sustainable

Denis Pelletier

New Member
French and English - Canada
I find the accepted/usual French translation for sustainable — durable — problematic. If it conveys part of the meaning of "sustainable", that of duration, but it fails to deal with the "being managed in a way that leads to/promotes to duration" aspect. The other issue is that "durable" has an older and more fundamental meaning in French, that of "lasting" or even "long lasting". "Pérenne" is not much better. "Durable et viable" may be the solution, but is a touch long. Your opinions or thoughts, please.
Merci
 
  • Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    Hi, and welcome :)

    but it fails to deal with the "being managed in a way that leads to/promotes to duration" aspect
    I must disagree, in that sort of context the meaning of "durable" is "qui répond aux besoins du présent sans compromettre la capacité des générations futures à répondre à leurs propres besoins", and it's synonym to "soutenable" (and, yes, that's an Anglicism).

    See here for instance ; "Qui s'inscrit dans une vision à long terme de l'équilibre écologique de la Terre"

    That's of course quite a new meaning, not in every dictionary, it emerged during the 80's. The first definition I gave was in a 1987 report.
     
    In the field of sustainable development, "sustainability" covers practices and reasoning that satisfy (more or less:rolleyes:) the 3 following criteria: Environmental justice, social cohesion, and economic prosperity. If those 3 criteria are equally met, then we are indeed talking about sustainability, and implicitly, duration.
     

    Denis Pelletier

    New Member
    French and English - Canada
    My problem is that I have to convince a client who wants to use the expression "laissez une empreinte durable", in the context of donating a piece of undeveloped and wild land, that he is in fact stating the contrary (leave a lasting imprint), or that it can/will certainly be read that way. The two meanings of the word does him a disservice, in this particular case.
     

    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    That's not sure. Depending on the context, "laisser une empreinte durable" can be a pun, leaving a sustainable legacy (a legacy that would be used use for sustainable aims).

    Could you please be more precise, give us the full original sentence he wants to translate into French?
     
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