Monday, August 26, 2002

Just noticed that the French phrase for "sustainable development" (chosen by the Johannesberg conference) is "Développement Durable". Translated back it would be more like "long-lasting development". That's a subtle difference from "sustainable" because it seems to imply that it's the length of duration of the development improvement that is important, not that there are two different kinds of development, sustainable and unsustainable. In German it's "Nachhaltige Entwicklung", or "lasting development" (literally, next-halting development, or development that doesn't end until a later date.)

I do sometimes wonder how much differences between speakers of different language depend on the way they phrase things. But I don't think that accounts for the American vs. Euro differences at Johannesberg this week!

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