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When you were in school, you probably frequently heard that reading books was good for your language development. No matter how much education has changed, schools still really promote reading, so an idea that has survived all these years must have some merit to it, you might say. In fact, reading books helps you develop your language skills even when you learn a foreign language as an adult.
With a little knowledge of the French language, you might be able to sort out what a French text is all about. And perhaps you could write an email with the help of Google Translate. But what if you’re paying a visit to your French supplier? Of course, you take the time to prepare your story in French well. L’affaire est dans le sac*, you might say. But then the moment of truth arrives. Your contact person receives you enthusiastically and fires a few questions your way with a big grin. In French! Quoi? You weren’t prepared for that!
In very few places in France do you actually hear the French of school books. The French ‘swallow’ letters, connect words to each other and pepper what they say with all sorts of sounds to reinforce their message. And as if that were not complicated enough, slang has also played a substantial role in the expansion of the language.
If your job involves being in touch with French speakers, odds are you will need to write emails at one point or another—in French: courrier électronique, message électronique or simply mail, It is, after all, a great way to send a message quickly. Other advantages to writing emails include being able to find the right words and think about the grammar, and being able to check your message again before sending it. Use the tips and standard sentences below to make it that much easier!
The French have an expression: simple comme bonjour (a piece of cake). But French greetings are not that simple, especially for foreigners.
Success in business in France depends on appropriate behaviour and on mutual trust and understanding. In this article we present some of the aspects of French business culture.