13 May 2013

'Competitiveness' in the news

The Financial Times has updated the entry for 'competitiveness' in its Lexicon.
The definition begins: "Competitiveness is about boosting the ability to compete by increasing productivity in the long run. It stresses a continual improvement through constant innovation in products, processes and management..."

Under the subheading Competitiveness in the news, we read:
Protectionist policies would seem most likely to damage competitiveness. In April 2013, Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation spoke about the rising threat of protectionism. An FT editorial commented: "The belief that protectionism can preserve jobs is an illusion. Shielding a sector from more efficient foreign competitors comes at the expense of other domestic businesses, which are denied access to cheaper goods."

The attention now being given to the word is of special interest to  French-to-English translators.  Because 'competitiveness' is ugly, difficult to pronounce, and remains less common in English than its cognate in French, translators often go to considerable lengths to translate compétitivité  by something other than 'competitiveness'.

Provided the word doesn't come up too often, it looks as though French-to-English translators will be able to fall back a little more often on 'competitiveness' than they did in the past.

1 comment:

  1. Both ‘competitiveness’ and ‘competitivity’ are found in Spanish-English translations as translations for ‘competitividad‘. Personally I have no preference, but ‘competitiveness’ is the more common. ‘Competitivity’ may be a ‘false friend’. As you say, there are also other translations.

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