Most helpful positive review
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Going to France to enjoy yourself? You need this book!
on July 22, 1999
When I first moved to Paris, I could barely speak a word of French (and had no job, and nowhere to stay, but that's another story), apart from a heavily-accented "une baguette de pain s'il vous plait Madame". And I can honestly say that this book was THE most useful thing I read -- indeed, it's the only book I pored over and learnt sections of by heart. Yes, speaking proper sentences and being polite and all that is all very useful, but if you really want to enjoy yourself, and get on with the locals, then this is the motherlode. Even if you only know two words of French, slipping a few well-chosen words like "bagnole", "boulot", and "flingue" (and the choicer swear words) into your conversation will break the ice, and impress your hosts, a LOT more than knowing the subjective pluperfect ever could. I eventually took "proper" French lessons at the Sorbonne, and had many arguments with my teacher about the relative merits of "correct" and "colloquial" French. For me, learning a language is about communicating, not about grammar, and this is the perfect place to start. To this day, I make sure that none of my friends or colleagues goes off to France for any period of time without a copy of this under their arm...