in Geological Magazine, May 2005, v. 142 no. 3, pp. 312-313
MICHEL, J.-P., CARPENTER, M. S. N. & FAIRBRIDGE, R. W.
2004. Dictionnaire des Sciences de la Terre. Anglais/
Français, Français/Anglais, 4th ed. xvi + 496 pp. Paris:
Dunod. Price Euros 55.00 (hard covers).
ISBN 2 10 008290 6.
The fourth edition of this Anglais–Français/French–English
dictionary is an excellent compact book. It provides a very
good reference source and guide for English- and French-
speaking geoscientists. The dictionary starts with a fine
short account on the methods used to write it. In the first
pages, the authors draw the reader’s attention to a list of key
references on various conventions, units, symbols, locality
names, stratigraphic terms, tectonic terms and nomenclatures
used in the dictionary. A good account on translation pitfalls
such as the ‘faux amis’ is also provided. The stratigraphic
time scale used (Odin et al. 1990) is somewhat dated, but
as this scale is a classic and as recent scales differ only
slightly from it, this should be a concern only for specialist
stratigraphers as it does not affect the overall quality of the
Overall, English (British) and American orthographic and
grammatical variations are well accounted for. The length of
translations varies enormously in length and depth according
to the ‘nuances’ of meaning one expects for given entries.
A useful lexicon of English abbreviations and a simple unit
converter list can be found at the end of the dictionary.
As the authors humbly recognise, there is ‘no such thing
as a one stop dictionary’, but I would add that if you need
to work on English–French translations their dictionary is
definitely worth having close to hand.
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