This fascinating and well-researched book offers an invaluable insight into the rules, codes, eccentricities and etiquette of French conversation. All of the traditional guidelines that we adhere to in normal English exchanges simply don’t apply when conversing in French, and where the most basic of mistakes can lead to lead to misunderstandings, unintentional insults and downright acrimony between participants.
Indeed, the book’s title originates from the rule that you should always say “bonjour” – even to the bus driver who meets and greets 28,000 passengers a day.
Split into two sections, covering Form and Content, the book carefully describes the formalities and taboos of the language, so you don’t just communicate, you converse.
The Bonjour Effect is a hugely engaging read, whether you speak French or not, and is surely a must-have for anyone who frequents L’Hexagone on a regular basis.
The Bonjour Effect, The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed. By Julie Barlow & Jean-Benoît Nadeau, published by St. Martin’s Press. List price is $25.99.
From France Today magazine