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Posts Tagged ‘random’

Just some random stuff to learn or review today…

1. Tant qu’à moi, c’est pas nécessaire.
In my opinion, it’s not necessary. Tant qu’à moi is often used in conversations in the same sense as quant à moi.

2. Tu parlais pas mal fort.
You were speaking pretty loud. Fort means loud when talking about volume. Pas mal is an intensifier.

3. J’en aurais pour la soirée à faire ça.
It would take me all evening to do that. J’en ai pour means it will take me when talking about time. J’en ai pour deux minutes. I’ll be two minutes. It’ll take me two minutes.

4. Y’est cheap en crisse.
He’s so damn cheap. Cheap can be used to call someone stingy. En crisse is a vulgar intensifier, like en estie and en tabarnak from #930. Crisse sounds much like the English name Chris, but with a French r. Y’est sounds like yé. It’s an informal pronunciation of il est.

5. Je fais ça aux trois semaines.
I do that every three weeks. Aux trois semaines means every three weeks. Similarly, aux trois jours, aux deux mois, etc.

6. Tu vas te faire pogner.
You’re going to get caught. The informal pogner means to catch, grab, nab, etc., so se faire pogner means to get caught. Remember, the g in pogner isn’t pronounced like a hard g. Pogner sounds like ponnyé.

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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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Here’s some random French I overheard today in Montréal while out.

All of these examples of French were said by a group of three women in their 60s in the seating area of a public space.

1. Y’a une place icitte.

There’s a place (to sit) here.

Y’a is an informal pronunciation of il y a. Icitte means ici and is often heard at the informal level of language.

2. Amène une chaise.

Bring a chair. Get a chair.

The verb amener is used here to tell someone to bring something. There’s another example of this below.

3. Qu’est-ce tu veux?

What d’you want?

Qu’est-ce sounds like kess. Dropping que here (qu’est-ce tu veux instead of qu’est-ce que tu veux) is an informal usage.

4. Amène-moi un biscuit.

Bring me a cookie.

Here’s another example of the verb amener. The woman who said this yelled it out to her friend who was ordering food.

5. A s’en vient.

She’s coming.

You’ll often hear elle pronounced informally as a, like the a in ma, ta or la. The verb s’en venir is frequently used: je m’en viens, I’m coming; tu t’en viens, you’re coming; y s’en vient, he’s coming; y s’en viennent, they’re coming.

One of the three women said this as her friend was coming back to their table after ordering food.

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Today’s three usages come to us by way of a woman in her 70s. I overheard her speaking with her husband in Montréal.

1. une sacoche

One of the things the woman talked about was her handbag (or purse), which she called une sacoche. I don’t recall her exact words now, but here’s an example:

J’ai laissé ma sacoche sous la table.
I left my handbag (purse) under the table.

2. un char de police

Not far from us, a man got arrested outside. The woman talked about the police cars on the scene.

We’ve seen the masculine word char before, which means “car” in Québec. The woman used this word to talk about the police cars, calling them chars de police.

Y’a deux chars de police.
There are two police cars.

Remember, y’a is an informal (and the most frequent) pronunciation of il y a.

3. m’as

The woman also used the contraction m’as, which means “I’m gonna…” It’s pronounced mâ.

M’as te dire une affaire, là.
I’m gonna tell you something.

M’as aller m’en chercher un.
I’m gonna go get myself one.

If these don’t make sense to you, replace m’as with je vais.

Where does m’as come from?

je m’en vais
je m’en va’s
m’en va’s
m’as

Je m’en vais is a variation of the simpler je vais.

You don’t have to start using m’as yourself. Nobody expects a non-native Québécois to use it. Do learn what it means though so you’ll understand it when you hear it. It’s always fine to use je vais. (Note that the Québécois very often say je vas as well, which sounds like je vâ.)

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Two blog posts in one day? Why not! I had a few extra minutes, so let’s take a quick look at a random comment made by a father to his young boy in Montréal.

The father and his boy were waiting at an intersection. The boy was on his bike and his father was behind him. When the light turned green, the boy wasn’t paying attention and didn’t advance. The light wasn’t going to stay green long, so the father encouraged him to get moving by saying:

Allez, allez! On traverse, là.
C’mon, c’mon. Let’s cross.

I’m guessing you’ve probably learned to use the nous form of the imperative when you want to say “let’s…” in French, like traversons, calmons-nous, etc. And yet it’s the present tense with on that you’ll often hear. Depending on the context, you can also understand this on to mean “you.”

On traverse, là!
Cross!
Let’s cross!
(The helps to convey the speaker’s frustration.)

On se calme!
Calm down!
Let’s calm down!

As for allez, allez in the vous form in the father’s quote above, it doesn’t matter that he was speaking to his young boy (whom he’d never vouvoie). Just consider allez, allez to be a set expression.

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Yesterday morning was warm in Montréal, but it was only partly sunny because of the clouds. We can say that it was partiellement ensoleillé.

In the afternoon though, the sun disappeared entirely behind clouds. For the most part, it didn’t come back.

As I walked along the sidewalk, I heard a random bit of conversation.

A woman told a group of men (who I assume she knew through work) that it was a nice day. One of the men didn’t really agree with her…

Elle — Fait beau, hein?

Lui — Mais y’a pas d’soleil!

Elle — Ah! Le verre est à moitié vide!

They all began laughing because he realised that he was indeed being negative. Complain all winter, complain all summer!

un verre à moitié vide
a half-empty glass (negative outlook)

un verre à moitié plein
a half-full glass (positive outlook)

Le verre est à moitié plein / à moitié vide.
The glass is half full / half empty.

Pour toi, le verre est toujours à moitié vide.
For you, the glass is always half empty.

Faut voir le verre à moitié plein!
You gotta see the glass as half full!

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I’m in a café. There’s free WiFi here, or WiFi gratuit.

In Québec, the pronunciation of WiFi follows the English pronunciation.

There’s a kid near me reading a Wikipédia article on his laptop about le bouclier canadien, the Canadian Shield.

In Québec, the adjective canadien is dzidzuated. It’s pronounced ca-na-dzien.

Wikipédia is also dzidzuated. It’s pronounced wi-ki-pé-dzia.

I’m looking out the window. It looks like it’s going to rain.

The verb “to rain” is pleuvoir in French. You’ll also sometimes hear it said as mouiller in Québec.

Il pleut and il mouille mean the same thing. If you hear someone say y mouille, that’s an informal pronunciation of il mouille.

Today is Labour Day, la fête du Travail.

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