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New course: Le québécois en 10 leçons

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Arekkusu
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 Message 49 of 167
24 October 2012 at 12:54am | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
This is exactly what informal Québécois looks like in 2012.

I wouldn't say "exactly". The transcription is not very accurate.

--C'est un plaisir,

should be c't'un plaisir

--C'est encore plus intime,

should be c't'encore plus intime,

--Est-ce que c'est un endroit que tu fréquentes, la Banquise?

should be Est-ce que c't'un endroit...

--c'est la première fois que je vois la couleur des murs.

should be c'est 'a première fois...

--c'est pas si pire.

should be c'pas si pire

--t'as fait comme un milliard d'affaires

should be t'as comme faite un milliard d'affaires

--Fait que je les écris.

should be faqu'j'es écris.


Now THAT's indeed exactly what these two Montréal television personalities said, in
front of the camera.
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jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 50 of 167
24 October 2012 at 2:35am | IP Logged 
For what it's worth, I don't have any problems with the title "Le québécois en 10 leçons". I know that nobody speak exactly as someone else, even if they're from the same town - in fact I find it stupid to expect that everyone regardless of age/social background/ethnicity/gender are using the exact same expressions.

Any sane learner would accept your title. :)
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s_allard
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 Message 51 of 167
24 October 2012 at 4:57am | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
s_allard wrote:
This is exactly what informal Québécois looks like in 2012.

I wouldn't say "exactly". The transcription is not very accurate.

--C'est un plaisir,

should be c't'un plaisir

--C'est encore plus intime,

should be c't'encore plus intime,

--Est-ce que c'est un endroit que tu fréquentes, la Banquise?

should be Est-ce que c't'un endroit...

--c'est la première fois que je vois la couleur des murs.

should be c'est 'a première fois...

--c'est pas si pire.

should be c'pas si pire

--t'as fait comme un milliard d'affaires

should be t'as comme faite un milliard d'affaires

--Fait que je les écris.

should be faqu'j'es écris.


Now THAT's indeed exactly what these two Montréal television personalities said, in
front of the camera.

This is an interesting question because it highlights the difference between a truly phonemic transcription where the sounds are accurately transcribed and and an orthographic translation where the regular spelling system is used to record the sounds more or less accurately.

Fait que je les écris : is an orthographic transcription
faqu'j'es écris : is a semi-phonetic hybrid transcription that attempts to render the actual sounds.

The reason orthographic transcriptions are used, as in this case, is that it lends it itself to comparisons and grammatical analysis when the rendering of the exact sounds is not that important. So, for example, in this example the pronunciation was not the object of the analysis.

The problem with many of the semi-phonetic hybrid systems is that they are not really that accurate. So things like "une coup' de semaines" is not really that accurate phonetically because the shwa sounds de "de" and "semaines" are probably absent. Things like "moé" or "qu'c'pas facile" are not phonetic transcriptions. These are hybrid transcriptions based on old-fashioned transcription traditions stemming from the "joual" era. The classic example of this tradition is "ben" which is a totally incorrect rendition of the sound which would be more accurately rendered by "bin."

So I would say that for the purposes for which it was designed, the transcription is totally accurate. One has to keep in mind that the transcription was to be used primarily for grammar and vocabulary analysis and for comparison with other transcriptions.

Edited by s_allard on 24 October 2012 at 5:53am

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s_allard
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 Message 52 of 167
24 October 2012 at 5:49am | IP Logged 
jeff_lindqvist wrote:
For what it's worth, I don't have any problems with the title "Le québécois en 10 leçons". I know that nobody speak exactly as someone else, even if they're from the same town - in fact I find it stupid to expect that everyone regardless of age/social background/ethnicity/gender are using the exact same expressions.

Any sane learner would accept your title. :)

With all due respect to @jeff lindqvist, I don't think he understood my argument. I may be insane but I know my history and I know a tad bit about linguistics.

Let me summarize the situation ever so simply. The designation "le québécois" as used by @Arekkussu refers to a low-prestige variety of Quebec French used primarily by the uneducated population in working-class neighbourhoods in the cities.

I am not making a value judgment. I'm not saying that this language is bad. If you look at who speaks spontaneously the language portrayed in this book the social profile would be what I described. But this is not limited to Quebec. I think that something similar applies in all the languages where there is social differentiation.

I don't know the situation in all the European countries, but I am very familiar with the situation in France where there is a great divide between the "français populaire" and the "français standard."

According to what I've read about accents in Great Britain, people are very acutely aware of social class as it relates to language.

When people write guides to any national language such as German, French, Spanish or any language, they never take the variety of lowest prestige and of the uneducated classes as the national language.

But if we don't do this for any other language, why does "le québécois" have to mean this informal low-prestige form. What @Arekkusu says is that the high-prestige or standard language is French or "le français" whereas the low-prestige or informal non-standard is "le québécois."

I find this demeaning because it reflects the traditional vision of Quebec French where there is good French, le bon français, and bad French which used to be called "le joual" and now is being called "le québécois."

What I'm saying is let's call the national language of Quebec "le québécois" just like any other national language in the world. And just like all the other national languages, we can distinguish varieties. I won't mention situations that I don't know first-hand, so I'll stick to France. There is not one single guide to the French language that will refer to working-class uneducated French as "le français."

There are, of course, many guides to "Le français populaire" and in English there are guides to "street French" or "French slang." Well, if this exists for France and for other countries, why does it have to be different in Quebec?

All I suggested to @Arekkusu is to add "populaire" or to the title. The contents remains the same. And nobody will complain. I don't understand why so many people put their nose out of joint with this. They wouldn't accept to see their language misrepresented but when it comes to Quebec French things are different.

And then there is the question of how and when to use this variety of "québécois". Again, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with it. I would just caution all those readers who do not live in Quebec to be very careful when they use the language in this book - from what I can judge in chapter 1 - with native Québécois they may meet. Otherwise they may make a fool of themselves or worse insult somebody.

All of this potential misunderstanding and arguing could be simply avoided by indicating with a simple word what kind of Québécois this book contains.


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Arekkusu
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 Message 53 of 167
24 October 2012 at 1:21pm | IP Logged 
I've now effectively lost any last member that might still have been following this
thread.
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s_allard
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 Message 54 of 167
24 October 2012 at 1:40pm | IP Logged 
Let me give an example of what I mean by all this. Suppose I buy a book on "American English in 10 Easy Steps." The first chapter opens with this dialogue:

"Here come your Uncle Albert now to baby-sit you two tads whilst I git the housework did."
"Yassir! By jing I got a book here what good for 'em too - full of whole wheat words and other uplift."
"Phoo, them's baby stuff. I'd rather go fishin' or play a little Two Handed Cowboy."
"Set still! I learnt to read this 'cause It's fit for tads li'l innocent ear and eyeballs."

This is an informal variety of American English. Note the orthographic transcription. Some people do or did speak this way. You will hear bits and pieces of this language in American movies. There's nothing wrong with it.

My only objection is the title of the book. I would call it "American English Slang in 10 Easy Steps" so that people know what they are getting.

Edit: Oops. I forget to give credit for the dialogue to Walt Kelly and his comic strip Pogo.

Edited by s_allard on 24 October 2012 at 1:44pm

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 3520 days ago

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Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 55 of 167
24 October 2012 at 1:47pm | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
Let me give an example of what I mean by all this. Suppose I buy a
book on "American English in 10 Easy Steps." The first chapter opens with this
dialogue:

"Here come your Uncle Albert now to baby-sit you two tads whilst I git the housework
did."
"Yassir! By jing I got a book here what good for 'em too - full of whole wheat words
and other uplift."
"Phoo, them's baby stuff. I'd rather go fishin' or play a little Two Handed Cowboy."
"Set still! I learnt to read this 'cause It's fit for tads li'l innocent ear and
eyeballs."

This is an informal variety of American English. Note the orthographic transcription.
Some people do or did speak this way. You will hear bits and pieces of this language in
American movies. There's nothing wrong with it.

My only objection is the title of the book. I would call it "American English Slang in
10 Easy Steps" so that people know what they are getting.

Edit: Oops. I forget to give credit for the dialogue to Walt Kelly and his comic strip
Pogo.

The cultural background behind the words American and Québécois is ENTIRELY different.
The title of the book is NOT going to change and there is a free lesson anyone can
consult to know exactly what the book is about.
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tommus
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 Message 56 of 167
24 October 2012 at 2:48pm | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
I've now effectively lost any last member that might still have been following this thread.

You haven't lost me. In fact, I'd like to suggest, rather than bickering over the name, that this thread become an adjunct to the book. I suggest that you lead a chapter-by-chapter tutorial. You probably won't need to spend much more time on it than you normally spend on HTLAL.

I would suggest something like the following:

1. Start with Leçon 1. You have already made its text available on the Internet. Slowly work through it so that people can follow along and wait for their books to arrive in the mail in time for the subsequent lessons and the availability of the audio to them.

2. Discuss the dialogue, offering where necessary an English interpretation. Add to the information already available in Explications.

3. Discuss the Vocabulaire. Add additional vocabulary where appropriate.

4. Discuss the Exercices. Offer some additional challenges.

5. Address questions people will have about Leçon 1.

6. Keep the discussion only on Leçon 1 for at least two weeks so that the discussions on each chapter remain mostly grouped. Then make a definite switch to Leçon 2, leaving Leçon 1 behind, except for possible stray questions.

7. For subsequent lessons, dwell more on the audio since most people will by then have received their books and have access to the audio. Offer some further supplementary audio via DropBox.

Advantages:

1. Very useful HTLAL thread. Very popular. Very educational.

2. It will promote your book.

3. It will be excellent preparation for your next book in French/English, targeting a much larger audience.




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