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The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed Audio CD – Import, 29 August 2017
10 Days Replacement OnlyThis item is eligible for free replacement, within 10 days of delivery, in an unlikely event of damaged, defective or different item delivered to you. Please keep the item in its original condition, with outer box or case, accessories, CDs, user manual, warranty cards, scratch cards, and other accompaniments in manufacturer packaging for a successful return pick-up. We may contact you to ascertain the damage or defect in the product prior to issuing replacement.
- Publisher : Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (29 August 2017)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1541411803
- ISBN-13 : 978-1541411807
- Item Weight : 204 g
- Dimensions : 16.26 x 2.79 x 13.46 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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I was very pleased to find this book, downloaded the free 10% sample on Kindle, it seemed quite engaging, I decided it was worth investigating further, and bought the book.
BIG mistake, as it is chock-full of errors.
I am talking here of factual errors, of language errors. I am ignoring the fact that I also disagree with many their conclusions and sociological “facts” (French people don’t tell you their names? Towns are blacked out at night?) .
The book was thus very disappointing. I feel defrauded.
I was disappointed due to my high expectations based on my false assumptions about the authors.
I assumed that as they were linked to some serious institutions (Nadeau is a fellow of the Washington-based Institute for Current World Affairs, Toronto, and Phoenix Arizona, and Barlow was a Fulbright Scholar at Arizona State University) that therefore they would be serious researchers.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
They are not serious, careful, researchers.
They are apparently journalists of what would perhaps be categorized the “Red-top” press in the UK, since they are out to sensationalize, to draw conclusions based on small and arbitrary samples, and not to bother too much about getting their facts right.
Or indeed, not to bother about quoting different facts for the same thing at different points in the book.
Sloppy journalism, sloppy research.
I assumed that since one of them was a native French-speaker, they would get their French correct.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Large number of errors in their French.
They cannot even get the most basic of French grammar and orthography correct. We have singular articles with plural nouns, or singular nouns with plural adjectives, and accents scattered here and there, or omitted, at random. I hate to think how they would fare doing a traditional primary school dictée.
Jean-Benoît or Julie, have a go at these, correcting any errors that you can see now, but left in your book:
Mais quel malotrus!
Vive le Quebec libre!
Un congé parental obligée.
Le complement du nom.
Les complements circonstanciels.
S’il vous plait.
And their translations from French to English are almost farcical. Are they really journalists, since they have apparently never heard of the League of Nations, translating the French name for this, Société des Nations, as Society of Nations? That is just one example, there are numerous others where their lack of familiarity with French life and institutions, surely part of the French culture that they mention so often, leads them to give inaccurate translations into English.
Hey, Jean-Benoît, what are « gendarmes » ? No, not Military Police, as you say. That’s Jack Reacher, you know the one, in the Lee Child books.
And who are “Mami et Papi”? Do you mean “Mamie”, the common name that French children call their grandmothers?
Some of their “facts” are so contrary to my own 60 years of experience of France, (Lavatories are not indicated by Dames et Messieurs but by Filles et Garçons? Really?) that I begin to wonder if we have known the same country.
Especially when it comes to the Geography of France.
“Their village, Castets, about an hour north of the Spanish border on the Atlantic coast.”
Well in the most recent of the dozen or more times I have visited Castets, it had floated inland a good 20 kilometres.
“Bayonne, just north of the area (of the Landes).
Nope, Bayonne is in the Basque Country region of southwest France, south of the Landes last time that I looked.
“The department of the Landes which shares a border with Spain”.
Well, if it does, then Spain has swallowed up the whole of the French Pays Basque which normally separates Spain and the Landes.
Another little quiz for you two guys. What is the difference between saying “Excusez-moi, Monsieur” and “Pardon, Monsieur” when approaching someone with a question? Don’t know? Thought not.
And this I don’t understand. Talking about the slang language called “Verlan”, the book says: “Verlan comes from ‘envers’ with the syllables reversed”. Oh? So why isn’t it Versan, then? Possibly because it is not from “envers” but from “l’envers”? L’envers, Verlan, yes that works.
Other facts that they get wrong, or changeable, include calling Valérie Trierweiler first the “girlfriend” and then, 100 pages later, the “official spouse” of President Hollande. Unless, of course… but no, that surely is not possible … do they know what “spouse” actually means in English? And why therefore one cannot have an official spouse? You are either legally a spouse or not. And she was not.
But where they really get their knickers in a twist is discussing the French administrative divisions, the régions and départements.
According to the book, there are 95 départements. Or 99, as they say elsewhere in the book. Can’t they even get their wrong answers consistently wrong?
There are in fact 101, 96 of them in Metropolitan France and 5 Overseas départements. So neither 95 nor 99.
There used to be 95 départements in Metropolitan France, but in 1976 Corsica (number 20) split into 2A and 2B. So their figure of 95 was 40 years out of date when the book was published in 2016. Not very up-to-date reporting.
Same lack of accuracy concerning the number of regions.
“In 2014 President Hollande unilaterally decided to reduce the number of regions from 26 to 17.”
26? There were at that point 22 in Metropolitan France and 5 overseas. 22+5=27.
Reduce to 17? He actually proposed reducing them to 19, 14 in in Metropolitan France and 5 overseas.
However the proposal was amended to merge Limousin with Aquitaine, giving therefore by the time the book was written, and now, 13 in Metropolitan France and 5 overseas, a total of 18.
So neither 26 nor 17. Where did these “research journalists” get their “facts” from?
I feel that I have wasted my money. Since so many of the things that I already knew are incorrect, what reliance can I place on other things?
I have also bought their previous book, “Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong”.
Another lump of mis-spent money, as just flicking through, they tell me that the Périgord region of France is famous for its cassoulet.
AARRGGHHH! NO IT ISN’T!
Please save me from this pair of inaccurate writers.
The content of the Bonjour effect is accessible, timely, concise and in places anecdotal but definitely not boring. It's bang up to date with political thinking and analyses the reasons why so many decent, moderate, liberal thinking people have been supporting the far right and the words the Le Pen's used to draw them in and why those words seem to have an almost hypnotic effect on those people.
There is a lot of info packed into a little book.