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Anna G. Larson, Published January 29 2014

French guidebook proves helpful

FARGO – Shortly before I said “au revoir” to Fargo and “bonjour” to Paris for a recent vacation, I received a copy of “Parisienne French: Chic Phrases, Slang & Style.”

The guidebook ($14.95 at Barnes & Noble) by New York City-based French and fashion culture head Rhianna Jones promises to introduce women to the current slang, culture and lifestyle they’ll encounter on a trip to The City of Light.

Jones’ book covers essentials like greetings, introductions and manners, as well as useful information for fashion-minded travelers (Note: Less is more when it comes to French fashion.).

Although most people I talked with at stores knew at least some English, it was helpful to know how to ask for sizes (a small is simply called “S” and a large “L” rather than saying the words) and explain if something was too big, too small, too short, etc.

I also used the guidebook to look up French terms for words like leather and suede so I knew what I was buying.

Pronunciation guides aren’t included in the book, so I’d recommend this guide for people who’ve had some experience with the language. It’s easy to embarrassingly butcher a term like “les soldes” if you’ve never spoken French.

“Les soldes,” the biannual sales in France, are pronounced “lay sold,” with “sold” said just like the English word. C’mon, you know you want to say “layz sold-ayz.”

If nothing else, “Parisienne French” will look fashionable on your coffee table or sticking out of your purse.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525