Tag Archive > French

101 French Idioms

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101 French Idioms: Enrich Your French Conversation with Colorful Everyday Sayings (101... Language Series)   By (author) Jean-Marie CassagneWhen I lived in Cairo, I often used to watch the local television news bulletin in English. Rain is a pretty rare occurrence there, so one evening the Egyptian newsreader thought that a particularly heavy downpour was worth commenting on. He decided to go for a familiar colloquial expression to appear like a native speaker, and came out with ‘It’s been raining dogs and cats.’ It sounded so strange switching the order of the animals around, and next day at the English school where I taught everyone was have a chuckle over it.

It is a difficult thing, getting colloquial language right in any language other than your own. I certainly don’t remember being taught any French idioms at school or during the Open University courses I completed.

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1001 Most Useful French Words

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1001 Most Useful French Words (Beginners' Guides) By BuxbaumI’m not quite sure why this book was given that particular title, as the blurb says that ‘its contents encompass more than 1,000 of the most frequently used words in the French language.’ I’m afraid I have not counted the exact number, as I was more interested in reading the contents!

The book is divided into three sections. The first of these is the Alphabetical (Dictionary) Section covering forty-nine pages. After this comes a Category Section which is four pages long. The book ends with a one-page section entitled Vocabulary tips.


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Teach Yourself Improve Your French

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Teach Yourself Improve Your French Package (Book + 2 CDs) (Improve Your Language) By (author) Jean-Claude ArragonA wide choice of materials is available for beginners learning French, but resources that help you attain fluency and study the finer, more advanced points of grammar are harder to find. One that definitely warrants consideration is Teach Yourself Improve Your French. It comprises a book and two sixty-minute CDs for learners at intermediate level.

The ten units contain dialogues with explanatory vocabulary lists and language activities based upon the dialogues. There are in addition two of Victor Hugo’s poems, one or two passages about France’s geography, economy and education system, a weather forecast and a President’s New Year address. Business vocabulary is introduced as well as colloquial style. You can hear an official phone call and a more informal one on the CD, and learn how to compose a letter as well as fill in forms in French.

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The French Experience 2

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The French Experience 2 Language Pack By Jeanine Picard, By Mike GarnierWhether you are embarking on self-study or a private tuition course in French,THE FRENCH EXPERIENCE is highly recommended. Writing and grammar are not over-emphasised, but if you wish to speak, understand and read texts, there is a wealth of material here. Each unit focuses on a particular topic such as health, travel, food and drink, professions, holidays and so on, providing useful vocabulary for tourists as well as residents. The CDs contain authentic dialogues and interviews recorded in France; within each unit the recordings concentrate initially on listening and recognising vocabulary, and then on the learner producing similar language through role-play.

THE FRENCH EXPERIENCE 2 enables you to progress through intermediate level French, increasing your fluency and understanding.

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Hide This French Book

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 Berlitz Hide This French BookThe front cover of this book bears a warning: ‘Highly inflammatory text inside. Do not open near French teachers. Not for classroom use.’ Slang or ‘argot’ is very commonly used in French, and one or two publishers have seen an opening here for a book that teaches you the kind of language that is deemed unsuitable for reputable courses or text books.

Intended for those who already know a certain amount of French, this book will not teach you any verb conjugations or any other grammar for that matter. It will teach you everyday expressions, slang and even swear words. However, anything likely to cause offence will be marked as such: a thermometer with a low level of mercury indicates an expression that is to be used ‘with caution’, whereas a thermometer with a high level of mercury means that a phrase is extremely offensive.

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French for Cats

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French for Cats: All the French Your Cat Will Ever Need (Hardback) By (author) Barbe Henri De La, By (author) BoswelIf you are thinking of house-sitting in France this summer and are worried that you won’t be able to communicate with your hosts’ cat, then this is just the book for you. When the cat says meow, is it trying to say, “Here comes a fur ball,” or “I did not break that vase”? All will be revealed in Henry Beard’s mini bilingual book of catspeak. With English phrases given first followed by French translations in italics and accompanied by illuminating illustrations, each page gives us a rare insight into the inner workings of a feline brain.

We are first introduced to The Major Cat Parts (of the body), and these are followed by The Basic Cat Wardrobe consisting of a bell, flea and tick collar, and name tag.

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