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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages


Dr Christophe Gagne

Christophe Gagne
Senior Language Teaching Officer in French (MML)
Fellow and College Lecturer (Churchill College)
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 3 35049

Churchill College
Storey's Way


Christophe’s interests lie in the fields of language use, contrastive pragmatics, translation and politeness theory. His PhD thesis (Université Lumière Lyon II) was a contrastive analysis of French and British service encounters. He has a particular interest in exploring why communication breakdown might occur when people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds interact. He has given talks on the alleged rudeness of the French (Trinity French Society, Prince’s Teaching Institute, Cambridge Festival of Ideas, reviewed here).

Prior to working at Cambridge University Christophe worked as a translator for a private company. He has translated poetry by the novelist John Fowles (Greek poems = Poèmes grecs, The Greek Poems, Editions NG, 2001) – the translation was submitted to the author, a keen francophile, and gained his approval. Christophe has organized translation workshops with the award-winning translator Sandra Smith for Cambridge undergraduates (June 2015, June 2016) and is currently co-authoring a textbook on translation in French for Routledge.

Christophe is also interested in popular culture and current affairs. He recently contributed entries to an Anthology of French and Francophone Singers. He is currently preparing entries for an anthology of French film directors. In August 2018, Christophe gave an interview on a French radio station ( on Brexit.

Christophe has produced various language-learning resources for the Language Centre – notably learning objects on Bourdieu, Césaire and Rousseau, designed to help learners develop their academic reading skills in French. In 2016-2018, Christophe was an External Assessor for a French course delivered by the Open University.

Christophe is also regularly involved in outreach events. He was a judge for the final of the Routes into Languages Spelling Bee Competition in 2016 and 2017, and for the Mother Tongue Other Tongue Translation competition in July 2017.

Teaching interests: 

French Grammar and Usage
Contemporary French Culture
Translation and Translation Theory
French Variational Linguistics

Research interests: 

Contrastive Pragmatics
Conversation Analysis
Discourse Analysis​
Interactional Linguistics
Variational Linguistics
Foreign Language Teaching and Learning

Published works: 

Recent Publication:

Indirectness and Entitlement in Product Requests in British Service Encounters.” Journal of Pragmatics 133 (August 2018): 1–14.