Discover 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French

Discover 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French

Becoming French90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French

This cute little book that fits in your hand was inspired from the original article 20 Ways You Know You’re Becoming French The article got such good response from our readers that author Shari Leslie Segall had the great idea to make it into a book. We teamed up with an artist  for watercolor illustrations and thought up more than 90+ points that are ways you know you are becoming French. Such as:

  • would never conceive of a holiday menu without foie gras, oysters and glazed chestnuts
  • ask everyone you know about their recent/upcoming vacances
  • know who Marianne is

Judith, an American in Paris since the 1990s, had this to say after reading the book 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French:

« This is really funny–I actually improved my quality of life from « Becoming French ». The one about saying bonjour to the bus driver and not your neighbor? I realized I didn’t often greet the bus driver so began doing so, and then carried on by saying Bonjour Madame, and Bonjour Monsieur to salespeople and people I need advice or service from. I have gotten so much better attention and service! I used to begin with « Excusez moi », like you would do in English, but then realized it is rude in French not to begin by greeting with a « title » and then excusing yourself if it is necessary (Like « Bonjour, Madame. Excusez moi de vous déranger mais… » or simply « Bonjour, Madame, pourriez vous me conseiller sur les… »). Anyway, I got much smiling help today at BHV using this method! »

I am laughing so hard right now at this book because it is so on point!! — Stevie Benanty

We had a lot of fun making this little book and hope you’ll enjoy your very own copy. It’ll make a unique hostess gift (less expensive than flowers!) Copies can be ordered via this link – We can  ship directly to a giftee if you like. It’s a fun idea for a gift for your « French » friends… For orders of more than 5 books quantity discounts are available, contact

Or you can purchase the book in these fine shops:

and what is a more French fashion statement than a scarf? Visit the FUSAC Boutique for accessories: scarves, hats, magnets… Order the scarf and book together and get 20% off both.

The authors:

Shari Leslie Segall, in Paris since 1985 and author of France-themed books and articles, teaches English and cross-cultural communication at the prestigious Institut des Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) and at Book-in-handthe French Military Academy. She is the founding director of Foreign Affairs, which provides linguistic and cross-cultural training and creates English-language documents for executives.

Lisa Vanden Bos, originally from the U.S.A. and in Paris since 1989, is co-owner of FUSAC, the magazine and website for English speakers in Paris. She has created two volumes of the Speak Easy Book of French and English idiomatic expressions. Lisa never tires of exploring Paris, France and French language and culture.

Becoming-95-72Judit Halász, the illustrator, is a Hungarian designer who loves France. Having studied graphic and packaging design, fashion design and furniture design at the University of West Hungary and at Seinäjoki University in Finland, she has a Master’s Degree in industrial design. Judit created the HJ group, whose creations are featured at trade fairs. She loves to paint. This was her first book-illustration assignment and she is tickled pink.

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10 Responses to "Discover 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French"

    1. Never have I heard « Ooh la la! » in a French mouth in my life. I guess this is just a thing for American friends which we have to endure, struggling not to burst laughing to their face. While sprinkling half a dozen « Oh my God » and « like » on every sentence, on the other hand, really does a wonderful job at helping you impersonate the random American teenager you will come across on every street of Paris in godforsaken June.

      I cannot help but feel France on the whole expects a bigger effort at travesty on the American end, if we are to keep this nice little stereotype routine going between our « two great nations », as diplomats would probably call them. How about you guys try to poke fun at us with exclamations less than a century old?

      From Paris, with love.


      1. The first misconception is that the French say “Oooooooh-là-là”! Oo is pronounced “oh” in French (alcool [alcohol], for instance, sounds like “al-cole,” not “al-cool”), so at worst the expression should be transcribed and pronounced as “Oh-là-là” — extract from the article Myths and Misconceptions

        Most of the time I hear « Oh lah » or « Oh lah lah lah lah » as a negative exclamation with a shaking head, when something is not quite right and the speaker is disappointed.

  1. Not so much becoming French, as Ch’ti biloute. Poor Bretons, when i visit think i’m a Chtimi, & poor locals in Valenciennes are motié motié i’m a biloute or totally incomprehensible with Ulster/Scots accent, riddled with Ch’ti phrases, comm « et mon cul es poulet » & some of my own totally created French sayings, which actually Irishisms, or Ulster Scots badly translated. They just don’t talk same as us, so direct translations often baffle the French, no matter how perfect we believe we do it. I have now got to stage after nearly three years here, & all the time on line with fiancée Pascale before, i have no idea what language i’m trying to talk to who. Bon weekend a tous.

  2. LOVE IT! I was able to identify with so many points and am going to share it on my blog’s FB page..! It’s becoming more obvious that I am slowly becoming more French without realising especially when I was back in Australia recently. I found myself suddenly feeling uncomfortable when certain people went in for a body to body hug instead of a kiss kiss. Funny that because at the beginning when I first moved to Paris I found the kiss kiss to be too intimate, now I find a hug too intimate! (unless it’s from family or close friends)
    Can’t wait to see the illustrations and see the actual book in print 🙂


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