sostenible y sustentable

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Lori15, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Lori15 Senior Member

    English, England
    Hola a todos
    ¿Hay una diferencia entre sostenible y sustentable en el contexto de la gestión de los recursos del medio ambiente?

    Gracias
    L
     
  2. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    I think it´s best if you clarify whether "sustain" has to do with feeding or with maintaining
     
  3. Lori15 Senior Member

    English, England
    I am using it in the sense of sustainability of long-term projects. Although examples of both in context would be really helpful
     
  4. Eugin

    Eugin Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentina (Spanish)
    Hi Lori, welcome to the forums!!!:)
    I have two things to mention:
    A) First of all, I copy you the two definitions given by the RAE (Real Academia Española) for both terms:

    sustentable.
    1. adj. Que se puede sustentar o defender con razones.

    sostenible.
    1. adj. Dicho de un proceso: Que puede mantenerse por sí mismo, como lo hace, p. ej., un desarrollo económico sin ayuda exterior ni merma de los recursos existentes.
    Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

    B) I looked "sustentable" in my Oxford dictionary and it didn´t even appear... which makes me think that, though being accepted by RAE, it´s a kind of borrowing from the English "sustainable".
    Therefore, I tend to prefer using "sostenible".

    For "sustainability of long-term projects", I think I´d use "la capacidad de poder sostener/ mantener proyectos a largo plazo"...

    What do you think? :confused:
     
  5. Lori15 Senior Member

    English, England
    Hi Eugin
    Yes that makes sense.
    These science type docs are usually written in the passive with nouns to suggest somthing solid and dependable rather than in the active with a verb that suggests something unstable and subject to change, like a process. I guess I was trying to be too literal.
    Gracias por ayudarme
    L
     
  6. cipotarebelde Senior Member

    El Salvador
    USA English
    I just posted on another thread on this because this is jargon used amongst "ambientalistas" in Spanish here in Central America (at least). Sostenible refers to the ability to sustain itself, usually economically, but in general terms. Sustentable, the environmental context, refers to incorporating whether a given project, action, product, (whatever) is not only economically sustainable but environmentally as well. Its confusing because clearly sustentable seems to be unrelated to sostenible in the RAE definitions of the words. But, this the difference in usage in the context of environmental or development projects. Hope this helps.
     
  7. Belen13 Senior Member

    English
    does this mean that I should use "sustainability" for both sostenible and sustentable...?

    my context is the following:

    sostenemos que este modelo no es nuevo, y no es imitable ni sostenible en el tiempo. Por otra parte, el modelo no es sustentable ecológicamente,

    we maintain that this model is not new, and that it is not imitable/replicable* or sustainable over time. What is more, the model is not ecologically sustainable,
     
  8. hcnd06a Senior Member

    English - USA
    I'll just add my experience: I work in a large international development organization where the lingua franca is Spanish and I hear and read the word sostenibilidad about a hundred times a day, both in reference to environmental sustainability and with regard to the long-term sustainability of projects. I've never heard sustenable used here.
     
  9. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    I think you've mistranslated (or misused) sustentable in the original.

    If it isn't sustentable ecológicamente, that would have to mean that from an ecological perspective, the model can not be argued for or justified. Ecologically sustainable appeals very directly to the idea of the cyclical nature of life, foodchains, natural causes and effects, and so on.

    Those are my thoughts. And if I were in that field, I would find plenty of synonyms for sustentar and use anything but sustain and its related words.
     
  10. Belen13 Senior Member

    English
    oooh, very confusing Txiri,

    firstly perhaps I wasnt clear, the original is not mine, it is an article I am trying to translate, I'm not sure why you say mistranslate or misused...? often these articles are not too well written but I am trying to make sense of it in English...

    If it isn't sustentable ecológicamente, that would have to mean that from an ecological perspective, the model can not be argued for or justified.

    this is precisely what they are trying to argue, against this model, which, would be damaging to the ecology of the area...

    so, any other ideas on the strange use of these words here?

    one thought I have had is that the phrase 'sostenible en el tiempo' is a set phrase, 'withstand the test of time' is mentioned in other threads on the word. Perhaps this could explain the use of these two different words here.

    having re-read this thread above : cipotarebelde
    Senior Member
    I just posted on another thread on this because this is jargon used amongst "ambientalistas" in Spanish here in Central America (at least). Sostenible refers to the ability to sustain itself, usually economically, but in general terms. Sustentable, the environmental context, refers to incorporating whether a given project, action, product, (whatever) is not only economically sustainable but environmentally as well. Its confusing because clearly sustentable seems to be unrelated to sostenible in the RAE definitions of the words. But, this the difference in usage in the context of environmental or development projects. Hope this helps.

    it seems to me that perhaps sustentable is generally used to talk about projects that involve ecology and sostenible about models/economy etc?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  11. Belen13 Senior Member

    English
    And another one: una estrategia de desarrollo rural sostenible y sustentable en las zonas...!!!
     
  12. hcnd06a Senior Member

    English - USA
    That sounds to me like another example of a common but unfortunate tendency among Spanish speakers to include both words when they can't decide on one (or worse, actually try to make things longer and wordier). I get a lot of that where I work too. I think it's a sign of poor writing- I would just say "sustainable" = sostenible.
     
  13. Belen13 Senior Member

    English
    Thank you! That is what I did but now I feel more confident about it!
     
  14. _BC_ Junior Member

    Chile - Spanish
    Actually, "sostenible y sustentable" would mean "sostenible [that it can defended as a sound basis or argument for...] y sustentable [that it can be maintained in the long-term from an economic/ecological standpoint without environmental harm or negative effects]".

    Sostenible and sustentable are not synonyms, and therefore their use should not be mistaken for "poor writting".
     
  15. hcnd06a Senior Member

    English - USA
    Do you really think that sostenible is intended to mean [that it can defended as a sound basis or argument for...] in Belen's sentence? I don't think so- I think it means [that it can be maintained in the long-term from an economic/ecological standpoint without environmental harm or negative effects], and, in fact, I have heard sostenible used this way many, many times. If anything, by Eugin's definition, sustentable would mean [that it can defended as a sound basis or argument for...], which also makes more sense in the original sentence (where it might be translated as "defensible").
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  16. Mate

    Mate Senior Member

    Argentina
    Castellano - Argentina
    Siempre que he visto esas dos palabras juntas o asociadas, en el contexto de lo natural y lo ecológico, actuaban como sinónimos de "técnica para producir (lo que sea) de manera sustentable en el tiempo. Y obvio que sustentable se puede reemplazar por sostenible.
     
  17. Belen13 Senior Member

    English
    Thank you, too late for me this time around but I'm sure it'll come up again...
     
  18. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    I agree that they're pretty much the same in the sense of "sustainable development," "environmentally sustainable," etc., and that when they appear together they don't need to be differentiated/translated separately. I've seen "viable," "tenable" and "attainable" as alternatives, but those don't mean exactly the same thing and don't work very well, IMHO.
     

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