Home » Language and Language related » Let’s go fishing… and learn hard-core French while you’re at it! – Post 5 of 6 (#328)

Let’s go fishing… and learn hard-core French while you’re at it! – Post 5 of 6 (#328)

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I ranked this next colloquial dialogue as a very difficult “5” on the scale of one to six.  This is the shortest of the six audio examples of colloquial speech, yet it is one of the most difficult.

There are three main reasons:

  1. The accent is strong, which is somewhat made fuzzier by the phone line – but people regularly hear such conversations over the phone)
  2. The speed is quick (which makes for some heavy contractions and improper use of tenses)
  3. The punchline
    1. comes very fast (it begins at 18 seconds and ends at 23 seconds),
    2. is heavily contracted and accented, and
    3. would be extremely difficult for anyone to understand, unless they were a native speaker, or at the very minimum, unless their verbal French was at the most advanced levels.
    4. If you were to miss the five seconds of the punchline, the entire story would not make sense.

Difficulty levels 5


Because colloquial French is so different from standard French, you might wonder where can you practice listening to colloquial French if you are not exposed to it on a regular basis?

I chose these excerpts from Radio-X (CHOI FM) for a specific reason.  Radio-X’s website (and APP) allows you to download their radio shows.   You can load them into your phone or MP3 player, and listen to them anywhere and anytime (in your car, as you’re going to bed, as you’re doing your chores, or at the office).

I’m familiar with French-language radio stations across Canada, and I can pretty much guarantee you that the informal nature of Radio-X’s programs makes their speech the most colloquial French you will hear on any of Canada’s or Québec’s radio stations (and much more colloquial than what you will hear on television, or TV sitcoms).

What’s more, the radio programs are interesting.  Although the station is based in Québec city, the shows feature well-known radio hosts and columnists who love to discuss Canadian Federal politics and society inside-and-out.  They regularly talk about topics which are equally pertinent to someone living in Kamloops (BC), Steinbach (Manitoba), or Fredericton (New Brunswick).

Starting on August 15, 2015, they will have a new program line-up featuring some of the most well-known columnist names in Québec (Dominic Maurais, Richard Martineau, André Arthur, Denis Landry, etc.).

Radio-X is one of the most listened-to radio stations in Québec and Canada (they regularly top the Eastern-Québec listener rankings).  They recently dropped somewhat in the ranking numbers owing to stiff competition (from 93.5FM and NRJ Québec City).  But their revamped scheduling slated for August 15th is their way of fighting back.

Check them out at http://quebec.radiox.com/accueil

Now for the next audio tract (don’t forget to turn on the closed captions).   The colloquial English translation will follow in the transcript below.




  • 0:00 – Yes, c’est à mon tour?
  • Yes, It’s my turn?


  • 0:01 – Oui, vas-y. T’es en ondes.
  • Yes, go for it. You’re on the air.


  • 0:03 – C’est dans le fond, moi j’étais plus jeune, j’allais à la pêche dans le fleuve avec mon père.  (Il) y avait de la grosse barbotte sale.  Pis (puis), on s’est fait poigné par la marée.  Fait-que là, on s’est avancée à la marée basse. 
  • Bottom line, when I was younger, I went fishing on the river with my dad.  We were after big, dirty burbot (bullhead).  But we were caught by the tide.  So we went to where it was lower. 
  • 0:15 – C’est du bord du fleuve sur des grosses roches. Pis ç’allait ben (bien), ç’allait ben.  On pêchait. 
  • It was on the edge of the river where there were a lot of big rocks. It’s was all going hunky-dory, just fine.  We were fishing.
  • 0:18 – Mon hors (moteur hors-bord) ça revire, et on a dû (avoir) douze pied d’eau en avant de nous autres qui nous séparait de la rive. Mettons qu’on n’a pas trop trippé
  • My outboard (motor) came unhitched / fell off, and there must have been 12 feet of water in front, separating us from the banks. Let’s just say we were less than happy.
  • 0:25 – Moi j’avais à peu près onze ans. Mon père il trippait pas pantoute.  J’savais nager, mais j’étais pas le meilleur nageur contre le courant, mettons à onze ans. 
  • Me, I was about 11 years old. My dad was not happy, not at all.  I knew how to swim, but let’s say that at 11 years old, I was not the best swimmer against the current.
  • 0:33 – Fait-qu’on s’est mouillé pas mal jusqu’au cou. Lui encore plus.  Lui, il avait encore une petite rame en arrière. 
  • So we got drenched we right up to the neck. Him a bit more.  He still had a little paddle in the back.
  • 0:37 – Il nageait pis il m’a tiré en même temps, pis on a réussi à sortir sur la rive. Mettons que c’est une petite course qu’on a eu là.
  • He swam and he pulled me at the same time, and we succeeded in getting out onto the banks. Let’s just say que it was quite an adventure which we had there.


  • 0:45 – C’était pas votre meilleur.
  • It wasn’t your best (moment).


  • 0:47 – Non, malheureusement.
  • No, unfortunately.


  • 0:49 – Ok, ben content que ç’a bien tourné quand-même.
  • Ok, I’m still really happy that it turned out nonetheless.


  • 0:51 – Yes


  • 0:52 – Hey, merci d’avoir appelé, bye-bye.
  • Hey, thanks for having called.


  • 0:53 – Salut
  • Bye.




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