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Posts Tagged ‘telephone’

In Québec, you’ll hear ici also said as icitte. It’s considered to be a very informal way of saying ici.

The other day, I walked past a dépanneur serving the Haitian community in Montréal.

A small sign in the front window caught my attention. The sign is from a mobile phone company; it’s about recharging the minutes on a mobile.

The sign says: METE MINIT ISIT LA

I don’t speak Haitian Creole, but here’s my guess:

METTEZ DES MINUTES ICITTE, LÀ!

Hmm, too québécois with the là, maybe.

More seriously, I’m not entirely sure what la means on the sign. I’m going to hasard a guess and say that isit la means ici même. If anybody knows, leave a comment. (I should’ve gone in and asked…)

As for isit, it seems fairly clear it means icitte, I think!

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I came across the ad in the first image in a public space in Montréal. It’s from a mobile phone company called Fido, who always use dogs in their ads. This one says:

On a du flair pour les bonnes affaires
We’ve got flair for good deals

There’s wordplay here because the text reminds us of the French verb flairer, which is something that dogs do: “to sniff.”

Le chien policier a flairé 50 kilos de pot.
The police dog sniffed out 50 kilos of pot.

The t in pot in the sense of marijuana is pronounced. It sounds like potte.

This ad from Fido reminded me of six expressions used in Québec related to dogs (and bitches):

1. ton chien est mort
2. avoir du chien
3. fucker le chien
4. avoir la chienne
5. donner la chienne
6. c’est chien

Ton chien est mort. You’re shit outta luck!

1. ton chien est mort

If your dog is dead, it’s because your chances of achieving something have all gone out the window.

Imagine you’re a guy who really wants to go out with a certain girl you’ve been interested in for a long time. Just when you’ve finally worked up the courage to ask her out, you discover she’s begun going out with a guy a thousand times more attractive than you… Fuhgeddaboudit, guy. Ain’t gonna happen. Your dog is dead. Ton chien est mort. You no longer stand a chance!

You can also say mon chien est mort and son chien est mort.

2. avoir du chien

If you’ve “got dog,” it’s because you’re determined. You’ve got personality. You’re a go-getter.

Ces deux jeunes-là ont du chien et réalisent de grandes choses.
Those two young people are go-getters and are doing big things.

Elle a du talent et du chien.
She’s got talent and determination.

3. fucker le chien

Fucker le chien?This expression literally means “to fuck the dog.”

The idea behind this expression is to waste time or go around in circles trying to accomplish something.

A variation on this expression is fourrer le chien. The verb fourrer also means “to fuck.”

Fucker is pronounced foquer.

J’ai fucké le chien dans ma jeunesse.
I did fuck-all in my youth.

J’ai fucké le chien pour modifier mon mot de passe.
I had a fuck of a hard time trying to change my password.

J’ai fucké le chien avec ça pendant deux mois.
I had a fuck of a hard time with that for two months.

4. avoir la chienne

Une chienne is the female form of chien. So, this expression literally means “to have the bitch.” If you’ve got the bitch, it’s because you’re terrified, frightened.

This expression has in fact already appeared twice on OffQc.

In entry #225, a character called Brigitte from the television show 30 vies tells a colleague she must get tested for cancer. She admits to being terrified:

J’ai tellement la chienne.
I’m so terrified.

In entry #238, we saw that a newspaper headline read:

Les libraires ont la chienne
Booksellers are terrified

The newspaper article was about how booksellers are terrified at the idea of becoming irrelevant due to the advent of the iPad.

5. donner la chienne

This is similar to number 4; donner la chienne means to terrify, to frighten.

Ça me donne la chienne.
It frightens me.

Les hôpitaux me donnent la chienne.
Hospitals terrify me.

6. c’est chien

In this expression, chien means méchant.

C’est chien de dire ça, mais c’est vrai.
It’s a nasty thing to say, but it’s true.

C’est vraiment chien ce que t’as fait.
What you did was really mean.

C’est vraiment chien ce que je vais dire, mais…
What I’m about to say is really nasty, but…

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Here’s another shortcut in pronunciation taken from a telephone conversation that occurred in Montréal:

Ben, dis-y que tu veux pas.

= Ben, dis-lui que tu veux pas.
= Well, tell ’em/tell ‘er you don’t wanna.

The woman pronounced dis-y instead of dis-lui. This is something you’ll hear frequently in conversations.

To be more precise, she pronounced it as dzi-zi.

The letter d is pronounced dz before the French i sound (dis > dzi), and the s of dis causes the following y sound to be pronounced as zi (dis-y > dzi-zi).

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Something that’s tricoté serré in the French of Québec is “tight knit” or “close knit.”

Tricoter to means “to knit,” and serré means “tight.”

But like its English equivalent, the expression tricoté serré also has a figurative meaning where it refers to strong bonds between people.

What kinds of things can be tricoté serré?

une communauté tricotée serrée
a tight-knit community
(its residents care about and support one another)

une famille tricotée serrée
a tight-knit family
(the family members are very close to one another)

And in the photo that I took above of a newspaper ad, apparently a couple in a relationship can also be tricoté serré:

un couple tricoté serré
a tight-knit couple

The company in this ad is promoting a special offer on two mobile phones for couples tricotés serrés, who undoubtedly rack up the minutes by giggling together on the phone for hours.

The two lovers in the ad are also wearing the same knitted sweaters, which hints at the literal meaning of the expression tricoté serré.

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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.

OK.
OK.

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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Zak

Zak

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.

ARRÊTE ÇA!
STOP IT!

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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I have no idea who this guy is.

Just another stock photo. I have no idea who this guy is.

Here’s some everyday French to learn taken from a conversation that a guy in his 30s in Montréal had with a co-worker on the phone.

We can tell from the language that this guy is on familiar terms with the person he spoke to.

One of the first things the guy asked when the other person answered the phone was:

Je dérange-tu?
Am I disturbing you? Are you busy?

Remember, the -tu in this question doesn’t mean “you.” Instead, it’s an informal yes-no question word. We reviewed this in entry #703.

Tu is always pronounced tsu in Québec, whether it means “you” or used as the informal yes-no question marker. It’s a tsitsu word!

[In the Tranches de vie video from the Listen section, the girl asks the same question but in a different way: je te dérange?]

Throughout the guy’s conversation, he used the expression fait que a lot. It’s used essentially in the same way that anglophones say “so,” or like the French word alors.

Here are a few examples of things he said using fait que:

Fait que c’est bon.
So that’s good.

Fait que c’est ça.
So there you have it.

Fait que tu peux m’appeler.
So you can call me.

Fait que je vais t’envoyer le texte.
So I’m going to send you the text.

He also asked for his co-worker’s opinion by asking:

Qu’est-ce t’en penses?
(sounds like: kess t’en penses?)
Whaddya think?

If we remove the informal contractions, we get: qu’est-ce que tu en penses? The question form qu’est-ce que often gets shortened to qu’est-ce (sounds like “kess”) before the subject tu (another example: qu’est-ce tu veux?). The combination tu en often contracts to t’en (qu’est-ce t’en penses?).

At the end of his conversation, he ended with:

OK, on se r’parle! (verb: se reparler)
OK, we’ll be in touch again!

A final note about the yes-no question marker -tu from above:

The yes-no -tu is used at an informal level of speech very frequently in Québec. This doesn’t mean that est-ce que isn’t used in Québec, however.

An example of a yes-no question that the same guy asked during his conversation using est-ce que is:

Est-ce que tu penses que tu peux faire les modifications dans le texte?
Do you think you can make the changes in the text?

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