2023-2024 / TRAD0074-1

Comparative linguistics Spanish-French


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in multilingual communication (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in multilingual communication (120 ECTS) (Digital media education)5 crédits 
 Master in French and Romance languages and literatures : French as a foreign language (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in interpreting (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in linguistics (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in translation (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Anne-Cécile Druet

Language(s) of instruction

Spanish language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course is based on two major areas of work.

First, it provides an in-depth analysis and contrasting perspective of the structures of the Spanish language which pose specific difficulties in terms of comprehension or expression for French-speaking learners. This includes topics such as the use of past indicative tenses, the corresponding addressee and complementary pronouns, the indeterminancy of the subject, relative pronouns, emphatic structures and the use of modes and tenses of subordinate propositions.

Second, it proposes exercises enabling this knowledge to be put into practice, in the context of a piece of writing, oral or written expression, or translation.

Particular attention will be given in this course to the concept of the "norm" and usage, particularly where there are significant differences between the Spanish used in Spain and that used in other Spanish-speaking regions of the world (voseo, the widespread use of the pretérito indefinido, etc.).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

- find, identify and name linguistic structures or facts likely to present specific difficulties in translating from French to Spanish or from Spanish to French

- analyse these structures and explain how they operate in French and in Spanish, from a contrasting perspective

- use appropriate metalinguistic terminology to do so.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Good knowledge of Spanish (B2 level) and very good knowledge of French.

Mastery of basic grammatical terminology (in French) is essential. To bridge gaps in knowledge in this field, reference books are listed in the bibliography.

It is also recommended to have followed general linguistic and/or Spanish classes.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

For the theory part of the course:

Based on a few lines of French text, the teaching approach consists of:

- identifying and naming the morpheme or structure presenting a specific problem when translating into Spanish. More rarely, the opposite exercise is given starting with Spanish.

- presenting how the morpheme or structure identified in French and Spanish operates, from a contrasting perspective

- where appropriate, highlighting the main differences in how these structures are used in Spain and in Latin America (or in some regions of Latin America)

In the practical part of the course, the points addressed in the theory part will be applied to different types of exercise (writing, translation, etc.).

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)


Recommended or required readings

Mandatory reading:

GREVISSE, M. and GOOSSE, A., Nouvelle grammaire française, Bruxelles, De Boek, 2007 (3rd ed.).

 Reference works:

- SECO, M., Gramática esencial del español, Madrid, Espasa, 1999.

- SECO, M., Diccionario de dudas y dificultades de la lengua española, Madrid, Espasa, 2003. 
- GREVISSE, M. and GOOSSE, A., Le Bon usage, Louvain-la-Neuve, De Boek Supérieur, 2016 (16th ed.). Also available in electronic version.

- GREVISSE, M. and GOOSSE, A., Nouvelle grammaire française, Bruxelles, De Boek, 1995 (3rd ed). 

- RAE, Diccionario panhispánico de dudas: https://www.rae.es/ 
Spanish grammar for French speakers:

- BEDEL, J-M., Grammaire de l'espagnol moderne, Paris, PUF, 1997. (several reprints)

- BOUZET, J., Grammaire espagnole, Paris, Belin, 2001.

- CAMPRUBI, M., Etudes fonctionnelles de grammaire espagnole, Toulouse, Presses universitaires du Mirail, 2001.

- POTTIER, B., DARBORD, B., CHARAUDEAU, P., Grammaire explicative de l'espagnol, Paris, Nathan Université, 1994.

Online resources:

- Monneret, Ph., Poli, F. (ed.), Grammaire du français. Terminologie grammaticale:  https://eduscol.education.fr/document/1872/download

 - On the site of the French Ministry for National Education, Youth and Sport : reports from the Capes competitive exam jury, translation tests: https://media.devenirenseignant.gouv.fr/file/externe/55/5/rj-2019-capes-externe-espagnol_1186555.pdf

Monolingual Spanish dictionaries:

- RAE, Diccionario de la lengua española, Madrid, Espasa, 2014. Also available online: www.rae.es. 

- SECO, M., ANDRÉS, O., RAMOS, G., Diccionario del español actual, Madrid, Aguilar, 1999. 

- MOLINER,M., Diccionario de uso del español, Madrid, Gredos, 2017. 

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Additional information:

The evaluation will cover:

- the theory content seen in class (for 60% of the final grade)

- the exercises seen in class (for 40% of the final grade)

Work placement(s)


Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course is given in French


Further information can be obtained from acdruet@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs