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Posts Tagged ‘Rabii Rammal’

In his latest article, Rabii Rammal writes about his mother who lived through the war. The bomb warnings that would drop from the sky (and facetiously paraphrased here by Rabii) used to read:

« Salut, vous, votre quartier passe au cash dans quelques heures. Mettons que si on était vous, on resterait pas pour un dernier verre. »

“Hello, in a few hours, you and your neighbourhood are in for it. Let’s just say if we were you, we wouldn’t stick around for a last drink.”

[Rabii Rammal, “Ma mère est une peureuse,” La Presse, 26 April 2015]

Passer au cash…

Passer à la caisse means to go to the cash (and pay). Cash is the English word for caisse. The expression passer au cash used here also means to pay, but in the sense of receiving a punishment or getting in trouble.

Attends que j’te pogne… tu vas passer au cash!
Wait till I catch you… you’re gonna pay!, you’re in for it!, you’re gonna get it!

You can also learn the expression mettons que from Rabii’s quote above. It means let’s (just) say that. We saw an example of this expression in #260 when a school teacher from the TV show 30 vies said:

J’suis contente que ça se calme dans ma classe parce que, côté famille, là… mettons que… mettons que ça se corse.

I’m happy things are calming down in my class because, as far as home goes… let’s just say… let’s just say things are getting complicated.

[30 vies, season 1, episode 54, Radio-Canada, 12 April 2011]

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A short Facebook update by Rabii Rammal reminds us of both Québécois vocabulary and good manners on this brutal winter day:

Ce soir après la job, stationne pas ton char dans la place que ton voisin a déneigée. C’est pas très gentil.

This evening after work, don’t park your car in the spot that your neighbour had to shovel. That’s not very nice.

la job
job, work

[ne] stationne pas
don’t park

ton char
your car

la place
place, spot

déneiger
to clear away the snow

When a snowplough comes along, it dumps mounds of snow around cars parked in the street, blocking them in. Owners then have the pleasure of having to dig their car out with a shovel. These are the parking spots that Rabii asks neighbours not to steal after work (wouldn’t it be nice).

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In the last post, we saw an example of the Québécois verb gosser.

Let’s take a closer look at how the verb gosser can be used in the sense of “to bug someone” or “to give someone a rough time.”

Here are some good examples pulled from a quick Google search:

Au secondaire tu n’arrêtais pas de me gosser avec ça! In secondary school, you always bugged me about that!

Mon propriétaire est un vieux pervers dégueu qui arrête pas de me gosser. The owner is a disgusting, old pervert who keeps bugging me.

Ma blonde arrêtait pas de me gosser pour en acheter une. My girlfriend kept bugging me to buy one.

In the last entry, Rabii Rammal used se faire gosser instead. If gosser quelqu’un means “to give someone a rough time,” then se faire gosser means “to be given a rough time” by someone. Rammal wrote:

Tous, homme ou femme, ont le droit de ne pas se faire gosser dans la rueEverybody, male or female, has the right to not be bothered in the street.

Here are a few more examples pulled from a Google search:

Je me faisais gosser par les infirmières à l’hôpital pour que mes garçons boivent aux 3 heures. I was bugged by the nurses at the hospital to get my boys to drink every 3 hours.

Je me suis fait gosser par un policier. I was given a rough time by a policeman.

J’haïs tellement ça me faire gosser par un vendeur! I hate it so much when salesmen bug me!

Tips: Aux trois (quatre, cinq…) heures means “every three (four, five…) hours.” J’haïs is pronounced ja-i.

In short:

gosser quelqu’un
to give someone a rough time

se faire gosser par quelqu’un
to be given a rough time by someone

The verb gosser has even more uses than just the ones here. Let’s leave that for a future post…

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In La Presse, Rabii Rammal writes an article in response to a video called “10 hours of walking in NYC as a woman.” This video shows a woman who receives unwanted attention 100 times in 10 hours walking through New York.

Rammal’s article (C’est rassurant, être un homme) contains a few Québécois usages.

Referring to the men who called out to the woman asking how she was doing, he writes:

Qu’est-ce que t’en as à colisser de comment elle va? What the hell do you care how she’s doing?

He also writes:

Tous, homme ou femme, ont le droit de ne pas se faire gosser dans la rue. Everybody, male or female, has the right to not be bothered in the street.

In the first quote, qu’est-ce que t’en as à colisser? (“what the hell do you care?” or even “what the fuck do you care?”) is an impolite usage.

Gosser quelqu’un means “bother, exasperate, nag someone,” example: y’arrête pas de me gosser avec ça, “he won’t stop bothering me about that; he won’t stop nagging me about that.” Rammal’s quote uses se faire gosser.

[French quotes written by Rabii Rammal in C’est rassurant, être un homme, La Presse, 2 November 2014.]

* * *

When you order food at a fast food restaurant, you’ll need to know these expressions: C’est pour ici? (Is it for here?) C’est pour manger ici? (Is it for [eating] here?) C’est pour emporter? (Is it to go?) C’est pour ici ou pour emporter? (Is it for here or to go?)

At a fast food restaurant in Montréal this weekend, the cashier left me wondering what my third possibility was for where to eat my food.

– C’est pour emporter?
– Non.
– C’est pour manger ici?

– Is it to go?
– No.
– Is it for here?

😐

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Rabii Rammal writes about the overuse of text messages in a relationship, even when the subject matter is important. He says:

Même les affaires importantes. Genre quand on se chicane, on s’envoie des romans.

Even important stuff. Like when we fight, we send each other novels.

They don’t really send each other novels of course, just really long text messages.

As you listen to spoken French, have you heard genre used like that? It means “like” when giving an example of something. We can say it’s a colloquial way of saying par exemple.

In another example using genre, Rabii talks about going overboard with saying thanks in certain situations:

Genre je peux remercier le facteur qui me remet une lettre, mais je ne peux pas remercier un facteur que je croise dans la rue pour l’ensemble de son œuvre.

For example, I can thank the mailman who delivers a letter to me, but I can’t thank a mailman who I bump into in the street for the entirety of his career.

Harriet mentioned in a comment that she learned the difference between the words facture and facteur. Une facture is a bill. Cashiers also often use this word in the sense of receipt. (Voulez-vous la facture? Do you want the receipt?) Un facteur delivers the mail.

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The irreverent Rabii Rammal

In case you forgot the meaning of the verb se crosser as used in Québec, Rabii Rammal provides a mini educational review lesson in this update on his public Facebook page.

Entendu dans la rue:

BLONDE: Je sais pas pourquoi, mais j’te crois pas.

SON CHUM: J’te l’jure que j’me crosse pas chez toi! De toute façon ton chat est tout l’temps là pis j’serais pas tant à l’aise de m’crosser devant lui pendant qu’y m’fixe.

Heard in the street:

GIRLFRIEND: I don’t know why, but I don’t believe you.

HER BOYFRIEND: I swear I don’t jack off at your place! Besides, your cat is always there, and I’d be pretty uncomfortable having a wank in front of it while it stares at me.

une blonde, a girlfriend
un chum, a boyfriend
je te le jure, I swear
se crosser, to jack off, to wank [masturbate]
de toute façon, besides, at any rate
être à l’aise de faire, to be comfortable doing
il me fixe, he stares at me

Related reading: The verb se crosser doesn’t refer to crossing yourself like a Catholic (#629)

Follow Rabii Rammal on Facebook.

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In a recent blog post in the form of an open letter, Rabii Rammal writes about a trip to the épicerie (grocery store) to buy Kinder Surprise — for himself.

But he’s embarrassed about having to pay for the Kinder Surprise at the cash (he’s a fully grown man, after all).

So he picks up another item at the store to divert attention from his Kinder Surprise. He picks up des échalotes (shallots).

He chose this item to divert attention from his Kinder Surprise because: des échalotes, ça fait « je sais où j’m’en vais dans la vie ». Ça fait « j’ai des REER ». (Shallots say, “I know where I’m going in life. They say, “I’ve got RRSPs.”)

After he pays, he goes back to his car and throws the shallots on the back seat: il garroche les échalotes sur la banquette arrière. Then he begins savagely opening his Kinder Surprise.

Rabii is dismayed when he discovers that his beloved Kinder Surprise have been modified, such that there are now Kinder Surprise for boys (blue) and Kinder Surprise for girls (pink).

He says: Oh ben tabarnak. Oui. Y’ont fait ça : ils ont sexué les Kinder Surprise. (Oh well fuck. Yes. They’ve done it. They’ve genderised Kinder Surprise.)

He says that when you’re a kid, it doesn’t matter whether Kinder Surprise is for boys or for girls, parce que quand t’es kid, peu importe ton sexe, c’est toujours hot en criss une toupie (because when you’re a kid, no matter what sex you are, it’s always fuckin’ amazing to get a spinning top).

You can read Rabii’s entire letter, called Cher génie du marketing qui a mis des pénis et des vagins sur les Kinder Surprise. (Dear marketing genius who put penises and vaginas on Kinder Surprise.) You’ll learn lots of everyday Québécois French by reading Rabii Rammal.

_ _ _

une épicerie, a grocery store
une échalote, a shallot
je sais où je m’en vais, I know where I’m going
un REER (pronounced ré-èr), an RRSP
garrocher, to throw
la banquette arrière, the back seat
oh ben tabarnak, oh well fuck
quand t’es kid, when you’re a kid
c’est hot en criss, it’s fuckin’ amazing
une toupie, a (spinning) top

_ _ _

French text by: Rabii Rammal, «Cher génie du marketing qui a mis des pénis et des vagins sur les Kinder Surprise», Urbania, Montréal, 6 February 2014.

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