auditeur libre


Senior Member
Hi everybody,

I'm looking for the translation of "auditeur libre". You know it's when a person can attend to a course without being enrolled and without following laboratories and doing exams.


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  • cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    The first thought to pop into my head was listener-in, but this is relatively informal and doesn't particularly fit the context of a course! It is more for meetings, etc.

    What do the others think? :)


    Senior Member
    UK, English
    You can talk about an "observer" or a "visiting student/professor", but I don't think that really captures the expression. It's not a common situation in UK universities I don't think, and I can't find any concise term on the pages I've looked at. I'm still not allowed to post links, but google for the phrase "Attendance by non-members of the University at university lectures" to see an example of what I mean. Also the fact that english-language webpages for French institutions use "auditeur libre" untranslated, suggests that it's one of those terms that doesn't really have an equivalent in english.

    Hope that helps...


    British English
    I have often heard the phrase '..attending as an observer' used about courses or trainings. It may not be an official university term, but it is common everywhere else.


    Senior Member
    Thank you all of you for having spent time for me : )
    I think I will use Suehil's suggestion "attending as an observer".


    Belgium French
    Do you kow the translation of "auditeur libre": a student who attends some courses at the university but he doesn't do the exam and doesn't have a "degree" (diplôme)
    Thank you!


    Senior Member
    England, English
    we don't have that term in England though, you'd have to explain. Unregistered student doesn't work though, as if you weren't a member of the University you wouldn't be allowed to attend. Maybe you could say 'student attending non compulsory classes, or going to lectures in other subject, or going to lectures for fun?


    Senior Member
    Hiberno-English, Irish Gaelic
    In Ireland, I have come across two terms, used in different universities: auditors and external students. Yet I think that, for a general readership, you might have to explain what is intended.


    New Member
    France - English
    We also refer to 'sitting in' on lectures - meaning to attend without actually taking the course.


    Senior Member
    US - American English
    This is often referred to as "non-degree study" in US universities. Which offers "non-degree students." And while the verb "audit" is common--- to audit a class--- I would avoid 'auditors' as that more readily suggests investigative accountants.
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