Merde! : The Real French You Were Never Taught at Schoolby Mike Heath (Illustrator), Genevieve
Deliciously saucy and full of wit Merde! is a practical guide for understanding French, as it really is spoken. This real-life resource is for anyone who remembers
Learn all the French argot (slang), dirty words, and necessary tools of communication your teachers left out of their lesson plans with this essential survival guide to understanding everyday French.
Deliciously saucy and full of wit Merde! is a practical guide for understanding French, as it really is spoken. This real-life resource is for anyone who remembers thumbing through English/French dictionaries for such words as "toilet paper" and "damn," as well as for the far more interesting, titillating terms that would never be used in polite conversation. But real French isn't spoken with the intent of being polite…
With epithets for every occasion, a range of colorful idioms, and a wealth of come-ons and put-downs, this is the only language book you'll need to prepare for a trip to the city of lights.
Read an Excerpt
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.
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
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.