savoir / savoir-être / savoir-faire

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Pierrot la banane, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Pierrot la banane New Member


    I'm trying to translate in English a text about education which uses French expressions "savoir, savoir-être et savoir-faire". Savoir would obviously be "Knowledge", but how about the other two...

    "Savoir-faire" implies learning, or teaching skills and abilities in some particular domain such as mechanics; can I simply translate with "know-how"

    "Savoir-être" means our capacity to behave adequately with our own environment, human and natural... respect others, respect nature.

    The whole sentence is: "Ce processus éducatif aborde les trois sphères du savoir: le savoir lui-même, le savoir-faire et le savoir-être."

    I would very much appreciate some help
    Many thanks, Pierrot
  2. anagram Senior Member

    English-Ireland .Location: France IDF.
    Tough one
    Never really managed to find satisfactory equivalents except to use adj. + skills
    e.g. learning skills, technical skills and social skills...

    hope you get some more input into this thread, I'd be very interested!!
  3. chapteryx

    chapteryx Senior Member

    I don't know if these are any use to anyone, but I've had to translate these terms several times over, and I've come up with the following list which seems to be acceptable for most purposes. At least, I've not had too many objections thus far...

    savoir-faire = managerial/management skills
    savoir-être = interpersonal skills
    savoir-dire = communication skills
    savoir = technical skills

    Of course, communication skills are sort of part of interpersonal skills anyway, but then, savoir-dire is similarly a subset of savoir-être.
    Within some contexts, "soft skills" and "hard skills" have been accepted, but they're really quite domain specific, natural lingo for HR professionals, and few other people seem to have a natural grasp of their meanings.
    At any rate, the "savoir family" is maintained as the "skills family", so the "poetry", if that's what it is, of having similar sounding terms has been preserved, and the basic meanings of the translations correspond pretty well to what professionals in the field identify by those terms in both French and English - hope it helps ...
  4. Striker Senior Member

    Ireland English
    Hi chapteryx, I see no-one answered your post... thanks for all that, I love it when someone explains things so simply. and it's great to be able to "justify" a choice.
  5. Palin_drome

    Palin_drome Senior Member

    I am not sure that "managerial skills" mean "savoir-faire", except about a manager :).
    I would say "savoir-faire" = "technical skills" while "savoir" = "knowledge" (more general), "skills" if you prefer sticking with the same terminology.
  6. Moon Palace

    Moon Palace Senior Member

    As said in this previous thread, I have already encountered social skills for savoir-être, and know-how is savoir-faire.
    There are numerous threads on savoir-faire, have you seen them?
  7. Riffaut New Member

    French, Greek,Italian,English
  8. Riffaut New Member

    French, Greek,Italian,English
    Il y a un livre "a Teacher's guide to Classroom Research" DAVID HOPKINS, 3EME EDITION, PAGE 162, IL TRADUIT "SAVOIRS, SAVOIR-FAIRE, ET SAVOIR-ETRE" par "knowledge, knowing about knowledge to do, and knowing how to be" (Hopkins and Stern 1996:503).
    J'espere que ca va t'aider. bon courage.
  9. Regidemontréal New Member

    savoir would be : Know
    savoir-faire would : be know how to
    savoir-être would be : know how to be

    or so hehe

    savoir is refering to knowledge plain and simple, see Bloom taxonomie first level

    savoir-faire is refering how to do thing, or something actualy. it's praticing a procedure, a way to do, getting better by improving your self etc. it can be refering to a abstrac or a phisical finality, like getting better at doing math prob or wrighting ... ( sorry for my surly bad spelling btw ) or making a pizza cutting tomato etc.

    savoir-être is refering to a attitude, like to be carrful or respectful or to be able to selfevaluting your progres.

    thos are all relate to the leurning by compétence stuff.

    again sorry for my bad spelling im not use to english ^^; but for the translation i think it's farly acurate im just studing thos atm.

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