A French/English Parallel Text
Élise and Julien are a happy young couple, despite the fact they live in different cities. To celebrate their anniversary, Élise decides to surprise Julien. But things don’t go the way she had planned…
- .pdf e-book
- original text in French / translation in English
- 8 short chapters to read and study
- Suitable for students at any level
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
Parallel Texts – How To View The Chapters Side-By-Side!
Viewing the chapters of your parallel text ebook side by side (so as to compare the different languages) is not hard, but probably won’t happen automatically.
There are a few simple, free things you’ll need to do first.
The file is a .pdf so will open with whatever the default .pdf reader on your device is.
These can vary and will probably NOT show the chapters side-by-side, as intended.
For this reason, we recommend the free Adobe Reader, which is installed on many computers in any case.
If you don’t have it, download it here (though I’d suggest un-checking the ‘Optional Offers’…)
Once you have Adobe Reader installed, this is what you do:
- Download the file
- Don’t just click on it or it will open in a browser, which probably works differently
- Instead, view it in your device’s downloads file
- Open with Adobe Reader (right click on the file, choose ‘Open with’, select Adobe Reader)
- In Adobe Reader…
- Look in the menu (at the top) for ‘View’, then choose ‘Page display’
- Choose ‘two page view’ (for the parallel text) or ‘single page view’ for normal documents
- Use ‘View’ / ‘Read mode’ to make the text larger or smaller so that it fits your screen
- Use the ‘zoom’ and ‘page up/down’ buttons to navigate through the book
Alan (verified owner) –
I downloaded the PDF books, The Surprise and The Restaurant for free.
I was later contacted by Easy Readers to provide a review.
The content is very short and simple and can be read in less than half an hour.
The Surprise contains 8 half pages of French text with corresponding English translation, which equals 4 pages of French.
The story is simple and witty and is aimed at A1 students, so it accomplishes its purpose very well.
However, the normal price of £7.99 is way too high for this slight document. It works out at £2 per page of French text. Other books on the market aimed at A1 students have 10 times the content at this price.
However, as a free resource for a complete beginner this is an excellent product of its type and I therefore recommend it.
Higher levels are MUCH longer, Alan, as can clearly be seen from the free sample chapters offered for ALL of our titles on our Catalog page, and yet the price is identical. We’re not charging by the word – if we were, the more complex ones would come out at dozens of times cheaper, which would be strange, don’t you think?
If you read these in thirty minutes, you are clearly not a beginner/elementary-level student. For those who are just starting out with French (you quote the English titles but have reviewed the French version), they probably offer a week or so of study material, at perhaps a chapter a day.
You’re clearly not aware that it’s industry standard to make A1 (elementary/beginner) – level ebooks much, much shorter, and each subsequent level correspondingly longer and more complex, until at C1/C2 level the complexity and length more approximate ‘authentic’ texts. A visit to any ‘real’ bookshop and a quick scan of ‘easy reader’ titles produced by publishers such as Oxford/Cambridge University Press and Black Cat Cideb will confirm that for you.
By the way, it’s much, much harder for writers to produce the very short, very simple texts…. Which is why I wrote The Restaurant myself. We often publish new advanced-level material, because it’s easy and fun to write. Producing texts which are accessible to the lowest level learners takes a rarer mindset and masses of teaching/learning experience.
Lucy Rahaman (verified owner) –
A great resource to practice translation then to be able to double-check it against the original text, thanks for making it free to download so it’s accessible for everyone!
James D Bovington (verified owner) –
Parallel texts are an ideal way of illustrating difference between languages such as a French noun when English uses a verb.
Muireann Banks (verified owner) –
Parallel texts are such a great way to improve your language skills and my students love this one! Thank you!
Marie-Pierre Claret (verified owner) –
A nice story for beginners which keeps their interest going. I have used this story with some of my students and even at A1 level they can follow the plot quite well. Since we study the story together they haven’t had to use the English version but it is there for them when I ask them to do some follow up work on their own.
Like other people I find it very easy to download and really appreciate that it is free as it gives the chance to trial this kind of reading material.
I think it would complement very well this material as a teaching tool if there were a set of questions ready for each chapter.
Kath Fordham (verified owner) –
Exactly as it says, it’s a simple, pleasant short story in elementary French. I tried it to see how it would work on my i pad as I don’t have a computer. It was easily saved into the books app and alternative pages are in French then English.
I didn’t have an audio file , but am confident with my French pronunciation anyway and enjoyed it purely in written text.
Next time I will try a harder level of text.
Since it is free I heartily recommend it for any one who is starting out in French or who wants to test out the technology of how to download a book at no expense.
John Holden (verified owner) –
I have read this story both in French and in Italian. It’s a pleasant and enjoyable story, if somewhat twee, with a simple narrative suitable for a beginner. I prefer to read the whole story through before looking at the English translation to get the “spirit” of the story; missing one or two words should not detract from the enjoyment of the story as much as spending time checking on their meanings, which can always be done later if necessary.
David Concannon (verified owner) –
I used La Surprise in reverse, that is i am helping a french student with her english. I used the e book to encourage her to read and speak out loud, and then we went through any grammar or vocabulary points she had.
A valuable resource.
Val L (verified owner) –
Not having practiced my French in more than 10 years (at which time I was roughly at level B1, possibly a little higher, particularly in reading), I thought this would be a good indicator as to how much work I need to do to get back “up to speed” before I commence further study.
It’s quite gratifying to know that, even if I can’t manage to write or speak in French, I can still understand written French! This text being at level A1 I was happy to find that I understood almost every word – there were only about 3 words in the entire story that I was unfamiliar with, but was able to guess approximately from the context!
I tested myself by putting it into single-page mode and reading the entire page in French (aloud – though the least said about that, the better!) before then translating it myself into English and finally checking my translation against the given translation.
A super resource regardless of how you use it; whether as part of a progression of texts for beginners to improve or as I did, as a test of how much I could remember after so long!
The story itself is charming and uses language appropriate to the level, and having read and understood it, I can use it to test myself/practice various grammatical structures, so it will continue to be useful. Highly recommended. Many thanks!
Angela Hawkins (verified owner) –
A very useful text for beginners and extremely useful for those who have great difficulty in understanding spoken French.
I used this e-reader with my beginner French class. It was a great tool to have both the story and listening component. Students enjoyed listening and following along with the text. Can’t wait to try another one!
Silvia Sa (verified owner) –
The story is plain, but effective for the aims of learning. It was very useful to have the English translation right next to the French text, because there were some words I didn’t know yet and I could easily find them through the line number. I would suggest it to the very beginners!