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Posts Tagged ‘sacoche’

The Québécois Usito dictionary contains a list of belgicismes (words and expressions used in Belgian French).

We’ve seen before how the names of the three meals of the day are the same in Québécois and Belgian French — le déjeuner (breakfast), le dîner (lunch) and le souper (supper).

I’ve picked 10 more items from the Usito list that can be heard in both Québécois and Belgian French according to the list’s author, Michel Francard.

The use of these words and expressions isn’t necessarily limited to Québécois and Belgian French. They may be heard in other French-speaking areas as well.

1. un banc de neige
a snowbank

2. jouer à la cachette
to play hide-and-seek

3. un camionneur, une camionneuse
a truck driver

4. une sacoche
a purse, handbag

5. à tantôt!
see you in a bit!

6. faire la file
to line up, queue up

7. avant-midi
morning (ex., dans l’avant-midi)

8. ennuyant
boring (ex., une conférence ennuyante)

9. d’abord
then, in that case (ex., vas-y d’abord, go ahead then)

10. goûter
to taste like (ex., ce vin goûte le vinaigre)

In the next post — shared Québécois and Swiss French words.

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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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