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efficiency vs effectiveness

English translation: I'll try...

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13:44 Dec 7, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Business/Commerce (general) / Vocabulary
English term or phrase: efficiency vs effectiveness
"Seeks to increase efficiency and/or effectiveness of products"

Given that there's only one word (AFAIK) in French to translate both efficiency & effectiveness (efficacité) - could so. please explain & explicit the subtleties between the two words (if any). I'll try to turn these explanation to my advantage ...in French

TIA
Michel A.
Local time: 22:21
English translation:I'll try...
Explanation:
with an example...

You have two machines that produce exactly the same result.
So they are both "effective".
But one uses less energy (resources) than the other, so it is more "efficient".

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Note added at 16 mins (2004-12-07 14:01:14 GMT)
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effectiveness= produces the desired result
efficiency=produces the desired result with minimum expenditure (in terms of energy, time, waste, etc.)

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Note added at 43 mins (2004-12-07 14:27:50 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oh and efficacy is the synonym for effectiveness, often applied to drug treatment.
Selected response from:

Dr Sue Levy
Local time: 04:21
Grading comment
Thanks Sue & Thanks to all the contributors :-) Michel
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +11I'll try...Dr Sue Levy
4 +3cost vs usefulness
David Knowles
5see my explan.
Neil Phillipson
4efficiency is the WAY of doing something; Effectiveness is the RESULTxxxCMJ_Trans
4 -1synonimsArcoiris
2efficience <> efficacité
seaMount


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
cost vs usefulness


Explanation:
Something which is "efficient" works in a cost-effective way. Something which is "effective" may be extremely expensive. Here is an invented paragraph to illustrate the difference.

The most efficient way of protecting the world against AIDS would be to find a low-cost drug that would protect 60% of its takers against malaria. The most effective drugs protect 90% of their users, but cost 10 times as much.

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Note added at 5 mins (2004-12-07 13:49:44 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry - changed my mind about what disease to protect against! Read AIDS for malaria (or vice versa).

David Knowles
Local time: 03:21
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 28

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hardy Moreno
13 mins

agree  Mikhail Kropotov: costs (of all sorts) vs. outcome (does it work or not?)
22 mins

agree  Lisa Lloyd
26 mins
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
see my explan.


Explanation:
1. I am efficient with my time
2. I am effective with my time

1. I use my time well as a resource; I use little to carry out the tasks I need to do. I try to reduce the amount of time I take to do things (efficiency).

2. I use my time well to complete my tasks to the best of abilities. I try to increase my productivity and performance (effectiveness).

I hope it helps,
Neil.

Neil Phillipson
Local time: 03:21
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Dr Sue Levy: as soon as time is in the equation, it becomes a matter of efficiency :-)//if you sleep all day, YOU are being ineffective, don't blame your time :-D
8 mins
  -> I can both use my time effectively and efficiently. I could/might sleep all day but it wouldn't be an effective use of my time because I wouldn't achieve anything. Effective is my message, inefficient though, because I used far too many words to do it.
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
synonims


Explanation:
according to Merriam- Webster, they are synonims, although I agree with Neil Philipson in that there are subtle differences in usage.
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=eff...

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Note added at 12 mins (2004-12-07 13:57:24 GMT)
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And I agree with Sue Levy for her useful example

Arcoiris
Local time: 03:21
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  RHELLER: synonyms is proper spelling; they are different
13 mins

disagree  Ken Cox: Dictionary makers are forced to acknowldge popular usage, which does not always respect differences of meaning. The two words have distinctly different meanings, which must be respected in cases such as this one.
19 mins
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
efficiency is the WAY of doing something; Effectiveness is the RESULT


Explanation:
in a nutshell

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-12-07 14:03:48 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

to increase a product\'s efficiency is to improve the way it works and functions

to increase a product\'s effectiiveness is to make it into a product that gives a better result

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 04:21
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
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43 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
efficience <> efficacité


Explanation:
source: eurodicautom

seaMount
Local time: 04:21
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +11
I'll try...


Explanation:
with an example...

You have two machines that produce exactly the same result.
So they are both "effective".
But one uses less energy (resources) than the other, so it is more "efficient".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 16 mins (2004-12-07 14:01:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

effectiveness= produces the desired result
efficiency=produces the desired result with minimum expenditure (in terms of energy, time, waste, etc.)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 43 mins (2004-12-07 14:27:50 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oh and efficacy is the synonym for effectiveness, often applied to drug treatment.

Dr Sue Levy
Local time: 04:21
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks Sue & Thanks to all the contributors :-) Michel

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Trada inc.: when the result is the one that the machine was built to achieve
3 mins
  -> yes indeed, see my afterthought :-)

agree  Mikhail Kropotov
17 mins

agree  Sven Petersson
18 mins

agree  Nesrin
22 mins

agree  Lisa Lloyd
22 mins

agree  Cilian O'Tuama: the lines I was thinking along too when I read the Q
24 mins

agree  Ken Cox: Indeed. Efficiency is no guarantee of effectiveness, and effectiveness is no guarantee of efficiency.
24 mins

agree  seaMount: IMHO a most effective and efficient try!
24 mins
  -> Thanks all :-)

agree  Jonathan MacKerron: nicely put
37 mins

agree  RHELLER: Hi Sue! there are ways of differentiating these terms in French
43 mins
  -> Hi Rita! There are, and I hope Michel will tell us what he comes up with :-)

agree  humbird
47 mins
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