Couperet: Either refers to a large knife (ie meat cleaver) or the blade of a guillotine. Can be used figuratively, ie “the axe came down.”
As seen in: « Le couperet est tombé tard jeudi soir pour environ 400 étudiants en anthropologie et en sociologie de l’Université de Montréal : huit cours du trimestre d’hiver sont annulés et devront être repris. »
(Translation: “The axe came down late Thursday night for roughly 400 University of Montreal anthropology and sociology students: eight winter trimester courses have been cancelled and will need to be retaken.”)
Faire fi: To mock, to scorn, to show disdain towards someone or something.
As seen in: « Au premier jour de la campagne électorale, plusieurs milliers d’opposants à l’augmentation des droits de scolarité et d’autres militants de diverses causes sociales, faisant fi du temps menaçant, sont descendus dans les rues de Montréal, mercredi. »
(Translation: “In the first day of the electoral campaign, several thousand opponents of the tuition fee hike and other supporters of various social causes, mocking the menacing weather, descended into the streets of Montreal Wednesday.”)
The latest issue of Sportsnet magazine, as seen above, includes a three-page feature highlighting Montreal as a tourist destination for the F1 Montreal Grand Prix next weekend. Nowhere is “witness/take part in a student protest” to be found on the to-do list, despite the fact that talks between students and the provincial government have broken down–again. Not to mention that a spokesman for la CLASSE stated publicly “on va vous l’organiser, votre Grand Prix” in response to the failed negotiations. (It loses something in translation, but basically means “We’ll take care of your Grand Prix.”)
All Sportsnet had to do was pick up the phone and call their Rogers Publishing colleagues at L’actualité, who featured student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois on the cover of their second-most recent issue with a large headline that translates to “The Revolt” to know that Montreal isn’t so nice this time of year. Well, not this year, anyways. Let’s just hope that the protestors don’t try anything stupid. Getting hit by a race car going 300 km/h would definitely make a big mess…
Perdurer: To persist, to prolong, to last forever or a very long time.
As seen in: « Le premier ministre, Jean Charest, a passé une heure à la table des négociations, lundi, avec les représentants étudiants dans le but de trouver une solution au conflit qui perdure depuis 107 jours. »
(Translation: “Premier Jean Charest spent an hour at the bargaining table Monday with student representatives with the goal of finding a solution to the conflict that has persisted for 107 days.”)
Débroussaillage: The clearing of a field (literally), clearing the air (figuratively), a clarification.
As seen in: « Un « débroussaillage » pouvant mener à des discussions a été entrepris entre la Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) et le ministère de l’Éducation, a annoncé mercredi matin la porte-parole de l’association étudiante. »
(Translation: “A clearing of the air that could lead to discussions took place between the Quebec College Student Federation (FECQ) and the Ministry of Education, the students association’s spokesperson announced Wednesday.”)
As seen in: « Le projet de loi spéciale visant à mater la contestation étudiante qui est actuellement à l’étude à l’Assemblée nationale porte atteinte « aux droits constitutionnels et fondamentaux des citoyens », estime le Barreau du Québec. »
(Translation: “The special law aiming to put an end to the student protests, currently being studied at the National Assembly, limits the constitutional and fundamental rights of citizens, according to the Quebec Bar.”)
The Quebec edition of The Huffington Post launched in February, but it seems they’re still working out some kinks. Well, either that, or their image editor was awfully hungry when putting together this piece on the provincial Liberals’ annual conference. Instead of a smiling snapshot of Jean Charest or an angry mob of student protestors, the photo that greets us at the top of the page is of an awfully-appetizing plate of poutine, captured below for prosperity:
Sadly, I scanned the story for poutine metaphors, and came up empty. But hey, at least it’s almost lunchtime…
Well, it seems the student tuition protests in Quebec aren’t drawing a whole lotta sympathy from outside of the province, judging by the response to this article posted on the Globe and Mail. Seeing as Quebecois students pay by far the lowest university tuition fees in the country—and even the proposed five-year increase wouldn’t change that—I can see why many people who paid more for their education aren’t taking their side.
One common theme that seems to have emerged from this discussion, judging by the top comments, attributes the root cause of this protest to Quebec’s “failed socialist policies,” to which one clever commentor offers the following alternative:
Mark this down as the only time I’ve laughed at a reference to fascism!