à la fois capital et patrimoine

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Gamik, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. Gamik Senior Member

    In an article on perennial tree crops is this sentence:

    L’histoire illustre aussi une spécificité de culture pérenne, à la fois capital et patrimoine.

    It alludes to the fact that, for the farmer, his trees are both his capital (from which he derives income) as well as assets/property he hopes to pass on to his descendants.

    In such a context, what would be the correct English translation of "patrimoine"?

    All the words I can think of -- inheritance, patrimony, heritage -- refer, I believe, to assets/property received from a previous generation. Am I correct in thinking so?
  2. constantlyconfused

    constantlyconfused Senior Member

    English - British
    It can also refer (and often does) to cultural heritage.
  3. Gamik Senior Member

    Thanks, but I am looking for an appropriate English word/phrase in this context.
  4. petit1 Senior Member

    français - France
    The trees are his "capital" because they represent money; they can be sold in case of necessity. They are a patrimony or heritage because he received them from his ancestors and can hand them down to his descendants.
  5. Gamik Senior Member

    But what if he didn't get them from his ancestors, what if he planted them and nurtured them over the years. Can we still call them a patrimony or heritage (in English)?
  6. petit1 Senior Member

    français - France
    Yes, of course it is his patrimony. It is the second meaning of the word in French: biens de famille. You build an estate.
  7. Gamik Senior Member

    Are you sure this meaning of patrimony is also applicable in English?

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/patrimony defines patrimony thus:
    1. property inherited from one's father or ancestors
    2. property endowed to an institution, as a church
    3. anything inherited, as a characteristic or tendency
    Other dictionaries provide identical or very similar defintions.

    I like "estate" though it is a little out of context for a farmer growing cocoa trees.
  8. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    Patrimony is indeed a word in English, but not the right word here. The term is only used in very literary or technical contexts.

    I think patrimoine here refers to preservation -- of the traditional style of farming to be passed on to the next generation.
  9. petit1 Senior Member

    français - France
    I don't know about the right word in English but here is the definition of "patrimoine", which is much wider than the English definition;

    • Bien qu'on tient par héritage de ses ascendants.
    • Ce qui est considéré comme un bien propre, une richesse : Son patrimoine, c'est son intelligence.
    • Ce qui est considéré comme l'héritage commun d'un groupe : Le patrimoine culturel d'un pays.
    • Ensemble des biens, droits et obligations ayant une valeur économique dont une personne peut être titulaire ou tenue.
    • Ensemble des éléments aliénables et transmissibles qui sont la propriété, à un moment donné, d'une personne, d'une famille, d'une entreprise ou d'une collectivité publique.
    Is it possible to use "legacy"?
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
  10. Gamik Senior Member

    That is indeed what I have decided to use but I qualify it a little: ...both his capital and a legacy for his children.

    Thanks, all.

Share This Page