French English Bilingual Books

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Sometimes things are lost when literature is translated out of its original language. But bilingual books -- sometimes called dual-language books -- are a great way to enjoy literature when your language skills aren't quite good enough to enjoyably read the original. The following are French books with English translations, classics that include the original French as well as the translations so you can compare them as you read.

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Introduction to French Poetry

This dual-language French and English book of poetry includes the works of 30 of France's most influential writers: Charles d’Orléans, Gautier, Voltaire, and La Fontaine to name just a few. 

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Selected Fables / Fables Choisies

Read 75 of Jean de la Fontaine's classic fables in French and English. First published in the late 17th century, this book includes "The Fox and the Grapes" and "The Cicada and the Ant." 

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Selected "Pensees" and Provincial Letters / Pensees et Provinciales Choisies

This includes works by Blaise Pascal in French and English that were published posthumously. They were intended to convert readers to Christianity, but some of the book's highlights are more secular than others. 

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Flowers of Evil and Other Works / Les Fleurs du Mal et Oeuvres Choisies

This edition of Charles Baudelaire's classic "Les Fleurs du mal" and other works in French and English was first published in 1857. The work was considered a bit controversial in its time. The book offers line-by-line translations along with the original French text

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Tartuffe and The Bourgeois Gentleman / Le Tartuffe et Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

This edition includes two plays by Molière in both French and English. One of France's most respected playwrights, Molière has been called the "Father of French Comedy." 

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Two Stories / Deux Nouvelles

This includes two stories by Henri Marie Beyle Stendhal, author of "Le Rouge et le Noir" -- Vanina Vanini, published in 1829, and L’abbesse de Castro, published a decade later under a pseudonym. It provides plenty of explanatory footnotes to help you along. 

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Selected Short Stories / Contes Choisies

Although perhaps most well known for his novels, Honoré de Balzac's short stories are equally as compelling. This book includes 12 of them in French and English, including The Atheist's Mask

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The Immoralist / L'Immoraliste

This edition includes André Gide's novel in French and English. Amazon calls Gide "a master of modern French literature," and this is one of his most well known and well-regarded works. 

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A Season in Hell and Other Works / Une Saison en Enfer et Oeuvres Diverses

Arthur Rimbaud was not even yet 20 years old when he penned these works. A rallying cry for the avant-garde in the 19th century, this one should appeal to any reader who still harbors a bit of rebellion in his soul. It’s required reading for most world literature students. 

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Nineteenth-Century French Short Stories

Read a variety of 19th century short stories in French and English. This edition offers six stories in all, each by a different writer. They include Sylvie by Gérard de Nerval, L'attaque du Moulin (The Attack on the Mill) by Emile Zola, and Mateo Falcone by Prosper Mérimée. 

Closing Thoughts

Bury yourself in a few or all of these dual language French books with English translations. They're a great way to hone your language skills and build your French vocabulary while appreciating the full romance of the original language.

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Team, ThoughtCo. "French English Bilingual Books." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). French English Bilingual Books. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "French English Bilingual Books." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).