Over 11,000 readers of Intelligent Life Magazine have voted for what they think is the best language to learn.
Monthly Archives: March 2012
Questions From Our Readers
Several years ago, I had toyed around with the idea of relocating to France (or someplace in Europe). Just last week, I stumbled upon your good book “60 Million Frenchmen can’t be wrong”. Someone from one of the ‘expat’ blogs mentioned it. I’m glad that I’m reading this amazing tome. I got a little depressed after reading the chapter on WW2. Though I know that this era is important for any number of reasons, I’d no idea of how important it is to the French. Your book highlights so many things of which I had been completely clueless. Now, in light of some recent horrible events in Toulouse, France, I’m reminded about that WW2 chapter in your book.
I think that things are different in France than in the 60s or before that. Is there more anti-foreigner sentiment? I wanted to try to situate myself in Aix-en-Provence (or somewhere in the Languedoc-Rousillon area, but is Paris a better option)? How can a regular person afford Paris, France? Read more »
In a series called “Which is the Best Language to Learn?” Intelligent Life Magazine asked six authors to write about which language they thought was the best to learn.
The Economist correspondent, Robert Lane Greene, said overall, he’d put his money on French. “…If I was asked what foreign language is the most useful, and given no more parameters (where? for what purpose?), my answer would be French. Whatever you think of France, the language is much less limited than many people realise.” Read more »
“…[Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong] should be handed out at Calais and Charles de Gaulle airport to anyone hoping to get a grip on France and make a holiday or life work here.”
The Daily Telegraph
Excerpt taken from the book The Story of French (Ch.10)
Anglicisms are another feature of French in America. Historically, the French and Quebeckers have had very different relationships with English. While the French have to deal with the relatively recent influence of English as a global language, French Canadians and Acadians have been dealing with the imposing local presence of English for centuries. This has resulted in many borrowings, such as poutine, the name of a Quebec dish of French fries and cheddar cheese curds with brown gravy. An English listener is always surprised to learn that poutine is a corruption of the English pudding, itself a deformation of the French word boudin (a type of blood sausage). Read more »
Excerpt taken from the book The Story of French (Ch.11)
Most teachers of French we met and interviewed during the research for this book confirmed to us, with regret in their voices, that French was indeed waging an uphill battle against English in the war of second-language studies. Naturally we were curious to find out what kept them and their students so enthusiastic about French. The teachers cited a wide variety of motivations, ranging from extremely practical reasons to a kind of generalized idealization of the language. But one striking theme shone through in almost all their answers: People learn French to get access to French culture-or a certain idea of it-whether it’s France’s lively literary and artistic scene, French cuisine, French intellectuals, French films or just the French way of life. Read more »