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"manufactures" as a noun - l'état des lieux, please
Thread poster: IanDhu

IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:29
Member (2005)
French to English
May 8, 2006

I should welcome colleagues' comments on the usage of the noun "manufacures". It strikes me as a good way of translating "la production" meaning the manufactured articles - as distinct from "production" in the abstract sense. Does this usage strike you as valid? The sentence in which the French occurred was (succinctyl) "Il transporte sa production dans un fourgon..." [with a type and brand name]. I find "products" in this context to be rather lame, especially in the case in point, of a maker carrying furniture manufactured by him.

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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:29
French to Spanish
+ ...
Pourquoi ne pas poser la question comme question ? May 8, 2006

À mon avis... y'aura l'attrait des points !

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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:29
German to English
Pieces May 8, 2006

Adam Warren wrote:

I find "products" in this context to be rather lame, especially in the case in point, of a maker carrying furniture manufactured by him.


Hi Adam, the following dictionary entry would seem to confirm your assumption:

Manufacture, noun
1 : something made from raw materials by hand or by machinery
2 a : the process of making wares by hand or by machinery especially when carried on systematically with division of labor b : a productive industry using mechanical power and machinery
3 : the act or process of producing something

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/manufacture

But speaking as a cabinetmaker, I would much rather see "pieces" used to refer to furniture.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Goods, items, articles May 8, 2006

The dictionary can tell you that the word exists, but it does not guide you as to usage. In this case, "manufactures" as a noun is a very specialized and highly uncommon usage in native English. Some further alternative suggestions are given above.

If you want to retain the specific sense of "manufactures" it would sound better to do so by using "manufactured" as an adjective to describe the pieces of furniture; i.e. "manufactured products/pieces/goods/items/articles."


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 07:29
French to English
+ ...
produce May 8, 2006

goods, wares, merchandaise


I could go on - but "manufactures" - here we go again. Another bastard neologism....


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:29
Member (2005)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all for your replies May 8, 2006

I think Kim Metzger's was perhaps the most constructive, with the sound reference to the Merriam-Webster's entry.

I am a little surprised that CMJ_Trans should find this to be a "bastard neologism": on what authority pray?

In spite of the reservation by Goodwords, my feeling is that the term "manufactures" is a good, concise way of describing goods, products, wares or merchandise just as they leave the production line.

Now, the reason for my asking this question, would CMJ_Trans please note, is that a reviser criticised me for using it on the grounds that it was:

somewhat old-fashioned.

There's no accounting for taste.

In deference to the facetious answer by Juan Jacob, who incidentally contributed nothing to the debate, I shall endeavour to find out this unfamiliar part of the ProZ "works" in order to award the lad some points - if he deserves them!

In any event, thank you all for being both entertaining and instructive.


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:29
German to English
Neologism recoined May 8, 2006

My Shorter Oxford English Dicy dates the following definition of the noun manufacture "A product of physical labour or machinery" at 1611. Such short memories we all have.
DB


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:29
French to English
You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but... May 8, 2006

Adam Warren wrote:

my feeling is that the term "manufactures" is a good, concise way of describing goods, products, wares or merchandise just as they leave the production line.



my feeling is that "output" also covers the above fairly adequately


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:29
French to Spanish
+ ...
Facetious May 8, 2006

"In deference to the facetious answer by Juan Jacob,..."

Well, I was absolutely serious about that, not facetious.

"...who incidentally contributed nothing to the debate,..."

No need to debate. It is a simple translation question.

"I shall endeavour to find out this unfamiliar part of the ProZ.com "works"..."

More than 1 million questions asked in ProZ.com. This should not be unfamiliar to you. It's a great place!

"...in order to award the lad some points - if he deserves them!"

Yes, we'll see about that next time.


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:29
Member (2005)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Charlie, but let me try and explain May 9, 2006

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Adam Warren wrote:

my feeling is that the term "manufactures" is a good, concise way of describing goods, products, wares or merchandise just as they leave the production line.



my feeling is that "output" also covers the above fairly adequately


The context is a man using a particular make and build of van to carry the output - I grant you - from his furniture-building business. When dealing with physical wares, the term "manufactures" still strikes me as more appropriate, as having a more concrete connotation, and greater physical immediacy, than the abstract, distancing "output".


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:29
Italian to English
Countable and uncountable notions May 9, 2006

Adam Warren wrote:

When dealing with physical wares, the term "manufactures" still strikes me as more appropriate, as having a more concrete connotation, and greater physical immediacy, than the abstract, distancing "output".


I agree that "output" seems more distant than "manufactures" but this is because it is an uncountable noun. English tends to find countable nouns, like "products", "articles" or "goods", more immediate.

The trouble with "manufactures" is that quite apart from its rather archaic flavour, it tends to be used to describe the output of macroeconomic units like cities, regions or countries, not small businesses.

You could shift the focus to "he delivers each consignment/makes his deliveries", I suppose, but you risk losing the notion of what is actually in the deliveries, which may not be clear from the context.

Actually, I can't see why you object to "products", which reflects the French well enough, but then I haven't got the full context. If your text is literary in style and you need to put a bit of spin on "production", you could perhaps use "handiwork" or stick a complimentary adjective in front of "products". But the reviser would probably be back onto you!

Cheers,

Giles

[Edited at 2006-05-09 07:13]


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:29
Member (2005)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Countable / uncountable - macroeconomic v. microeconomic May 9, 2006

[quote]Giles Watson wrote:

Adam Warren wrote:

When dealing with physical wares, the term "manufactures" still strikes me as more appropriate, as having a more concrete connotation, and greater physical immediacy, than the abstract, distancing "output".


I agree that "output" seems more distant than "manufactures" but this is because it is an uncountable noun. English tends to find countable nouns, like "products", "articles" or "goods", more immediate.

The trouble with "manufactures" is that quite apart from its rather archaic flavour, it tends to be used to describe the output of macroeconomic units like cities, regions or countries, not small businesses.

Hullo, Giles;

I much appreciate your analysis, although I would need documentation to support your assertion in the last quoted paragraph, if you would care to provide this.

However, the original sense of "something manufactured by hand," as pointed-to by Kim Metzger in adducing the Merriam-Webster definition, was the nuance that I felt needed conveying, since furniture making is a traditional industry.

"Products" or "output" would do for something mass-produced, heavily computerised and less individual, such as electronic goods, where the quantity produced overrides in importance the craftsmanlike aspect, which is subsumed in the statistical sampling techniques of quality control and assurance.

[Edited at 2006-05-09 07:22]

[Edited at 2006-05-09 07:24]


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:29
Member (2005)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
"Native English" or perhaps "Common usage" May 9, 2006

GoodWords wrote:

In this case, "manufactures" as a noun is a very specialized and highly uncommon usage in native English.

If you want to retain the specific sense of "manufactures" it would sound better to do so by using "manufactured" as an adjective to describe the pieces of furniture; i.e. "manufactured products/pieces/goods/items/articles."



That is just the point: this is not "common usage" (which you call "native English"): we are dealing with the realm of economics, business and the oiling of the wheels of commerce, not to say of goods vans.

I revert to your suggestion, and place it in the context of Giles's point, that "manufactures" is more for a macro-economic context.

The virtue of "manufactures," for a hard-pressed translator in the context of using a specific build and make of van to deliver goods, is that it is terse.

As I said before to Giles, I would need documentation to support your contribution, if you felt willing to provide it. In any event, as I said before, I much appreciate your contribution.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:29
Italian to English
Adam and Adam May 9, 2006

Adam Warren wrote:

The trouble with "manufactures" is that quite apart from its rather archaic flavour, it tends to be used to describe the output of macroeconomic units like cities, regions or countries, not small businesses.

Hullo, Giles;

I much appreciate your analysis, although I would need documentation to support your assertion in the last quoted paragraph, if you would car to provide this.


Hi again Adam,

Regarding the archaic tone of the noun "manufactures", my immediate thoughts went to your namesake and my compatriot, Adam Smith, whose 1776 An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations makes wide use of the countable noun in the sense of "(a specific) industry/occupation". Of course, Adam Smith was a writer who also used "undertaker" in the sense of "entrepreneur".

To confirm current usage, I played around with your string, googling a number of variations. For example, "transports" with "its manufactures" returns 229 sites ( many containing misspellings of "manufacturers"). The useful ones turn out to be based in the US mainly and refer to geographical areas, not specific producers.

You may want to carry out further research for yourself.

Cheers,

Giles

[Edited at 2006-05-09 07:44]


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Refugio
Local time: 22:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Merchandise May 11, 2006

Adam Warren wrote:

I should welcome colleagues' comments on the usage of the noun "manufacures". It strikes me as a good way of translating "la production" meaning the manufactured articles - as distinct from "production" in the abstract sense. Does this usage strike you as valid? The sentence in which the French occurred was (succinctyl) "Il transporte sa production dans un fourgon..." [with a type and brand name]. I find "products" in this context to be rather lame, especially in the case in point, of a maker carrying furniture manufactured by him.


I agree with your reviewer that the noun "manufactures" has an obsolete, if not Dickensian, flavor to it, and thus would not be a valid translation for production. Production in French is not only abstract, it can also mean "marchandise", and therefore its English counterpart merchandise seems the best equivalent term.


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