Bonne Fête - Québec

Tayllc

Senior Member
USA English
Hi,
I would like to sing Happy Birthday to a friend of mine who is Quebecois. When I visited her in Quebec, I head Bonne Fete pronouced: Bonne "Fee". When I sing the song would I say Bonne Fete a toi or Bonne "Fee" a toi!? Thanks! :)
 
  • Auryn

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Fête is pronounced 'fett', but it doesn't mean birthday in France. Is this a Quebecism?
     

    Jumot

    Senior Member
    French, Canada
    Bonne fête à toi. But usually we sing Bonne fête Michel or whatever the person's name is, not "à toi". Or we'll say "à Jean" or "à Luc" if there is only one syllable in the name.

    I have never heard Bonne "fee"!

    Julie
     

    Tayllc

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Merci Beaucop! I was also confused when they always said fee instead of fete... maybe it was just something they said in their family?! oh well, thank you bunches!
     

    viera

    Senior Member
    English/French/Slovak
    Moi je l'ai entendu chanter sur l'air de Frère Jacques.
    Bonne fête, bonne fête
    A Francine, à Francine
    Bonne bonne fête
    Bonne bonne fête
    A Francine
    A Francine.
     

    vampirepig

    New Member
    United States (English)
    Hello all,

    I'm getting mixed messages on the correct way to say "Happy Birthday" to a québécois.

    Let's say I am making a large poster to hold up for a certain Pittsburgh hockey goalie whose birthday is tomorrow.

    Would I write "Bon anniversaire, Marc-André",
    "Joyeux anniversaire, Marc-André",
    or "Bonne fête, Marc-André"?

    Merci en avance!:D
     

    Chaska Ñawi

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I never heard "bonne fête" sung there. It was always

    mon cher Sylvain
    c'est a ton tour
    de te laisser parler d'amour

    sung twice.

    Of course, it wasn't always Sylvain!

    I'm not sure which came first: the birthday song or Giles Vignault's version Mon Cher Pays.
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀
    I never heard "bonne fête" sung there. It was always

    mon cher Sylvain
    c'est a ton tour
    de te laisser parler d'amour

    sung twice.

    Of course, it wasn't always Sylvain!

    I'm not sure which came first: the birthday song or Giles Vignault's version Mon Cher Pay.
    Gilles Vignault's song came first. :) The short version is that he created the song "Gens du pays" on Quebec's National holiday, on June 24 1975. Plus d'information ici
     

    ascoltate

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. & Canada, English
    Merci Beaucop! I was also confused when they always said fee instead of fete... maybe it was just something they said in their family?! oh well, thank you bunches!
    I think you are getting confused because in Québec, the vowel in "fête" is often diphthongized (so it sounds almost like the English word "fight"). This is a change to maintain a distinction between long /E/ and short /E/ in Québec French, a distinction which has been lost in France (so that in Québec, "fête" and "faite" do not rhyme -- "fête" is with the long /E/ that is often pronounced as /aj/ (as in 'fight'); "faite" is with short /E/.
     
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