Un Petit Mot

Useful Phrases for Living a Bilingual Life

Graphic Madeleine Claire Gendreau

As we all know, Montreal is a bilingual city, yet sometimes people still get confused with some of the French lingo. Here are some phrases that you might hear, explained by our French-speaking, Québécois writers.

Conversational Phrases

T’inquiète: (Pronounced T’ain-kee-ette) A common thing one would say to reassure someone who makes a mistake or is worried.
Ex: T’es sur que tu veux pas venir? -Non, t’inquiete.

S’a coche: (Pronounced Sah-kosh) A Québécois replacement for the word awesome.
Ex: Man, c’est s’a coche ca!

Donnes s’y: (Pronounced Don-zee) Replacement for “donnes-lui.” Something you say when you want someone to give something to someone else.
Ex: Donnes s’y mes notes pour l’examen.

Genre: (Pronounced Jahnre) Basically the uhms and ahs of Francophone people.

Garrocher: (Pronounced Gah-row-shay) To throw something pretty violently.

Ché Po: (Pronounced Shay-poh) French-Canadians use this quite often when they don’t feel like answering your questions. It’s also a casual way to say ‘Je (ne) sais pas,’ or I don’t know.

Pentoute: (Pronounced Pahn-toot) Not at all.

Piastre: (Pronounced Pee-ast ) Dollar, as in “C’est cinq piastres.”

Brosser: (Pronounced Bross-ay) To get drunk (with French-Canadians hopefully). “On s’en va tu brosser?”

Aweille: (Pronounced A-waye) Hurry up.

Things You’ll Hear Around Town

Est-ce que je peux parler au gérant: This might be helpful if you’re looking for a job—it means that someone wants to talk to the manager.

M’a t’peter à yeule: You’ve probably gone too far east for your own good and someone wants to beat your ass up.

T’as tu du feu?: Québécois way of asking for a lighter—translates to ‘do you have any fire?’

Messages from the STM

Ralentissement de service: The service will be slowed down

Panne de train: A train has broken down

Intervention des services d’urgence: You’re screwed…

Arrêt Déplacé: Your bus stop got moved elsewhere