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Let’s go fishing… and learn hard-core French while you’re at it! – Post 2 of 6 (#324)

SERIES:  COLLOQUIAL (SPOKEN) FRENCH – HARD-CORE LEARNING EXERCISE (6 POSTS)

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The last post had the hosts at Radio-X set up the scenario for receiving fishing stories.  This time we’ll get right into the stories.

I’ve ranked them with varying degrees of difficulty based on

  • the vocabulary being used
  • the accents being used (you’ll notice at least three different regional accents in these six posts, all from Eastern Québec).
  • the speed and rhythm with which the callers are speaking.

Despite the language difficulties, these posts should be  reassuring to Anglophone Canadians.  As you go through these learning exercises, you will notice that direct equivalents exist in colloquial Canadian-Québécois French for things which are said in colloquial Canadian English.

This is often not the case with French from Europe.

I’m not referring to “anglicismes” or “calques”, but rather I’m referring to the syntax or expressions which are signs that Anglophones and Francophones in Canada seem to have the same visual and lexical thought process when choosing how to say things (I believe that it shows we culturally share much of the same mental thought process when choosing our words).

Yet, I find if one were to express the same circumstances using European French, from a syntax and situational context, the way it would be expressed would be very different — and the FEEL would be completely different (whereas the feel would be culturally much the same for Canadian Francophones and Anglophones).

The thought process in Europe (ie: how people run through scenarios in their mind as they’re searching for words) sometimes can be culturally different.

This is one reason I have always advised Anglophone Canadians to take the easier route and to learn their own version of French than the European version of French.

It is also for this reason that it is better to learn Canadian French if most interactions will be with Canadian French speakers (and not with Europe).  You’ll be able to better relate to others, and others will be better able to relate to you (if no other viewpoint, than on a peer-to-peer level, not to mention any subconscious mutual understanding and acceptance as kin).

Some people say “When in Rome…”.  Yet in this case it should be “When in North America…”.

Colloquial difficulty level:  2

Difficulty levels 2

cc

Caller

  • 0:00 – Oui, bonjour!
  • Yes, Hello!

Host

  • 0:01 – Bonjour
  • Hello

Caller

  • 0:02 – Oui, j’ai une histoire de pêche à vous conter.
  • Yes, I have a fishing story to tell you.

Host

  • 0:04 – On vous écoute.
  • We’re listening.

Caller

  • 0:05 – Alors, moi chu partie à la pêche avec mon père. Et puis, on allait régulièrement à cette rivière.  Et pis le canot est toujours là, prêt.  Pis il est à l’envers sur le bord.  On le pousse.  On décolle.  Chacun, mon père au bout, il est assez agé.  Pis moi, ben, je pousse le canot, pis on décolle
  • So, I went fishing with my dad. And then we regularly went to this river.  And the canoe is always there, ready.  And it’s sitting upside down on the bank.  We pushed.  We were off.  Each, My dad was at the end, he’s rather up there in age.  And me, well, I pushed the canoe, and we were off.
  • 0:26 – Pis j’ai ma flotte. Pis, tout à coup je m’aperçois qu’il fait chaud un petit peu.  Fait-que j’enlève ma flotte, j’enlève ma veste, je remets ma flotte.  Je prends ma veste, je le mets dans le point du canot.  Qu’est ce qui sort du point du canot?  Une couleuvre. 
  • And me, I had my lifejacket. And all of a sudden I realized that it was a bit hot out.  So I took off my lifejacket, I took off my vest, and I put my lifejacket back on.  I took my vest, I put it in the tip of the canoe.  What came out of the tip?  A garter snake.

Host

  • 0:39 – Oh! Ok, pis vous autres, vous trippez pas là-dessus. 
  • Oh! Ok, and you guys, you aren’t so hot on that idea.

Caller

  • 0:41 – Euh, ben, la couleuvre je l’ai pas aimé mettons. Là, je lâche la rame.  La rame est rendue dans la chute.  Je décolle, en tout cas.  Je m’en vas (instead of « vais ») trouver mon père dans le point du bateau.  Là, il était plus pesant dans le bord, fait-que.  Pis là, mon père criait « Tu vas nous noyer! ». 
  • Uh, well, let’s just say that I didn’t like the garter snake. So there, I threw the oar.  The oar ended up in the housing rings.  I pushed off at any rate.  I went for my dad in the end of the boat.  So there, it was heavier on the side.  So my dad yelled “you’re going to drown us!”

Host

  • 1:01 – Vous avez manqué de suivre votre père.  Vous avez manqué de noyer votre père. 
  • You didn’t end up following your dad in. You didn’t end up drowing your dad.

Caller

  • 1:04 – On a manqué se noyer finalement.
  • We didn’t drown in the end.

Host

  • 1:06 – Aw aw aw aw… Ç’a bien fini?
  • Aw aw aw aw… It ended well?

Caller

  • 1:08 – Ç’a bien fini, oui. Une belle pêche quand-même.  Mais on fait toujours ça des belles pêches.  Mais les couleuvres, c’est pas mon fort dans le bateau. 
  • Yes, it finished well. It was good fishing anyway.  But we always have a good time fishing.  But garter snakes, I don’t get off on them in the boat.

Host

  • 1:15 – Eh, Merci d’avoir appelé. Bonne journée!
  • Hey, Thanks for calling. Have a good day!

Caller

  • 1:16 – Bonne journée.
  • Have a good day.

Host

  • 1:17 – Bye bye.

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SERIES:  COLLOQUIAL (SPOKEN) FRENCH – HARD-CORE LEARNING EXERCISE (6 POSTS)

Let’s go fishing… and learn hard-core French while you’re at it! – Post 1 of 6 (#323)

SERIES:  COLLOQUIAL (SPOKEN) FRENCH – HARD-CORE LEARNING EXERCISE (6 POSTS)

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The last few posts which combined some language learning exercises garnered some pretty high traffic.

I guess that means that a good chunk of people found them interesting or useful to study spoken French.

Those could be considered rather straight forward in the sense that post #321’s conversation was rather short (even if it was colloquial / verbal), or in a controlled interview, such as in the case of post #322.

Regardless, such exercises give you a perspective and an opportunity to learn French as it is spoken in every day speech.

Textbook French only gets you so far.   The true key is if you can put yourself in a situation where you have to use your French, you understand what is going on around you, and you can follow it enough to respond.

In the next few posts, I’m going to give you the opportunity to practice your listening skills, to learn some colloquial (oral) French vocabulary as it is spoken in everyday situations, and to challenge yourself a little.

I’m going to provide you with six texts, each with a different level of difficulty.   I’ll rank them for you on a scale of one to six.

Because there is quite a bit of work involved in putting these together, I won’t be able to do them every day.  But I will do my best to put one together every couple of days.

Also, I UNDERLINED some very colloquial words and expressions which might be of particular interest.

SCENARIO:  This past long weekend I spent some down-time doing some camping, and some friends went fishing.  on the way home, I was listening to Radio-X in the car (a very well known talk radio station).  The coincidentally were talking about fishing stories.

I obtained clips from the show, edited them, added subtitles, and am presenting them to you with translated texts.   I feel they provide you with the real-deal on how people speak to each other in French using relaxed, everyday colloquial French — at least on this side of the Atlantic, in Québec, and across Canada.

This first clip introduces what’s about to come with the real fishing stories (the subjects of the next few posts).

Lets dive into it.

Colloquial Difficulty Level:  1

Difficulty levels 1cc

Host A :

  • 0:00 – Ça fait toujours réagir quand on parle de chasse et pêche ici sur nos ondes. Beaucoup de chasseurs sont à l’écoute, et beaucoup de pêcheurs.
  • It always gets a reaction when we talk on air about hunting and fishing. Many hunters are listening, as are many fishermen/women

Host B :

  • 0:07 – Oui. C’est la saison. 
  • It’s the season.

Host A :

  • 0:09 – Mais pas de la chasse, par exemple. Il n’y a pas plus grande chose à chasser à ce temps de l’année.  Vous autres, les gars, vous n’avez jamais pêché?
  • Well, not for hunting. There isn’t much to hunt at this time of the year.  You, you guys, you’ve never fished before?

Host B :

  • 0:16 – J’étais supposé aller pêcher avec mon propriétaire, qui est le cousin à Véronique Bergeron, pis il avait dit…
  • I was supposed to go fishing with my landlord.  I told you he’s Véronique Bergeron’s cousin.

Host A :

  • 0:23 – “Je vous sors”, Véro c’est une pêcheuse aussi.
  • “I’ll take you out”… Vero is also a fisherwoman.

Host B :

  • Ben oui
  • Of course

Host A :

  • 0:26 – Parlant de filles qui font de la chasse et de la pêche,
  • Speaking of women/girls who hunt and fish, well

Host B :

  • 0:29 – Je me demande, elle est supposée prendre son permis de port d’arme…
  • I wonder, she is supposed to get her firearm holder’s permit…

Host A :

  • Ouais
  • Yup

Host B :

  • 0:33 – … pour aller à la chasse. Mais c’est une grande pêcheuse, Véro.  Pis mon propriétaire m’avais dit « On va aller pêcher le soir.  On va se faire du fish ‘n chip.  On va cuisiner tout ça avec une bonne bouteille de vin.
  • … to be able to hunt. But Vero, there’s a big fisherwoman.  And my landlord has always said to me “We’re going to go fishing tonight.  We’ll make some fish ‘n chips.  We’ll cook it all up with a good bottle of wine.”

Host A :

  • 0:44 – T’étais prêt .
  • And you were like ready to do it.

Host B :

  • 0:45 – J’étais prêt. J’étais cranké.  Et quand on était dans la voiture, on allait mettre du gaz dans le bateau.  Mais la température et des vagues de 3 pieds dur le fleuve, fait-que c’était vraiment pas idéale
  • I was ready. I was all geared up / on my mark / cranked up.  And when we were in the car, we were all ready to put gas in the boat.   But those temperatures and the 3 foot waves on the river… it made it so that it really wasn’t ideal.

Host A :

  • 0:55 – Les conditions intactes.
  • The conditions lined up.

Host B :

  • 0:56 – Les conditions étaient absentes. Non, non.  C’était vraiment sur le fleuve là.   Donc on a oublié le projet.  Mais il y avait quand-même du bon poison.  Fait-qu’on s’est fait pareille du fish ‘n chip, mais sans avoir été sur le fleuve.  La seule fois chu allé pêcher, dans un petit lac quand j’étais jeune, avec mes parents.  C’était à l’Île d’Orléans.  Pis moi, la seule fois que j’ai swingé la channe à pêche, c’était comme dans les cartoons. 
  • The conditions were not there. No, no.  It was all that on the riverSo we simply forgot our project.  But we still had good fish, even without having gone on the river.   The only time I’ve gone fishing, it was in a little lake when I was young, with my parents.  It was on Orleans Island.  And me, the only time I swung a fishing rod, I ended up looking like a cartoon.

Host A :

  • 1:17 – Tu l’as accroché par le col en arrière!
  • You hooked / caught the back of your collar!

Host B :

  • 1:19 – Pas loin! Ou c’était… j’ai vraiment swingé!
  • Pretty close! Where it was sitting, I really was swinging!

Host A :

  • 1:23 – À deux bras?
  • With both arms?

Host B :

  • 1:24 – Comme dans les cartoons!
  • Like in the cartoons!

Host A :

  • 1:25 – Ouais? C’est dangereux, .   Ça, je sais panoute, mais il y avait du monde autour?
  • Really? Like, that’s dangerous.  Ya know, I have no idea, but there was nobody around you?

Host B :

  • 1:29 – Non, non! Mais c’était « Fuck! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! ».  Je veux pas ça de mêmeFait-que c’est la seule expérience que j’ai, de pêche, dans ma vie.  C’était une expérience qui a complètement tombé à l’eau.  Et l’autre expérience, que c’était pas super fameux.  J’étais trop jeune pour m’en souvenir .
  • No, No! But I was like « Shit!  Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!”  I’m not hot on thatSo it’s the only experience I have, with fishing, in my whole life.  It was an experience which totally fell through.  And the other experience, it wasn’t so hot  I was like too young to remember it.

Host A :

  • 1:48 – , t’as comme jamais pêché. T’es jamais allé à Costco.
  • So like, you’ve never fished, and you’ve never been to Costco (Costco is a running joke between the hosts).

Host B :

  • 1:52 – Je ne suis jamais allé à Costco.
  • I’ve never been to Costco.

Host A :

  • 1:54 – Mais t’as pas ta carte de membre.
  • Well, you don’t have your member’s card.

Host B :

  • 1:55 – Je n’ai pas ma carte de membre.
  • I don’t have a member’s card.

Host A :

  • 1:56 – D’ailleurs là, salutations à ton père, qui était à l’écoute, et qui t’a envoyé une preuve d’amour. Il t’aime quand-même.
  • By the way, hi to your dad who was listening and who sent you a few words of love. He loves you regardless.

Host B :

  • 2:01 – Il m’a texté, et je cite : « Ben oui, je t’aime mon garçon. »
  • He sent a text, and I quote “Oh yes, I love you son”.

Host A :

  • 2:06 – Ça me rassure.
  • That makes me feel better (in the sense of being reassured).

Host B :

  • 2:06 – Oui, ça me rassure, moi aussi.
  • Yes, that makes me feel better too.

Host A :

  • 2:07 – Ouais, de bon moments.
  • Yup, beautiful moments.

Host B :

  • 2:09 – Mais il n’y avait pas de lol, ni de bonhomme clin d’œil, fait-que je ne sais pas si c’était sarcastique.
  • But there was no lol, no winking man, so I don’t know if it was sarcastic.

Host A :

  • 2:13 – Ah, ok. Toi tu penses que ça pourrait pas être vrai. 
  • Oh, ok. Tu think it wasn’t sincere.

Host B :

  • 2:16 – Non, je ne pense pas que mon père est assez développé, technologie texto, pour faire des bonhommes sourire encore.
  • Non, I don’t think my dad is with it enough, regarding texting technology, to be able to send smiling men.

Host A :

  • 2:20 – Oh ya ya. Écoutes, un jour ça viendra.  Et quoi de mieux que d’aller au Costco avant un voyage de pêche.  Ça là, c’est comme, c’est comme Noël.
  • Oh man. Listen, one day you get it.  And what’s better than going to Costco than a fishing trip.  And once there, it’s like, it’s like Christmas.

Host B :

  • 2:29 – Tu sais, quand tu joins l’utile à l’agréable
  • Ya know, when you combine usefulness and likeable together…

Host A :

  • 2:31 – La gang de boys qui débarque au Costco pour faire l’épicerie avant le voyage de pêche , pis là tu sais que c’est le lendemain, il y a comme une effervescence… Toi Alex, toi non plus tu n’étais jamais aller pêcher?
  • The group of guys who head off to to Costco to do their grocery shopping before, like, a fishing trip, and you know that the next day, it’s like riding on cloud nine…. You Alex, you neither have never been fishing?

Host C :

  • 2:41 – La chasse, zéro fois, pis la pêche ça se compte su’les doigts de la main. J’aimais mes expériences, mais je ne sais pas pourquoi ç’a jamais vraiment donné que j’aille à la pêche et au camping, ou des choses comme ça.   Si ça se compte, c’était peut-être à trois ou quatre fois que je suis allé à la pêche de même.
  • Hunting, not once, and fishing I can count the number of times on one hand. I liked the times I had done it, but I don’t know why, but it never quite fit me to go fishing or camping, or anything like that.  If I count, it was maybe three or four times that I’ve been fishing like that.

Host A :

  • 2:54 – Je pense qu’on est dû, les gars, pour vous donner un peu d’expérience par procuration. D’après moi, on est dans un cas de spotted
  • I think it’s about time, guys, to let you live a little vicarious experience. In my opinion, we’re in a situation of having been caught with our pants down / being able to identify / bring to the fore / highlighting things…

Host B :

  • 3:01 – Parce que des histoires de pêche, il y en a. Regarde, mon propriétaire, chaque fois que je le croise en partant de chez nous , y a toujours une histoire de pêche à me conterPis c’est minimum une demi-heure par histoire de pêche
  • Because when it comes to fishing stories, there certainly are those. Look, my landlord, each time I cross paths with him when I like leave our place, he always has a fishing story to tell meAnd it’s like a minimum half hour per story for fishing.

Host A :

  • 3:13 – Mais , je veux des histoires de pêche, de chasse, avec un « H » majuscule. Pas des histoires de pêche « Aw, j’en ai poingé une grosse de même, pis… ». 
  • But like, I want fishing stories, hunting stories with a capital « H » (for “H”ell). I don’t want to hear fishing stories which go like “Aw, I got such a big one and …”

Host B :

  • 3:21 – Non, non, des vraies histoires. Parce qu’il y en a toujours des histoires, des bateaux qui partent à la dérive quand on est au chaletUne petite raconte « Ouais, j’ai oublié d’attacher le bateau ».  Pis le bateau s’en va, pis t’es obligé d’aller nager.
  • No, no, give us real stories. Because there are always stories, like boats which go off on their own when we’re at the cabinHere’s a little story, “Yup, I forgot to tie up the boat…”.  And off the boat went, and you had to go swimming.

Host A :

  • 3:33 – Mais t’arriverais à un moment donner. On allait dans un chalet, mais tu sais, spotted, chasse et pêche, chalet :  670-9098, 1-877-440-2464, et il y a toujours le « live » à Radiox.com.   Je sais qu’il y a ben de gens qui dans leur première semaine de vacances de la construction sont allés dans des chalets, sont allés pêcher, sont allés faire un peu de plein air, et plus souvent qu’autrement il y a des histoires d’alcool, de boisson. 
  • Well, we’ll get to you at a certain point. You went to a cabin, and you know, caught with your pants down, hunting, fishing, and cabins:   670-9098, 1-877-440-2464, and there’s always “live” at Radiox.com.  I know there are many out there in their first week of construction vacations who went to cabins, fishing, who went to take in a bit of the great outdoors, and who more often than not have stories involving alcohol, of drinking. 
  • 4:02 – Il ne faut pas que ça tombe mal, mettons. Il ne faut pas que ça tombe mal ces histoires-là.  Mais, mettons que des fois il y a des trucs quand-même assez cocasse qui se passe quand tu t’en vas à la pêche.  Pis souvent, ce n’est pas pour être sexiste, mais souvent t’sais, c’est les boys, y vont à la pêche pis il y a toujours un paquet d’histoires.  Moi j’avais déjà oublié d’attacher le pédalo au chalet.  Pis le chalet était devant la rivière.  Fait-que calcul-le comme tu veux. 
  • It doesn’t have to end badly, let’s say. These stories doesn’t have to end badly.  But, let’s say that sometimes there are things which can yet be wacky enough which can happen when you go fishing.  And often, it’s not to be sexist, but often, ya know, it’s the guys, they go fishing and there are always a ton of stories.   Me, I even forgot to tie up the water-cycle to the cabin.  And the cabin was in front of the river.  I’ll leave it to you go guess what happened.

Host B :

  • 4:26 – Bye-bye pédalo.
  • Bye-bye water-cycle.

Host A :

  • 4:28 – Il aurait fallu remorquer le pédalo. Il était rendu comme 500 pieds plus loin poigné dans des roches.  C’était pas ma meilleure celle-là.  OK, les lignes sont pleines.  Je pense que vous nous avez des histoires à nous raconter.   Spotted, chasse et pêche, plein air, ou appelez ça comme vous voulez.  Peut-être sauf une fois au chalet, aussi ça peut entrer dans cette catégorie-là.  On s’en va au téléphone.   Allô, Radio-X…
  • We had to tow the water-cycle. It went 500 feet down and go caught on the rocks.  I wasn’t at my best with that one.  OK, the lines are lit up.  I think we’re going to have stories for you.  Caught with your pants down, hunting and fishing, great outdoors, or call us about whatever.  Except for that “one time” at the cabin, that can also enter into that category.  Ok, let’s get to the calls.  Hello, Radio-X…

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SERIES:  COLLOQUIAL (SPOKEN) FRENCH – HARD-CORE LEARNING EXERCISE (6 POSTS)

Gettin’ vulgar! This ain’t no picture book for the kiddies! – Part 6 (#244)

The past five posts explored our swear words in French.  In my opinion, they are one of the most unique and instantly recognizable things about Canada and Québec.

If you’d like a little visual context regarding their origins, here is a little picture dictionary I threw together (seriously… who out there does not like pictures?).

But this little picture-dictionary is not the type you’ll find on the shelves of the elementary school library.

Hopefully you found this six-part series on obscenities to be interesting… and I hope it didn’t send you into convulsions, or lead to you being struck with a lightning bolt as you read it.  (If you did get hit by lightning, sorry about that — but the new hair style is all the rage these days!)

I’ll be better behaved for the next posts (promise) 😉

bbs2

bpm1

cal1

calv1

cib1

cri1

Cru1

Esp1

Éto1

euc1

Hos1

Mau1

Ost1

sacr1

Sai1 sim1

St.Vrg1

Tab1

Var1

Ver1

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SERIES:  QUÉBEC AND CANADIAN FRENCH SWEAR WORDS (6 POSTS)

Gettin’ down ‘n vulgar! – Swears SAI to V – Part 5 (#243)

WARNING:   These few posts are not suitable for minors.  They contain quite explicit vocabulary.

This post gives the remaining list of common French swear words you’ll likely encounter in Québec and elsewhere in Canada.

At this point I’d like to share a little anecdote.  I wish to provide you with yet one more reason why it is important to understand the nature of these words and to be able to recognize them (and use them properly, or avoid using them altogether).

My university was a Francophone university in Edmonton (Le Campus St-Jean, which operates as its own university, although it was affiliated with the U of A).   A portion of the student body was made up of Anglophones, in addition to the pan-Canadian and international Francophone student body.

In our demographics course we were given a large research assignment which took a year to complete.  It was a killer of an assignment, and everyone worked themselves into the ground.  D-Day came, and the professor handed back our assignment grade results one-by-one.

One Anglophone student in our class had a fairly good level of French (good enough to do her university studies 100% in French), but she had some difficulties with informal spoken French (she spoke literary French, since that is the French she learned in school).   I recall she was afraid she was going to fail the assignment.  But when she received her paper back with an “A”, she yelled out (in French) to the professor “F*** me!! I got an “A”!  I didn’t see that coming!” (Mon câlisse de sacrement! J’ai poigné un A!! J’en reviens pas!!!)

OOOOOPS!!!!   I don’t think that’s what she meant to say.  I think she wanted to use a word which meant “WOW!” or something like that — but that’s not how it came out.  She basically mixed up the swear words and chose the wrong ones. Thank goodness she already received her grade (The professor looked less than impressed after he got over his initial look of shock).

Moral of the story:  Just because you hear other people say words which add “emphasis” on a regular basis, do not attempt them yourself unless you truly know what they mean.   In other words, become familiar with the list of words I’m providing to you before you attempt to use any of them yourself.   🙂

A short reminder before we get back into it…

NOTE 1:  In the examples below, it is difficult to give an exact translation for every word.   I’ve therefore given the closest approximates with respect to their degree of impact.  That is why I list more than one English equivalent after most words.

NOTE 2:  Underneath the main words, I also list the “toned-down / softened” versions of the words.   These are versions of the main swear word which are considered to be milder, and more acceptable to a wider audience.   In English, the equivalent might be the transformation of “F&@#” to “Fudge”, or “Damn” to “Darn” (the latter words which could be acceptable, even on television).

THE FINAL LIST: SAI to V (the end)

Saint bénisse – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint Christ – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint Christ – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint ciboire – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint ciboire aux deux étages – Christ almighty!,  Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint esprit – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint hostie – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint PKP – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint sacrament – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint sacrifice – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint sacripant – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint sicrisse – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint sicroche – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saint tabarnac – Christ almighty!  Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Sainte – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Sainte viarge – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Saintosti – Christ almighty!, Christ!,  Jesus Christ!

Salament – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

Saprement – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

Shit – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

Simonac –  Son of a gun!, Shit!, Damn!

This one is quite common (perhaps in the top 10).   You will even hear it on the radio.

TABARNAK – The King of all swear words.

This is the WORST and STRONGEST swear word you can possibly say in Québec and Canada – period.

I would even venture to say it’s stronger than the English F-word.

It is best to avoid this word altogether unless you break your toe, your dog gets ran over, you accidentally shoot your best friend in a hunting accident, or you accidentally fall down a man-hole when walking down the street.

Personally, (and contrary to what you might be thinking) I don’t swear very much, but I will pitch some of the milder swears from time-to-time…   And all-in-all, it does not bother me much when others occasionally swear (we’re all human after all).  Nor does it bother me when I hear this word in mild moderation.   But there are those individuals out there who seem to chose to insert this word between every third word from their mouth (you know the type… there are also these types of people in English who drop the F-bomb five times in every sentence – sentence after sentence).

Saying this word in excess will just make you look like the dumbest of  idiots.   If you want to be labelled a crass, uncouth and uncivilized hick, by all means feel free to use this word.   But be prepared to suffer the consequences and be judged by those around you.

My recommendation:  Use some of the “softer” versions of the word below.  Some are completely unoffensive, and are regularly heard on the radio, TV, by politicians, and yes, even Celine Dion has been heard to say them in public with a smile.   The most common one is “Tabarwatte“.  The next most common “softened” version is “Tabernouche“.

  • Barnak
  • Barnaque
  • Barnique
  • Barouette
  • Batarnak
  • Kakernak
  • Tab
  • Taber
  • Tabarnache
  • Tabarnam
  • Tabarnik
  • Tabarnouche
  • Tabarouatte
  • Tabarsac
  • Tabarslac
  • Tabarwatte
  • Tabernache
  • Tabernouche
  • Taboire

Tabarnak aux deux étages“F*** it all to hell!”   STRONG, AVOID if at all possible.

Tabarnak percé – “For F***’s sake”, “F*** it!”.  STRONG, AVOID if possible

Torvice – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

  • Torgieu
  • Torna
  • Tornon
  • Toron
  • Torrienne
  • Torrieu
  • Torvis
  • Toryabe

Trou de cul – Ass hole.

Exact same meaning, emphasis and poignancy as it’s English counterpart.

  • Trou de PQ

Vas te crosser avec une poignée de clous –  F*** off!

(litterally:  go jack off with a handful of nails)

Vas te crosser avec une poignée de clous rouillés – F*** off!

(litterally:  go jack off with a handful of rusty nails)

Vas te crosser avec une poignée de poignée de braquettes – F*** off!

(litterally:  go jack off with a handful of gears)

Vas te faire chier – Screw off!

(litterally:  “Go shit”, or “Go shit yourself!”)

Vas te faire – Screw off!

(litterally:  Go do yourself!)

Viarge – God damn it!, For Christ’s sake!

  • Vargenie
  • Viargenie

Varlope – Son of a bitch!, Shit!, F***!

Verasse – Son of a bitch!, Shit!, Damn it!

  • Véreux

Verrat – Son of a bitch!, Shit!, Damn it!

  • Vérue

Viande à chien – Piece of shit

  • Tas de merde
  • Tas de marde

—– —– —– —– —– —– —–

That wraps up the vocabulary list.  Hopefully it will help you to navigate swear words in oral French which you are likely to encounter when listening to people on the street.

I have one last post for you in this series… a “picture-post” if you will.   See you soon!

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SERIES:  QUÉBEC AND CANADIAN FRENCH SWEAR WORDS (6 POSTS)

Gettin’ down ‘n vulgar! – Swears M to SAC – Part 4 (#242)

WARNING:   These few posts are not suitable for minors.  They contain quite explicit vocabulary.

Let us continue our little adventure down the road of French swear words.   They are something which certainly adds more than just a little colour to our French in Canada and Québec.

Apart from informal talk between friends and peers, you will also tend to hear them used extensively in stand-up comedy, movies (dramas, and especially comedy movies), and literature which features Joual.

You may recall the earlier post on Elvis Gratton.  When watching the Elvis Gratton movies and television series, you would almost get the impression that every third word uttered was a vulgarity in some form or another.

I find it unfortunate when I hear learners of French say they have a difficult time understanding us in French when the language level becomes a bit more informal.   Of course, one reason is the structure and vocabulary used in Joual, but vulgarities and obscenities (swear words) certainly can throw a person off if you’re not familiar with them.

Hopefully these few posts give you some context and help to fill some of the missing gaps (I actually find it kind of awkard to write about this topic… it’s rarely written about in any depth – but all the more reason for me to cover it, and for you to hopefully find it useful 😉 ).

Reminder notes:

NOTE 1:  In the examples below, it is difficult to give an exact translation for every word.   I’ve therefore given the closest approximates with respect to their degree of impact.  That is why I list more than one English equivalent after most words.

NOTE 2:  Underneath the main words, I also list the “toned-down / softened” versions of the words.   These are versions of the main swear word which are considered to be milder, and more acceptable to a wider audience.   In English, the equivalent might be the transformation of “F&@#” to “Fudge”, or “Damn” to “Darn” (the latter words which could be acceptable, even on television).

THE LIST: M to SAC

Marde – Shit!, Damn it! Crap!

This one is interesting because it is softer than “shit” in English (which is “Merde” in French).   “Marde” is also softer than “Merde” — soft enough to the extent that you will hear it on television and the radio.   It also is used in many expressions:

  1. “Un tas de marde” (a pile of crap),
  2. “C’est de la marde” (it’s crap),
  3. “Toute cette marde” (all this crap),
  4. “Marde!” (Crap!, Damn!, Shit!).

I recommend that you try your best to replace “Merde” with “Marde” as much as possible.   It sounds better and less offensive.

Maudite merde – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

Maudit – Shit!, Damn it!, Crap!, God damn it!, Piss!

This is one of the most common curse words out there…  Right up there in the top five.

  • Mardi
  • Marois grand P
  • Maudasse
  • Maudine
  • Mausus
  • Mautadit
  • Morpion
  • Morsac
  • Motadit
  • Saudit
  • Saudine
  • Sautadites
  • Zaudit

Maudit bâtard – Damned bastard / F’ing bastard!

A bit Stronger — AVOID if possible, because it is a direct insult.

Although “Maudit” is not so serious of a word when said on its own, if you add “bâtard” after it, you’re looking for trouble (especially if you call someone this).

Maudit calvaireFor Christ’s Sake!, For F’in Sake!

RATHER STRONG, Recommend not using it.

Merde – Shit!

See “Marde” above.   It’s stronger than “Marde”, and roughly the exact same meaning, impact, and degree of acceptability (or non-acceptability) as “shit” in English.   This is also one of the most common curse words (likely in the top five).

Moses – Christ!, Damn it!, Shit!

  • Mosus

Mon… XXX –  Used to form “self-curses” by placing “Mon” in front of the curse word.

In English, there are four levels of “self-curses” which are used to give emphasis.   Examples:

  1. Least offensive could be “My Goodness”.
  2. One level up might be “My bloody luck”.
  3. A level higher might be “I’ll be damned”.
  4. The most offensive level would be “F*** me!”

French also has similar levels of “self-curses”.    Examples:

  1. Mon bonjour!
  2. Mon bon Dieu!
  3. Mon ciboire!
  4. “Mon Tabar*** !” or “Mon Câlisse!”.

The rule is this:  In Canadian French, you can pretty much add “Mon” in front of any Canadian-specific obscenity (it will work 90% of the time).    The more offensive the word to which “mon” is added, the stronger the message.   Exception:  You generally can NOT add “Mon” in front of most swear words which also exist in Europe (ie:  It does NOT work to say “Mon maudit”, “Mon pute”, “Mon foutre”, etc.)

Noune – Cuss word for vagina.

It is not quite as bad as saying “C$#%” (female genetalia) in English, but it certainly is harsher than saying “Pussy”.   It’s sort of half way between.   In Europe they say “chatte” (a female cat) – which can sometimes also be heard on this side of the Atlantic.

The funny thing is that there is even a well-known, comical song parody using this word (it has gone viral in Québec).  You can listen to it by going to its YouTube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYcq4nGeYu0

Ostensoir – Shit!, Damn it!, Crap!, God damn it!, Piss!

Ostensoir à pédale – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

Patente à gosse! – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

Sacré – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

Sacre bleu – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

Sacréfisse – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

Sacrement – F***!, Jesus f***ing Christ!  Quite Strong.

Generally do not use this unless you are on familiar territory with the person you are speaking.  However, this word has lost much of its punch over the last couple of decades (it was considered much stronger when I was a child than what it is now).

  • Sacrement de fesses!
  • Sacarment
  • Sace
  • Sacidoux
  • Sacramère
  • Sacripant

Sacrifice – Shit!, Damn it!, God damn it!, Piss!

The funny thing is that I used to say this one quite a bit in my teens, but I don’t anymore.  I suppose the older I got, the more I realized it sounds fairly uncouth.   But I do sometimes say the softer “Saint-Sacrifice!”.

—– —– —– —– —– —– —–

The list will continue in the next post.  Hold your tongue until then !!

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SERIES:  QUÉBEC AND CANADIAN FRENCH SWEAR WORDS (6 POSTS)