At potential


New Member
French - France

I would like to request your help in translating the expression "at potential". It is used in a chart showing economic conditions of a country. The range of options vary from: depressed, challenging, at potential and very favourable. I would translate depressed by déprimées, challenging by difficiles and very favourable by très favorables but I have no idea on how to translate "at potential". Would you have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your help.
  • Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    It's hard for me to see any sense in this. "At potential" suggests (to me at least) that the economy is as good as it can be. If we say, "She's fulfilled her potential", that means she's done the best she can, given her talents and abilities. So it's hard for me to see the difference between "at potential" and "very favorable".

    On the other hand, it's hard for me to see any real difference between "depressed" and "challenging". These categories don't really make sense, as far as I'm concerned.

    But maybe somebody else can explain them.


    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    Hello, Laure!

    I've looked at that chart and it still doesn't make any more sense to me than it did before. I think their choice of terms is poor. I'll accept that "depressed" is worse than "challenging", and I'll accept that "very favorable" is better than "at potential"--even though those categories really make no sense to me. The question remains as to how to distinguish those terms in French. Here I don't feel qualified to pronounce since I'm an English speaker.

    I'd be inclined to translate "at potential" as "favorable" and "very favorable" as "très favorable". But as I said, I can't really see the sense of that since to me "at potential" suggests "as good as it can be".

    Hopefully, someone else, French- or English-speaking, will give you their thoughts. I'm afraid I'm not helping you much here. Sorry.


    Senior Member
    French - France
    Je pense qu'il ne faut pas prendre ces expressions littéralement, mais comme une façon conventionnelle de désigner une échelle, du pire au mieux : déprimée, difficile, favorable, très favorable :tick:

    La perplexité de Novanas devant at potential signifiant ici autre chose que as good as it can be m'évoque ce slogan : only best is good enough. Mais on n'est pas obligé de penser ça ...
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