Most helpful critical review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ruined for me because the dictionary lookup doesn't work because the publisher has defined the book as English, not French.
on 1 October 2014
The good news:
This book was useful to me as a beginner French learner. The stories ranged from ok to promising - except for the one by Flaubert, which was positively distasteful. It fulfilled its function of exposing me to French writing with translations quite well. The standard of the English translations were sometimes poor to the extent that I could not understand the meaning of the sentence, but most of the time the meaning was clear and it was easy to see where it had come from in the French. A looser translation may have made a better English read, but would not have been as easy to relate to the French version.
The bad news:
This book is defined as an English book in the meta-data. The result of this is that when you highlight a word, the Kindle automatically looks in the English dictionary to offer a meaning. The Kindle 4 allows you to specify a dictionary for each language, but will only let you specify a dictionary of the appropriate language. Naturally since this book is designed for English speakers learning French, you need to look up translations of the French words. I contacted Kindle about this and after they had accepted that the problem is a real one, which took me through three progressively higher layers of support staff, during which I requested that a version with the meta-data defining the book to be French be provided, they told me that the language definition was a matter for the publisher, so they would refer the matter to Dover Publications Inc.
My initial enquiry was on 29th August 2014 and eventually on 22nd September, in response to further enquiries from me, Kindle Customer Support confirmed that the problem was caused by the meta-data language being set to English instead of French, but that this was the publisher's decision. The did not make it clear whether they had actually contacted Dover Publications about it, so I submitted a request directly onto Dover Publication's customer support web page (directed to their editor). Dover Publications has not acknowledged my enquiry. Kindle noted in their email of 22nd September that their support in this matter had not been up to the standards they aim to provide and asked me to accept their apologies.
In conclusion, I feel that this is a useful book, but badly let down by a technical issue that should have been easy for the Publisher to rectify. I can understand that for marketing reasons they might prefer to declare the book to be English, but they should be willing to provide a special version defined as French to users who contact support and request it. I also feel that Dover Publications Inc and Kindle should have done more to help me and all other purchasers of this book.