Home » Uncategorized » Let’s go fishing… and learn hard-core French while you’re at it! – Post 6 of 6 (#329)

Let’s go fishing… and learn hard-core French while you’re at it! – Post 6 of 6 (#329)

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WARNING:  This particular post contains a lot of very crude language, and may be offensive for certain people.  Consider yourself warned.

This is the final post in a series of six posts which provides examples of colloquial (spoken) French.

I have good news and bad news for you.

First with the bad news:

This is the most difficult of the six posts.  I perfectly understand that if you are trying to learn French (especially spoken informal French, which involves a good deal of JOUAL, slang, contractions, and regional accents), a post like this may make you feel extremely discouraged… almost as if Mount Everest is staring you straight in the face.   But don’t be (I’ll get to that a little further down).

Difficulty levels 6

I consider this the most difficult of the six audio tracts because:

  • of its speed,
  • there is a noticeable regional accent from the Saguenay-Lac St-Jean region of Québec (see map below — the Green part near the top),


  • the caller mixes up his tenses. He uses
    • the present tense for the past,
    • the past tense and imparfait for the present,
    • the future for the past,
    • the subjunctive is completely out the window (take that all you French teachers! — Yes, I’m talking to you “Madame C.” — all those years of trauma you put me through!),
    • and I think he even threw in the literary passé-simple at one point – I mean really??? Who does that?!  (At 0:53, I actually think he said “renversa” instead of “renversé”)
  • some words and expressions are really out there… I mean really really out there (good luck finding them in the dictionary).  I think he even invented a couple of new words.
  • Contractions, contractions, contractions – did I mention contractions?

Now with the good news:

It does not get much more difficult than this – truly.  (I can think of only a handful of other French accents and ways of speaking which are more challenging than this).  And even this is something you would rarely run into (especially if the bulk of your dealings will be with people from urban centres).

Don’t worry, because you will NEVER hear people speak like this on television.  Nothing in books, newspapers or magazines is ever written as it is spoken here.  Even 90% of radio stations would not feature people who speak like this.

Therefore, do not become discouraged, and be thankful that it cannot get any worse than this.  I say this because as you gradually improve your French through the ranks of the “intermediate” levels, you will actually begin to understand parts of the written transcript below.  Thus if you can begin to understand this (even in small doses), then you’re well on your way to beginning to understand ANYTHING! (truly – trust me).

You may recall that I stated in the post on JOUAL that it is rare to find people who truly express everything in Joual.  This is almost one of those instances.  If anything, the rareness of it should leave you more with a sense of curiosity and desire to continue to learn, rather than with a sense of discouragement.

For North American readers, you could almost think of it this way:

In the Southern U.S., there are pockets of populations with extreme accents which are very difficult for others to understand (even in other parts of the Southern US).  You will never hear them on television or the radio because nobody would be able to understand them.  The majority of the people do not speak like them.  For people learning English, knowing that such ways of speaking exist should not at all be a reason to become discouraged.  After all, there is no relation.  It’s simply interesting to know that very “informal / colloquial” ways of speaking simply exist out there.

Here is a perfect example of what I mean (using the Virginia “Tangier Island” accent / grammar as an example).  Fast-forward to 0:38 amd be prepared to be shocked at this English:



There is a blog devoted to making sense of all this French colloquial madness.


The next post at OffQc will be Felix’s 1000th blog post on the topic (big day!!).   He has gone to a tremendous amount of work to help non-Francophones learn the in’s and out’s of informal spoken French (as it is spoken on our side of the ocean).

He has a very unique site, and I have never seen anything else which compares to it.  Check it out when you have a moment.

My hat goes off to him.


A few things to note before we dive into it:

NOTE 1:  In the English translation below, I added a good number of things in (PARENTHESIS) in order for the story to make better sense.  If you ignore what is in parenthesis, then it is pretty much exactly as it is spoken.

NOTE 2:  I tried to provide as true an English translation as possible.  So if the English looks screwy, that’s how it also sounds in French.

After translating colloquial hick French into colloquial hick English, I actually feel like I lost a few brain cells in the process… so excuse the way I worded it in English.

My way of translating the below segment into English couldn’t possibly be any worse than the terrible French verb tenses, slang and wording the caller was using.  I mean seriously… “renvenir” instead of “revenir”??? Where did he even find that extra n !?!?  And is “parcédumé” even a word???  Well folks, I guess it is now – hahaha!

Actually, kidding aside, I should be the last person to point fingers.  After all, I grew up pronouncing CH as a heavy “H”, and “éch” as “tch”, and even dumb things like “J’ai”, I grew up as pronouncing as “H’ai”.   Also, my “ère” and “eur” are very very strange to many people.

So I suppose I should be the first to admit that my own day-to-day colloquial French and accent might be considered “hick” by a good number of people (straight from rural Alberta).  But cripes… I will say that this recording sure gave me stiff competition!

(You can hear my Alberta accent and Joual in the post on PRAIRIE FRENCH)

Before I present you with the video, when you read the English translation which follows, try to picture it being spoken with “THIS” hick English accent from the most rural parts of Ontario (It makes the whole thing even more funny if you try to transpose this rural Ontario hick accent in your mind onto the English translation I wrote below).

And yes… this sort of country-bumpkin English accent does exist in the further rural depths of Ontario.  Ever take a drive down highway 7 starting around Peterborough, heading in the direction of Ottawa?  Open your mouth and in their minds you might as well be from Vancouver — or Nunavut.  But at least it makes for a pretty drive.

Now, let’s jump right into the thick of it…


When I made the closed captions, I made an extra effort to make them light and short — making it easier to rewind and review if you so desire.



  • 0:00 – Oui, allô.
  • Yes, hey there.


  • 0:01 – Vous êtes en ondes.
  • You’re on the air.


  • 0:02 – Oui, parfait. Hey, j’en ai une bonne histoire, moi. 
  • Yes, great. Hey, me, I have a good story.


  • 0:04 – Go!
  • Shoot!


  • 0:05 – Mais moi, je viens du Saguenay, pis quand j’avais 9 ou 10 ans, on était une gang de chums. On était quatre flos.  Ok, parfait – entre 9 et 10 ans.  Pis on faisait dur, pis on faisait des coups plats, t’sais.
  • See, me I come from Saguenay, and when I was 9 or 10 year old, we were a group of buddies. We were three kids.  Ok, good – between 9 and 10 years old.  And we never held back, and we pulled some mean stunts, ya’know. 
  • 0:13 – Fait-que là, à un moment donné, le père un de mes chums, André Péron, il dit « Hein, les p’tits gars, la semaine prochaine je vous amène au chalet…
  • So with that, at a certain moment, André Péron, the dad of one of my buddies, he says “Hey kids, next week I’m takin’ y’all to the cabin…”
  • 0:18 – …On va aller pêcher le brochet pis la truite ».
  • We’re gonna fish for Pike / Jack (fish) and trout.


  • 0:20 – Parfait
  • Perfect


  • 0:20 – On est quatre flos avec le père, pis on avait un autre, un cinquième ami qui était avec nous autres. Fait-qu’on était cinq flos avec un monsieur
  • There are us four kids and the dad, and there was another, a fifth friend who was with us. So we were five kids with an adult.
  • 0:26 – Fait-que là, on arrive là-bas.
  • So then, we arrive there.
  • 0:28 – Pis l’affaire en particulier, c’est qu’à un moment donné on pêchait le brochet.
  • And the thing is, at a certain point we were fishing for Pike / Jack (fish).
  • 0:33 – On était sur le quai.
  • We were on the dock.
  • 0:34 – Pis là, il y avait une catrou avec un canot, sur le rack.
  • And there was a quad (a 4-wheel ATV) with a canoe on the rack.


This is the set-up they’re talking about with the canoe and the quad.

  • 0:38 – Fait-que là, à un moment donné, le… ‘scuse moi
  • So then, at a certain point excuse me
  • 0:42 – Le père à Nicolas, André Péron, il pluchait (éplucher) des patates s’a (sur la) gallerie.
  • Nicolas’ dad, André Péron, was peeling taters (potatos) on the porch.
  • 0:46 – Nous autres, on est tous les quatre, on recule le catrou avec le canot s’a (sur le) top, parce que lui il aimait mieux pêcher la truite. Nous autres, on aimait mieux pêcher le brochet avant le chalet
  • Us others, all four of us together, we back up the quad with the canoe on the top, because he (the dad) would rather fish for trout.  But for us, we were rather wantin’ to fish for Jack in front of the cabin.

(NOTE : Here’s some extra info for the story to make better sense… The kids were going to fish for pike from a small boat close to the edge of the lake, but the dad was going to fish for trout at greater depths. Therefore the dad was going to take the quad and canoe far away to another part of the lake, and use the canoe to fish from another location.  While the dad was peeling potatos, the four kids were preparing the canoe for the dad to take a later time).

  • 0:53 – Fait-que là, mon ami Nicolas, mon Péron, il recul le catrou – il grimpe dans la souche. À (la) catrou elle renverse sur le côté. 
  • So there, my friend Nicolas — my bud “Péron” — he backs up the quad – but he runs it into a stump (on the ground from a chopped down tree). The quad (with the canoe on top) tipped over onto its side.


  • 0:59 – (Halètement / Gasp!!)


  • 0:59 – Pis le canot tombe directe sus (sur) une souche, mon chum.
  • And the canoe falls directly onto a stump, my man!
  • 1:02 – Là, le canot, il est parcédumé là – fini le canot!
  • Like, the canoe, it is like craked / split open – The canoe, it’s finished!
  • 1:05 – Fait-que là, la panique nous poinge. Mais durant ce temps-là, André Péron, il épluche ses patates su’à (sur la) gallerie.  Il est loin de nous autres et il voit rien!
  • So then, panic hits us. André Péron, he’s peelin‘ his taters (potatos) on the porch.  He (the dad) was far away from us and he ain’t see nuttin’!


  • 1:11 – Hahahaha!


  • 1:11 – on est sur les nerfs ben raide.
  • But like for us, our nerves are shot.
  • 1:13 – Là on est quatre flos, on réussi à dresser le catrou.
  • We were like four kids, and we managed to flip the quad back up right.
  • 1:15 – On le park de l’autre côté pour ne pas à voir le trou, pis on retient sur nos mots.
  • We parked it on the other side (of the cabin) so ya couldn’t see the hole (in the canoe), and we swear not to utter a word (to nobody).
  • 1:18 – Le lendemain matin André dit « Bon. M’a dit moi je m’en va au pêche au lac ».
  • The next day André (the dad) said « Well I’d say I’m gonna get in some fishin’ on the lake ».

(picture this last sentence being said with a really strong “hick” accent).


  • 1:21 – Ahhhhhhh! Avec un canot troué!
  • Whoooaaa!! With a split open canoe!


  • 1:23 – Ouais! Fait-que là, nous autres, il est malin – il est malin le monsieur, t’sais. 
  • Yup! So then, as for us, he’s so sly – he’s so with it, that guy (the dad), ya’ know.

(Meaning the kids thought for sure that the dad would find out, and they’d be in deep shit!)

  • 1:26 – Fait-que là, là je dis à mes chums, à Nicolas Péron, car c’est son père…
  • So then, I like say to my buddies, to Nicolas Péron, because it’s his dad…
  • 1:30 – … Je dis « crisse de fou est-il, tabarnak! Il a 20 kms de catrou à faire! ». « Ah, non, non, non! » il dit.  « Il va nous tuer, vas nous tuer! » il dit. « Il partira à (la) pêche avec ça! ». 
  • … I say, « Christ, He’s fuckinnuts!  He’s gonna head 20 kms away on that quad (to take the broken canoe fishing).  He (Nicolas) said, “No, No, No (pleading “NO!” in the sense that this can’t be happening to us!)He’s gonna to kill us… Kill us!”.  He said “He’s gonna take it (the canoe) fishing!”
  • 1:36 – Fait-que nous autres quan-qu’il va (quand il va) à catrou, on fait pas ni un, ni deux!  On saut sur le lac en avant, et on s’en va à l’autre bout du lac…
  • So the group of us, when we saw him (the dad) high-tailin’ it off with the quad, we didn’t waste a second. We jump  straight into the lake (into their own little boat), and we motored it off to the other side of the lake…
  • 1:42 – … pour être sur d’être loin, parce qu’on savait qu’il (re)viendrait.
  • … in order to be sure to be as far away as possible (from the dad), because we knew that he’d be coming back (when he found out he was fishing with a canoe that had a hole in it).
  • 1:44 – Fait-que là, il se passe à peu près, je te dirais, une demi-heure.
  • So then, I’d say somewhere in the neighbourhood of a half an hour goes by.
  • 1:48 – … On entend une catrou qui se renvient, pis ça en renvient en tabarnak, a’l catrou!
  • We hear a quad coming back in our direction, and fuck, was it ever comin’, that there quad!

Hosts x 2

  • 1:54 – HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


  • 1:53 – Ça fait que là, on voié (voit) un bout de canot de par icitte (ici) de temps en temps. Tu sais, nous autres on était à l’autre bout du lac, pis on voit de temps en temps le chemin. 
  • So then-and-there, from our spot (in the boat on the far side of the lake) we can see the tip of the canoe (poking through) from time-to-time (on the trail in the woods along the shore of the lake). Ya know, we were at the other end of the lake, and from time to time we would see the road (on which the quad was travelling).
  • 1:58 – Pis là on voit la poussière qui se leve, et on voit le catrou qui s’en vient, pis il s’en vient!!
  • And then we see the dust gettin’ all kicked up, and we see the quad a-comin’, and shit was it comin’!!
  • 2:02 – Là, je dis à Nicolas, je dis « Crisse!! »
  • Man, I say to Nicolas, I says “Oh shit!!”


  • 2:03 – Ça y est!
  • You’re had / You’re cooked / There y’are! / You’re Toast !


  • 2:04 – J’ai dit « On est fait! ». Aïe, il dit « On reste à (l’)autre bord!  On reste à (l’)autre bord!  On reste icitte. » 
  • I says “We’re done-in / cooked / finished“. Well, he (Nicolas) said “We’re staying (here) on the other side (of the lake)!  We’re staying put on the other side.  We’re staying right here!”
  • 2:07 – « Hey » Il dit « Hey! Ça s’en revient l’idot. Il a pas pêché une heure de temps.  Il a pas fait son coton ». 
  • “Hey!” he (Nicolas) said. “Hey! It’s (the quad) comin’… the idiot.  He hasn’t even been gone fishin’ half an hour.  He hasn’t even broken a sweat / worked at it.

(Note the expressions “Il a pas fait son coton”… I previously gave the meaning and source for this expression in the post entitled Denys Arcand: His place in Québec’s history)

  • 2:11 – On est à l’autre bord du lac, et là son père arrive à catrou. Il tire ça, mon homme, quasiment sur deux roues.
  • We were at the other end of the lake, and like his dad was comin’ back on the quad. He (the dad) pounded it into full gear, and it was practically goin’ on two wheels.
  • 2:16 – Mais là, d’habitude il arrêtait le catrou à côté du chalet. Mais dans ce cas-là il arrêtait le catrou quasiment au bout du quai là. 
  • But usually he’s parkin’ the quad beside the cabin. But in this case, he like was parkin’ the quad practically at the tip of the dock.


  • 2:20 – Il a passé tout droit!
  • He went straight through (for the edge of the dock)!


  • 2:21 – Pis là, il arrive au bout du quai, pis il débarque.  Là, je dis à Nicolas, il dit…
  • So like he gets to the tip of the dock, then he gets off (the quad).  Then, I say to Nicolas, he said…


  • 2:25 – Vous êtes mort!
  • You’re dead (meat)!


  • 2:25 – Il disait « Il y a quelque chose qui se passe ».
  • He (Nicolas) said (as the four kids were watching what the dad was doing) “There’s something happenin’! ”


  • 2:26 – Hahahaha


  • 2:27 – Il arrive au bout du quai. Tu sais, dans le bois, ça fait de l’écho, hein. 
  • He (the dad) gets to the end of the dock. Ya know, in the woods, things tend to echo, eh.


  • 2:29 – Ouais.
  • Yup.


  • 2:30 – Ça fait que là il crie, « LES GARS!!! VIENT-EN ICITTE, TABARNAK!!! ».  Il sacrait
  • So it was like, he yelled “BOYS!!! GET YOUR FUCKIN’ ASSES HERE!!!”. He was swearin’.
  • 2:35 – Et là il dit « QUE C’EST QU’IL A !?!? » Il dit « PRENDS-MOI PAS POUR UN INNOCENT?!?!?!»
  • And then he was like “WHAT IS THIS!?!?!” He said “DO YOU TAKE ME FOR A RETARD / SOMEONE BORN YESTERDAY?!?!?!”

Note, I have a mentally handicapped cousin, so no offense… Am just translating 😉

  • 2:38 – Fait-que là, Nick il commence à ramener la chaloupe. Mais là, moi, c’était moi qui étais sur le nez de la chaloupe. 
  • So then Nick starts to take us back in our (small motor) boat. But, me, I was the one like stuck sittin’ on the front tip of the boat (as we were heading back to the dock).


Une Chaloupe… the type of boat the boys were fishing in as the dad was having his “canoe issues” elsewhere.

  • 2:43 – J’ai dit « Crisse!  Arrivé au quai, il va fesser le premier du bord. »  J’ai dit moi, je reste pas sur le bout là.
  • I says “Shit! Once we get back to the dock, (from where I’m sitting) I’m going to be the first to get smacked“. I said I ain’t stayin’ sittin’ on the front tip (of the boat).


  • 2:46 – Ouais.
  • Yup.


  • 2:46 – Fait-que là, tout le monde voulait s’assire (s’assoir) et chauffer le moteur.
  • So like, all of us wanted to sit (at the back end of the boat) and steer the motor (so none of us could be in reach of his dad when we got back to the dock).
  • 2:49 – Ça fait Nick a conseillera à nous, moi, peur-moi pas d’claque, c’est pas mon père, mais les deux autres, ils ont un p’tit claque, t’sais.

(Translation into proper French / Traduction en bon français:  Alors, Nick, il nous suggérait que moi, que moi je ne devrais pas avoir peur de recevoir une claque, car il ne s’agissait pas de mon père — mais (en ce qui concerne) les deux autres gars, ils ont reçu une claque, tu sais).

  • So it was Nick who reassured us all to not go gettin’ scared of gettin’ schmacked, ‘cause it ain’t our dad. But the other two (sons of André Péron) got themselves a ‘lil smack, ya’know.  
  • 2:54 – Pis il était pas content parce que, criffe, on l’avait laissé partir à la pêche avec un canot troué. Hahahaha!
  • And he (the dad) wasn’t happy ‘cause, cripes, we let’im go fishin’ with a canoe with a hole in it. Hahahaha!


  • 2:58 – Ça fait-que, c’est la première et la dernière fois vous l’avez fait.
  • So that means, it was the first and last time you ever pulled that stunt.


  • 3:01 – Ah, oui. Hey. Il a toujours à dire les coups plats on fait, parce que des fois ça peut être encore plus angoissant et plus compliqué plus tard. 
  • Uh, yup. Hey, ya always gotta fess up to the crap you pull, because sometimes if ya don’t, it can make it a whole lot worse and complicated later on.
  • 3:06 – Pis ça amène la personne en maudit encore plus.
  • And what’s more, it makes the other person even more pissed.


  • 3:08 – Hey, il y a une morale à cette histoire-là. J’aime ça.  Merci d’avoir appelé. 
  • Hey, there’s even a moral to that there story. I like it.  Thanks for callin’.


  • 3:11 – Hahaha.  Salut. Merci.
  • Hahaha.  See ya.  Thanks.


  • 3:12 – Salut!  Bonne journée.
  • See ya!  Have a good day. 


After this post, I’m taking a break for a little bit!  I deserve it (I need to grow my brain cells back).  See ya sometime soon.

P.S.  —  And who said Canada doesn’t have culture !?!?!?!




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