Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by pcbomb, Nov 4, 2011.
cahier / carnet
I looked them up in the dictionary, they both mean notebook, are they the same?
A carnet is smaller.
A cahier is mostly used in class.
"Cahiers" are usually used in class by schoolboys and schoolgirls, whereas "carnets" are more intended for artistic purpose (writing, drawing, etc.)
Most of the time the sheets of a "carnet" are spiral-bound.
In fact it depends. If the carnets referred to are luxurious objects, they are most often hardback. But if they are, as you said in #2, smaller objects, they can be spiral-bound (we talk, indeed, of "carnet à spirales", or of "cahiers à spirales").
The Robert dictionary defines a "carnet" as : "un petit cahier de poche". A small pocket-size notebook.
"Notebook" for "carnet", OK. However, but I'd be inclined to translate "cahier" (in the school context mentioned by sophie) as "exercise book" (at least in BrE).
Both of these words are often found in noun phrases: "cahier des charges", "carnet de voyage", and many more. In such cases, there are specific translations which don't usually include either notebook or exercise book.
But are "exercise books" only meant for exercises ?
Because our "cahiers" are either used for exercises or lessons...
No, exercise books aren't limited to exercises (much as you can wear a ciré that doesn't have any wax). The name refers to a type of book (a cahier, in fact). What you write in it is up to you ... or maybe also to your teacher!
I would translate 'cahier' as 'exercise book' or 'copybook, and 'carnet' as 'notebook'
I had my doubts about "exercise book" in other variants of English (hence my "at least in BrE" in post #7). However, from Wopsy's post and from a little Googling, it does seem that it's also used in Hiberno-English, American English, Australian English and Indian English.
Thanks for the precisions
I think we use "workbook" more often than "exercise book" (at least in reference to the books that students write in at school).
OK funnyhat, I'm sure you're right. Perhaps I found some minority examples of 'exercise book' in AE, but as that post is a year old I can't remember what they were.
Thinking about it though, I guess it makes sense that Microsoft's use of the word "workbook" in Excel would reflect AE usage.
Separate names with a comma.