FR: Ça arrive-tu ? / On lui dit-tu ?

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Novanas, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    Hello Folks, I have another question for our good friends from Quebec, and I would be very glad of their help.

    It concerns this construction "ça arrive-tu" which is puzzling me greatly.

    To put it in context, a man has seen a statue move and now four young people have joined him to see if they can also see it move, and one of them asks him, "ça arrive-tu des fois qu'elle se montre deux fois la même fois?"

    I undestand this to mean (translating very freely and eliminating a couple of these annoying "fois") "Does it ever happen that you see it move twice in quick succession?"

    A moment later they are wondering whether they should tell the priest, and one of them asks, "On lui dit-tu?", which I take to mean, "Do you think we should tell him?"

    Have I correctly understood these two questions? I am wondering as well if this is simply colloquial speech. In English we quite frequently (and I am often guilty of it myself) use language that is not grammatically correct. Or is this simply a construction that is acceptable in Quebec (whereas I assume that it is not in France) since of course there are regional differences in any language?
  2. WindDust Senior Member

    Your translation seems good to me
    And yes in France we wouldn't use that, even when mistreating the grammar! :p
    Wait for our Canadian friends
  3. gustave

    gustave Senior Member

    I believe these gentleman are simulating drunkenness.
    You could say : It occurs you sometimes it shows up two times at the same time ?
  4. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    Thanks for your replies. The text gives no indication that the four young people (two girls, two guys) are drunk or on drugs, anything like that. It's the afternoon and they all appear to be perfectly sober.
  5. WindDust Senior Member

    Maybe they are stereotypes of person from the countryside or smthg like that :confused:
    Maybe you should try changing your title in the subject to get answers from Quebec ?
  6. Mezian10 Senior Member

    Ferney Voltaire
    France French
  7. Charlie Parker

    Charlie Parker Senior Member

    English Canada
    The tu is nothing more than an interrogative marker in popular speech. Here are some examples:

    indicateur d'interogation
    question marker

    tu?, il parle-tu?
    Is he speaking?

    tu?, vous travaillez-tu?
    Are you working?

    It is from this source. See also the message of Nicomon here.
  8. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Hello Charlie. Welcome back! ;) Thank you for refering Seneca to that thread, which includes yet other links (post #5).

    Our « tu » seems to be the question of the day. :D

    I just want to specify though that we - at least I - use it much less with vous :
    I personally would not say : vous travaillez-tu? while I might say tu travailles-tu/ il travaille-tu?

    Actually, no. They are not. :p This is typical familiar/colloquial Quebec French. Seneca understood very well. Now I don't know how to make his/her solutions sound more colloquial in English.

    - On lui dit tu? = On lui dit ti? = Est-ce qu'on lui dit? = Devrions-nous/devrait-on lui dire?
    - Ça arrive tu des fois = Est-ce que cela arrive, des fois = Est-ce qu'il arrive parfois?

    A literal translation of the second sentence would be (roughly): Does it happen sometimes that she shows up two times at the same time?

    Edit : and thank you to you, too, Mezian. This report seems quite interesting.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  9. bh7 Senior Member

    Limestone City
    Canada; English
    See Wikipédia, " Français québécois ", Particule -tu :
  10. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    J'ajoute à ce sujet brulant d'actualité cet article intitulé brièvement :rolleyes:
    - Tu vois-tu comme c’est complexe ? – Diversification dialectale dans les interrogatives globales françaises.

    Et l'article complet de Wiki auquel bh7 fait référence est ici (3.3.2 - particule tu)

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