French-Canadian expressions you’ll never see in a textbook
My friend Ellen just posted some examples of “Britishisms“, which inspired me to do the same, but for “French-Canadianisms” (….is that even a word?)
If you’ve ever taken French class in school, the first thing they teach you is boring verb conjugations: Je suis, tu es, il est, nous sommes…etc. Then you learn lame expressions like “La plume de ma tante…“. If you’re lucky you might get to sing Bonhomme bonhomme…
That’s all well and good, but NOBODY speaks that way in Quebec.
Here are certain expressions they use in La Belle Province that you should know about, but you’ll never find in any French thesaurus or grammar book.
(Said very quickly.) Means “No”, but very emphatically so.
(Again, said very quickly). Same as above, but for “Yes”.
Expression of interrogation. Equivalent of “Huhhhhh?”, as in “What’s that you’re trying to say?”
(Clicking tongue..followed by Nuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhh!).
This is how small French kids laugh. They don’t go “Ha! ha! ha!”. They go “Nuuuuuuuuuuuuh”.
(Resonate, as if imitating a stalled engine trying to start). I think you are exagerrating. What you are saying is difficult for me to accept.
Awww-Awww-Awww Cou Donc!
Come on! Be reasonable!
You continue to exagerate, I’m starting to get annoyed. Let’s slow down, and revise our situation
For Chrissakes, just slow down there a minute!
Indicates highest level of annoyance. Now you’ve gone too far. Them’s fightin’ words!