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Henri Goursau - Auteur/Editeur

12 August 2016, 1 comments

Henri Goursau is featured in the Guinness Book of Records for his "International Travellers’ Dictionary in 16 Languages" published on 21 February 1997 at Saint-Orens de Gameville (France). His dictionary holds the absolute world record for containing the highest number of languages! 

On 23 April 1997, Henri Goursau was accepted as a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.


The absolute world record for “The International Dictionary containing the most number of languages” has been included in the Guinness Book of Records and the Guinness certificate was awarded to him on April 4, 1997 by the ratifying committee. Having written and published more than twenty dictionaries in 30 years, Henri Goursau already has an impressive list of honours: in 1984 he received a certificate from the Aero-Club of France for the quality of his dictionary of aeronautics and space technology. In 1985, he was awarded the aeronautic medal at the suggestion of the Minister of Transport. In 1988, he was awarded first prize among 300 candidates at the Midi-Pyrénées Regional Videotex competition for his proposal for the creation of a “European Centre for Telematics Terminology”. In 1993, he was selected by a jury of the Young Chamber of Commerce as the “Toulouse Citizen of the Year” for his services to Europe. And finally in 1997, he was made member of the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1817, it counts more than 40 Nobel Laureates among   its members, eminent scientists from some 160 countries and illustrious names such as Thomas Jefferson, former president of the United States and Charles Darwin, the world-renowned British naturalist. 

His early dictionaries, published for the first time in 1982, concerned all words dealing with aeronautics and space, translated from English to French and vice versa. Entitled “The Dictionary of Aeronautics and Space Technology” these volumes were prefaced by Hubert Joly, General Secretary of the International Council for the French Language, Hubert Curien, Minister of Research and Technology, Marceau Long, Vice President of the Council of State and Honorary President of Air France, Bernard Attali, former President of Air France, Claude Allègre, Minister for National Education, Research and Technology and by Jean-Cyril Spinetta, President of the national airline, Air France.


In 1989, Henri and Monique published the first “European Dictionary of Common Words in Six Languages” (French, English, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese). Containing over 50,000 translations, it prompted President François Mitterrand to write: “this dictionary for European usage is an interesting work which will have  a significant impact.” In fact, it proved to be a major success, published in some 15 countries by the German publishing giant Bertelsmann. 

In 1994, at the request of the Americans and Russians, Henri Goursau edited an “English-Russian Dictionary of Aeronautics and Space Technology” to help the future joint missions between the American Space Shuttle and the Russian space station Mir as well as for the future international orbital space station. The preface to this book, which was made possible thanks to the collaboration of Dr Nicolas Novichkov, Deputy Director of the Itar-Tass Agency in Moscow. It was written by eminent personalities such as Daniel Goldin, Administrator of NASA and Yuri Koptiev, Director of the Russian Space Agency, the RKA. Other contributors included Jean Pierson, President of Airbus Industries and Valentin Klimov, President of Tupolev.


In 1995, he wrote yet another dictionary, “The Dictionary of Technical & Scientific Terms, Vol. 1, English-French”. It consisted of some 80,000 French translations of terms derived from around 50 different industrial    and scientific sectors. In 1996, the French to English volume completed the dictionary.

In 1985, Henri and his wife Monique had the bright idea of embarking on a multi-language dictionary – something which did not exist anywhere in the world. It was a huge task which they worked hard on for the next 12 years. They managed to attend simultaneously to their professional careers at Air France and France Telecom and take care of their three children, Thierry, Jerome and Magali. Finally, the “International Travellers’ Dictionary in 16 Languages” was published on 21 February 1997. This practical and handy 15x21cm format, 368-page book contains some 8,000 common French words precisely translated into English, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, Greek, Polish, Hungarian and Czech – amounting to around 120,000 translations. It is an ideal companion for the business traveller, the tourist, the teacher, the translator or even for welcoming foreign guests. It is prefaced by Philippe Douste-Blazy, Minister of Culture and by Christian Blanc, President of the Air France Group, who wrote: “a colossal piece of work, and an example of Europe moving forward”. Today, it is recognized in the Guinness Book of Records. In the 1998 edition, it appears on page 171, under Art and Culture. 

This dictionary also caught the eye of Maurice DRUON, Perpetual Secretary of the French Academy and former Minister of Cultural Affairs. It now belongs in the Reference Library of the French Academy (Académie Française).


In 2003, Henri Goursau launched the “The Electronic Goursau (LGE)”, a single and multi-user software to help translate and consult his bilingual aeronautical and space dictionaries. It proved an immediate success with aviation professionals in France and abroad. In 2004, he published his “Dictionary of Aeronautical Abbreviations” – a compilation of some 20,000 English acronyms and close to 50,000 definitions regarding civil and military aviation. It met an international demand from aviation as well as aerospace companies and organisations the world over. In the same year, he also published “Cap sur Mars” the French version of “The Case for Mars”, the bestseller by Dr. Robert Zubrin, eminent American astrophysicist and President of the Mars Society. It is prefaced by the well-known science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, American astronaut Buzz Aldrin and French astronaut Patrick Baudry.

He then published the “English-French Dictionary of Aviation Terms”. In 2005 the “English-French Dictionary of Automotive Technology”, the “English-French Dictionary of Nautical Terms” with Bernard Saint-Guily, Member of the French Naval Academy and the “French-English / English-French Dictionary of Technical Terms”, prefaced by François Guinot, President of the French Academy of Technologies. 

In 2006 the “English-French Dictionary of Medicine” and the “English-French Dictionary of Military Terms”. 

In 2008 the “French-English / English-French Dictionary for Travellers and Tourists”, translating tourism, travel, accommodation and culinary terms. 

In 2010 the “Dictionary of Aeronautics in 20 Languages” published in two 480 page volumes. Volume one consists of a French language entry, which is translated into English, German, Spanish, Argentinian Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Greek, Turkish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malay, Hindi, Arab and Persian. The volume two, the “Dictionary of Aeronautics in   20 Languages”, translates terms from English. The preface is written by Fabrice Brégier, Chief Operating Officer of Airbus.

This was followed by the “The Dictionary of Football Terms” containing 50,000 French football related expressions and 25,000 foreign expressions in 10 languages. The preface is written by Jean-Pierre Escalettes, President of the French Football Federation (FFF). Finally, there is the “French-English Dictionary of Common Phrases and Expressions”, featuring 3800 entries.
In 2012, Henri Goursau published the multilingual dictionary : Around the World in 180 Languages. 200 common phrases and expressions are translated from French into 180 foreign and regional languages. A worldwide first by number of languages included. Some 300 French linguists and academics as well as foreigners participated in the proofreading.
In June of 2012 the French/Russian and Russian/French dictionaries of aeronautics and space appeared. Henri Goursau is the French author and the Russian authors are Dr. Nicolas Novichkov, director of the Arms-Tass agency in Moscow and Ivan Poliakov, general director of Radiozavod imeni Popova.
In 2013 The French-English dictionary of phrases and words for everyday life was published, containing over 12,500 common phrases and some 8,000 common words translated from French to English. It is an essential work to learn English or travel the world.
In 2013, Henri also published the Dictionary of savant words of the French language which reunites some 4,000 seldom used words of refined language, chosen from the treasures that our beautiful language contains. The definitions given by Henri Goursau are very clear in order to be understood by everybody. It was followed by the publication of the French-Russian/Russian-French dictionary of the textile and weaving industry by Jean-Jacques Triboulet which regroupes the terminology of this large sector of activities.
In 2014, Henri published numerous multilingual dictionaries. First the dictionary of regional languages of France in which 200 key phrases are translated into 55 languages, dialects and patois of big cities, cross-borders and French territories. About 100 linguists and speakers of all of our regions participated in the proofreading. This magnificent book was praised by the entire staff of the Dictionary of the Academie Francaise and was presented by Jean-Pierre Pernaut to JT at 1 o' clock on the TF1. It was followed by other publications such as the Dictionary of official European languages praised by the President of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso and by the Robert Schuman Foundation then the Dictionary of travel in Asia in 70 languages, the Dictionary of travel in America in 30 languages, the Dictionary of travel in Africa in 40 languages and the Dictionary of travel in Europe in 40 languages.
In 2014, Henri published the Rules of the 21st century stock market by Christian Gaignault, which contains the definitions of 450 financial and stock market terms. Then appeared the same year the French-Spanish Dictionary of common phrases and expressions containing some 4,000 entries.
In 2015, Henri published a work that didn't exist, the Dictionary of Anglicisms which inventories and defines over 5,000 borrowing from English. Anglicisms abound in the written press, on the radio and television. Should we fear them ? Is French in danger ? And can we really forego them ? This was followed by the publication of the multilingual Dictionary of Football with its 2,500 words, phrases and expressions of football language translated from French into 10 other languages. A work destined to facilitate communication with foreign players.
End of 2015- In the middle of a migratory crisis Henri Goursau published a special Dictionary for Syrian refugees and migrants under the English title Special Dictionary for Syrian Refugees. Some 200 common phrases are translated from Syrian Arabic into 26 European languages. 2,000 books were donated by Goursau Editions to numerous humanitarian associations and organisations in France and abroad. 1,500 copies found their way to the ONG Aviation without Borders in Croatia. Other copies were offered to the French and international Red Cross. An initiative praised by the President of the French Republic and the office of the Prime Minister.
In 2016 the French-English/English-French dictionary of culinary terms was published. This work of culinary terminology regroupes the bilingual translations of over 3,000 words from the gastronomic world.
And finally in 2016 Henri Goursau published a French-English/English-French dictionary of medical dialogue which should permit a better communication between French medical personnel and foreign patients, especially anglophones. This work contains 5,000 phrases to pose questions in English to health professionals and to patients in medical consultations, in the hospital, in the clinic and at the emergency room. A collection of bilingual phrases which should prove to be highly useful for doctors, nurses and nurses' aides confronted daily with consultations or care for foreign patients who don't understand our language. A work to have on your person while abroad, in case of health problems or hospitalisation, to dialogue with the anglophone medical staff.

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Audi - June 6, 2017, 5:40 pm
I'm in South Africa and I would like to get the "aeronautical dictionary French-English / English- French" because I really need it. So, is there any store here around which could have it? Please If not, what are the modalities for shipping?

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