If you had been living in France in the 1990s, the language you would have heard on the radio and television or seen in the newspapers would be far removed from the French language of ten or twenty years ago. The country and its language have changed tremendously in a relatively short period of time, and, as a result, English speakers with a grounding in French can still find themselves struggling to understand terms commonly encountered in contemporary French society. Luckily, Eleanor and Michel Levieux now bring us up to date with their "Insiders' French," an utterly entertaining and informative guide to the language of the "new France."
This "new France" is a country poised to experience the European single currency but uncertain about being part of Europe. It is hooked on fast food but ambivalent about the country where it originated. France today has record unemployment and an increasingly controversial immigrant population. Clearly, given the rapidly changing conditions and lifestyles, conventional French dictionaries alone cannot completely inform readers and visitors. "Insiders' French" offers a solution to the incomprehension, a unique handbook in which you'll find the language of European union, the space program, abortion and women's rights, high-tech industries, and health care, among other topics. Entries proceed by association of ideas and related terms, with extensive cross-referencing, while still being alphabetized for easy reference like a standard dictionary. Cartoons from major French journals add to your understanding and enjoyment.
"Insiders' French" opens up the secret territory of French politics and culture that is often not understood by visitors or students, and it does so with wit and verve--qualities that remain in the French language despite its recent changes.
Far from compiling a classic dictionary, the author's aim has been to present a 'verbal snapshot of the France of the mid and late 90s'. Dominant topics such as unemployment, immigration, being part of Europe and, most crucial of all, what national and cultural identity mean in today's France drive a selection of words and phrases drawn from radio, TV and the press. Explanation of terms like 'les beurs' (Arab immigrants), SDF ('sans domicile fixe', i.e. the homeless), l'Assedic (the organization dealing with unemployment benefits) or, more light-heartedly, 'les hexagonaux' (French chauvinists), 'tageurs' (graffitti artists), 'TGB' ('La Tres Grande Bibliotheque' i.e. the recently opended Bibliotheque de France) or 'beauf' (smug, dull, reactionary) offer a fascinating glimpse of life in France at the end of the century. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 266
Published: 15th May 1999
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.5 x 12.8
Weight (kg): 0.27
Edition Type: New edition