quoi ! , quoi ? (en fin de phrase)

Gerard Samuel

Senior Member
American English
I have thought of another possible translation. In the area of New York City, I have noticed that many teenagers end their sentences by saying "or whatever" and it strikes me as serving the same meaningless purpose as "quoi."

"I have to be in school all day Saturday, or whatever."
"Call me up when you get out of work, or whatever."

I was riding on the train today, overhearing a girl talk on her cell phone, and she ended almost every sentence with "or whatever."
 
  • Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    X: Qu'est-ce que vous avez fait ?

    Y: Eh bien, on s'est beaucoup promené. On n'était pas pressé. Alors, on est entré dans des boutiques. On a visité des monuments. On est allé au musée. On a pris des photos. Des vrais touristes, quoi.

    Is Y trying to say, "(We are) real tourists, you know!"?
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Thank you! But how would you translate "quoi" in the following dialogue?

    Alors, Pierre, il paraît que ton fils va se marier. Félicitations !

    Merci, Stéphane ! Oui, il a rencontré une charmante jeune femme à Nice l'été dernier. Ils ont fait un stage de peinture ensemble.

    Elle est peintre ?

    Oui, je crois. Enfin, c'est une artiste, quoi.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Thank you, Keith! Is "well" a translation of "enfin"?

    Oui, je crois. Enfin, c'est une artiste, quoi.
    Yes, I think so. Well, anyway, she's an artist.
     

    Patscann

    New Member
    Dutch
    There seems to be some confusion between english and french filler words.

    First, they DO have meaning. Simply replacing "eh" or "innit" with "quoi" does not make sense. The most direct french equivalent for "eh" / yaknow / innit would be "hein", and that word is by no means directly replacable with "quoi":

    In context, say a parent asks their child to stop their behavior. If the say

    "C'est bon, hein?"

    It would express the parent is asking for the childs attention or confirmation they are listening. If the child then does not listen and continues the behavior, the parent may actually get mildly angry and then say

    "C'est bon, quoi!"

    So the word expresses the state of the speaker or their attitude towards the statement. "Quoi" generally indicates a sort of pressure or emphasis from the speaker to get the statement accepted by the listener.

    C'est bon quoi! = enough already! (Im getting annoyed at it)

    Je rentre chez moi quoi! = I am.going home already! (and I dont intend to let myself be swayed otherwise)

    Ou la la, c'est beau quoi! = wow, it SURE is pretty! (And Im quite surprised or taken by it)

    So expressions of emphasis are the best way to convey the meaning. If you speak spanish, a good translation would be "ya" (already) at the of certain sentences. Note also that "eh/innit" do not convey the same emotional state in most contexts.
     

    Locape

    Senior Member
    French
    Welcome to the forums, @Patscann! :)
    In your examples,  quoi is followed by an exclamation point, but often it's just followed by a period. Then I wouldn't really call it an emphasis and you know/yaknow could be sometimes a good choice. Except with tu vois, quoi (you know, you know ;)), where you know what I'm saying or  nowumsayin' could fit.
     
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