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Posts Tagged ‘sacre québécois’

Ostie que ça pue

Here are 5 items in French that you’ll find useful to learn. This list of 5 all started with 1 smelly garbage bin in Montréal…

1. Ostie que ça pue!

“Fuck that stinks!” I heard a man yell this while standing at a bus stop with some friends. Near them was a smelly garbage bin.

When something stinks, ça pue.

Ostie derives from hostie, the sacramental bread for Catholics. Variations of the swear word ostie exist, like estie and astie.

Yelling ostie or one of its variations is equivalent to yelling “fuck!”

Ostie que ça pue dans ta chambre!
Does it ever fucking stink in your room!

Remember how vidanges means “garbage” in Québec? I found this example on the web using both puer from our example above and vidanges:

J’devrais p’t’être sortir les vidanges qui puent la marde.
= Je devrais peut-être sortir les vidanges qui puent la marde.
I should probably take out the garbage which smells like shit.

2. Marde

That last example used puer la marde, “to smell like shit.” And that’s not a spelling mistake for merde — you really will hear marde in Québec.

Merde is also understood, like everywhere in the French-speaking world, but marde is distinctively québécois shit.

In a scene from La Galère (season 3, episode 10), Claude panics when her fiancé leaves her. She exclaims:

J’sus dans marde!
I’m in deep shit! I’m screwed!

3. J’sus dans marde!

When you’re up shit’s creek, t’es dans marde. The expression is être dans la marde, but you’ll hear it said as être dans marde, without la. It’s an informal contraction where la gets swallowed up by dans.

J’sus sounds like chu. It means the same thing as je suis, but chu is an informal pronunciation of it. Another informal pronunciation you’ll hear is j’suis, which sounds like chui.

In another scene from La Galère (season 2, episode 2), Stéphanie is angry because she’s let herself get hurt again by her boyfriend. She uses the informal j’sus when she says:

J’sus cave, j’sus cave, ostie, j’sus cave.
I’m so stupid, so stupid, fuck, I’m so stupid.

4. Cave

Un cave is an idiot. Olivier from Les Parent (season 3, episode 19) says:

Prenez-moi pas pour un cave!
I’m not stupid, you know!
(Don’t take me for an idiot!)

He used the vous form because he was speaking to more than one person. If we convert it to the tu form, it becomes prends-moi pas pour un cave!

5. Prends-moi pas

This form is an informal usage. According to the rules of standard written French, it would have to be ne me prends pas. During conversations, you’re very likely to hear it said as prends-moi pas instead.

Here’s another example of this with the verb toucher.

1. touche-moi
2. touche-moi pas
3. ne me touche pas

(1) is the affirmative form. (2) is an informal spoken form in the negative. (3) is the standard written form in the negative.

Below is an example from the web using touche-moi pas. And just to take us full-circle back to number 1 of this list, it also uses the verb puer as part of the expression puer la sueur, similar to puer la marde.

Tu pues la sueur dès huit heures le matin.
Touche-moi pas!

You stink of sweat as early as 8 o’clock in the morning.
Don’t touch me!

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You can’t pass for a native without mastering the québécois verb niaiser!

You’ve seen this verb before in “Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois verb niaiser.” Here are some new examples for review. Using the phonetic alphabet, niaiser is pronounced [njɛze], which sounds like nyèzé.

1. Je te niaise pas, je te parle sérieusement.

This is taken from an interview by Les Francs Tireurs. It means: “I’m not kidding you. I’m being serious.” We can tell that the person was speaking informally because, instead of je ne te niaise pas, he left out ne and said je te niaise pas.

In fact, what he most likely said was j’te niaise pas, which sounds like ch’te niaise pas. When je and te come together, they often contract and the j makes a ch sound.

The same goes for the je te combination je te parle sérieusement, which you may hear pronounced as j’te (ch’te) parle sérieusement.

2. Arrête de me niaiser là, c’est pas drôle!

This means: “Stop messing with me, it’s not funny!” It comes from a book called Fais-moi confiance by Andréanne Parenteau.

This example also includes the famous québécois , which you can explore in “Everything you ever wanted to know about the québécois use of .”

3. Niaise pas avec les gars en uniforme!

This example comes from a blog. It means “Don’t mess with guys in uniforms!” Remember, the letters rs in gars aren’t pronounced, so gars sounds like gâ.

This is also an example of dropping ne in an informal style because the author wrote niaise pas instead of ne niaise pas.

4. J’ai niaisé pendant deux mois.

This example comes from a comment left online. In full, the commenter wrote: J’ai niaisé pendant deux mois et demi avant de me trouver une job, “I did absolutely nothing for two and a half months before I found a job.” In this example, niaiser is used in the sense of goofing around, doing nothing.

During conversations, you’ll hear job in the feminine in Québec: une job.

5. Ils m’ont fait niaiser trois semaines pour rien! Câlisse.

This example comes from an online forum. It means: “They made me wait three weeks for nothing! Fuck.” Here, faire niaiser is used in the sense of making someone wait. This example also includes câlisse, which equates to saying “fuck” in Québec. You can also now review the expression je m’en câlisse.

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Unless you’ve got the eyes of a fucking hawk, click to see a larger version.

These 5 ads, seen near the entrance to a gym in Montréal, take a bold approach at encouraging us to tighten up our unsightly arses.

The ads use language like tabarnak, ostie, je m’en câlisse and fuck.

To shield sensitive eyes from vulgarity in French, the offensive bits have been smeared with a layer of blood-stained blubber syphoned out of a desperate gym member.

Je m’en câlisse des excuses!
Fuck off with the excuses already!
(I don’t give a fuck about the excuses!)

Ostie que ça fait du bien!
Fuck that feels good!

Bouge ton gros cul!
Move your fat ass!

Fuck le temps supplémentaire, je m’entraîne!
Fuck the overtime, I’m gonna work out!

Tabarnak que je suis hot!
Fuck I’m hot!

(Ads from Club Athlétique Mansfield)

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I always look forward to reading the Montreal-based magazine Urbania.

You may remember this magazine from past entries on OffQc, where Urbania authors have devoted issues to themes like lesbiennes and bébés and the hiver québécois.

Right now I’m enjoying the summer 2012 issue of Urbania, #34.

It’s all about… les Parisiens.

From the magazine:

Reason number 2 of 25 for a Québécois to not feel inferior to a Parisian: Nous autres [les Québécois], nos sacres peuvent se décliner en verbes, en adverbes et en adjectifs.1 (Our swear words can be used as verbs, adverbs and adjectives.)

Reason number 15 of 25 for a Québécois to indeed feel inferior to a Parisian: Nous [les Parisiens], à partir de 16 ans, on range le sac à dos et on l’oublie. À jamais. Surtout avec des talons.2 (After age 16, we put the backpack away and forget about it. Forever. Especially with heels.)

Or this from a young Parisian woman named Marion: Quand je vivais à Montréal et que je m’habillais bien, c’était pour mon mec ou pour des garçons en général. À Paris, je m’habille pour mes copines. C’est elles qui portent un jugement.3 (When I lived in Montreal and would dress well, it was for my boyfriend or for boys in general. In Paris, I dress for my girlfriends. They’re the ones who pass judgement.)

In Quebec, you can find the magazine in kiosks. Here’s a list of places where you can find it in Paris.

This issue isn’t a comparison of the Parisians and Québécois. It’s about Parisians and their city. Some comparisons do come through in the writing, however. If you’re interested in reading about Parisians from an engaging québécois perspective, you’ll enjoy it. This issue is written in the usual Urbania style that makes it a pleasure to read.

Urbania also offers some content online. You can find some links to articles and videos related to this issue here.

Quoted material from Urbania, spécial Parisiens, no. 34, été 2012, Montréal.

1Marie-Andrée Labbé, “25 raisons de ne pas se sentir inférieur devant un Parisien,” p.40.

2Anne-Laure Naumowicz, “25 raisons de se sentir inférieur à un Parisien,” p.41.

3Marion, in an article written by Catherine Perreault-Lessard, “Souper de gonzesses,” p.50.

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