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MONTRÉAL, JE SUIS LÀ!!!

MONTRÉAL, JE SUIS LÀ!!!

Here’s a challenging video with lots of informal language featuring a comedian from Québec called Korine Côté.

This video is part of a series in which Québécois personalities were asked to talk about their region of Québec.

Here, Korine extols the virtues of her region — Montréal.

The text is transcribed in French and translated to English. In the English translation, I’ve included contextual notes. After it, there’s a list of vocabulary with definitions.

There are three things in particular that I’d like to draw your attention to:

1. sur la

You’ll hear Korine pronounce the words sur la as s’a in a few spots in this video when she says s’a rue, which means sur la rue. This is an informal usage.

If you bought the OffQc Québécois French book 1000, you’ll find examples of the informally contracted s’a in numbers 415, 542, 550 and 848 (in case you’d like to hear it after having read those examples).

2. passer

When Korine says y’a une ambulance qui passe, listen to how she pronounces passe. This is the â sound that I’ve written about extensively on OffQc. It’s a very distinguishing feature of Québécois French. You’ll hear Korine pronounce it much like powss. The infinitive passer uses the same sound.

3. il y en a qui

In a few spots, Korine uses the expression il y en a qui, which she pronounces informally as y’en a qui. This is a very important expression to learn, which means there are people who, some people might…

On the first go, try listening without following the transcript to see how much you understand. You can follow along with it on subsequent listens.

[0:10] Ma région? C’est une ville, fa’que… hein!

[0:16] Montréal, ville de liberté. Y’en a p’t’-êt’ qui vont dire qu’on est individualistes pis qu’on s’sacre de tout l’monde, ben c’est vrai. Tu peux ignorer des itinérants sans jamais te sentir mal. Tu peux te faire tapocher en pleine rue tranquille sans qu’personne vienne te déranger.

[0:30] Tu peux t’commander d’la bouffe 24 heures sur 24… pas toi, hein?

[0:35] Ici, tu peux faire le tour du monde avec ta carte Opus. Pis en plus avec not’ quartier chinois, là, on possède la Chine!

[0:41] On a plein d’affaires que vous avez pas… un aéroport, une équipe de hockey, des BIXI, des comédiens qui s’promènent s’a rue, des deux et demie à côté d’la 40 à 1400 piasses. Bon, y’en a qui vont te dire que cher à payer, là, mais croiser Stefie Shock s’a rue, ç’a pas d’prix.

[0:54] Ça sera pas long, y’a une ambulance qui passe.

[0:57] Eh câlisse, les travaux, hein? Vos yeules!!!

[1:00] Y’en a qui vont dire que Montréal, c’est bruyant, là. Moi, j’m’en sacre, je fais de l’acouphène.

[1:04] On a un stade, un métro, des autoroutes pis plein d’ponts. OK, y sont brisés, mais on les a.

[1:09] Nous, on a La Ronde. Pas besoin d’attendre que la Beauce Carnaval débarque avec ses manèges rouillés pis tout usés, non! Nous autres, nos manèges rouillés pis usés sont là à l’année!

[1:18] Nous autres, on a pas ça, un accent. Non. On a raison. On est plus. Fa’qu’on gagne. Hein! Fait chier! Des fois, c’t’un accent français. C’est pour faire beau.

[1:29] Nous autres, on a pas besoin de dire ça, la phrase «aller en ville». On est d’jà là.

[1:33] MONTRÉAL, JE SUIS LÀ!

My region is a city, so… ha! (Take that!) (She’s bragging that Montréal is considered to be an entire region, not just a city.)

Montréal, city of freedom. Some people might say we’re individualists and that we don’t give a damn about anybody — well, it’s true. You can ignore the homeless without ever having to feel bad (about it). You can get beaten up in peace in the middle of the street without anybody coming to bother you.

You can order food 24 hours a day… but not you, right? (She’s joking that only other people would order food at all hours of the day and night… and not you, who’s better than that.)

Here (in Montréal), you can travel the world with your Opus card. (The Opus card is a credit-card shaped bus and métro pass.) What’s more, with our Chinatown, we own China! (We’ve got all of China right here!)

We’ve got all kinds of things that you don’t… an airport, a hockey team, BIXI bikes (these are pay-per-use bikes), actors walking in the streets, studio apartments next to (highway) 40 for 1400 dollars (a month). (La 40 is une autoroute, or highway. The part of autoroute 40 that passes through Montréal is known as la Métropolitaine.) Fine, some people might tell you that’s a lot of money to pay, but bumping into Stefie Shock in the street? Priceless.

Hold on, there’s an ambulance going by.

Ah goddammit, construction, huh? Shut up!!!

Some people might say Montréal is noisy, (but) I don’t give a shit (because) I’ve got tinnitus.

We’ve got a stadium, the métro (subway, tube), highways and lots of bridges. OK, they’re broken (the bridges), but still — we’ve got them.

Montréal’s got La Ronde. We don’t need to wait for Beauce Carnaval to show up with their rusty, worn-out rides — nope! Our rusty, worn-out rides are there all year long! (Beauce Carnaval rents out amusement park equipment, like rides; they were interested in the mayor of Québec City’s idea to install une grande roue.)

(In Montréal,) we don’t have an accent. No. We’re right. There’s more of us. So we win… huh! Bloody hell! Sometimes it’s a French accent (that we do). Just to sound nice.

(In Montréal,) we don’t need to say “I’m going to the city/going downtown.” We’re already there.

MONTRÉAL, IT’S WHERE I’M AT!

Vocabulary notes

  • faque, so (can be pronounced with two syllables as fa/que, or with one like fak)
  • y’en a p’t’-êt’, some (people) might (contraction of il y en a peut-être)
  • pis, and (sounds like pi; contraction of puis)
  • se sacrer de, to not give a shit/damn about
  • ben, well (sounds like bin; contraction of bien)
  • tapocher, to beat up
  • se faire tapocher, to get beaten up
  • la bouffe, food
  • des affaires, stuff, things
  • qui s’promènent, who walk (contraction of qui se promènent)
  • s’a rue, on/in the street (s’a rue is an informal contraction of sur la rue)
  • un deux et demie, this is an apartment with a kitchen (+1), a living room/bedroom all in one room (+1) and a bathroom (+0.5); it’s a contraction of un (appartement) deux (pièces) et demie; a one-bedroom apartment is un trois et demie (kitchen +1, living room +1, bedroom +1, bathroom +0.5)
  • une piasse, dollar, buck
  • y’en a qui vont, some people will, are gonna (contraction of il y en a qui vont)
  • ç’a pas d’prix, it’s priceless (contraction of ça n’a pas de prix)
  • y’a, there is, there are (contraction of il y a)
  • qui passe, that’s passing by (listen to how Korine pronounces passe; it uses the â sound: pâsse)
  • câlisse, fuck, shit, godammit (câlisse is vulgar language)
  • travaux, construction
  • vos yeules!, shut up! (vos yeules is said to more than one person, whereas ta yeule is the singular form; yeule is an informal pronunciation of gueule, which can also be used: vos gueules!, ta gueule!)
  • j’m’en sacre, I don’t give a damn/shit (s’en sacrer means to not give a damn/shit about it)
  • acouphène, tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • plein d’ponts, lots of bridges (plein de means loads of, lots of)
  • y, informal pronunciation of ils
  • brisé, broken, out of order
  • manèges rouillés, rusty (amusement park) rides
  • usé, worn-out
  • à l’année, all year long
  • fa’qu’on gagne, so we win (contraction of ça fait qu’on gagne)
  • fait chier!, sounds typically French
  • faire beau, to sound nice, look nice, come across nice
  • d’jà, contraction of déjà

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I saw this sign posted on the side of an apartment building. If you’re looking for an apartment to rent in Montréal, it’s a good idea to learn what everything on this sign means.

appartements à louer
apartments for rent

semi-meublé
partially furnished

poêle et réfrigérateur
stove and refrigerator

chauffé
heating included

eau chaude
hot water included

conciergerie et buanderie sur place
maintenance and laundry room on site

Chauffé doesn’t mean the apartment has heating — all apartments in Montréal have heating because of that thing called winter. Chauffé means the costs associated with heating are included in the amount you’ll pay in rent. You don’t need to pay extra for heating, in other words.

The same goes for eau chaude. It means that you don’t need to pay extra for hot water; it’s included in your rent.

Poêle and réfrigérateur are both masculine words.

The sign uses the word une buanderie, but the laundry room is very often called une salle de lavage.

If semi-meublé on this sign means partially furnished, then meublé means fully furnished. If the apartment isn’t furnished at all, it might say non meublé or nothing at all about furniture.

Le concierge is the person who takes care of the building. For example, if you needed a repair in the apartment, you’d call the concierge.

Not on the sign is the term bureau de location. That’s the rental office. If there’s a bureau de location in the building, that’s where you’ll sign your lease (le bail) and make your rental payments every month.

If an apartment is a (un trois et demie), it’s got 3 rooms + bathroom (½). The number before the half symbol tells how many rooms (not bedrooms!) are in the apartment. Note that a room may be a kitchen, living room or bedroom. The half symbol represents the bathroom. In the case of a 3½, you can expect a bedroom (1), kitchen (1), living room (1) and bathroom (½).

Demie is feminine because the word that’s understood is une pièce (room):

un trois et demie
= un [appartement] trois [pièces] et demie

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On an STM bus, a young man said on débarque ici to a friend sitting beside him, or “let’s get off here.”

A friend offered me a diet Pepsi to drink, un Pepsi diète.

The Pepsi was in a can, en canette.

A doctor that I won’t be seeing anymore had his receptionist call me. She said je ferme votre dossier, or “I’m closing your file.”

A sign at a fast food restaurant said veuillez faire la ligne ici, or “please line up here.”

Two friends wished each other a happy noon lunch break by saying bon midi! and bon lunch! to each other.

I saw a sign in shopping centre that said bon magasinage!, or “happy shopping!”

A Latin American tourist asked her husband what on signs outside buildings in Montréal could possibly mean. It’s the equivalent of a one-bedroom apartment available for rent.

Signs that read logement à louer mean that there’s an apartment available for rent.

The words diète and midi from above are dzidzu words. Diète is pronounced dziète and midi is pronounced midzi.

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