Home » Posts tagged 'verlan' (Page 2)

Tag Archives: verlan

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)

————————————————————

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.

—————————————————————–

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)

————————————————————

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…

—————————————————————–

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

Examples of Stereotypes France has of Québec, and vice-versa (#141)

This post is to be taken with a grain of salt.  Just go with it and smile (don’t take it too seriously).

This post deals with many “language” prejudices (among others).

PREFACE – First, some context: 

Before going further into this post, readers should be aware that there are many styles of French both in Canada and in Europe.  Stereotypes are generally gross overgeneralizations and misconceptions.  One such overgeneralizations is not being aware of our true linguistic realities.

Québec’s French is only one component of a greater family of Canadian styles of French.  Within Québec French, there can often be large variations.  Even Canada’s overall French situation can be quite diverse, from coast to coast.

Click on the maps below for a bit more context:

w.oqa.

Likewise, just as there can be a large degree of variation in Canadian styles of French, so too can there be in Europe.

Click below for some European differences;

fr.acc fr.langwal.dia  bed.acc


EXAMPLE 1 –

The unbelievable spat between Marie-France Bazzo (Québec) & Sophie Aram (France) on the airwaves of Radio-Canada/CBC

Here is an example of how this topic can be very touchy for those few people who take the topic of stereotyping waaaaay too serious.

CBC/Radio-Canada, as Canada’s public broadcaster, shouldn’t be used as an opinion-piece forum for radio-hosts who get their shorts in a knot and use the broadcast button to seek egoistic revenge if they don’t agree with something.

(Before going further, as an aside, right about the time that this less-than-classy spat to air on Radio-Canada, it was announced that Marie-France Bazzo and Radio-Canada’s management had a “difference of opinions”, and that Bazzo would no longer be an employee at Radio-Canada. I don’t know if this is connected to this event.  Bazzo has continued to host her own long-time opinion-piece show on Télé-Québec, as well as producing works for other networks).

If you don’t speak French, no worries, the section after this one has a different example for you, complete with English translations.

But for those who do speak French, I’m starting this post with an example of a childish outburst when a (former) Radio-Canada radio host (Marie-France Bazzo) took a French comedian to task for imitating a Québec accent.

Here is the video of Sophie Aram (comedian in France) imitating a Québec accent.   This is the video which drew the ire of Marie-France Bazzo in Québec.  I searched the web, and Bazzo appears to be the only person in Québec’s media who took it this serious (at least that I heard).

For me the best part of the video is the look on Danny Laferrière’s face when he’s trying to figure out how to react (priceless — Love it!!).

BELOW is the ON-AIR FIGHT (ON RADIO-CANADA of all places!!!!) between Mario-France Bazzo and Sophie Aram:  CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW

(All I have to add is HOLY CRAP !! LIGHTEN UP !! Good grief.)

S.ar.1

–—————————————

EXAMPLE 2:  

With the above in context, now let us continue with a different, much friendlier example 

(for those who don’t necessarily speak French, the following may be easier to follow):

Below is another conversation between two celebrities;  one from Québec, and one from France.

I thought this would be a light-hearted, interesting conversation to present to you, precisely because I have heard this sort of discussion on numerous occasions between those of us from Canada and from France.  🙂   It’s the type of conversation which usually makes us smile on both sides of the ocean.

For the readers of this blog who don’t speak French, I’ll paraphrase and summarize the below conversation between Monqiue Giroux (from Québec), and André Manoukian (from France).

In this conversation, Giroux responds to Manoukian after he made public statements on the radio in France which could be considered stereotypes people in France have about Québec; most notably, how they speak.   The conversation (and it is just that, a well-articulated, friendly and humourous conversation) was arranged by, and aired on the France television program “64’ Grand angle”.

Monique Giroux is a Québec music journalist, music program producer / host, and considered one of the French-speaking world’s most authoritative and engaged “activist” for the promotion of French music.   She promotes Francophone music of all types, from Québec, the rest of Canada, Europe and elsewhere in the world.  She has hosted numerous radio music shows from the Montréal studios of Radio-Canada Première, and travels so extensively and so often to places such as France and elsewhere, on a mission to promote Francophone music from a journalistic point of view, that she has become quite well known in European media circles.   In addition, she has befriended some of the largest names in Francophone music (both past and present).   As a testament to her efforts to raise the profile and appreciation for Francophone music, Giroux has been awarded some of the highest civic honours of state of Canada (the Order of Canada / l’Ordre du Canada), of Québec (l’Ordre du Québec), and France (Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres).

André Manoukian is a very famous songwriter from France and he has a radio music program on France Inter.  What I find quite intriguing is that he was educated in Boston – so presumably, because Boston is only a 5 hour drive from Montréal, and because he has travelled many times to Québec, he likely knows Québec quite well.   Manoukian has written songs not only for some of the biggest names in French music, but also for big Anglophone singers such as Janet Jackson.  Of the Francophones he has written songs for, some are also among Québec’s biggest names, such as Diane Dufresne.   Because of his stature, he was one of the judges on the French equivalent of “Pop Idol” in France.

So lets get into the conversation (take it with a light heart and a smile… the tone of it was all in good fun).    I’m going to paraphrase, and skip much of the small talk.

—- The YouTube video for the conversation is here with TRANSLATIONS FOLLOWING:

HOST:

  • Starts by asking why the French have so many stereotypes about Québec.
  • Says Manoukian stated on an earlier on-air program that Québécois speak with an embellished and outdated/archaic, form of language (une langue archaic fleurie) which makes for laughs (se bien marrer). The presumption is that he made the statements in a pejorative sense, as something to be laughed at.

Manoukian: 

  • Says wasn’t his intention to make fun. That he was referring to the “naivity” of the language used in Québec music (ooops… he caught himself using the word “naivity” 😉 )
  • He then covers his tracks, and sincerely states that in Québec, people have become vigilant gate-keepers of the French language, in a way which no longer exists in France.
  • Says he likes how older French words are conserved in Québec French, accompanied by a very modern edge.
  • Says people are very attached to their language in Québec because they form a small population in the middle of a very large North American Anglophone population.
  • He says he enjoys hearing authentic French words in Québec, as well as in Cajun communities — words which are no longer used in France (words which sometimes need to be explained to him), and that he misspoke when he made his earlier on-air comments.

HOST:

  • Asks Giroux what enticed her to write a public rebuttal to Manoukian’s on-air statements regarding Québec French.

Giroux:

  • She says she, like many other people from Québec, heard Manoukian’s on-air comments (his show from France is also broadcast in Québec), and her personal reaction was the same as many others. But what was so surprising to her was the scale of reaction (or backlash) against Manoukian’s comments from Québécois.
  • She believes there is a misunderstanding on the part of France towards Québec’s current (linguistic) situation. She says whereas Manoukian may believe Québécois speak “Old French” (“le vieux françoié”, which she pronounced with an overemphasized slangish twang), that it is not so much the case anymore.   (In this context, she’s speaking of the Québec slang and Joual, as well as other informal ways of speaking).
  • She says Québécois do not use dog-sleds as a mode of transport (the timing for this one was perfect, because I incidentally joked about the same thing a few days ago in my earlier post Comparisons can be a good thing”
  • Giroux emphasized that Québécois live in (North) America, and just like in France and other French nations, we have a ton of different French accents here. She also said when the French visit Québec, it is no longer Québécois who have an accent, but rather the French who have an accent – which is the beauty of the whole thing.
  • She’s happy to see that, as two journalists, they’re sitting and talking about stereotypes, because it is a good way for the public to hear the discussion, and to not focus on it so heavily in the future (especially when it comes to artistic circles, in which French artists will sometimes tease Québec artists on the air about how they speak or their choice of musical genre, such as playing “hick accordions”).

Manoukian:

  • Says he has made several trips to Québec for music events, but then was taken by Québécois themselves to a “sugar shack” (cabane à sucre), which plays into stereotypes.

HOST:

  • Asks if Québec has become the new ardent defender of the French language, rather than France, because Québec is in North America, which makes people feel they must fight harder to protect their language against the weight of US culture. He cites the example of movie titles;  In France, movie titles are known by their English names (cites Twelve Years a Slave in France, whereas it’s known as Esclave pendant douze ans in Québec).

Giroux:

  • The local version of the show “The Voice”, is called “La Voix” in the local Québec version (Québec produces its own version, as does France), but it has retained the English name “The Voice” in France.
  • She said that when Manoukian alledged that Québéc speaks with an embellished archaic language, that Québec’s choice of words of course would sound archaic to France if France does not cease anglicizing words and does not cultivate their vocabulary correctly.

Manoukian:

  • (Question to Giroux): Do you say “Où as tu parké ton char?” (which is a very slang, joual-like Québécois and Canadian French way of asking “Where did you park your car?” – in a literal sense, in English it would almost be as if to ask someone “Where did you halt your wagon?”).  This is one well-known slang expression from Québec and Canada that French from France usually cite when teasing Québécois about the way they speak.

Giroux:

  • No.

Manoukian:

  • Ok.

Giroux:

  • Says, there may be people who say this in Québec, but even in France, there are people who speak le verlan (which is the word for slang in France). But she said it is not everyone in Québec who says “Où ce que t’as parké ton char?”

(A personal side comment: Something quite interesting I had not thought about:  probably 8 times out of 10, I myself say “voiture” (car) instead of “char” (wagon)… but there are those 2 times out of 10 where I will say “char”… It completely depends one who I am talking to, the informality of the discussion and the situation, the language being used by the person I am speaking with, and the mood of the discussion.   For example, I had a business meeting in Québec City not long ago.  There would have been zero chance I would have entertained the thought of calling my car a “char” when speaking in a business context.   But later, when I went for a beer with people not related to anything business, the environment was much more relaxed, and I probably slipped in the word char when I was talking about a drive I did on the outskirts of town earlier that day.  When I was younger, in my teen years, I was more apt to say “char”, but I grew up, just like everyone else.  😉 .  You may recall from the Joual recording, which I made in an earlier post, that I did use the word “char” in the dialogue, but I also used “voiture” in the International French dialogue I recorded.   It goes to show that what Giroux says does hold merit, and that stereotypes the French have of how Québécois speak, on the whole, are not necessarily correct, but there are exceptions — just as someone may say “an old beater” or “old clunker” in English instead of a “used car”, or refer to their car as their “wheels”).

HOST:

  • Says the Belgians make fun of how the French speak, and the French make fun of how the Belgians speak. He asks Giroux if the Québécois make fun of how the French speak.

Giroux:

  • After pondering the question, she says “Not really, but perhaps a bit”.
  • She says she has noticed, surprisingly, that the old expression “les maudits français” (“the damned French”) is making a come-back in Québec society.  It is a Québec expression which means “Oh, it’s just the snobbish French and their usual nose-in-the-air habits”).

(Giroux’s last comment is interesting.  When I think of it, I’m also hearing this expression more and more often in the media, at least more often than when I was young — but it’s usually said in an endearing, light-teasing kind of way).

  • Referring to particular topic, she said she heard a reporter recently state, on a major Québec TV network, that “This [subject] is too ‘France!’ ”, as if the subject at hand was not a good thing because it has too much of an aura of France.  She says this last narrow-viewed statement got to her when she heard it in Québec.  Particularly didn’t like hearing this statement because imagine if someone described a situation as being “too ‘Amermenian’ ”, or “too ‘Arabic’.”.  But she said in Québec, people will tolerate hearing  “This is too –French-.”.    She said this is how stereotypes take on a life of their own, and she’s recognizing the phenomena exists on both sides.

Manoukian:

  • He goes on to talks about how the mouth, lips, and tongue are physically positioned when Québecois speak French versus people from France, and how that influences accents and ways of singing (kind of unrelated stuff)

It’s always interesting to hear these types of discussions – as simple distractions if for nothing else.