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Found another good clip from QuébecOriginal promoting winter to European visitors. (We saw the first one here.) As usual, the French text is below the clip, followed by a translation into English and usage notes. This clip will be added to the Listen to Québécois French section.

Au Québec, on aime tellement l’humour qu’on a la seule baie au monde qui rit : la baie du Ha! Ha!

En fait, ici, tout se peut, surtout quand on se lâche lousse. «Lousse» — en liberté totale!

Des fois, la neige fait sortir le meilleur de nous. Pour avancer partout, on a réinventé la roue. Quand on veut rester au chaud, on sort nos vieux mots : tuque, chandail, combine, mitaines, bas.

Mais comme on a vraiment quatre saisons, ça se peut que vous croisiez du monde qui s’est trompé en s’habillant. Ça s’appelle le Québec!

Mais ce qu’on a de plus grand, c’est notre hiver. Le plus blanc, le plus stupéfiant des hivers. On est fiers de notre hiver. On est QuébecOriginal.

In Québec, we love humour so much that we’ve got the only laughing bay in the world: la baie du Ha! Ha! (literally Ha! Ha! Bay).

In fact, here, anything’s possible, especially when we let loose. “Lousse(from the English “loose”) — total freedom! (Lousse is a Québécois usage; the speaker is defining it for European listeners.)

Sometimes the snow brings out the best in us. To get around everywhere, we reinvented the wheel. When we want to stay warm, we pull out our old words: tuque(tuque/winter hat), “chandail(sweater), “combine(from combinaison, long johns/long underwear; can also be the piece of clothing that covers the entire body and buttons down the chest), “mitaines(mittens), “bas(socks). (These words are all Québécois usages.)

But because we’ve really got four seasons, it’s possible you’ll bump into someone who got dressed wrong. That’s Québec!

But the best thing we’ve got is winter. The whitest, most stupefying of winters. We’re proud of our winter. We are QuébecOriginal.

Notes:

se lâcher lousse, to let loose, to let it all hang out, to let ‘er rip
Note how the speaker pronounces lâche; it uses the â sound. She says it quickly, but try to hear it.

Note how she pronounces lousse. It sounds slightly different to the English loose. The words mousse, pousse, rousse, etc., all use that same vowel sound.

Note how the speaker pronounces bas. The words pas, cas, tas, t’as all rhyme with this, using that same vowel sound. We heard this vowel sound before in the words pas and chat in this video.

tuque, nom féminin
chandail, nom masculin
combine, nom féminin
bas, nom masculin
mitaine, nom féminin

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In the QuébecOriginal video from #970, we heard the speaker say on se calme le pompon! The expression is se calmer le pompon. (The video is below if you want to listen again. The speaker’s words have been transcribed in #970, or here in the Listen section.)

In English, we can say that on se calme le pompon means (let’s) settle down (now), (let’s) take it easy, chill out, etc. As its definition on Wiktionnaire reads, it’s a way of telling someone who’s carried away with excessive enthusiasm or panic to settle down: se calmer le pompon — cesser d’être exagérément enthousiaste, scandalisé ou paniqué devant une idée ou une situation.

Why did the speaker say it in this video? She used it because she was listing all the things that can be done in Québec in the winter (marcher, ramer, glisser, etc.) and that hockey is like a religion, so it was a playful way of telling herself (or ourselves) to calm down with all that. She also said it because it provided the opportunity to inject a Québécois expression into the ad for flavour.

The Usito dictionary defines pompon (or pompom in English) as: petite boule de fils, généralement de laine ou de soie, qui sert d’ornement, and gives an example of use: une tuque à pompon (or a winter hat with a ball on the tip; that’s why we see an image of a tuque with a shaking pompom right when the speaker uses the expression).

The Wiktionnaire page for se calmer le pompon gives us two examples of use:

Calme-toi le pompon!
Settle down! Take it easy now!

Il y en a souvent qui crient au drame parce que leur chum a oublié de leur acheter des fleurs le 14 février… Calmez-vous le pompon, les filles! L’important, c’est qu’il pense à vous le reste de l’année.
(Voir, 9 février 2006)

There are often those who get all dramatic because their boyfriend forgot to buy them flowers on 14 February… Take a chill pill, girls! What’s important is that he thinks of you the rest of the year.

In short, on se calme le pompon and calme-toi le pompon mean the same thing as on se calme and calme-toi, but they’re informal and playful-sounding usages.

The text for this video is here.

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I found this video from QuébecOriginal (Tourisme Québec) promoting winter in Québec. In it, you’ll hear a few Québécois usages that we’ve looked at on OffQc.

This video was made to promote Québec to the European francophone market, which is why the speaker provides a couple definitions as she speaks.

L’hiver au Québec — attache ta tuque!

Tuque = bonnet de laine.

L’hiver, on marche, on court, on rame, on glisse, on promène les chiens, et ici le hockey, c’t’une religion. Eh bon, on s’calme le pompon!

Bref, l’hiver, pas l’temps d’niaiser.

Niaiser = perdre son temps.

On en profite au maximum. On a les mains froides, mais le coeur chaud. Ça, ça s’explique pas ; ça se ressent. Faut venir le vivre.

On est QuébecOriginal.

Winter in Québec — hold onto your tuque/hat! (Prepare yourself! Brace yourself!)

Tuque = woolly hat/winter hat. (Tuque is a Québécois usage; the speaker is providing bonnet de laine as an equivalent for the benefit of European listeners.)

In the winter, we walk, we run, we row, we slide, we walk the dogs, and hockey is a religion here… OK, let’s settle down now!

In short, no time to “niaiser” (waste time doing nothing) in the winter. (Time to get busy.)

Niaiser = waste your time. (The speaker is explaining to the European audience again; here, she’s defining the verb niaiser, which is a Québécois usage.)

We take full advantage. Our hands are cold, but out hearts are warm. You can’t explain it; you have to feel it. You have to come and live it.

We are QuébecOriginal.

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I bought 3 really cool postcards yesterday.

Feminine words are in black.
Masculine words are in blue.

Petit lexique québécois

Petit lexique québécois

bibitte à patates (lady bug), pitou (doggie), maringouin (mosquito), coquerelle (cockroach), mouche à feu (firefly), ouaouaron (bull frog), moufette (skunk), siffleux (groundhog), minoune (kitty)

Petit lexique québécois

Petit lexique québécois

bobettes (undies), calotte (cap), coton ouaté (sweatshirt), mitaines (mittens), soulier (shoe), tuque (tuque), froque (coat), bas (socks), espadrille (running shoe)

Petit lexique québécois

Petit lexique québécois

bombe (kettle), cadran (alarm clock), barniques (barnacles, spectacles), bécycle (bicycle), plasteur (bandage), champlure (tap), ruine-babine (harmonica), balayeuse (vacuum cleaner), bazou (jalopy)

I’m going to give these postcards away to somebody here. There were more postcards in the series, and I wanted to buy them all and give them away, but I’d have got into trouble if I spent all my money and came home last night without the milk and bread I was supposed to buy.

I bought the postcards at Renaud-Bray, if you want to look for them yourself. Or you can buy them online from tiguidou-shop.com, including the other ones in the series. They’re cheaper online, but I didn’t check the shipping.

I also have two new DVDs from Québec with subtitles to give away. So, if you participated in the La grande séduction contest but didn’t win, I’m putting your email address back into a tuque or bas and will pull out three new winners. Two people will get a DVD, and one will get the postcards.

Check your email – I may be writing to you asking for your postal address!
_ _ _

Notes:

Despite the singular forms on the postcard, barniques and bobettes are generally used in the plural.

Bécycle is pronounced bécik. Ouaouaron is pronounced wawaron.

Froque is also spelled froc. Ruine-babine is also spelled ruine-babines.

Bombe is an old-fashioned word for bouilloire. Champlure is falling out of use; you can say robinet.

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1. A reader of OffQc tells me that he overheard someone say what sounded like jézaime. He was happy when he realised that he had understood what this meant: je les aime. It was pronounced informally as j’es aime (jé-zaime), where je les contracted to j’es.

2. I was reminded of the word cabaret the other day when the cashier at a restaurant counter asked if I wanted a tray for the food I had ordered. Voulez-vous un cabaret? Do you want a tray?

Nice tuque!

Nice tuque!

3. Learn these six words related to winter clothing: un gant (glove), une mitaine (mitten), un manteau (coat), une tuque (tuque, winter hat), un foulard (scarf), une botte (boot), and how to say below-zero temperatures: -26, il fait moins vingt-six.

4. A group of kids opened a box of Timbits. Before they started attacking the box, one of the kids exclaimed: un chaque! un chaque!, one each! one each!

5. A friend said y s’en vient, he’s coming, he’s on his way. Y is an informal pronunciation of il. The verb here is s’en venir. Similarly, je m’en viens, I’m coming, I’m on my way. Viens-t’en! Come!

6. A man wanted to get past me on the metro because he was getting off at the next station. He used the verb débarquer to describe the action of getting off the train. This verb can also be used to describe getting off a bus. Pie-IX is a metro station in Montréal. It’s pronounced pi-neuf. If you got off at Pie-IX, you could say j’ai débarqué à Pie-IX.

Image from Kena & Brutus

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