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Posts Tagged ‘t’as’

I came across this short clip taken from a show by comedian Korine Côté.

Her words were transcribed by a YouTube user in this video that he’s created and posted online, but I’ve written them out below.

In the video, c’est sûre should be c’est sûr.

Moi, moi j’ai un Mac. Ah ouais, j’ai un Mac, ah ouais. Ah, j’peux faire du montage vidéo sans problèmes, ah ouais. Bon, j’en fais pas, mais j’pourrais, ouais, parce que… parce que j’ai un Mac. Ah ouais, ah ouais. Ah! t’as pogné un virus? Ahh! Moi, j’pogne pas ça avec mon Mac, ah non!… [j’]pogne pas ça des virus avec mon Mac. Bon, c’est sûr j’su’s pas compatible avec le 7/8 de la planète, mais c’pas grave.

Me, I’ve got a Mac. Oh yeah, I’ve got a Mac, oh yeah. Oh, I can edit videos (make videos montages), no problem, oh yeah. Fine, I don’t actually do it, but I could (if I wanted to), yeah, because… because I’ve got a Mac. Oh yeah, oh yeah. Oh! You got a virus? Arg! Me, I don’t get them with my Mac, nope! Don’t get viruses with my Mac. Fine, it’s true I’m not compatible with 7/8 of the planet, but no big deal.

pogner, informal verb meaning to catch, grab
pogner un virus, to get a virus, catch a virus
j’pogne (sounds like ch’pogne), informal contraction of je pogne
t’as, informal contraction of tu as
j’su’s pas (sounds like chu pas), informal contraction of je ne suis pas
c’pas (sounds like s’pas), informal contraction of ce n’est pas

This video will be added to the Listen to Québécois French section.

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Saw this in a tea shop window in Montréal:

thé mon amour

A friend from Central America took a beginner’s French course. In class, they learned that tu es means “you are,” but they never got around to learning that tu es contracts to t’es in spoken language.

This really baffles me. T’es isn’t an obscure contraction. T’es is a high frequency usage that should be introduced right from the beginning.

T’es sounds like (or like the French word thé in the window).

thé mon amour
tea my love

t’es mon amour
you’re my love

Oh, it’s a Valentine’s Day tea pun!
N’est-ce pas romanteaque? N’est-ce pas — oh, fine, I’ll stop.

A few essential spoken contractions to know using tu:

t’es for tu es
t’as for tu as
t’étais for tu étais
t’avais for tu avais
t’en for tu en

In short, tu loses its u before a vowel.

Don’t be afraid to try using these contractions yourself in conversations. They’re so frequently used that nobody’s going to even notice.

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Qu'est-ce t'as dit?Qu’est-ce t’as dit?

During a conversation yesterday, a friend of mine said this to another friend: qu’est-ce t’as dit?

It means:
What did you say? or
What did you just say?

The friend who asked this question didn’t hear what had just been said. The question was used to get our friend to repeat himself.

We can pull 3 very important things out of this question to help you with French pronunciation.

1. qu’est-ce
2. t’as
3. dzi

1. qu’est-ce

You’ll notice that she didn’t say:
Qu’est-ce que tu as dit?

Although possible, she didn’t say this either:
Qu’est-ce que t’as dit?

What she said was:
Qu’est-ce t’as dit?

There’s no que in there, and she pronounced tu as as t’as.

Her question is an informal usage. The qu’est-ce part sounds like kess, which means her question sounded like kess t’as dit?

During conversations, you’ll very frequently hear questions that use tu asked like this, with just qu’est-ce, for example:

qu’est-ce t’as fait? (what did you do?)
qu’est-ce t’en penses? (what do you think about that?)
qu’est-ce tu veux? (what do you want?)

2. t’as

The truth is that you’ll hear tu as a lot less than you maybe expected during conversations. It’s very frequently pronounced t’as. (The s is silent.)

Tu has a very strong tendency of becoming t’ when the next word begins with a vowel. So, not only will you hear t’as, you’ll also hear:

t’es (= tu es),
t’en (= tu en),
t’étais (= tu étais),
t’avais (= tu avais), etc.

To ask your friend’s opinion about something (as in “what do you think about that?”), you can ask qu’est-ce t’en penses?, which sounds more conversational than qu’est-ce que tu en penses?

As an alternative, you can also leave the que intact and just contract tu en to t’en, like this: qu’est-ce que t’en penses? This also sounds conversational, and you can use it.

3. dzi

You didn’t go and forget about the dzidzu on me, did you? I even made up a word to describe this feature of québécois pronunciation! When the letter d precedes the French i and u sounds, it gets pronounced as dz.

So, really, when my friend asked our other friend to repeat himself, her question sounded like this:

Kess t’a dzi?

Here are 15 more words that are dzidzuated in Québec:

  1. distance (dzistance)
  2. jeudi (jeudzi)
  3. mordu (mordzu)
  4. répondu (répondzu)
  5. cardiaque (cardziaque)
  6. maladie (maladzie)
  7. applaudir (applaudzir)
  8. dur (dzur)
  9. ordi (ordzi)
  10. disque (dzisque)
  11. direction (dzirection)
  12. module (modzule)
  13. maudit (maudzit)
  14. disposer (dzisposer)
  15. diplomate (dziplomate)

Don’t go overboard with the zzzz sound though. It’s really just a short dz sound, not some long drawn-out thing that sounds like you’re over-buzzing all over the place! Listen to spoken French from Québec and you’ll hear it all the time. It’s a standard feature of québécois pronunciation.

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L'accent québécoisThe â sound is one of the most distinctive features of the québécois accent.

You can always identify a French speaker from Québec by listening for the â sound!

The sound made by â in Québec sounds something like “aww” to an English speaker.

To hear â pronounced, listen to Ricardo pronounce carré, or hear Martin Matte pronounce câline and passait. All three of these words use the â sound.

The â sound occurs in words written with the accented â (like âge and fâché), but it can occur in certain words written with an unaccented letter a too (like tasse and case).

When the word is written with the accented â, there’s little doubt — say aww! But when it’s written with an unaccented letter a, it isn’t as obvious if it takes the â sound. That said, you may begin to notice some patterns.

To help you out a bit, below are 50 words taking the â sound in Québec but all written with an unaccented letter a. I’ve underlined the letter a in each word that makes the â sound.

This list isn’t exhaustive, it’s just a list of 50 words that I felt were useful.

  1. amasser
  2. barrage
  3. barreau
  4. barrer
  5. barrière
  6. bas
  7. base
  8. baser
  9. basse
  10. brassage
  11. brasser
  12. brasserie
  13. carré
  14. carreau
  15. carrément
  16. cas
  17. case
  18. casier
  19. casse-croûte
  20. casser
  21. chat
  22. classe
  23. classement
  24. classer
  25. classeur
  26. dépasser
  27. entasser
  28. espace
  29. gars
  30. gaz
  31. gazer
  32. gazeux
  33. jaser
  34. jasette
  35. matelas
  36. paille
  37. pas
  38. passage
  39. passager
  40. passe
  41. passeport
  42. passer
  43. ramassage
  44. ramasser
  45. rasage
  46. raser
  47. surpasser
  48. tas
  49. tasse
  50. tasser

Remember, the letters rs in gars aren’t pronounced. This word sounds like gâ. The final s in bas, cas, matelas, pas, tas is silent. These words sound like bâ, câ, matlâ, pâ, tâ.

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Comedian Martin Matte reminds us of the importance of instilling a sense of respect in children for their parents.

When watching the videos on this blog, listen a few times without peeking at the French transcription first.

Un autre p’tit truc, un enfant doit apprendre à respecter son père en toutes circonstances. Alors il faut surtout pas hésiter à mettre son respect à l’épreuve.

— Papa, j’aime pas ça quand tu viens me chercher à l’école, ça me gêne!

— Oh! Qu’est-ce qu’y’a là, hein? T’as honte de ton papa? Est-ce que c’est ça? Vous avez honte de votre papa? Il faut jamais avoir honte de son père. Allez jouer, là. Par là-bas! Va jouer…

Tss… Tu fais tout pour eux pis c’est comme ça qu’ils te remercient…

ça me gêne, it embarrasses me, it bothers me
qu’est-ce qu’y’a (informal) = qu’est-ce qu’il y a
t’as (informal) = tu as
pis (informal) = puis

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