Tune Up Your French: Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Spoken French 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
See, feel, and say things the French way!
If you are among the many people who studied French in high school, college, or even beyond but still get stuck when it comes to actually speaking the language, this book is for you. Tune Up Your French will help you refresh and build on what you already know and give you the confidence to put it into practice. By demonstrating the connection between spoken language, body language, sound, and ways of thinking, Tune Up Your French takes you beyond basic grammar to help you find your French voice--and give you that certain je ne sais quoi.
Structured around ten "Tune Ups," this fun, informative, and highly effective book provides:
- Practical and realistic advice for improving spoken French
- Over 100 "Top Ten" lists of key French phrases and expressions
- Interjections, vocal noises, and physical gestures that make the most of the 92 percent of communication that's nonverbal
- Unwritten rules about slang
- Ways to make your point by saying the opposite of what you mean
- Cultural guidance for avoiding faux pas
- A repertoire of mots historiques
- An appendix of commonly troublesome verbs
- "Quick Fixes" to get you started right away
Also included are preview questions and review exercises for each chapter, an Answer Key, plus an invaluable audio CD that presents key phrases from throughout the book, tips on intonation, and engaging audio exercises. From idioms and attitude to gastronomic correctness and conversation starters, now you can discover what it means to see, feel, and say things the French way!
Natalie Schorr is an experienced educator who has taught French at Phillips Academy for almost thirty years. She lives in Andover, Massachusetts.
About the Author
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The author doesn't lecture or overwhelm you, but rather makes you feel you're sitting down to chat with a very good friend about how the French live, how they speak, and how you can best fit into that world while you travel. To that end, Schorr very intelligently shows you how to ask substantive questions in French to get people talking so that you can engage in a real conversation and learn from it. She warns you against trying to sound too hip by using inappropriate slang, which may come off as sounding phony. You'll learn slang terms that are acceptable and others that aren't (in varying degrees).
The author also ends with epigrammatic French phrases you can learn and embroider so as to manifest wit and style, which the French admire. It may sound intimidating, but it really isn't. What she's after is getting you to relax and try various methods of entering the culture as a vistor who can truly enjoy it. A woman in a store on the Ile St. Louis once complimented my French, asked where I was from (America? Hard to believe!) and then sagely observed that one couldn't really appreciate a culture without knowing its language). Tune Up Your French will take you down that road. It offers help across the board, but is especially informative about matters of food and dining, and is there anyplace else where the French are more unqiquely themselves? Best of all, the book is entertaining and funny without going for cheap jokes. You don't have to be contemplating a trip to France to enjoy this informative, smart, accessible book.
Having a degree in French actually doesn't equate to fluency. I know the french of litterature very well since that's what my courses focused on, but I often found myself paralysed when faced with a french speaker because I didn't feel confident in my ability to compose sentences that didn't sound like they were from an 18th century novel. This set has really helped make my french skills more current and fresh so I don't sound like an old book!
I listen to the CD while driving over and over and you will probably find that you go through the book more than once, too since it's so full of info.
You will learn expressions to help you start up conversations, ask questions, expressions used when shopping, going out, eating, when you need help and in many other situations. You will also learn French manners, body language and interjections, as well as popular idioms and famous French quotations.
The book comes with an hour long audio CD created in a conversational style. The CD covers some expressions used in a book with additional commentary, though it would've been great if all of the expressions were recorded.
I've given this book to friends whose proficiency in French varied greatly and they've all raved about it. Highly recommended!