Stuff Parisians like, by Olivier Magny, 2011.
110 cultural facts about Parisians. As a former Parisian, I can certify that it is 100% true and hilarious. From the love of “caramel au beurre salé” to the complex relationship status, read Stuff Parisians like and you’ll be closer than ever to becoming a true Parisienne. If you still want to…
This book is an awesome review of Parisians. And on a certain extent, to all French. As Olivier Magny is French, I can tell you that all the phrases and slang used is 100% accurate. And the situations described are so true… It is impressive that the author managed to pick them and explain them so well. I know that some of them are so common that we don’t figure them out anymore.
What struck me as very clear and right :
- The “soirée posée”: a very usual “French soirée” where we just sit in canapés, eat, drink (a little)… and chat. It is not planned in advance, it doesn’t end late. This is why, as Olivier Magny points out, we don’t go out.
Comme une Française Tip: A soirée posée is the best way to practice your French. It will be quiet. But we may end up speaking very fast: a challenge!
- The true meaning of the word “petit”: As I said here before, whatever the level of happiness of your life, always use “petit” and “bien”. Olivier Magny has a great way to explain the word “petit”: we use it to add “normality” to the “awesomeness” of what we do.
- Reading the titles of your books: It’s a way to see if you have the same values. Or if they can learn from you. Don’t be surprised if people flip through your books and magazines. They may comment as well. Don’t consider it rude.
Comme une Française Tip: A living room without books is suspicious. DVDs can produce the same effect, don’t hide them.
- The “petites vestes” and scarves: It’s true that you can spot a French in a foreign country by his scarf. We wear scarves from spring to winter. And the “petites vestes” are the men best friends. It has to be perfectly cut and fit them.
Who is it for?
- Expats in France (especially in Paris of course)
- French who have been expats once.
- Students of advanced level willing to have a deeper cultural knowledge.
Should you read it?
- Stuff Parisians like is very accurate and clever. I think that Olivier Magny is the only one who talks so precisely of the Parisians.
- The book is very funny to read.
- It is also easy to read. All the important slang and phrases are translated into English.
- French will laugh as well. Lots of other books about the French are boring and full of dusty clichés.
- You might be frightened to move to Paris after reading it.
- It’s very cultural, so if you have never lived in France, it might be a bit hard to grasp the humour.