French expressions

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jack action
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My point is that no francophone reads "s'il vous plaît" as the literal combination "if it pleases you," but as please.
Confirmation from a french Canadian.

The direct translation of "s'il vous plaît" or "s'il te plaît" is "please". Actually, in written form, it is rarely use. We literally use "SVP" or "S.V.P.". I wrote this so rarely that I frankly had to check if it wasn't a single word like "s'il-vous-plaît" (but it is not).
And plait comes from plaisir. "If it pleases you." What a pity that English degenerated it from "if it pleases you" to "please". In any case, "il plait" isn't please, although they once might have been of the same origin.
In the spoken language it's a lot clearer that it is 'one word'. Europeans say: «siouplaît» or «s'te plaît» («steuplaît») and, as you can see from the links, it does emerge in the written language. In Canada, it sounds more like «sivouplaît» or the more familiar «siteplaît».

If someone doesn't like reducing "if it pleases you" to "please", what we do in french (contracting 4 words into one) is way worst!

Here is another one to show you how bad it can be: The french word for «today» is «aujourd'hui».

«Aujourd'hui» comes from the old locution «Au jour d'hui». The funny thing is that «hui» is ancient french that is not used anymore and that already means «today». It comes from the latin «hŏdĭē» which is a contraction of «hŏc diē» which literally means «this day». (from fr.wiktionary.org)

So «aujourd'hui» could be translated to «the day of this day» or «the day of today».
 
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  • #2
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So «aujourd'hui» could be translated to «the day of this day» or «the day of today»
On the day of this day.
 
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  • #3
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So «aujourd'hui» could be translated to «the day of this day» or «the day of today».
Still far better than "four times twenty plus ten plus seven".
 
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jack action
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Still far better than "four times twenty plus ten plus seven".
I don't know if I got this video from PF, but it is the perfect time and perfect place to share it:


Funny thing, there are names for 70, 80 & 90 in french just the same as in english. It's 'septante', octante' and 'nonante'. There are still in use in northern France and other French countries in that region. One of my teacher was from there and was proud of using them. He told us that they stop using them in southern France at a time when they were conquered by people from the Middle-East that came in with the base 60 Babylonian system.
 
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  • #5
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Still far better than "four times twenty plus ten plus seven".
You mean nonante-sept? :smile:

Actually, in countries where there is a 20 centime piece, making change is actually simpler the "French French" way. In Switzerland, you give them four of the big pieces, one of the little ones, and a tiny gold one.
 
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You mean nonante-sept? :smile:

Actually, in countries where there is a 20 centime piece, making change is actually simpler the "French French" way. In Switzerland, you give them four of the big pieces, one of the little ones, and a tiny gold one.
I thought the Welsh / Romandes say huitante.
 
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Oops. I meant France. After all these years I am still confused by Swiss French and French French.
 
  • #8
jack action
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Another one from French Canadians:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piastre said:
Piastre

[...]

The term is still unofficially used in Quebec, Acadian, Franco-Manitoban, and Franco-Ontarian language as a reference to the Canadian dollar, much as English speakers say "bucks." (The official French term for the modern Canadian dollar is dollar.) When used colloquially in this way, the term is often pronounced and spelled "piasse" or "pyahs" (pl. "piasses"). It was based on 120 units (sous), a quarter of which was "30 sous", which is also still in slang use when referring to 25 cents.
You don't know the struggle of a young French Canadian whose learning math and had to figure out how can 4 times 30 sous equal 100 cents!
 
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"What is that?" is "Qu'est-ce que c'est?", literally "what is that what that is" or something like that.
 
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DrClaude
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Still far better than "four times twenty plus ten plus seven".
"Four score and seven years ago..."
 
  • #11
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I frankly had to check if it wasn't a single word like "s'il-vous-plaît" (but it is not).
I confess that I also had to check if it was hyphenated or not.

In the spoken language it's a lot clearer that it is 'one word'. Europeans say: «siouplaît» or «s'te plaît» («steuplaît») and, as you can see from the links, it does emerge in the written language.
It is such a compound expression that in Québec "s'il vous plaît" is used almost exclusively, even though the polite "vous" is rarely used. I remember the first time I used "s'il vous plaît" with a French person who replied that we could use "tu", and it took me a couple of seconds to figure out where I had used a "vous".
 
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DrClaude
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I thought the Welsh / Romandes say huitante.
Yes. The Belgians use octante.
 
  • #13
jim mcnamara
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In New Mexico, the state constitution specifically states that any legal or business transaction is valid in both/either Spanish, English. Ex: Salud statements to patients are in both languages. Utility companies have bilingual CSR's. Something like this is what I believe is in place for Quebec.

The Northern NM Spanish (per a linguist colleague of mine) is an archaic form, derived from 16th century Spanish. The Southern half uses another version. Anyway, no big deal. Spanish is considered a language cluster.

Where the rubber hits the road here is in Spanglish. 'Bueno' means goodbye, as well as okay, swell, good, etc.
'Bueno bye' is what you say on the phone. Spanglish: 'El trucke' - truck. 'La signe stop' - stop sign. 'Verde' - go as well as green. 'Pizza verde' is pizza with green chile. 'Carne adovada' is red chile marinated pork. Red chile bacon can be the same name but different food.

Words move back and forth and hybridize. And yes, Spanglish terms are commonly used.

My question: in Montreal do people use a lot of, um, mixture phrases or words?
I do not know the English term if there is one. Borrowed and then mutilated words/terms?
 
  • #14
phyzguy
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My question: in Montreal do people use a lot of, um, mixture phrases or words?
I do not know the English term if there is one. Borrowed and then mutilated words/terms?
When I lived in France, they called that "Franglais". Similar to "Spanglish".
 
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  • #15
Tom.G
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Back to 's'il vous plaît'.

Many summers ago in High School French class, that was translated as 'if you please." My father, who grew up in Canada (Nova Scotia), agreed.

Google Translate has a curious approach:
s'il = if he
vous = you
s'il vous = if you
plaît = please
vous plaît = please
s'il vous plaît = please
 
  • #16
jtbell
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"Franglais". Similar to "Spanglish".
Or Finglish, and surely other North American immigrant dialects.
 
  • #17
DrClaude
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My question: in Montreal do people use a lot of, um, mixture phrases or words?
Yes, there are lots of words coming from English that are part of the vernacular.

However, it is not as bad as it can be outside Québec, where the Francophones can end up forming sentences that are a mixture of French and English. Here are the lyrics of a song by Daniel Lanois that illustrates that very well:
Jolie Louise by Daniel Lanois said:
Ma jolie, how do you do?
Mon nom est Jean-Guy Thibault-Leroux
I come from east of Gatineau
My name is Jean-Guy, ma jolie
J'ai une maison a Lafontaine
Where we can live, if you marry me
Une belle maison a Lafontaine
Where we will live, you and me
Oh Louise, ma jolie Louise
Tous les matins au soleil
I will work 'til work is done
Tous les matins au soleil
I did work 'til work was done
And one day, the foreman said
"Jean-Guy, we must let you go"
Et pis mon nom, y est pas bon
At the mill anymore...
Oh Louise, I'm losing my head,
I'm losing my head
My kids are small, 4 and 3
Et la bouteille, she's mon ami
I drink the rum 'tilI I can't see
It hides the shame Louise does not see
Carousel turns in my head,
And I can't hide, oh no, no, no, no
And the rage turned in my head
And Louise, I struck her down,
Down on the ground
I'm losing my mind, I'm losing my mind
En Septembre '63
Kids are gone, and so is Louise.
Ontario, they did go
Near la ville de Toronto
Now my tears, they roll down,
Tous les jours
And I remember the days,
And the promises that we made
Oh Louise, ma jolie Louise, ma jolie Louise
 
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