à date (jusqu'à présent)


Senior Member
British English
MODERATOR NOTE: Two discussions have been merged to create this thread about « à date » in the sense of "to date".
NOTE DE LA MODÉRATION : Deux conversations ont été fusionnées pour créer ce fil sur la tournure « à date » au sens de « jusqu'à présent ».



I am currently translating a document from a different company to the translation I previously cited a quote from, but this company is also located in the north of France (Lille this time, the previous one was in Roubaix, so very close).

Context = Business Organisation Computer System

Here's the sentence:

'En sélectionnant l'onglet 'Définition de la structure organisationnelle', l'utilisateur à la possibilité de créer la structure, de la modifier à date ou de supprimer des liens entre les entités métiers ou des entités métiers de la structure à date'.

This time I have translated 'à date' as 'on a pre-planned date'

'By selecting the 'Define the Organisational Structure' tab, the user can create the structure, amend it on a pre-planned date or delete links between business entities or business entities for the structure on a pre-planned date'

On reflection, I think 'on a pre-planned date' would have fit my previous translation from last year too!
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  • le chat noir

    Senior Member
    After 40 years in France and 20 years in the software industry I've never heard such an expression. As far as I can tell, it is not a proper French construct either.

    The only thing I could think of is that "à date" weird construct referring to a specific software functionality, like triggering some action on a pre-planned date. In that case the manual (assuming it was properly written) should define somewhere what the principle of this operation or function is.

    Is your manual a translation from Japanese or Chinese or something? :)


    Senior Member
    British English
    I've never heard such an expression.

    Is your manual a translation from Japanese or Chinese or something? :)
    Hello Chat Noir,

    The first time I saw 'à date' was last year and I thought that I would probably never ever see it again! How wrong was I?

    No, it's not translated from Japanese or Chinese, or even English for that matter, it's the original French!

    I don't yet know if it explains it further on in the document as I am only on page 26 of a 109 page document.

    Perhaps it's just local to the Lille agglomeration? I don't know, but I added my post today so that other translators would know how to translate it.

    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    Well software developpers are known to bend vocabulary to suit their warped minds every now and then. An end user unable to follow these convulutions is simply deemed unworthy of using their baby. I empathize :).


    Senior Member
    English - British
    I just came across "à date" in a sales document on a page entitled: "Récapitualtif codes disponibles à date" and I'm wondering if it simply means "to date" i.e. as of now...


    New Member
    France, French

    My answer to staticmouse would be yes, in this case the meaning is "to date". From what i've seen, the phrase "à date" is mostly used in this sense.

    "A date" seems to be the direct transposition from the English phrase "to date". Here are a few suggestions on how to avoid using it:http://www.btb.gc.ca/btb.php?lang=fra&cont=849

    Personnally I just don't use this phrase because it's grammatically weird and ambiguous : "à (quelle???) date".

    For example, in Tresley's computer-business sentence, my guess would be that the system is able to handle different stages of the organization, on different dates. So you can add a new entry in the system on a specific date, to show the state of the organization. But more context would be needed to confirm my intuition :)

    Unfortunately this is one of these phrases that is more and more used, even though they are ugly and confusing (or probably because they are confusing, as le chat noir hinted, to make others feel stupid). :rolleyes:


    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    Le monde magazine has an article "Juste un mot: À date."
    Examples given are: "Pouvez-vous nous indiquer où vous en êtes dans la réalisation de vos objectifs, à date?"
    and: "À date, tout s'est bien passé."

    Synonyms are given as preferable alternatives to this use of an "americanism": jusqu'ici (trop simple), jusqu'à maintenant (trop long), ce matin/ce soir (trop quotidiens). "Alors oui, le semi-globbish :)confused: whaaaatt?) 'à date' sonne plus professionel."

    So what is the English for that phrase? up to this point? at this point in time? up to now? to date?
    For the first example, I would be tempted to use the verb or noun update - but that means a complete change in word order:
    Can you update us on where you are at in your project objectives? Can you give us an update on where .... ?
    Can you provide us with an update at the next meeting?

    The journalist goes on to quote what he calls a "phrase fétiche" for some of his readers - probably forum members - : "Et alors? Une langue est faite pour
    évoluer; il faut accepter les apports d'autres langues; le français n'est fait que de ça."

    And do French speakers pronounce "globbish" like globe or glob?
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    Senior Member
    "To date" is a common phrase in business English. I'm fairly sure it's not an Americanism. I've seen it in British English as well. The British Corpus shows examples of it at least back to 1989 in British English. (I don't really have time to investigate further at the moment.)


    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    thanks for the info and the idea, :thumbsup:
    I looked it up on the BNC and found over 2,000 hits so it is quite common in British English.
    Half of the examples were of the phrase "up to date" of course but the rest mostly had the meaning of the French "à date" as in the two examples from Le Monde.


    Senior Member
    French - France
    Que l'horrible à date se dise en anglais to date (qui n'a rien d'horrible) est d'une évidence indiscutable.

    Didier Pourquery appelle cet anglicisme "américanisme" parce que ça vient par le jargon utilisé dans les entreprises à l'imitation de l'anglais américain. Ce n'est pas le sens propre d'"américanisme", mais ça se comprend.

    Avis aux non-francophones : éviter soigneusement cet emploi, calqué sur l'anglais, de à date ...
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