Book Reviews

Book: The bonjour effect

English, North Americans and most English-speaking people from all over the world become confused in France and believe French to be arrogant and rude. In reality, they are friendly, and outgoing, once you know how to approach them,

The Bonjour Effect by to Quebec writers, explores and explains almost all possible approaches, and link all these to French history. The content is extremely well researched on location, along with several interviews with leading French experts and highly placed government employees.

Every thought and statement is proved with statistics and examples. The writing is light, substantive; the story is well told, and highly accessible to understand. Francophiles, and every would-be tourist will be well served by the detail of the Bonjour Effect. France is the world’s foremost tourist destination, receiving more than 48 million visitors annually.

Paris attracts most of the tourists, and if every tourist understood the effect of the word bonjour, their stay would be so much more pleasant and beneficial. Both authors explain, compare and contrast North American and French culture succinctly and successfully to the benefit of the reader.

It is important to know that when a Frenchman says “no”, it may turn out to be “yes” in further dialogue.

French regard communication, or being nice important aspects of any conversation, but associate it more with being informative and interesting.

Foreigners working or living in France are surprised how the French react when they are approached directly without uttering a simple but sincere Bonjour (good day) and then posing the question. They contribute such behaviour to mal eleve (poor upbringing), even if your approach has been polite.

This valuable book finishes with two sets advice on page 270 – Topics you can discuss anywhere in France, and Topics you should approach carefully or not at all.

Highly recommended.

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