PC - Anglais Scientifique

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L3 : Anglais "disciplinaire" (avec Christian Ronse)

Brief introduction on the English language

The grammar of the English language is relatively simple (simple conjugation, virtually no genders, cases or declensions, ...), probably due to political reasons: the British Empire was the largest in history. By 1921, it counted about 458 million people, i.e. approximately 1/4 of the world's population, and spanned over the five continents (more than 36 million square kilometers).

One of the biggest challenges was the ability to communicate with the people from local colonies or subject nations. While France stood fast on teaching its colonies a perfect French, the English language underwent drastic simplifications to become a kind of creole, or pidgin.

The English language lost many of its specificities to become easier to learn and to use, making it nowadays one of the most powerful means of communication between humans.

Scientific English

Among the different forms of English, scientific English is probably the easiest to master, since it is only concerned with delivering objective and scientific information. Apart from specific vocabulary from the scientific field of a paper or book, exotic or litterary English forms are discouraged, since they would come in the way of an easy understanding of the contents of the document.

However, scientific English has developed quirks and twists that make it a jargon of its own, hence this course, that, among all different kinds of scientific English, will specialise on Computer Science.

Presentation of the course

A selection of scientific papers is presented, for which a list of words or idiotisms have been highlighted, because they were thought to be emblematic of scientific jargon or more simply, because they were thought to be false friends for French students, or to represent interesting grammatical (or phonetic) points.

Students are supposed to at least locate all words in the text, and translate the sentence in which they appear.

List of documents