Côte À Côte 2
By Jaques Bourgeacq
In this second volume in the Côte à Côte series, Côte à côte 2: Le français tel qu’on le pense, Dr. Bourgeacq pursues his comparative approach to language learning by pointing out structural differences between English and French that often correspond to variations in logic and vision, and have a distinct cultural connection. This very effective approach, emphasizing the “why” and the “how” of language differences, aims to provide the inquisitive learner with an added tool on the path to true near-native fluency. While the book is not designed to train translators, it uses the juxtaposition of both languages, namely frequent translation exercises, as an effective tool for studying patterns in each language.
‘This second volume by Bourgeacq continues his comparative study of French and English, with a focus on grammar, stylistics and lexicology. It consists of sixteen chapters, each of which focuses on “areas where our teaching experience has been shown to present stumbling blocks and confusion for English speakers.” At the end of each chapter one finds practical exercises designed to “further internalize the principles and explanations presented, and to reinforce retention of the contents.” Also included, as further reinforcement, are excerpts from well-known French authors. As is the case of the first volume, the book is heavily influenced by the monumental work of Jean Vinay and John Darbelnet, Stylistique comparée du français et de l’anglais. Didier, 1977. It is rather comprehensive, with the goal of providing “inquisitive students of French explanations of standard French usage which, in the course of their study, they often find either confusing, odd or unnatural.” Further, Bourgeacq suggests that his book should be used in French classes at the undergraduate level in order to “cultivate authentic communication.” In this reviewer’s opinion, his work goes far toward meeting the stated goals; moreover, it constitutes a very significant contribution to the undergraduate as well as graduate curriculum in French, and is highly recommended.’
G. Normand, Ph.D
‘In “Côte à côte 2”, the author continues his desire to endow the more advanced student with an approach to understanding and incorporating into their French extralinguistic elements which influence lexical, stylistic, and syntactic decisions, a process not bound to memorizing and applying inflexible rules.’
M. David Mundy-Passmore