A 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 at the end of the 20th century 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. This text offers a solution to the incomprehension, a handbook in which the reader will find the language of the European Union, the space programme, abortion and women's rights, high-tech industries, and health care, among other topics. Entries proceed by association of ideas and related terms, with cross-referencing, while still being alphabetized for easy reference like a standard dictionary. Cartoons from major French journals are included.
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(205mm x 128mm x 15mm)
University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
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)
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