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Posts Tagged ‘telephone’

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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A guy in his late teens or early 20s standing in front of a shopping centre asked me if he could use my phone. He was waiting for a friend to pick him up, but it was taking his friend a long time to arrive.

The guy called his friend from my phone, but there was no answer. So he also sent his friend a text message from my phone:

Yo c pablo jsui la men c long fuck

Can you decipher the message?

Yo, c’est Pablo. J’suis là, man. C’est long, fuck.
Yo, it’s Pablo. I’m here, man. What’s taking so long, fuck.

Maybe you’ll remember that je suis is pronounced informally as chu or chui. On OffQc, I’ve used the spellings j’sus (chu) and j’suis (chui), but you’ll come across other spellings too.

C’est long! It’s taking a long time! What’s taking so long? Maybe you’re waiting for the bus and it’s taking a long time: c’est long! Or, like Pablo, maybe you’ve been waiting a really long time for a friend to arrive and you’re losing patience: c’est long, fuck!

Don’t pronounce the g in long. This word rhymes with mon.

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This afternoon, I ordered a coffee — a strong one, un café corsé. As I ordered, I heard a woman talking on her mobile. The person she was speaking to couldn’t hear her.

Maybe you’ll remember this question from entry #682, asked by a girl in her 20s speaking on the phone:

Tu m’entends-tu?
Can you hear me?

This is also how the woman today asked if she could be heard. In fact, she asked the question a few times. One of the other ways she asked the questions was:

Est-ce que tu m’entends?
Can you hear me?

The first question (tu m’entends-tu?) uses the informal yes-no question marker tu to ask the question. You can read more about asking yes-no questions with tu in this guide.

The woman speaking on the phone used tu m’entends-tu? and est-ce que tu m’entends? interchangeably. Because she used the form tu m’entends-tu?, we know that she was speaking to someone she’s on familiar terms with.

A call centre representative is very unlikely to ask a customer on the phone who has trouble hearing: tu m’entends-tu? It’s too informal sounding. It’s okay to use tu m’entends-tu? with a friend, though.

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