From getting the best value from the boulangerie to ordering a steak without getting sneered at, an A-to-Z guide to fitting in en Français
Englishman Charles Timoney was thrown into French life headfirst twenty-five years ago when he and his wife moved to her native France. He had studied French in school, but his memory of vocabulary lists and conjugation drills proved no match for day-to-day living. As he blundered his way toward fluency, he kept a list of words and phrases that wonderfully (sometimes wickedly) epitomized aspects of the French culture-and were used only by native speakers.
Pardon My French tackles the delightful absurdities of French life and language and steers readers past the potential embarrassments of speaking French in France. It is a book no student, traveler, or language maven should be without.
THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT FRANCE: You burnt Joan of Arc! ? Smuggling live chickens into rugby matches is patriotic ? How many times to kiss on the cheek ? Where not to cross the road ? French guns don't go 'bang' ? What do you call a party? ? bon appetit is vulgar ? A six-pack is a bar of chocolate ? The dangers of being called Peter or Penny ? Your smallest finger is your 'ear' finger ? The importance of Wednesdays ? How to tip ? and when to celebrate Christmas? Forget the French you learnt at school. Based on twenty years of hard-won knowledge, Pardon My French takes you through all the words you need to survive, shows how and why they work, and steers you past all the pitfalls and potential embarrassments of speaking French in France. From sugar-cube etiquette to why the Marseillaise is all about slaughtering Austrians and Prussians as bloodily as possible, Charles Timoney lays bare the Gallic mindset alongside their bizarre language. Covering all areas of everyday life from eating and drinking to travel, work and, crucially, swearing and sounding like a teenager, this is not just the most entertaining, but also the most useful book on France and the French you'll ever read.
Vocabulary alone isn't enough. To survive in the most sophisticated - and the most scathing - nation on Earth you will need to understand the many peculiarities of the (very peculiar) French culture. And for that you need A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi.If you want to fit in with the French you'll have to know how to deal with sardonic waiters; why French children hate Charlemagne; the etiquette of kissing, joke-telling and drinking songs, what to do with a bidet, the correct recipe for a salade nicoise and, of course, how to convey absolute, shattering indifference with a single syllable (Bof!).Charles Timoney, the author of Pardon My French, provides a practical, pleasurable guide to the charms of the Gallic people - from their daily routines to their peerless gesticulations, from their come-ons to their put-downs. Read on and put the oh la la back into your French vacances. Your inner gaul will thank you for it.
From the author of Pardon My French and A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi, this is the charming and hilariously funny story of one man's attempt to travel the entire length of the Seine by boat
When Charles shows his friends the rowing boat he has spent the last six months building, he little realises the adventures that lie ahead. Several glasses of champagne later (it is New Year's Eve), he finds himself betting he will travel the entire length of the Seine from source to the sea in the next year and discover the true France. But the reality proves somewhat more difficult than he had expected. As Charles sets sail into an unvarnished France on a variety of craft from steamers to police patrol boats to inflatables, he encounters truffle-thieving terriers and obsessive fishermen, grapples with strong rapids and stubborn cattle, and is nearly destroyed by a cheese so smelly it comes with its own health warning.This is the charming and often hilarious story of Charles's Quixotic quest - and the most unique guide to the true France that you will find.Reviews:'There are new year's resolutions and then there are those rash decisions that come after the last bottle has been drunk on the last night of the year. The journey down the Seine that Charles Timoney describes in his third book about France stemmed from the latter ... a charming story of life along the river ... that lingers in the mind' Sunday Times (Books of the Month)'A wonderful view of France as seen from the water, and through the eyes of a genuinely funny writer - I laughed out loud' Philip Marsden (author of The Levelling Sea)About the author:When Charles Timoney and his French wife were both made redundant in the same week, they decided to try living in France for a year or so. It proved much harder than expected. Charles's O level in French was little help when everyone around him consistently used a wide variety of impenetrable slang and persisted in the annoying habit of talking about things he had never heard of. But they stayed. Two decades and two thoroughly French children later, An Englishman Aboard is Charles's third book on his experience of France, the French people and the French language: Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul, A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi: The Ideal Guide to Sounding, Acting and Shrugging Like the French and now An Englishman Aboard.