DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.


 The Beginning Translator's Workbook or the ABCs of French to English Translation ,  Revised Edition, University Press of America, 2014


 A revised and enlarged edition of the book is now available


The book was conceived and designed after I was put in charge of a French translation course in the Department of Languages & Literatures at St. John's for which no textbook existed.  I drew upon more than 20 years of experience as a translator of literary and non literary material, as well as from the trial and error approach  adhered to in class, to come up with a textbook/workbook which could fill a gap in French-English translation studies in America.  The book is now being used at a number of colleges and universities in advanced French courses in undergraduate and graduate programs across the North American continent and in other Anglophone countries in the world .


Here are endorsements of the book by some of its users:

  The Beginning Translator's Workbook or the ABCs of French to English Translation is an invaluable resource for teaching the theory and practice of translation in the college or university setting. It not only provides an overview of the seven translation procedures with practical illustrative exercises, but delves into the more advanced area of literary translation.”  Professor Domenic A. Beneventi, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada


 “Michèle Jones' Beginning Translator's Workbook is an ideal core text for college courses. It introduces students to all the key issues in French-to-English translation and offers step-by-step help in tackling them. The many examples and exercises provide well-structured opportunities for practice and discussion. I have used the first edition of this book in my own teaching with excellent results, and this revised and updated edition is sure to enjoy even greater success.” 

Patrick Coleman, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of California, Los Angeles


As a translator myself, I have been impressed by the techniques demonstrated in The Beginning Translator  Workbook or the ABCs of French to English Translation.  I consider this work an essential tool  for teaching or learning the art and skills of translation. I highly recommend it.”  Marie-Lise Gazarian, Ph.D.,   Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Spanish at St. John’s University,  Queens, NY.


"We are beholden to the author for taking the time to put together this most useful material and for basing it on actual classroom use." The French Review [vol. 72 Number 6,p.1125]  Fred M. Jenkins, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana


 Book Abstract

The Beginning Translator’s Workbook or the ABCs of French to English Translation was born of the need for adequate material which would combine methodology and practice to be used in a translation course for beginners with a level proficiency in French ranging from intermediate to advanced .

Each of the beginning eleven chapters identifies a particular translation problem, introduces a method for circumventing it, provides numerous examples to illustrate the point, and concludes with a variety of practice exercises consisting of short sentences designed to make a novice translator think about the difficulty at hand and decide on the appropriate translation strategy.

After students become familiar with the translation environment and attain a solid level of proficiency through the practice of the various techniques or devices that have been introduced to them and put at their disposal, they will find, in the  last seven chapters, a global application of the principles taught earlier and will be guided through the actual step-by-step translation of literary and non-literary excerpts:  prose, poems, plays, magazine and newspapers articles, and ads.  Suggested translations are offered alongside the texts as illustrations of what a finished translation should look like.  Guidelines have also been provided, delineating the different approaches to follow and the various expectations to be met, when dealing with literary fiction, poetry, dialogues, or technical translation.

A selection of texts to be translated on one’s own has not been included, so as to leave freedom of choice to the course instructor.




DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.