Author(s): Julie Barlow
Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow spent a decade traveling back and forth to Paris as well as living there. Yet one important lesson never seemed to sink in: how to communicate comfortably with the French, even when you speak their language. In The Bonjour Effect Jean-Benoit and Julie chronicle the lessons they learned after they returned to France to live, for a year, with their twin daughters. They offer up all the lessons they learned and explain, in a book as fizzy as a bottle of the finest French champagne, the most important aspect of all: the French don't communicate, they converse. To understand and speak French well, one must understand that French conversation runs on a set of rules that go to the heart of French culture. Why do the French like talking about "the decline of France"? Why does broaching a subject like money end all discussion? Why do the French become so aroused debating the merits and qualities of their own language?
Through encounters with school principals, city hall civil servants, gas company employees, old friends and business acquaintances, Julie and Jean-Benoit explain why, culturally and historically, conversation with the French is not about communicating or being nice. It's about being interesting. After reading The Bonjour Effect, even readers with a modicum of French language ability will be able to hold their own the next time they step into a bistro on the Left Bank.
The authors of The Story of French unravel the mysteries of French conversation.
Praise for "The Story of French: """ A well-told, highly accessible history of the French language that leads to a spirited discussion of the prospects for French in an increasingly English-dominated world. "William Grimes, The New York Times" Exceptionally told, a celebration of the lasting influence of la langue francaise. "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)" Excellent...An engaging and well-conceived book. Highly recommended. "Library Journal " Francophiles will be well-served by the care and detail with which the authors handle their subject, while English speakers will find an illuminating portrait of Gallic sensibility. "Publishers Weekly""""Praise for Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: """ Learning to love the French as they are. "The New York Times" finally there is a book which explains in non-romantic, lucid terms, better than anything else I have read, why the French are as they are "Sixty Million Frenchmen Can t Be Wrong" should be handed out at Calais and Charles de Gaulle airport to anyone hoping to get a grip on France and make a holiday or life work here. " The Daily Telegraph" "Sixty Million Frenchmen" does its job marvelously well. After reading it, you may still think the French are arrogant, aloof and high-handed, but you will know why. "The Wall Street Journal" simply marvellous. "Sixty Million Frenchmen" will interest those readers who want to understand what makes the French mind go tickety-tock. And it will definitely help smooth anyone s introduction to this puzzling and beautiful country. "The Globe and Mail" a hard-eyed and mostly affectionate survey of what makes French society tick and why outsiders, and particularly North Americans, so often misread it. "The Toronto Star" a must read for Francophiles and surprise hit of the year "Sixty Million Frenchmen Can t Be Wrong" [is a ] penetrating and witty enquiry by two Canadian journalists into the unique essence of being French. "Critic s Choice, The Daily Mail" A surprising book written with a touch of humour, that combs through all the ticks and obsessions of the French. "Le Monde.fr" It s the story of two Canadians, who, coming out of nowhere, help us see ourselves in a different light. "Le Figaro"" """ An invigorating read "Bernard Pivot""
JEAN-BENOIT NADEAU and JULIE BARLOW are the award-winning authors of "The Story of French, The Story of Spanish, "and the bestselling "Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong." They live in Canada.