tableau de synthèse comparatif

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by chouchou4484, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. chouchou4484

    chouchou4484 Senior Member

    Paris, France
    France - French / US - English
    I found comparative statement for tableau comparatif and in another thread someone said that tableau de synthese is summary table, so would comparative summary table/statement be correct to translate tableau de synthese comparatif?

    Thanks in avdance.
  2. RuK Senior Member

    Outside Paris
    English/lives France
    Sythèse I take here to mean "summarizing other data" , but "summary table" seems odd to me, despite that other thread, and "comparative summary table" I don't think is correct. I'm bumping your thread up so science-people see it.
  3. ChiMike Senior Member

    Chicago USA
    USA, English
    In U.S. English, despite the phrase "table of contents" (table de matières) which is used for the summary of the contents of a book, the word "table" generally is understood to mean (Webster's):
    5 a: a systematic arrangement of data usually in rows and columns for ready reference
    The "data" is generally numbers (after the first column which states in words what the numbers apply to).

    In that sense, I believe it is more specific than "tableau" in French (although "tableau" definitely covers this form in French).

    If words are used, but arranged in bullet points or short sentences, the word: "overview" is frequently used.

    If the text is arranged in paragraphs, "summary" is the general word (as in: Executive Summary).

    "summary" is also an adjective in English (sommaire).

    Summary table is an arrangement of data in rows and columns which puts together data which was given in previous tables.

    A comparative table would generally be divided down the middle with the rows and columns on side A giving data which can then be compared to the data on side B, which is arranged in the same manner. Some call these: Chinese menus (but obviously this is NOT what you would write at the top of it ;))

    A comparative summary can be in words or in tables (as described) and, yes, the expression "Comparative Summary Table" is used.
  4. chouchou4484

    chouchou4484 Senior Member

    Paris, France
    France - French / US - English
    Thanks RuK for bumping my thread up and thanks a lot ChiMike for all this, it is really truly helpful!!!
    Thanks guys :)
  5. Sophie Nomade Senior Member


    => How would you say then for a kind of "table" - there is a frame around it, but there is only one column - which synthesizes data (not numbers) given previously in the text? Would "Synthetic overview" do the job?
    Thank you very much in advance!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2008
  6. ChiMike Senior Member

    Chicago USA
    USA, English
    It depends, in U.S. English, on the level of formality.

    If it is for a working group and not going to be published (or made public), I would use: "Summary Recap" (Recap = Recapitulation) -- or even just "Recap".

    In more formal contexts, "Summary of Conclusions", "Summary of Findings" (for scientific research papers) or "Final Summary".

    In U.S. English, at least, and perhaps more generally in English, the word "synthetic" should be avoided in this context. Because of its use to describe chemical substances which are "synthesized", many U.S. speakers understand the word to mean "artificial" - the result of artifice. The adjective "summary" is used instead in these contexts.

    Thus, the meaning of "summary" (in English), in this context, is broader than the meaning of "sommaire" in French; and the meaning of "synthetic" much more restricted. ("summary" is also used in contexts where its meaning is much closer to the French meaning, e.g. : "summary execution," "summary procedure", but these tend to be fixed phrases.)

    It is my impression (though I could be wrong and I have no studies) that the word "synthesis" itself is much less common except in academic writing than the word "synthèse" in French. Even a university student would be unlikely to say: "The professor gave a magnificient synthesis of the concepts of the state expounded in Plato's republic." S/he would ordinarily say "summary," it seems to me.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  7. Sophie Nomade Senior Member

    Thank you very much for these detailed explanations! :) I will use "Summary of findings", as it is exactly what it is.

    The "table" was referred to as "table 1" in the text. Now that it's not called "table" anymore, how can I call it? It's not a "figure" either...

    Thank you,

  8. ChiMike Senior Member

    Chicago USA
    USA, English
    For its first use in the text, "Summary of Findings (hereinafter, "SF"); thereafter: SF.

    OR: "Summary of Findings (hereinafter, "the Findings"); thereafter: the Findings.

    In either case, the quotation marks ("...") are only used in the first mention of the abbreviated reference = (hereinafter, "...."). When the abbreviated form is used subsequently, no quotation marks are used. However, if "the Findings" is used as the abbreviation, the "F" of "Findings" should be capitalized (en majuscule) so that the reader will recognize at once that it refers to the Summary of Findings.

    I hope your paper is well-received! :)
  9. manikin Member

    English - Australian
    I don't think using an abbreviation for the summary is a good idea, as it is not common usage. In scientific articles we use the words "Table" and "Figure" quite liberally, even if they are not strictly appropriate. If all else fails you can use "Box" which says absolutely nothing about the contents.
  10. bobepine

    bobepine Senior Member

    Canada, English & French
    I agree with manikin; you can certainly get away with calling it "Figure 1."
  11. Sophie Nomade Senior Member

    Thank you to all of you! :)

    I hink I'll say then: "Table 1: Summary of findings", and refer to "Table 1" in the text. :)

    Have a nice day,

  12. amychi New Member

    This is just to say thank you, this thread was a lifesaver for me, 5 years later!!! :)

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