Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul

Front Cover
Penguin, 2008 - Foreign Language Study - 240 pages
12 Reviews
The French you learned in school won’t get you far! Pardon My Frenchis an entertaining and useful guide to the words and phrases every Francophile, traveler, student, and word maven should know, with fascinating lore and tidbits that make sense of the Gallic mind-set.

Englishman Charles Timoney was thrown into French life headfirst twenty-five years ago when he and his wife moved to native France. He had studied French in school, but his memory of vocabulary lists and verb-conjugation drills proved no match for day-to-day living and communicating with French coworkers. As he blundered towards fluency, he collected the idioms and phrases that no one ever taught him in a classroom and that wonderfully (sometimes wickedly) epitomized l’esprit francais. Pardon My Frenchincludes insider’s language tips for dining, shopping, understanding French slang, and more. Selections include:

Faire un canard, which literally means “to do a duck,”but also refers to dunking sugar lumps in coffee and is the preferred way to get a kick of sugar caffeine in France.
Tablette de chocloat, which literally means “chocolate bar,” but is also the term for a finely muscled male stomach in France. Since the English equivalent is a “six pack,” it’s a splendid example of how differently we see things!

Packed throughout with whimsical cartoons and trivia (including the words to “La Marseillaise”), Pardon My Frenchis a marvelous armchair trip abroad.

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Review: Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul

User Review  - Caron - Goodreads

A whirlwind tour of French culture from long-term expat, written in a witty, punchy style. The words and their explanations are presented in categorised lists, so the book is probably best dipped into ... Read full review

Review: Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul

User Review  - Bob Hartley - Goodreads

It's true what it says in the blurb: the French you learn in school won't get you terribly far. Not sure how far this'll get me, to be honest, because I don't intend to apply for French citizenship ... Read full review


Food and Drink
Entertainment and Sport
Pa perwork
The Calendar Year
How to Sound French
Historical Matters and Perfidious Albion
Young People and Their Slang
Relations Family and Others
Daytoday Life
The Business World

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

A native of Oxford, England, Charles Timoney has lived in France for the past twenty-five years, working as a patient attorney. He lives outside of Paris with his wife Ines, and their two children.

Bibliographic information