Parler comme un livre

I’ve started reading The French Century: An Illustrated History of Modern France, by Brian Moynahan. It has a great format, with tons of photos interspersed with well-written text. I’ve never seen some of these photos reproduced in any other book on the Twentieth century in France. The text is accessible to non-historians, such as this passage about the Exposition Universelle of 1900:

“Not since Renaissance Florence had a city enjoyed such an artistic and creative glow as turn-of –the-century Paris. The great Exposition, opened in 1990, stretched along both banks of the Seine and attracted fifty million visitors. It turned a profit, and the Grand and the Petit Palais were part of its legacy. Among its attractions were the Celestial Globe, the Chateau d’Eau and a fleet of tricycles. An Algerian souk, an African village and models of the temples of Angkor Wat were reminders that France was a great colonial power. “

Today’s expression, parler comme un livre (parlay kum uhn leevruh) means “to talk like a book.” It’s a compliment that means to speak well, with skillfully chosen words. Clearly, Moynihan possesses that skill.

 The French Century: An Illustrated History of Modern France


About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
This entry was posted in History, Literature and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Parler comme un livre

  1. Pingback: Un baiser de Judas | One quality, the finest.

  2. Laurent says:

    Parler comme un livre is not a compliment, more like a mockery. It used to be a compliment in the 17th century when books wee reserved to an elite.
    Also it is rarely used.
    Good website though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s