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Speak the Culture: France :Be Fluent in French Life and Culture Paperback – Jan 1 2008

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great reference book on French civilisation May 5 2010
By I.M.A. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is a great reference on many aspects of the French civilisation in its current state as well as its history. Luckily it lacks that unavoidable "I Love France but Not the French" Anglo-Saxon attitude (or at least it is not that pronounced as elsewhere due the the format of the book) which is a very rare thing in itself for a book about France written in English.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A pleasure to read. Dec 2 2013
By Gwendolyn K. Crawford - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This volume is a treasure trove of information that will help American visitors recognize some of the cultural pitfalls that await them in France.
7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Cover says it all Aug. 17 2010
By faith - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Looking at the cover of this book, I found myself thinking, "Oh...F. Couldn't the author sit still long enough to put some other letters in R, A, N, C...E, maybe? Then people would know what the book is about."
And as I read through it, I found myself thinking, "Oh...couldn't the writer sit still long enough to write more than 5 sentences on each subject...? Then people would know what the book is about."

Well, not that I didn't generally know - it was about "F".

The basic lack of structure, analysis, organization, and in-depth coverage of topics made this book a very hard read. First, it is split into various chapters on the different aspects of life and culture in France. Those chapters - while following a basic theme - are riddled with side notes, footnotes, and, in the case of some pages, with only notes.

There wasn't enough information provided on any one topic to make me feel like I'd actually learned anything. And, faced with so many loosely connected facts at a time, I wasn't able to retain any of them. When something caught my attention I had to google it to actually understand it.

I'm sure some would think it an interesting read; maybe people already highly knowledgeable about France would find the odd fact here and there to talk about over hors d'oeuvres at a chic party overlooking the Seine...but for people looking to gain beginning insight into the country and the culture, a fairly comprehensive picture, I would suggest a different read.