The Speak Easy Puzzles book volume 2 is a collection of 68 matching puzzles where the reader chooses the French word or the expression to match the English equivalent. We discover that in English we say “don’t count your chickens before they are hatched” but in French the chicken is transformed into a bear. The French expression is “Il ne faut pas vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tuée” (literally you should not sell the skin of the bear before having killed it). In English we say “Button your lip”, but in French the mouth is sewn (bouche cousue). By playing the games we learn idiomatic expressions which allow us to integrate cultural references to our language in a playful way. The puzzles have themes to make remembering easier and the answers are tucked on each page. The book is richly illustrated with original watercolors.
Becoming bilingual requires attending classes to learn grammar, language structure and vocabulary, but even after years of classroom learning and having mastered these three pillars we are not still really bilingual. Language needs depth and color which come with idiomatic expressions. Because these expressions express what is familiar, they are central to everyday language and the cultural part of a language. Without knowledge of the idiomatic expressions the speaker cannot become completely integrated.
“Each time I pick up a FUSAC, I look for the Speak Easy first. It’s a sort of bilingual crossword. I test myself and I learn expressions that I can use every day to enrich my English.” – S. Noullet, French reader of FUSAC
“This is great–even for us native Anglophones who’ve been murdering French for years–les justes phrases are at the tip of one’s fingertips and tongues. Nice going, FUSAC!” – J. Bluysen, an American reader
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