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In issuing the first volume of a Series of French Classics, adapted for the use of Schools and Students, the Publishers desire to point out in what respect the Series differs from others.
French editions which are used in this country are generally texts only; and the notes, if there are any, are limited to the explanation of allusions, with occasional notices of such words as are obsolete.
Some of the English editions have notes; but they are generally limited to the translation of single words, and in many cases words which can cause the learner no difficulty are translated.
If a book of this kind gives notes that are adapted to assist the reader, the notes should explain the construction, and show wherein the two languages differ in the form of expression; they should explain allusions, and give translations of the more difficult French phrases in good idiomatic English, and as near as possible to the French expression, when this can be done without spoiling the sense. It is, however, very difficult to translate French into English, and all that can be done in some cases is to give the general meaning without preserving the form.
No man can learn a second language so well as his own; and to learn any one language is the work of a life. An English
PUBLISHERS' ANNOUNCEMENT. editor who should attempt to make notes on a French author for the use of the English, would fail for want of a complete perception of the niceties of the French language; and a French editor would fail for want of such a knowledge of English as only an educated Englishman can possess.
A Frenchman, too, from his very familiarity with his own language, may sometimes overlook the difficulties at which a learner stumbles.
To prepare a French book properly for English students is, therefore, the work of two'editors. Arrangements have been made with two competent and experienced editors, and the Series will be issued under their direction.
The form and size of the Grammar School Classics have been adopted, and they will be issued at reasonable prices.