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In Astérix et les Goths, there is a moment where the characters meet up with a druid deep in a forest who is old friends with a member of their party, who introduces him to the rest. The druid says Ça est un plaisir!

Normally I believe this would be C'est un plaisir. What tone or inflection of meaning is conveyed by the lack of elision?

  • Excellent question. In some of the other plates, that druid has an unusual speaking pattern. For example "Mangez ces herbes s'il te plaît...". This makes him sound like he's from a distant region with its own dialect. "Ça est" could imply that this dialect has fewer elisions, but I don't know how accurate that is with regard to history of French language in Belgium. – Julien Guertault Mar 16 '17 at 3:24
  • Laure mentions the more typical "Ça, c'est" in this answer, but that's of course not the same as far as the elision goes. (And not that "Ça, c'est un plaisir" works anyway.) – Luke Sawczak Mar 16 '17 at 4:00
  • It isn't a matter of elision as ça is not elided (ça arrive, ça évite, etc.). The difference is ce vs ça. – Stéphane Gimenez Mar 16 '17 at 7:21
  • Okay, but then same final question for "C'est vs Ça est" -- what tone or inflection of meaning is conveyed? I mean, you say that as if it were perfectly common and normal to say ça est, but I have almost never encountered it by comparison to c'est. – temporary_user_name Mar 16 '17 at 7:30
  • Isn't that the same druid who demos his way to get fries out of boiling oil with his hands without burning himself? Still playing on Belgian stereotypes? – Un francophone Mar 16 '17 at 10:01
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It's on purpose, to make the druid sound like he is speaking a dialect. So, it is not standard French, but they use it here so that the reader is put in the position of Astérix and Obélix hearing a strange but mutually understandable dialect.

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    D'après Laure dans un commentaire à cette qustion, Grevisse signale « ça est » comme populaire et plus employé en Belgique, désuet en France. – Stéphane Gimenez Mar 16 '17 at 7:16
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    Absolutely. Take a look at "Astérix chez les Belges"/"Astérix in Belgium" and you will find several use of "Ca est". – le_daim Mar 16 '17 at 8:21

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