Street French – how to go deeper in your understanding of French

I have to say I don’t really resonate with the idea of being a “Francophile,” though most of my life I have loved spending time in France, learning the language, and eating the same twenty meals over and over. Francophile sounds like a dilettante in things French, like someone who likes provencal fabrics or who prefers a glass of Sancerre to Chardonnay.

If you love French, and not just the kiss, check out The Story of French , by the authors of Sixty Million Frenchman can’t be Wrong. The Story of French is a fun read and will legitimize all the reasons you love French, despite the attacks on la langue française from all around you. It takes you back in history on how French was formed as a language, up until its continued force in the world today, despite the falling fortunes of its motherland.

But if you really want to learn what the hip kids are saying in streets of old Paree, you have to pick up Street French1 and Street French 2. These books will take you through Verlan, the French equivalent to pig latin and many many words, both vulgar and common that they don’t teach you in 11th grade.

Since I read these, they’ve also come up with Street French 3: The Best of Naughty French which appears to have all the juicy bits not included in books 1 and 2. Bon appétit!


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