Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

TELUS (a mobile phone company in Canada) tells guys to put their phones and penises away… all while demonstrating the expression se garder une petite gêne as used in the French of Québec.

Hey, what more could you ask for in a cellphone provider?

TELUS released an advertising campaign on Facebook this month. The ads promoted July as a cellphone manners month — basically, don’t take your phone out at inappropriate moments, like at the restaurant or cinema.

Many of the ads, like the ones that follow, included sexual innuendo capitalising on the whole pulling-your-phone-out / pulling-your-dick-out thing. (I think it’s a thing, isn’t it?)

Click on the images to see the enlarged version.

In the first example, the ad reads:

Avez-vous tendance à vouloir le sortir à table?
Do you have a tendency of wanting to take it out at the table?
Gardez-vous une #petitegêne

The question is literally asking if you have a tendency of wanting to whip out your phone while at the table.

Between the lines, however, is the question of whether or not you whip out what’s between your legs as well.

‘Cos, you know, it’s common knowledge that as soon as guys sit down at the table for supper, they have an uncontrollable desire to pull their penis out.

But the second part, gardez-vous une petite gêne, what does that mean?

We’re being told to not do socially unacceptable stuff and to restrain ourselves, like from wanting to use our phone at inappropriate moments or from wanting to take our penis out.

(Yes, really. This all gets even better below.)

Se garder une petite gêne (and I believe this expression is unused in European French) means to show restraint in public, to show modesty.

So, for example, if a pervert on the bus suddenly took his penis out, you could politely admonish him by saying: Monsieur, gardez-vous une p’tite gêne!

If we pick the expression apart, we get: “to keep a little embarrassment to oneself.” You know, like whipping your dinky out at the table — keep a little embarrassment to yourself and put that thing away.

The TELUS campaign continues with examples of different men who don’t keep a little embarrassment to themselves — they take not only their phone out at inappropriate moments, but their member as well.

In this second ad, we see that TELUS has taken a special moment between two young people in love and turned it into something filthy.

Dude has a tendency of taking his phone slash penis out on the first date:

Je le sors même de mes jeans au premier rendez-vous.
I even take it out of my jeans on the first date.
Gardez-vous une #petitegêne.

Or how about at the restaurant?

In this third ad, I don’t think our lady friend would like it if her date whips his phone slash penis out before the crème brûlée is served and things start getting really hot and sleazy down at the resto.

Espérons qu’il le garde sous la table jusqu’au dessert.
Let’s hope he keeps it under the table until dessert.
Gardez-vous une #petitegêne.

Has the expression gardez-vous une petite gêne been burnt into your memory yet? Good!

In this fourth ad, we’re reminded that juillet est le mois de la courtoisie au cellulaire (July is cellphone manners month), followed by this information about our last licentious slimeball (or is he the same slimeball from the last ad?):

Au cinéma, il ne reste jamais longtemps dans mon bermuda.
At the cinema, it never stays put in my shorts for very long.
Gardez-vous une #petitegêne.

OK, TELUS! I think we’ve understood loud and clear — July is the month for keeping our phones and penises where they belong at inappropriate moments.

Got it, guys? In July,
on se garde une p’tite gêne.

(July ends next week.)

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This text message exchange comes from the Les Parent Facebook page.

Les Parent is a comedy from Québec. The name of the show really is Les Parent and not Les Parents, because Parent is a surname, and a common too — like the singer Kevin Parent. The name of the show means “The Parent Family” and not “The Parents.”

This exchange of textos takes place between Thomas and his mother. The green textos are from the mother, the grey ones from Thomas.

Bonne journée, mon Thomas.
Have a good day, [my] Thomas.

Bonne journée?
Have a good day?

C’est ça, réponds-moi pas.
That’s right, don’t answer me.

On sait ben. C’est juste ta mère qui te texte. Mais si c’est ta blonde ou tes amis, tu réponds dans la SECONDE.
We all know. It’s just your mother texting you. But if it’s your girlfriend or your friends, you answer within a SECOND.

Pas quand je conduis.
Not when I’m driving.

Tu conduis?
You’re driving?



_ _ _

Remember, in Québec the â in lâcher sounds like “aww.” Lawwwche ton cell!

A smartphone is called un téléphone intelligent. Un texto is a text message, and texter (quelqu’un) means “to text (someone).”

on sait ben = on sait bien
ta blonde, your girlfriend
dans la seconde, within a second
lâcher quelque chose, to put something down
un cell, cell phone, mobile phone

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6 gigs, ça fait beaucoup de selfies

6 gigs, ça fait beaucoup de selfies

I saw this ad in the street from Vidéotron advertising a smartphone special.

6 Go
Ça fait beaucoup de selfies

6 GB
That’s a lot of selfies

Sorry for the quality of the image. There was a lot of light when I took the photo, and I had to position myself to avoid getting my fat face de bœuf in the reflection.

Go (gigaoctet), gigabyte
Mo (mégaoctet), megabyte
ko (kilooctet), kilobyte

Gigaoctet is often shortened to gig when speaking, and mégaoctet to meg.

The selfie is a picture taken of yourself with your phone. When I was at university, before cellphones and later smartphones took over the planet (and before I had even sent my very first email ever), we used to playfully call the selfie une autophoto in French!

_ _ _

Update (2014/04/11)

Some readers have made comments that I’d like to add here. On Twitter, @desrosier_j suggests moivatar for selfie. In the comments below, iericksen mentioned égoportrait. On the OffQc Facebook page, Maria pointed out that the OQLF has already recommended autophoto and égoportrait.

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Here’s a funny exchange of textos (text messages) from the television show Les Parent.

Thomas receives a texto from his younger brother, who’s in a predicament. He leads his younger brother to believe he won’t help him out.

Click on the image for a larger version.

Peux-tu venir me chercher? J’ai oublié ma passe au cégep pis j’ai pu de cash.
Can you come get me? I forgot my pass at the cégep and I don’t have any more cash.


Ben oui, tsé.
Yeah, right.


Ça va me prendre 2h?!
It’ll take me 2hrs?!

Sûrement 🙂
No doubt 🙂

Pire frère EVER!!!
Worst brother EVER!!!

Relaxe, je niaisais.
Relax, I was just kidding.

_ _ _

une passe
a pass [for public transport]

un cégep
an educational institution in Québec
English explanation on Wikipedia

j’ai pu de cash
= je n’ai plus de cash

to beg, to panhandle

= tu sais

ben oui, tsé
literally: well yeah, ya know
(used sarcastically)

to joke around, to kid

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Below are 50 example sentences every self-respecting fan of Québécois French must know! 😉

These sentences were inspired by vocabulary in recent posts on OffQc, so here’s your chance to review and recycle.

You can click on the example sentences to go to the posts where the vocabulary first appeared. In the original posts, there are often usage and pronunciation notes.

The sentences below are examples of colloquial French that you can hear used in regular, everyday language situations in Québec. Most of them are unique to the French of Québec (and other French-speaking parts of Canada), but there are also a few in there that you might hear in other francophone regions abroad.

Print the sentences out, post them on your walls, enter them into a flash card app on your smartphone, whatever you like. Then go find a francophone to speak with and unleash all your québécoiseries on them!

1. Ça fait un boutte que j’apprends le français québécois.
I’ve been learning Québécois French for a while.

2. Mes amies m’ont appelée pour aller dans un 5 à 7.
My girlfriends called me to go to a 5 à 7 [after-work social gathering].

3. Parle moins fort, chu lendemain de veille!
Don’t talk so loud, I’ve got a hangover!

4. Tu me niaises-tu?
You kidding me?

5. J’ai mangé en masse cette semaine!
I ate so much food this week!

6. Je veux pas péter ta balloune, mais tu vas sûrement pas gagner.
Hate to burst your bubble, but you’re definitely not gonna win.

7. Tu vas devoir toffer un peu.
You’re going to have to tough it out for a bit.

8. Chu pressé!
I’m in a rush!

9. Ça te tente-tu?
Do you want to?

10. Tu m’énerves! T’arrêtes pas de chiâler!
You’re so annoying! You never stop complaining!

11. J’ai pogné un nid-de-poule sur la route.
I hit a pothole in the road.

12. J’ai échappé mon portefeuille.
I dropped my wallet.

13. C’est ben plate ici!
It’s so boring here!

14. T’as pogné un ticket? Ah, c’est plate ça!
You got a ticket? Ah, that sucks!

15. Je m’ennuie de Montréal.
I miss Montréal.

16. T’as quel âge, toi?
How old are you?

17. Allô? Allô? Tu m’entends-tu?
Hello? Hello? Can you hear me?

18. Y’a aucun problème.
There’s no problem.

19. C’est tout un tough, lui!
He’s a real tough guy!

20. As-tu une blonde?
Have you got a girlfriend?

21. Y arrête pas de péter de la broue!
He won’t stop bragging!

22. J’ai pété une coche!
I went ballistic! I lost it!

23. T’es ben niaiseux!
You’re so stupid!

24. J’ai écouté un film hier soir.
I watched a movie last night.

25. Je trouve ça cheap de ta part.
I think that’s pretty low of you.

26. Y’a pas de quoi se péter les bretelles!
That’s nothing to brag about!

27. J’ai eu du fun.
I had fun.

28. J’ai lâché ma job.
I quit my job.

29. J’ai embarqué dans l’auto.
I got in the car.

30. J’ai débarqué de l’auto.
I got out of the car.

31. C’est pas grave, c’est juste une joke!
It’s no big deal, it’s just a joke!

32. Je pourrais me garrocher devant un autobus pour lui.
I could throw myself in front of a bus for him.

33. J’aime pas ça pantoute!
I don’t like that one bit!

34. Ça va faire la job!
That’ll do the trick!

35. Je veux une toast et un café.
I want a piece of toast and a coffee.

36. Je dois magasiner un nouveau lit.
I have to shop around for a new bed.

37. Veux-tu un lift?
Do you want a lift?

38. C’est pas juste une jobine, c’est une carrière.
It’s not just any old job, it’s a career.

39. C’est pas vrai que t’es poche en français.
It’s not true that you suck at French.

40. Chu tanné de ça.
I’m fed up with it.

41. J’ai pogné une débarque sur la glace.
I fell on the ice.

42. T’as-tu vingt-cinq cennes?
Have you got twenty-five cents?

43. Ça manque de punch.
It’s got no punch to it.

44. Tu cherches toujours la chicane.
You’re always looking to pick a fight.

45. Arrête de niaiser!
Stop joking around!

46. As-tu sorti les vidanges?
Have you taken the garbage out?

47. J’ai oublié de barrer la porte.
I forgot to lock the door.

48. Je viens d’avoir un flash!
I’ve just had a great idea!

49. Un peu de change, monsieur?
Spare any change, sir?

50. Es-tu correct?
Are you okay?

_ _ _

Image credit: Wordans

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In the Parent family, there are three sons. The youngest one is Zak, the middle one is Oli, and the oldest one is Thomas.

In this text message exchange, Oli steals Zak’s phone and sends messages to his mother, pretending to be Zak.

Can you guess what kind of messages an older brother would send to his mother while pretending to be his little brother?

M’man, j’ai commencé à fumer.
Maman, I’ve started smoking.


Mais juste quand je bois beaucoup d’alcool.
But just when I drink lots of alcohol.

Si ça te rend heureux 🙂
If that’s what makes you happy 🙂

Mais ça coûte cher pis il me reste pu de $ pour acheter des condoms.
But it’s expensive and I don’t have any money left to buy condoms.

As-tu pensé à voler Oli? C’est mon moins favori. Surtout qd il niaise avec le cell de Zak.
Why don’t you steal it from Oli? He’s my least favourite (son). Especially when he fools around with Zak’s cell.

Comment t’as su?
How did you know?

Il est devant moi. Et il txt ta blonde avec ton cell en ton nom.
He (Zak) is right in front of me. And he’s txting your girlfriend with your cell using your name.

pis, and (sounds like pi)
pu = plus
il me reste pu $ = il [ne] me reste p[l]u[s] d’argent
acheter des condoms, to buy condoms
voler Oli, to rob Oli, to steal from Oli
qd = quand
niaiser avec, to mess around with
le cell d’Oli, Oli’s cell phone
t’as = tu as
su = from the verb savoir
il txt = il texte
texter ta blonde, to text your girlfriend

Les Parent Facebook page
Les Parent is also on tou.tv

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When you were a kid, were you ever embarrassed to be seen in public with your parents?

Les Parent is a comical television show from Québec revolving around the day-to-day experiences of a family of five.

In this show, Zak is the youngest child in the family.

Recently, an imaginary text message exchange between Zak and his father was posted on the Les Parent Facebook page. Zak gets embarrassed by something his father does in front of his school…

J’suis devant ton école. Veux-tu un lift?
I’m in front of your school. Do you want a lift?

Non, c’est beau.
No, it’s OK.

Je peux te prendre au coin si ça te gêne.
I can pick you up at the corner if it embarrasses you.

J’m’en vais chez Zoé pour faire un travail.
I’m going to Zoé’s to work on an assignment.

Ah! OK. Donc, t’as pas honte de moi?
Ah! OK. So, you’re not embarrassed by me?

Ben non, voyons.
No, of course not.

Dans ce cas, regarde par la fenêtre. C’est moi qui fais des bye bye dans le stationnement.
In that case, look out the window. That’s me waving at you in the parking lot.


Learn the whole text, but here are six sentences in particular that you can learn from the exchange.

1. Veux-tu un lift? Do you want a lift?
2. Non, c’est beau. No, that’s OK. Don’t worry about it.
3. Je peux te prendre au coin. I can pick you up at the corner.
4. Je m’en vais chez Zoé. I’m going to Zoé’s place.
5. Ben non, voyons. No, of course not.
6. Arrête ça! Stop it!

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