The Art of French Conversation for Dummies

Using tennis matches, good wine that needs time to breathe and English-style gardens, Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoît Nadeau have an impressive arsenal of metaphors when it comes to illustrating the subtleties of French conversation. This couple of journalists from Quebec lived in Paris for four years, and observed the codes that govern verbal interactions between French people during a bus journey, at a dinner party with friends, while waiting to pick up the kids from school, at a picnic at the Jardin du Luxembourg or during an afternoon at the swimming pool. Using sketch after sketch to explain observations, the couple has co-written The Bonjour Effect, a book “more anthropological than journalistic”. Jean-Benoît Nadeau talked with us about the art of French conversation, its trad [...]

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