Merde! : The Real French You Were Never Taught at School

Overview

Preface

Do you remember when you were learning French at school and looked in vain through your dictionary for all the dirty words? Have you thought you had a reasonable command of the language, then seen a French film or gone to France only to find that you could barely understand a word? You were, of course, never taught real French by your boring teachers, who failed to give you the necessary tools of communication while stuffing the subjunctive imperfect down your throat. ...

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Overview

Preface

Do you remember when you were learning French at school and looked in vain through your dictionary for all the dirty words? Have you thought you had a reasonable command of the language, then seen a French film or gone to France only to find that you could barely understand a word? You were, of course, never taught real French by your boring teachers, who failed to give you the necessary tools of communication while stuffing the subjunctive imperfect down your throat. French argot (slang) is not just the dirty words (though, have no fear, you will find them here); it is an immensely rich language with its own words for very ordinary things, words that are in constant use. Here, then, is not an exhaustive or scholarly dictionary of argot (that would be ten times thicker) but a guide to survival in understanding everyday French as it is really spoken.

Guidance

Asterisks after argot words indicate a degree of rudeness above the ordinary colloquial. Two asterisks show a whopper, although you should not assume that strength and rudeness cause a word to be used less frequently; au contraire.

When an English definition is underlined, that definition gives a good equivalent flavor, feeling and degree of rudeness of the French word. Good equivalents are not that common, so rely generally on the English definition for the meaning of the French word, on the asterisks for its strength and on the many examples for its usage. Just remember, to be authentic is to be rude.

Copyright © 1984 by Geneviève Edis

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Written by ``Genevieve,'' who is identified only as living in Switzerland, this humorous look at French argot claims to be a ``survival guide to understanding everyday French as it is really spoken.'' While there is certainly much for the casual reader to enjoy and much for lovers of France to commit to memory, the book falls flat. The fun of learning slang in a foreign language is understanding the sometimes mystifying, often amusing, literal meanings of those expressions. For example, according to Genevieve, an innocent, naive person is a oie blanche, a white goose, and to make love in a slow, conventional way is faire l'amour a la papa, make love like dad. Unfortunately this guide only erratically provides such literal meanings, making the book of full value only to those whose French is in good shape already or who are willing to paw through a conventional dictionary while reading this. (March)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684854274
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 12/9/1998
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 499,424
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Preface

Do you remember when you were learning French at school and looked in vain through your dictionary for all the dirty words? Have you thought you had a reasonable command of the language, then seen a French film or gone to France only to find that you could barely understand a word? You were, of course, never taught real French by your boring teachers, who failed to give you the necessary tools of communication while stuffing the subjunctive imperfect down your throat. French argot (slang) is not just the dirty words (though, have no fear, you will find them here); it is an immensely rich language with its own words for very ordinary things, words that are in constant use. Here, then, is not an exhaustive or scholarly dictionary of argot (that would be ten times thicker) but a guide to survival in understanding everyday French as it is really spoken.

Guidance

Asterisks after argot words indicate a degree of rudeness above the ordinary colloquial. Two asterisks show a whopper, although you should not assume that strength and rudeness cause a word to be used less frequently; au contraire.

When an English definition is underlined, that definition gives a good equivalent flavor, feeling and degree of rudeness of the French word. Good equivalents are not that common, so rely generally on the English definition for the meaning of the French word, on the asterisks for its strength and on the many examples for its usage. Just remember, to be authentic is to be rude.

Copyright © 1984 by Geneviève Edis

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Preface

Do you remember when you were learning French at school and looked in vain through your dictionary for all the dirty words? Have you thought you had a reasonable command of the language, then seen a French film or gone to France only to find that you could barely understand a word? You were, of course, never taught real French by your boring teachers, who failed to give you the necessary tools of communication while stuffing the subjunctive imperfect down your throat. French argot (slang) is not just the dirty words (though, have no fear, you will find them here); it is an immensely rich language with its own words for very ordinary things, words that are in constant use. Here, then, is not an exhaustive or scholarly dictionary of argot (that would be ten times thicker) but a guide to survival in understanding everyday French as it is really spoken.

Guidance

Asterisks after argot words indicate a degree of rudeness above the ordinary colloquial. Two asterisks show a whopper, although you should not assume that strength and rudeness cause a word to be used less frequently; au contraire.

When an English definition is underlined, that definition gives a good equivalent flavor, feeling and degree of rudeness of the French word. Good equivalents are not that common, so rely generally on the English definition for the meaning of the French word, on the asterisks for its strength and on the many examples for its usage. Just remember, to be authentic is to be rude.

Copyright © 1984 by Geneviève Edis

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2001

    Merde

    Awesome. This book tells it as it should. It has all sorts of quarky phrases that you probably need to pay attention to the age of your audience members.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2000

    When in France, say what the French say

    This is definitely the best French grammar book that will be used outside of the classroom. Includes verbs and phrases and how to appropriately (or inappropriately!) use them in the proper context. Quizzes at the end of each chapter for self-test review. The biggest complaint is that the book does not include Quebecois (French Canadian) terminology, which differs from that of their Parisian counterparts en tabernacle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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