Cassell's Dictionary of French Synonyms Arranged in Groups for the Convenience of English Students - P. O. Crowhurst

Cassell's Dictionary of French Synonyms Arranged in Groups for the Convenience of English Students

By P. O. Crowhurst

  • Release Date - Published: 2011-03-23
  • Book Genre: Literary Criticism
  • Author: P. O. Crowhurst
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Cassell's Dictionary of French Synonyms Arranged in Groups for the Convenience of English Students P. O. Crowhurst read online review & book description:

French is without doubt the foreign language most frequently studied in English-speaking countries today, a fact which may be accounted for in several ways. First, the history of France has in past centuries been closely interwoven with that of England, revealing, here, the spirit of unity linking the two nations, there, the misunderstanding or hostility which divided them. As a result the French tongue found its way into England from the Norman invasion onward, remained in use at the Court until the fourteenth century, shared with Latin the distinction of being the literary language of Europe and became the diplomatic and social speech of the world. Secondly, the geographical situation of France as regards England and the close relationships with the French since the Revolution in America, have facilitated the study of the language, but a third and more potent reason for its present-day popularity was the advent of the Great War in 1914, that gigantic upheaval which threw the nations into physical touch with each other and permitted us to study, at close range, the character and language of our French allies during that unprecedented struggle. It may be said, therefore, that the French language has come to stay, but we must remember that it is infinitely rich in nwanccs and finesse or, as we should say, shades of meaning, so much so that the possibilities of expressing oneself exactly, or making mistakes, are alike unbounded. As an example, the words pendant and dwant are generally given as French equivalents for '* during while affn'u. r, cffrayant, cffr& yctble and <' pouvant< iblc may all bo taken as meaning fearful . Yet few there are, perhaps, who understand the difference in meaning between pendant and dn rant ^ while how many realize the various degrees or kinds of human apprehensiveness represented by the words affrcux, cff raj/ ant ^ effroyaWe and fpouvantaWt: And so on throughout the whole language. Nearly every word has a separate and distinct meaning, which makes it so easy to express oneself exactly in French. This is one of the leasons why the French language became the diplomatic tongue of the world. We find, therefore, that a superficial knowledge of French is insxiffi cient, not to say dangerous, and the author's object in presenting this work is to help those who use it to select the right word which they need ior correctly rendering in French what they wish to say or translate. The title of this book may perhaps seem paradoxical. It has been said that the French language has no synonyms, and when we come to study the subject we are forced to admit that words really synonymous or having exactly the same meaning are few in number. Yet when a student consults the average English-French dictionary for the exact translation of any given term he is met with a haphazard array of words, some of which might give him the required equivalent, many of which certainly would not. He therefore needs some sort of guide which, it is hoped, the present work will supply. It must be borne in mind, however, that this book is intended for use in conjunction with, rather than in preference to, a French dictionary. A dictionary, as such, is necessarily more complete since it contains a multitude of dissimilar expressions, etc., with which we have no concern. It is only with the more common place or everyday terms that we have to deal here the simplest words are the hardest to translate correctly. Arrangements have been made for the inclusion of all words which, though not French synonyms, claim the special attention of the English speaking student as such.

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