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Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul Paperback – June 2, 2009


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Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul + Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French + The French Way : Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs of the French
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; Bilingual edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592404626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592404629
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Coming to France? Forget the rest, read the best. This book will save you from being the butt of the Frenchman's humour."
-French News

"A Francophile's humorous guide to the French language. A kind of Eats, Shoots and Leaves meets A Year in the Merde."
-Bookseller

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' 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, he decided to write the guide to French that would have saved him from so many blunders and misunderstandings along the way. This is it. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Highly recommended for anyone studying French.
Joan S.
Each word is followed by a short explanation and usually a humorous anecdote or two, and I had a lot of fun reading this book.
Jeremy Aldrich
It is a priceless addition to my French language learning and my French library.
Laura W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By T. Murphy on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a fun and interesting read if you are curious about the uniqueness of the French and their culture. The entries are organized by subjects such a food, getting about, education, and many others. It is not meant to be a deep analysis of the origins of these behaviors but it does at times appear to be a bit superficial. I have spent a lot of time in France and, overall, I found the vignettes and topics to be pretty accurate. The writer's style is straight forward, humorous, and presented in good context. Anyone planning to be in France for some extended time should find the book enjoyable and helpful.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By BetsyB on October 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I read this book before spending a year in France. After spending several years learning about French culture and language, as well as a few tours in France, I found this book very informative. It was entertaining, affirmed some of my previous knowledge, and provided me with a plethora of new information. During my year in Paris, France, I found the information provided by Charles Timoney to be dead-on accurate. My French boyfriend even decided to read it and found it true and funny. Of all of the books on French culture, this is by far the most informative, accurate, and entertaining.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CJ on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a highly entertaining book about the various nuances of French language and culture, written by an Englishman who has spent a long time in France. Worth it if you have an interest in French language and culture. Pretty informal study, but very funny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ckgschu on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift before I embarked on a year abroad in France. I started to read it on the plane and finished by the time I arrived in Paris with the initial thought of "okay so the French culture is definitely different..." It wasn't until I reread the book about 3 months into my stay that I truly appreciated and started to completely understand what Mr. Timoney was telling me. His real-life anecdotes empathize with others who are coping with the impossibility of understanding the French! I must say that I did feel a little bit better knowing that I wasn't the only one who struggled with the endless amount of paperwork and complicated vocabulary that you don't learn in school! I thought perhaps it was just the American in me that couldn't understand the French ways, so it's good to know that Mr. Timoney is British and still took years to grasp the complexities.

Even if you are merely traveling through France for a week or simply curious about their culture, I highly recommend bringing this book along as your personal guide...so when you start to wonder..."Why are things never possible?" You simply have to flip through the pages and consult Mr. Timoney!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bookreader on May 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. Having been to France on several occasions and having the pleasure of living in Paris for a few months I found a lot of the comments and descriptions spot on and quite humorous in a yes that happened to me manner. I will admit that a lot of his description and events are stereotypical and are more of generalizations of the French, but if you've had the chance of spending time in this wonderful nation you'll be giggling and smirking at the author's description of his experiences as they most likely will have mirrored an event in your own life.
What if your just going to France for the first time? Well, if your going to France for the first time I would recommend that you do not take this book at face value, but more as a tongue in cheek description of the French, as again many of the describe situations are once in a life events and situations. I still recommend the book as it is funny and does have a good layer of practical information about what you might expect in and around Paris and France.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Sabbatical Chef on March 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since I've lived in France, I already know quite a bit about the French and France, but the author of this one taught me a few things and certainly made me want to unleash my inner Gaul! I loved every chapter of this book. I read every book like this I can get my hands on and if you harbor a fantasy of living in France, you should definitely read this.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kirsty on July 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Very lucidly written, insightful & very readable. I would highly recommend it for those interested in more than just the mechanics of the French language.
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By Snookie on August 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been going to Paris for 19 years and lived there 5 1/2 years. I saw this book at a friend's home and started to read it just for fun, but I soon realized that there was stil a lot I didn't know about French customs and especially about some of the things to say and do that I had not be doing correctly. I ordered the book immediately so I could make note of all the things I needed to "brush up" on. The best part is that the author has an awesome sense of humor so I was laughing and learning at the same time.
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