What to do with an iTunes gift card?

I have to admit, I have an embarrassingly first-world problem: I get more iTunes gift cards than I can use.

itunes giftcard

Poor me.

When I say “too many”, that’s approximately one $10 gift card per year for the last few years. My account currently has $45.12 in it, and although I have various devices I could use that money for, nothing ever seems to jump out at me as a good use of it. With internet radio and YouTube, my music-listening needs are met, and the apps I use most are the free ones like Dropbox and Google Drive. Maybe you have this same “problem”, or maybe I’m just a curmudgeon.

But hey, you know one thing you could buy with a single $10 iTunes gift card? It shouldn’t surprise you that I recommend What The French?!what with this entire site being designed to get you to buy the book. But in case you weren’t aware, consider the following 5 reasons to use that $10 on What The French?!:

  1. What The French?! is not just for iPads anymore. With the Mavericks OSX update, you can read it on a Mac desktop, laptop, iPad or iPad mini. The features remain the same.
  2. Speaking of features! This isn’t just a wall of text with bad Eiffel tower clip-art. What The French?! contains interactive exercises for every concept, allowing you to practice what you learn as you go, get immediate feedback, and evaluate what you need more practice on.
  3. What The French?! covers French grammar, from the very basics to the end of a second-year course of study and beyond. Most textbooks treat grammar like a dirty secret that’s too hard for students, but What The French?! believes in you.
  4. Although it covers a lot of ground, the book is organized in a way that lets you go at your own pace and focus on what you need to know. For example, if you’re just starting out, it’s easy to learn the basics about articles, but wait until you’re further along to study the finer points of relative pronouns.
  5. What The French?! was written for real people. It’s not dumbed down, but it is accessible to first-timers, monolingual English-speakers, and non-linguists. And because grammar isn’t always everyone’s idea of a good time, this book is full of humorous examples, as well as relevant cartoons and illustrations from

Not convinced? Or have you already bought it? Well, you could always buy and gift 10 downloads of Rebecca Black’s sophomore effort Saturday (follow-up to her viral “hit” Friday). It would be a great way to make 10 friends question their friendship with you.

Win a free download of What The French?!

It’s the holiday season and we’re feeling generous, so it’s time for our first ever giveaway. Just go to our Facebook page and leave a comment under the link to this post about why people should learn French. On December 10, we’ll announce the randomly chosen winner. You will win a code for a free download that you can either use yourself or give to someone. The code must be redeemed within 30 days of us sending it to you. The download is from Apple’s iBooks, so this will only work on iPads or desktops running Mavericks. (sorry, no non-Apple version just yet.).

If we get a lot of comments, we might even give away two copies (or more if we get completely reckless).

What The French?! now works on your Mac desktop computer!

What The French?! Works on OS Mavericks

What The French?! Works on OS Mavericks

The new Mac OS Mavericks, available as a free upgrade from Apple lets you view (and sync)  all iBooks right on your desktop. This means that if you have a Mac, but not an iPad, you can still buy What The French?! and enjoy it in all its interactive splendor even if you don’t have an iPad.

What The French?! on the iBookstore

What The French?! on the iBookstore

The iBookstore still has a little warning that iBooks made for iPad might not have the same functionality on a desktop, but I tested What The French?! on my desktop and it worked perfectly. I used the arrow keys to scroll through the pages, and the mouse to click the right answers on the review quizzes. Flawless.

Screenshot 2013-10-23 15.14.00

What The French?! on the iBookstore (don’t let the little warning about functionality worry you. It works great on a desktop!)


Now, all Mac users can buy What The French?! and help us move one step closer to total world domination. [maniacal laugh. maniacal laugh.]

So if you have an Apple desktop or an iPad (including mini), you can now get our book. Doesn’t look like it works on iPhones yet. We’ll keep you posted.

Don’t have Apple stuff? Hate smug Apple users and their zealotry? Well, as Andrew wrote in his last post, he has been slaving away converting What The French?! to epub format for kindle users. It won’t have the same degree of interactivity, sadly (i.e. you’ll have to look at an answer key for the quizzes), because we’re not computer programmers, but it will still have all of the same content.

What The French?! release date quickly approaches

What The French?! has been submitted to the iBookstore, and if we’re lucky, it will be for sale in about a week. There’s no telling exactly how long the approval process will take (it took 6 days with Dangerous Tweets), but we’re crossing our fingers.


Dangerous Liaisons in Tweets

In eighteenth-century France, readers were devouring other people’s letters like we consume Twitter feeds. Real letters, fake letters—anything with a good story or some juicy gossip would probably end up getting passed around. Entire novels were written in letters, such as the one-hit wonder by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, Les Liaisons dangereusesLaclos was an army engineer and captain of 500 men at l’île d’Aix in France. He helped build some forts, but months went by and….no attack, which was great because it gave him time to write a steamy novel about ex-lovers who toy with people’s lives (you know, the usual—corrupting the innocent, seeking revenge) and write about it in perfectly crafted letters. We also get to read the letters of their victims. And since there’s ultimately a moral to the story, Laclos gets to serve up depravity for the sake of virtue—a win-win formula for scandalous success. Supposedly, Laclos was going to restrict his second novel to wholesome family life, but he never got around to it.

The novel has been adapted for film probably a dozen times, as well as radio, TV, opera, ballet, and now…Tweets. It was only a matter of time. Each letter (all 175 of them) has been viciously squashed into 140 characters or less. And while the damage to Laclos’ beautiful prose might be unforgivable to the purist, there is a certain art to our literary cruelty.

This was a collaborative project I worked on with my students as an experimental substitute for reading quizzes. Since we here at “What The French?! ” want to encourage you to share your cool projects, we thought that a free iBook might be just the right thing to launch our blog.

The first 10 tweets are below. At the bottom of the page we will put links for the free pdf and iBook versions of Dangerous Tweets within the next week.













Get the iBook for free on the iTunes store or:

download the pdf (good resolution)

download the pdf (low res if you must, but it doesn’t look so great in low res)

google analytics code: