Un Dessin de Moi



J`ai fait ce dessin dans mon atelier aujourd`hui, comme une forme d`expression de soi-même non-verbal. Après la classe, nos dessins accrochaient dans la corridor comme une exposition.

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I drew this picture in my workshop today, as a form of non-verbal self-expression. After the class, our drawings were hung in the hallway like an exhibition.

Les Expressions Québécoises (Québécois Expressions)

Quebec's flag

Quebec's flag

Nous avons appris des expressions français dans notre atelier aujourd`hui. Mon nouveau atelier, Exploration créative du langage, est à propos de utiliser le langage de français. Il y a peu de théatre et a peu d`écrire. J`aime ça. Donc, aujourd`hui, nous avons appris des expressions avec le corps, comme:

  • se faire tirer ler vers du nez (Si quelqu`un ne dit pas beaucoup de détails dans une histoire)
  • manger ses bas (something you might tell someone who is all worked up: stop eating your socks)
  • C`est le pied! (C`est formidable!)
  • ne pas avoir la langue sans sa pouche (penser avant parler)
  • avoir l`estomac dans les talons (avoir beaucoup de faim)

Dans mon atelier antérieur, nous apprendions des expressions aussi. Ces expressions sont très québécoise. Par exemple:

  • un char (une voiture)
  • une patente, un cossin (un truc, un objet inconnu)
  • un bec (un bécot, un baiser)
  • pantoute (pas du tout)
  • tiguidou (C`est d`accord!)

J`écoutais un peu d`expressions ici, dans des films ou quand écoute à les gens ici. J`aime «un char» et «un bec» spécialement.

Il y a un peu d`expressions que je n`ai pas compris, comme:

  • prends ton gaz égal
  • se faire passer un sapin
  • s`évacher
  • quétaine
  • faire la baboune, faire du boudin

Si vous comprendez ces expressions, dites-moi! Merci!

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We learned some French expressions in our workshop today. My new workshop, Exploration créative du langage, is about using language. There is a bit of theatre and a bit of writing. So, today we learned some expressions that use body parts, like:

  • se faire tirer ler vers du nez (to have to pull the details out of someone`s story)
  • manger ses bas (something you might tell someone who is all worked up: stop eating your socks)
  • C`est le pied! (It`s wonderful!)
  • ne pas avoir la langue sans sa pouche (think before you speak)
  • avoir l`estomac dans les talons (to be very hungry)

In my previous workshop we learned expressions, too. These expressions are very québécoise. For example:

  • un char (a car)
  • une patente, un cossin (a knicknac, something unkown)
  • un bec (a kiss)
  • pantoute (not at all)
  • tiguidou (It`s okay!)

I have heard some of these in movies or listening to people speak here. I especially like un char and un bec.

There a few expressions I don`t understand, like:

  • prends ton gaz égal
  • se faire passer un sapin
  • s`évacher
  • quétaine
  • faire la baboune, faire du boudin

If you understand these expressions, tell me! Thanks!

Les Légendes de Trois-Pistoles (Learning the Legends of Trois-Pistoles)

View from the St. Lawrence River

View from the St. Lawrence River

Today`s -- my final -- société Québécois atelier was really fun. We joined with another class to perform des légendes de Trois-Pistoles. Some I understood more than others. Here are my interpretations of the seven legends:

  1. How Trois-Pistole got its name: A soldier bought a goblet for trois pistoles -- three coins, which at that time were called pistoles. Then, while rowing in the St. Lawrence River in the area he accidentally dropped the goblet in the river, causing him to exclaim: «Oh no! My trois pistoles!» Hence the area became know as Trois-Pistoles.
  2. The legend of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, a local church (this is the one my group acted out) A local churchgoer had trouble deciding where to built the fifth and newest church in the area. He thought that the Catholic ritual of nine days of prayer might help him decide. Lucky for him, on the ninth day of prayer, he saw that it had snowed on this one small hill -- which was special because it was August! So the church was built there and was called Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, Our Lady of Snow.
  3. The homeless man A homeless man (that part I`m sure of) begged to stay at someone`s house, and that kind person gave him a place to spend the night and a meal. Then something happened, and the homeless man kicked a mountain and now the mountain has some sort of dent or unusual marking on it. (I actually understood very little of this one.)
  4. How the cheval noir helped build the church The very large and very prominent church in town was built with the help of a mysterious dark horse. The horse appeared one day and the builders used it to help carry the heavy stone. The horse never got tired; it was like magic. But there was something on the horse`s mouth, like a muzzle perhaps, that no one was supposed to touch. But someone did, and because of that the horse ran away, never to be seen again. Now, inside the church, some stonework up high apparently remains unfinished.
  5. Diablo and the fighting townspeople There was animosity between the residents of two towns in the area. Diablo got involved, but was scared away by a baby-carrying resident. (I didn`t understand this one, either.)
  6. The story behind the local haunted house One night, some local men were drinking at the local bar. They got drunk, started fighting, and one man was accidentally killed. The murdered decided to cover up his crime by hiding the body, but the soul of the body began to haunt the murderer. (At this point, the "ghost" wearing a white bedsheet got a little too close to the mood-setting candles and we were all scared that she would catch on fire. I don`t remember how this one ended, but our ainimatrices did mention that the ghost had wanted the body to put in the graveyard in a proper burial.)
  7. Trois-Pistoles`Romeo and Juliet story A couple married and they move to New France. But the English and French groups there fight, and the woman`s husband is killed. She moved back to her father`s house (I`m assuming in Trois-Pistoles), but she wasn`t happy. She went to one of the local waterfalls and throws herself off the cliff and also dies. Now, it`s possible to see her sometimes in the mist below the falls.

Amazing Race à Trois-Pistoles

A view of the St. Lawrence River from my homestay, Trois-Pistoles, QC

A view of the St. Lawrence River from my homestay, Trois-Pistoles, QC

Instead of nos ateliers today, all students got together for a treasure hunt around town. We had to find a place, listen to a question, then answer the question correctly before moving on to the next location. It was a beautifully hot day and a great day to be walking around outside.

Mon équip did pretty well, and I was even able to help out by answering a couple questions. Questions ranged from how many ATM machines were at a particular bank to when the convenience store open to questions I didn`t quite understand.

The other part of my adventure is living in a small town again. After Seoul (population: 10+ million), I realized that I feel more comfortable in big cities than small towns. With a population of about 3500 (according to Wikipedia), Trois-Pistoles definitely counts as a small town. We bike everywherethe school has about 200 bikes parked outside during class times. There are no stoplights. People even sit on their front porches to watch the neighbours go by! It`s very relaxing and I`m really enjoying the town so far. I say "Bonjour" to everyone as I bike past. I`ve practiced my French with a number of people at the ice cream shop, the bookstore, the grocery store, and the pharmacy.

Québec Can Be Summed Up in These 11 Stereotypes

The Quebec flag

The Quebec flag

During my atelier this afternoon, we were asked: Que connaissez-vous de la société québécois? Here is an incomplete list of things we know about Québec culture:

  • la poutine
  • Céline Dion
  • the FLQ crisis (la crise du FLQ)
  • the traditional moving day, July 1 (journée nationale du déménagement, le premier juillet)
  • Jean Leloup
  • Maurice Richard
  • Québec`s national holiday, June 24: Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, 24 juin
  • le référendum
  • fur trading
  • Pierre Trudeau
  • the Oka crisis (la crise d'Oka)

Can you say cliché?

à l`école (In Which I Find Out My French Class Placement & Celebrate By Eating Sugar)

This morning, I finally found out which class I was placed inand it wasn`t débutant plus! I`m actually going to be taking an intermediate (whoo!) course called University French 1. So far, so good. My teacher speaks trés lentement, so I can understand about 80-85% of what he says.

This afternoon, we also had our first workshop, les ateliers. It turned out to be an explanation of the program (the rules, a discussion of how to properly ride a bike in town, a tour of the school, the distribution of town maps and program calendars, etc), but perhaps tomorrow we`ll get started on discussing le société québécois.

Finally, this evening was my first excursion: we toured a cabane à sucre just outside of town. Our "hike" was really just a few steps into the forest to look at a cabin that isn`t in use right now (as it`s summer, and so not exactly in season), then we returned to the parking lot area and ate our sack dinners. I wondered if that`s all there was, but of course not. It`s complicated to explain -- in English,  let alone in French -- but somehow we pressed syrup off of a trough full of snow and onto a small paddle so we could eat the syrup like a popsicle (pictured). It was delicious. After some French camp songs, we were given another paddle covered in sugar, this time of a solid variety that looked like peanut butter. It was also delicious, but tasted much, much too sweet for me.

Maintenant, je suis trés fatiguée. A whole day of French is a lot to handle. Plus, I`m trying to meet people and learn their names, which is already a difficult task for me. Also, trying to write a coherent journal at the end of the day is probably not the best timing -- especially since I would like to start writing en français. Brain overload today; it`s time for bed. Bonne nuit.