Books

The Bonjour Effect

The Bonjour Effect
The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed
Julie Barlow
Jean-Benoît Nadeau
Price: £
9.99
  • Paperback
Published: 
13 Jul 2017
ISBN: 
9780715652190
Pages: 
320
Genre: 
  • Travel
Available from:

The engaging, funny and essential guide to communicating with the French.

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? Julie Barlow and Jean- Benoît Nadeau spent a decade travelling to and living in Paris. Yet one important lesson never seemed to sink in: how to converse comfortably with the French, even when you speak their language.

Through encounters with school principals, city-hall civil servants, old friends and business acquaintances during their time living in France with their twin daughters, Julie and Jean-Benoît explain why, culturally and historically, talking to the French is not about communicating or being nice. It's about being interesting.

After reading The Bonjour Effect, even readers with only a smattering of French will be able to hold their own the next time they are in a bistro on the Left Bank, on a wine tour in Bourdeaux or on a beach on the Côte d'Azur.

Reviews

'The writing is as light as it is substantive, and if that sounds like a contradiction, I would refer you to a soufflé' The New York Times

'A fascinating, even valuable book, full of surprises' Daily Mail

'Fascinating and insightful' TLS

'French is not so much a language as a dance, a ritual, a code to be cracked. The Bonjour Effect cracks it' David Boyle, author of How to be English

'An indispensable linguistic roadmap. Highly enjoyable' Debra Ollivier, author Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl

'Whether you're an expat in France, or simply dream of living there one day, The Bonjour Effect is a helpful resource to cracking the arcane cultural code. Engaging [and] funny, filled with examples drawn from the authors' experiences, this is a guide to the most essential of French arts: conversation' Ann Mah, author of Mastering the Art of French Eating

The Bonjour Effect

The Bonjour Effect
The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed
Julie Barlow
Jean-Benoit Nadeau
Price: £
16.99
  • Hardback
Published: 
28 Jul 2016
ISBN: 
9780715651254
Pages: 
320
Genre: 
  • Travel
Available from:

Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau 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 Julie and Jean-Benoit 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, 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.

Read an extract here.

Reviews

'This book confirms what the English have suspected for many years, that French is not so much a language as a dance, a ritual, a code to be cracked. The Bonjour Effect cracks it' David Boyle, author of How to be English

'An indispensable linguistic roadmap. A highly enjoyable romp through French culture and its language, written with wit and aplomb'Debra Ollivier, author Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl

'Whether you're an expat in France, or simply dream of living there one day, The Bonjour Effect is a helpful resource to cracking the arcane cultural code. Engaging and often funny, filled with examples drawn from the authors' experiences, this is a guide to the most essential of French arts: conversation' Ann Mah, author of Mastering the Art of French Eating

'Whether 'bonjour' is the beginning or the end of your French vocabulary, you'll find something fascinating, surprising, or just plain fou on nearly every page. Before reading this invaluable codebook to French language and culture, I feared that I'd somehow insulted every French waiter, shopkeeper, and clerk between Paris and Nice. Now I know I did, but at least I know why!' William Alexander, author of Flirting with French

'The ability to speak French doesn't mean you know how to have a conversation in French in France. Journalists Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau break down the 'rules' of French conversation in their new book The Bonjour Effect' CBC

'A lively and informative description of the country's cultural habits...' Lysiane Gagnon, The Globe and Mail

'Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoît Nadeau unravel the mysteries of French conversation. They take readers beyond what the French are actually saying to explain what it is they really mean' Shannon Broderick, Gonomad.com

'Very funny' Rudy Maxa's World with the Careys

'Packed with fascinating insights' 49th Shelf

'The Bonjour Effect is an indispensable linguistic roadmap. A highly enjoyable romp through French culture and its language, written with wit and aplomb' Debra Ollivier, best-selling author of What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart