are pronounced informally as i’, often written as y.

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In this post, I’ve taken some usages heard in Québécois French that were said by a woman in her 70s in Montréal.

  • faire peinturer

She was talking about getting a room in her house painted; faire peinturer means to have painted, to get painted (by someone else), for example faire peinturer les murs, to get the walls painted. If you look up the verb to paint in the dictionary, you’ll probably find peindre instead. Québécois usage prefers peinturer.

  • quand qu’y’a fermé la porte

Y’a is an informal pronunciation of il a, but there’s also a que slipped in here that maybe you weren’t expecting; it means when he shut the door. You’ll often hear que inserted after quand like this in colloquial language. Another example: quand qu’y’a fini, when he finished.

  • dans ma chambre de bain

She referred to her bathroom as une chambre de bain. In the Grand dictionnaire terminologique, we read something interesting about this term:

Chambre de bains (ou chambre de bain) est souvent présenté comme un calque de l’anglais à éviter, alors qu’il s’agit plutôt d’un terme d’origine française. Le mot chambre était déjà utilisé en ancien français pour désigner une pièce quelconque de la maison.

Par ailleurs, on trouve chambre de bains et chambre de bain chez des auteurs français du XIXe siècle. Ce terme est toujours utilisé dans certaines aires francophones. On en trouve des traces en France et en Belgique, et il est encore en usage au Québec et en Suisse. Il est toutefois en perte de vitesse dans ce dernier pays.

[chambre de bains | chambre de bain] Au Québec, il est surtout relevé dans des contextes de langue courante, tandis que salle de bains et salle de bain sont employés dans toutes les situations de communication.

Chambre de bains (ou chambre de bain) is often considered an anglicism to be avoided, whereas it is in fact originally a French term. The word chambre was already in use in Old French to designate any room of a house [as opposed to pièce].

Furthermore, chambre de bains and chambre de bain were used by certain French authors in the 19th century. This term is still in use in some French-speaking areas. There are still traces of it in France and Belgium, and it is still in use in Québec and Switzerland. It is, however, falling out of use in Switzerland.

In Québec, chambre de bains and chambre de bain are mostly used in colloquial language situations, whereas salle de bains and salle de bain are used in any language situation.

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