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Posts Tagged ‘vidanges’

On Urbania, Kéven Breton writes about the challenge of getting into different bars in Montréal on his wheelchair, in Vie nocturne à roulettes : tous ces bars qui ne veulent pas de moi.

He says some bars pass the test, and others don’t.

And then there are the bars in between… a sort of fake kind of accessible, as in:

Ah ouais c’est accessible chenous monsieur! Vous avez juste à passer par l’arrière, dans la petite ruelle qui pue le cadavre. Y’a une petite porte en métal, à côté des vidanges. Cognez, on va aller vous ouvrir! Pis rendu là, y’a juste deux petites marches!

Yeah sure, we’re accessible here, sir! You just have to go around the back into the alley that smells like a dead body. There’s a small metal door beside the garbage. Knock and we’ll let you in! Then after that, there are only two small steps!

We first looked at Kéven’s use of chenous (chez nous) in #861. Maybe you’ll remember that chez nous can mean “at my place” in Québec, just like chez moi. For example, a person who lives alone might say chez nous to talk about his place, instead of chez moi. And even if you live alone, he might say chez vous to talk about your place, instead of chez toi.

In the example above, we really can understand chez nous to refer to more than one person though. Chez nous here (or chenous) refers to the bar and its employees.

Kéven also used vidanges in his text: à côté des vidanges, or “next to the garbage.” Elsewhere on OffQc, we’ve see the term un sac à vidanges, which is a garbage bag.

Learn the verb cogner! Every learner of French learns to say frapper à la porte for “knock on the door,” but have you learned cogner à la porte too? You need to!

You’ll hear the Québécois use the adjective rendu a lot too. We won’t look at all the uses of rendu here, just the one in the example above. Broadly speaking, rendu means “arrived” or “become.” Using “arrived,” we can say that rendu là means “arrived there” — or in more natural-sounding English: “at that point.”

Finally, the word cadavre… This word can be added to the list of 50 words pronounced with the â sound in Québec but not spelled with the accented â. That’s because cadavre is pronounced cadâvre. Only the second a is pronounced â, not the first one. You can hear it pronounced on this Wiki page, near the bottom.

Kéven also wrote y’a a couple times instead of il y a. If you listen to a lot of spoken French, you know that the most normal way of pronouncing il y a during regular conversations is certainly y’a. The negative form is y’a pas.

You can continue reading Kéven’s text on your own, discover more vocabulary and understand how Kéven feels about accessibility in Montréal bars. (You’ll also find an example of pogner in there, when Kéven says pogner le métro, or grab the métro.)

Summary

chez nous can mean chez moi
chez vous can mean chez toi
à côté des vidanges, beside the garbage
un sac à vidanges, a garbage bag
cognez!, knock!
cogner à la porte, to knock at the door
pis rendu là, then at that point, then after that
cadavre is pronounced cadâvre
y’a is an informal pronunciation of il y a
pogner le métro,
to grab the métro

P.S. Pogner and cogner rhyme. Be sure not to pronounce the g in these words. They sound like ponnyé and connyé.

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Quote by Kéven Breton in Vie nocturne : tous ces bars qui ne veulent pas de moi, on Urbania, 7 October 2014.

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Fuck you l'été [Jordan Dupuis]

Fuck you l’été [Jordan Dupuis]

In an Urbania article called Le monde selon J : Fuck you l’été published at the end of March, Jordan Dupuis describes his displeasure over the fact that winter was ending and that hot weather was on its way. He writes:

Bref, 99,9% des gens sont à boutte de l’hiver… mais pas moi.
In short, 99.9% of people are sick of winter… but not me.

être à boutte de l’hiver
to be sick of winter
to have had it with winter

As usual, this Urbania article is full of colloquial language similar to what you’ll hear in real conversations. If you haven’t checked Urbania out yet, I encourage you to do so.

Unlike the author himself, Jordan says that people can’t take the snow anymore:

Les gens sont officiellement pu’ capables d’endurer la neige […].
People are officially no longer able to stand the snow.

endurer quelque chose
to be able to stand something

les gens sont pu’ capables
people are no longer able

Maybe you’ll remember pu capab from yesterday’s entry devoted to the word marde as used in Québec.

Jordan explains the reasons he hates summer. One of them is that his summer clothes no longer fit after gaining weight throughout the winter. As he looks at his summer shirts spread out on his bed, he realises he should forget about wearing them and donate them instead. He says that he should sacrer ses chemises d’été dans un beau grand sac à vidanges, or “throw his summer shirts the hell out into a huge garbage bag.”

One of the other reasons he hates summer so much is that some people (but not him) seem to be devoid of sweat glands. He curses these “chosen ones” for not sweating a drop in their cream-coloured linen shirts:

Ces êtres élus et gâtés par la vie, même à 38 degrés et avec un facteur humidex à te faire friser le poil de la noune, ne transpirent pas une goutte de sueur dans leur chemise en lin couleur crème.

38 degrés
Americans, remember: 38 degrees is hot! Québec uses Celsius.

Le facteur humidex is the humidex factor. In Québec, we LOVE to talk about the humidex factor. The humidex factor is what the temperature feels like because of humidity. So, the actual temperature might be 38, but the humidex factor might make it feel more like 45.

But, oh my, what does faire friser le poil de la noune mean?

Do you remember the word plotte from a previous entry? It’s a vulgar word that refers to the female sex organ. Une noune is the same thing. Le poil de la noune, well, that’s the pubic hair surrounding it. Faire friser (quelque chose) means to make it curl.

à 38 degrés et avec un facteur humidex à te faire friser le poil de la noune

In other words, he curses those chosen ones who don’t sweat a drop even when the temperature is hot enough to make pubic hair curl.

I’ll let you discover the rest of his text on your own!

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French quotes by Jordan Dupuis, «Le monde selon J : Fuck you l’été», Urbania, Montréal, 31 March 2014.

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Je mange d'in vidangesI was out with my camera when I came across a squat in an alley.

One of the squatters had spray painted je mange d’in vidanges on a wall.

je mange = I eat
d’in = dans les = in the
vidanges = garbage

Je mange d’in vidanges.
Je mange dans les vidanges.
I eat in the garbage, but better worded as:
I eat from the garbage.

In another entry on OffQc, we saw examples of how vidanges is used in the sense of garbage in Québec.

In this sense, vidanges is used in the plural: les vidanges. We’ll forgive the person who spray painted the singular vidange. He ran out of wall. There was no room for the s.

When dans + les come together, it sometimes contracts to form what sounds like dain (rhymes with main and hein). In the image, we see the spelling d’in.

It’s certainly not necessary for you to say d’in instead of dans les. Just make a mental note of this pronunciation for the times when you happen to hear it.

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On trouve de tout... même un ami

Jean Coutu is a pharmacy in Québec whose slogan is:

On trouve de tout… même un ami!

And it’s true. You really will find a friend at Jean Coutu.

They’re called condoms.

1. condom

condom

In Québec, the standard word for condom is un condom (sounds like condon). The French word un préservatif is understood, but its use is limited.

The expression “to use a condom” is utiliser un condom.

There’s also an informal word for condom, like “rubber” in English: une capote. In Montréal, you may have even noticed a sex shop downtown called La Capoterie.

2. pâte à dents

pate à dents

In addition to le dentifrice and la pâte dentifrice, toothpaste is also known as la pâte à dents in Québec, which is similar in form to la brosse à dents, or toothbrush.

On tubes of toothpaste, you’ll see the term dentifrice, not pâte à dents.

3. soie dentaire

soie dentaire

In Québec, dental floss is called la soie dentaire. In France, it’s called le fil dentaire. Soie dentaire is the standard term in Québec, used on packaging and in conversation (if you like to talk about dental floss!).

4. bas

bas

A sock is called un bas in Québec, which sounds like bâ. For example, un bas de laine is a wool sock.

5. chaise roulante

chaise roulante

In addition to un fauteuil roulant, understood by French speakers everywhere, you’ll also hear a wheelchair called une chaise roulante in Québec.

6. sac à vidanges

sac à ordures

The package says sacs à ordures, meaning “garbage bags.” In addition to this term, you’ll also hear un sac à vidanges at a more informal level of language. The word vidanges is often used in Québec in the sense of garbage. Un vidangeur is garbageman.

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Ostie que ça pue

Here are 5 items in French that you’ll find useful to learn. This list of 5 all started with 1 smelly garbage bin in Montréal…

1. Ostie que ça pue!

“Fuck that stinks!” I heard a man yell this while standing at a bus stop with some friends. Near them was a smelly garbage bin.

When something stinks, ça pue.

Ostie derives from hostie, the sacramental bread for Catholics. Variations of the swear word ostie exist, like estie and astie.

Yelling ostie or one of its variations is equivalent to yelling “fuck!”

Ostie que ça pue dans ta chambre!
Does it ever fucking stink in your room!

Remember how vidanges means “garbage” in Québec? I found this example on the web using both puer from our example above and vidanges:

J’devrais p’t’être sortir les vidanges qui puent la marde.
= Je devrais peut-être sortir les vidanges qui puent la marde.
I should probably take out the garbage which smells like shit.

2. Marde

That last example used puer la marde, “to smell like shit.” And that’s not a spelling mistake for merde — you really will hear marde in Québec.

Merde is also understood, like everywhere in the French-speaking world, but marde is distinctively québécois shit.

In a scene from La Galère (season 3, episode 10), Claude panics when her fiancé leaves her. She exclaims:

J’sus dans marde!
I’m in deep shit! I’m screwed!

3. J’sus dans marde!

When you’re up shit’s creek, t’es dans marde. The expression is être dans la marde, but you’ll hear it said as être dans marde, without la. It’s an informal contraction where la gets swallowed up by dans.

J’sus sounds like chu. It means the same thing as je suis, but chu is an informal pronunciation of it. Another informal pronunciation you’ll hear is j’suis, which sounds like chui.

In another scene from La Galère (season 2, episode 2), Stéphanie is angry because she’s let herself get hurt again by her boyfriend. She uses the informal j’sus when she says:

J’sus cave, j’sus cave, ostie, j’sus cave.
I’m so stupid, so stupid, fuck, I’m so stupid.

4. Cave

Un cave is an idiot. Olivier from Les Parent (season 3, episode 19) says:

Prenez-moi pas pour un cave!
I’m not stupid, you know!
(Don’t take me for an idiot!)

He used the vous form because he was speaking to more than one person. If we convert it to the tu form, it becomes prends-moi pas pour un cave!

5. Prends-moi pas

This form is an informal usage. According to the rules of standard written French, it would have to be ne me prends pas. During conversations, you’re very likely to hear it said as prends-moi pas instead.

Here’s another example of this with the verb toucher.

1. touche-moi
2. touche-moi pas
3. ne me touche pas

(1) is the affirmative form. (2) is an informal spoken form in the negative. (3) is the standard written form in the negative.

Below is an example from the web using touche-moi pas. And just to take us full-circle back to number 1 of this list, it also uses the verb puer as part of the expression puer la sueur, similar to puer la marde.

Tu pues la sueur dès huit heures le matin.
Touche-moi pas!

You stink of sweat as early as 8 o’clock in the morning.
Don’t touch me!

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Here are 7 random expressions in French that I overheard in Montréal this week and made a mental note of.

1. Tu me niaises-tu?
(Are you kidding me?)

When the métro train I was on pulled into the station, it came to a stop, and then the lights and motor when off completely. A young woman near me, standing with her friend, exclaimed: tu me niaises-tu? She was frustrated that a long delay seemed imminent. An older woman behind me yelled out sarcastically: super!

2. Allô? Allô? Ça coupe!
(Hello? Hello? You’re cutting in and out!)

A man talking on his mobile phone couldn’t hear what the person on the other end was saying. He kept saying allô? allô? and then ça coupe! The connection was obviously bad.

3. Y mouille un p’tit peu.
(It’s spitting out.)

The verb mouiller is often used in the same way as pleuvoir in Québec. Someone who says il mouille is saying the same thing as il pleut. The man who said this also said un p’tit peu. It was only spitting out when he said it.

4. Voulez-vous la facture?
(Do you want the receipt?)

When you order food at the cash, like in a food court, the cashier may ask if you want the receipt. You’ll hear a lot of employees working at the cash refer to the receipt as la facture.

5. En régulier?
(By regular post?)

I took an envelope to the post office. The man working at the cash asked if I wanted to send it by regular post: en régulier? If you wanted to send an envelope by regular post, you could say: en régulier, s’il vous plaît.

6. On va checker ça.
(We’ll check it out. We’ll take a look.)

A guy speaking into his mobile phone said this to the person on the other end. If you heard someone say check-moi ça! or even just check!, it means “check it out!” or “take a look at that!”

7. C’est moins dispendieux.
(It’s less expensive.)

An employee in Pharmaprix was showing a product to a customer. She told her that product was less expensive, moins dispendieux, than another similiar product. This means exactly the same thing as moins cher, which is of course also said in Québec. The word dispendieux looks big and fancy and formal, but it’s not. It really does just mean the same thing as cher in Québec.

And an image…

In entry #631, you read about how the Québécois use the word vidanges in the sense of garbage. In the comments, roxannabanana asked if this word is always used in the plural.

In the sense of garbage, yes, vidanges is used in the plural. You may come across the singular form when vidange is used to refer to an oil change in a vehicle, however.

In the image, taken at a garage, we read: vidange d’huile (oil change) above the door on the left. This usage in the sense of oil change is known throughout the French-speaking world, but the plural usage in the sense of garbage is québécois.

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On the sign in the image above, we read:

Les déchets domestiques ne vont pas dans cette poubelle!
Do not put household waste in this bin!

Déchets is just one of the words used to refer to garbage in French.

Another one that you’ll hear in Québec is vidanges, which is an informal use. You’d wouldn’t see vidanges in the sense of garbage used on a sign like this, for example.

Here are some ways that you might hear vidanges used.

As-tu sorti les vidanges?
Did you take out the garbage?

J’ai oublié de sortir les vidanges.
I forgot to take out the garbage.

Je l’ai jeté aux vidanges.
I threw it in the garbage.

In a scene from the television series La Galère, we hear the term un sac à vidanges, or garbage bag.

A character called Stéphanie has broken up with her boyfriend. She’s at home packing up his clothes neatly into a box so that she can return them to him.

Stéphanie’s friend Claude gets pissed off at how nice Stéphanie is being towards her ex by packing his stuff up for him. So Claude grabs the box, empties it all over the place, and tells Stéphanie to just dump his damn stuff into a garbage bag:

Tu me crisses ça dans un sac à vidanges!

[La Galère, season 4, episode 9, Radio-Canada,
Montréal, 7 November 2011]

The verb crisser comes from the name “Christ.” So when Claude tells Stéphanie to Christ his stuff into a garbage bag, she was really telling her to just throw his stuff the hell out.

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