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.
'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