Who stole my croissant

Style secrets of the French by Casilda Grigg

Is Franglais the new rock ‘n’ roll?

At this time of year the papers are awash with summer reading lists. Oh, là là what a lot of them there are: history, politics, spy novels, biography, sport, love stories. The word ‘taut’ pops up a lot, as do ‘tense’ and ‘dark.’ Quelle nightmare!

For those of you who are just about to fly off to le back de beyond Who Stole My Croissant has come up with its own summer book list. There is just one book on it. Et oui, just one. But oh mon dieu what a funny book it is. (Is this a style secret of the French? Non. But sometimes if faut bender les rules, OK?).

C’est Le Bumper Book of Franglais by the celebrated newspaper columnist and humourist Miles Kington (who, tragically for all of us, died in 2008 aged just 66). The book is a comic mix of English and French that pretends to be a study course. It’s made up of little sketches, each a couple of pages long, that capture the English in all their deranged eccentricity. You need to have half decent French to enjoy it but if you do the book’s vraiment fantastique.

Here is an extract from Le Postcard Sending

Lui: Et bien! Nous voici! Sur holiday! Le 1er jour de notre fortnight dans glorieux Capistrano. Que propose-tu? Un swim? Un ramble par les vieux alley-ways? Un shufti dans le quaint market?

Elle: Non. Il faut envoyer les postcards.

Lui: Mais tu es folle, toi. Les postcards, c’est hard work. Je suis ici pour relaxer.

Elle: J’insiste. Tu sais bien que normalement nous laissons les postards au last moment. Cette fois, ça va être different. Regarde j’ai acheté un paquet de 12 postcards.

Lui: Mon Dieu, ils sont naffs …..

Other sketches that are fantastique are:

1. Au Taxi Rank
2. Le Programme de Cooking à la TV
3. La Resignation d’un Minister
4. Le Wrong Number
5. Dans le Magasin de Parapluies

IMG_9394Personellement j’adore ce livre so much that I am limiting myself to seulement un sketch de comédie par jour. Last time I was in Café Montparnasse in Kensington pour un shameful mid-morning coffee et croissant I showed my copy to Delphine, the Paris princess. Did she think it très drôle? Je ne sais pas. Elle avait un problème de radiateurs. Oh là là, vous savez, ses builders prenait le mickey. C’est scandaleux!

Le Bumper Book of Franglais by Miles Kington was first published in 2010 and is drawn from his original columns in Punch. It’s available from Amazon (dos de papier £4.30, Kindle £2.99).

PS C’est un bargain, non?




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This entry was posted on July 14, 2014 by in Everything Else and tagged , , .
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