do you know what a pure laine is?

Charlie Parker

Senior Member
English Canada
I was trying to one of my French students what pure laine means. I was stuck on "Do you know what a X is?"
Est-ce tu sais ce qu'est un pure laine ?
Est-ce tu sais ce que c'est un pure laine ?
Est-ce tu sais quel est un pure laine ?
Merci d'avance.
  • Est-ce que tu sais ce qu'est un pure laine ? --> correct
    Est-ce que tu sais ce que c'est qu'un pure laine ? --> that's correct, but a bit convoluted

    Out of curiosity, what's your translation for "pure laine"? Dyed-in-the-wool comes to mind, but it's different (more like "pur et dur").

    By the way, I believe "pur laine" used in the sense I think you mean is unique to Quebec French. It is used in international French, but merely with its litteral meaning of pure wool.
    Thank you Iznogoud. I don't have a translation for it. I believe it refers to those Québécois who can trace their family tree back to France.
    Right, it is used to qualify a person that embodies the traits of a geopolitical group: "un Québécois pure laine, un Irlandais pure laine, un Montréalais pure laine, etc."

    The term I believe you are referring to in this last post is "de souche". "Un Québécois de souche", meaning that his ancestry can be traced back to the French colony. This is almost a dirty word in Quebec now because of the strong xenophobic connotation.

    Anyway, that's different from "pure laine", which has no relationship to the origin of a person. Un Montréalais pure laine peut fort bien être d'origine autre que canadienne.

    Still, my question remains, I'd like to know how to say "pure laine" as defined here in English... authentic, genuine perhaps?
    That would be... Est-ce que tu sais ce qu'est un/ce que c'est qu'un pure laine. But I personally don't like Est-ce que

    Sais-tu ce qu'est un pure laine?
    You might also hear in very colloquial way... :warn:Sais-tu c'est quoi ?