Story of French

ISBN-10: 0312341849

ISBN-13: 9780312341848

Edition: N/A

List price: $18.99 Buy it from $11.42
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Description:

Imagine a language watched over by a group of "Immortals" wearing Napoleonic hats and brandishing swords, one with rules so complex that mastery is a farce, and one whose speakers spend millions of dollars yearly to place it artfully in literature, music, and film. Now consider that this language is second only to English to the number of countries where it is officially spoken and has tripled in use in the last fifty years. Simultaneously frightening users with its delicately nuanced vowels, it is also beloved by millions for its romantic associations. The language is French, and "this," is its story. In a captivating narrative that spans the ages, from Charlemagne to Cirque du Soleil, Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow unravel the mysteries of a language that has maintained its global influence despite the rise of English. As in any good story," ""The Story of French" has spectacular failures, unexpected successes and bears traces of some of history's greatest figures: the tenacity of William the Conqueror, the staunchness of Cardinal Richelieu, and the endurance of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Through this colorful history, Nadeau and Barlow illustrate how French acquired its own peculiar culture, revealing how the culture of the language spread among francophones the world over and yet remains curiously centered in Paris. In fact, French is not only thriving--it still has a surprisingly strong influence on other languages. As lively as it is fascinating, "The Story of French" challenges long held assumptions about French and shows why it is still the world's "other" global language.
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Book details

List price: $18.99
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 1/8/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 496
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 0.968
Language: English

Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in 1964, Jean-Benoit Nadeau holds a bachelor#39;s degree in political science and history from McGill University. A journalist since 1987, he has written for L#39;actualite, Saturday Night Magazine, National Post Business, and Quebec Science. The holder of seventeen journalism awards, he was granted a two-year fellowship in 1998 by the New Hampshire-based Institute for Current World Affairs to study why the French resist globalization. In 2001, he published a humorous travelogue, Les francais aussi ont un accent (Payon, Paris). He has also traveled in Mexico, the UK, New Zealand, and Algeria.

Acknowledgments
Linguistic Map of France in the Middle Ages
Map of the French-Speaking World
Introduction
Origins
The Romance of French
In French and Not Otherwise
The Dawn of Purism
Spread
Far from the Sun
The Language of Genius
Revolutionary French
New Sanctuaries
French without Faute
Tool for an Empire
Lost Worlds
Adaptation
The Power of Attraction
The Invention of Cultural Diplomacy
A New Playing Field
Choosing French
Rocking the Boat
The Francophonie
Change
The Struggle for Standards
Protecting the Future
Global Hesitations
The Unwritten Chapters
Appendices
Selected Bibliography
Index
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