The Bonjour Effect

The Bonjour Effect

The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed

Book - 2016 | First edition
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"Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow spent a decade traveling back and forth to Paris as well as living there. Yet one important lesson never seemed to sink in: how to communicate comfortably with the French, even when you speak their language. In The Bonjour Effect Jean-Benoit and Julie chronicle the lessons they learned after they returned to France to live, for a year, with their twin daughters. They offer up all the lessons they learned and explain, in a book as fizzy as a bottle of the finest French champagne, the most important aspect of all: the French don't communicate, they converse. To understand and speak French well, one must understand that French conversation runs on a set of rules that go to the heart of French culture. Why do the French like talking about "the decline of France"? Why does broaching a subject like money end all discussion? Why do the French become so aroused debating the merits and qualities of their own language? Through encounters with school principals, city hall civil servants, gas company employees, old friends and business acquaintances, Julie and Jean-Benoit explain why, culturally and historically, conversation with the French is not about communicating or being nice. It's about being interesting. After reading The Bonjour Effect, even readers with a modicum of French language ability will be able to hold their own the next time they step into a bistro on the Left Bank"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250051851
Branch Call Number: 944 BARLOW
Characteristics: viii, 310 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Nadeau, Jean-Benoît - Author


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Jan 30, 2019

"The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed" by Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoît Nadeau turned out to be super interesting. I could easily engage in a lengthy conversation based upon their many observations about what the French talk about when they talk French. If I learned nothing else, apparently one can't say 'Bonjour' enough. And, an absent 'Bonjour' will bring all to a halt. Worth the read.

Jun 24, 2017

The Benoit-Barlow team have hit the ball out of the park again. This book is equal to their other work The Story of French. It is a VERY insightful look into the heart and mind of French culture, and how the French think about themselves, and why they do what they do. The title is a clever key with which to access the door to the French heart and soul, and sets the tone of the book. Highly recommended. (I wrote Benoit-Barlow because it sounded much cooler than Nadeau-Barlow).

Oct 01, 2016

There is much to be learned from this book, and for the most part the writing is engaging. Often, though, the authors are too wordy and try too hard to be clever. I would have preferred more clarity and fewer efforts at wit, for sometimes after I finished reading a passage I was still wondering whether they were for or against what they just wrote about. I think THEY understand what they mean to say, but I'm sure not all their readers do. Ironic, considering the purpose of the book is to do the opposite.

Sep 27, 2016

great information and
good reading

Jul 28, 2016

The authors note that they have concerns about painting the picture of France and the French with too broad a brush. I believe that they succeed, but at the cost of painting North America that way. I also disagree with some of their background theses/biases.


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