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Wicked French for the Traveler

( 6 )


"Vous etes une super nana."
You are one fabulous babe.

"Vos ...

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"Vous etes une super nana."
You are one fabulous babe.

"Vos yeux sont aussi bleus que l'ocean de mon amour pour vous est grand."
Your eyes are as blue as the sea of my love for you is large.

"Sans vous je ne suis qu'un ver de terre."
I am only an earthworm without you.

"Comment vous appelez-vous, mon bijou de trente-six carats?"
And what is your name, my jewel of thirty-six carats?

"Ciel! Voutre mari!"
Ah! Your husband!

A French language guide that gives you the "je ne sais quoi" to hold your own with the natives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780894806162
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1989
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 220,632
  • Product dimensions: 3.90 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Tomb is the author of the Wicked Travel books. He also writes for the Sunday Travel Section of the New York Times.

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Read an Excerpt


French people believe that they invented Western civilization. In fact, many of them doubt that cultural refinement has ever spread beyond the borders of the beau pays.

They may be right, but that's no reason to be intimidated by everyone and everything French. We do not have to feel inferior to French toddlers, French pig farmers, or French cats and dogs, for example.

Granted, they all may be able to tell a Burgundy from a Bordeaux. They may have a firm grasp of the subjective tense. They may know Jacques Cousteau personally. But we play better basketball. Our mountains are bigger than theirs. And we saved them from the Germans.

This book is intended to help transform readers into complete travelers, capable of subtle understanding, intelligent discourse, and effective verbal assault.

Bonne chance.

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Table of Contents



  • Welcome to France…5
  • Making French Noises with Your Mouth and Nose…5
  • The Untranslatables Pronunciation disclaimer
  • …9
  • Friendly Customs Agents and Their Machine Guns…9
  • Prayer of the Frequent Flier…11
  • Taxi Driver…12
  • Taxi Driver avec Cujo…14
  • Kilometers per Hour: Get a Grip…16
  • Rondpoint Technique and Recommended Armaments…17
  • Epithets on Wheels…18
  • Lesser-Known International Symbols…19
  • Fine Points of the Paris Metro…20
  • Railway Romance…21

  • Notorious Snouts, Part I: The Concierge…24
  • Notorious Snouts, Part II: The Réceptioniste…25
  • Tiny Hotel Rooms of France…26
  • Threatening the Maid…27
  • Tipping…28
  • Stiffing

  • Fashion Bondage…30
  • Dieter's Desiderata…31
  • Demon Children of the Eiffel Tower…32
  • Prayer to the Don…33
  • The Most Gigantic Art Museum on Earth…34
  • Intelligent Comments about Art You Can Make Yourself
  • Negotiating the Topless Beach…38

  • Cultivating Your Attitude Problem…40
  • Understanding European Business Hours…42
  • Waiting for Godot's Telegram…44

  • No Bad Waiters…46
  • Organs You May Wish to Avoid Eating…48
  • Wine Talk of the Sophisticates…50

  • Dominating the Disco…52
  • Exotic Drinks of the French Nightclub…53
  • Café Etiquette…54
  • Existentialism and Other Bull…54
  • Banishing Shrimps…56
  • Favorite Pet Names…57
  • The Words of Love…58
  • Your Emergency Confession…60

  • Your First Rural Experience…62
  • The Inevitable Thank-You Note…63
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Buyer BEWARE

    This is NOT a book that helps someone understand French. It teaches the reader how to say insulting phrases. BN should move this out of the French translation grouping and into the jokebook section.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Wicked French is Food for Fantasy

    I have given many copies of this book (as well as Wicked Italian) to friends who were either getting ready to travel to France or who had recently finished a traditional academic course. It lightens up either experience and has always been a hit.

    I do advise recipients not to be too quick to put these phrases to work in France - no need to jeopardize international relations by insulting your host country but it's therapeutic to imagine coming out with some of the more outrageous one-liners.

    For a beginning or intermediate student of French, Wicked French provides witty and diverse slang words that probably aren't in the textbook.

    The pictures are very funny too.

    It's a small and portable book so you can tuck it into purse or backpack.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2002

    Read this book or je vous arrache les yeux.

    This is an amazing book, the perfect marriage between humor, attitude, and the French Language. I would recommend this book to anyone who has the slightest interest in learning French, because once you read it you will want to keep learning more. Also, I must say I've found this book to be very useful, and I have no doubt that all the other "Wicked" books are just as good. I'm getting a copy of this book for a friend, "Wicked German" for my cousin, and maybe all the rest for myself!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2001

    A great book for any french student

    I just recently bought this book at one of your stores, and I must say, it's one of the funniest book of phrases that I've seen in a while. My friends all think that learning french is 'cool' now, just because of this book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2000

    Useable Phrases that are a Riot!

    This handy book is great for the french student who is looking for a little spice in their vocabulary! With 'handy' phrases such as 'Vous etes une super nana.' (You are one fabulous babe.), this book is a keeper. Divided into situations that a traveller may encounter, such as the subway or rude waiters, this book handles a plethora of situations with sharp comebacks and liners. While this is not a comprehensive dictionary, it is useful and even includes a phonetic guide for the best pronounciation of the phrases. This book is a must have for any student or lover of French who enjoys a laugh or two while learning some witty phrases.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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