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civil engineering vs. public works

English translation: Yes, but

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08:14 Jan 29, 2003
English to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering / - branch names
English term or phrase: civil engineering vs. public works
Are these synonymous?
Obviously,
"engineering" implies 'desgin';
"works" implies 'physical building work';
"public" implies 'funded by the state'.

But to they have the same **scope** -- roads, bridges, amenities, etc?


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Encarta® 99 Desk Encyclopedia © & ? 1987-1998

Civil engineering is perhaps the broadest of the engineering fields. It deals with the creation, improvement, and protection of the communal environment, by providing facilities for living, industry, transport, and other constructions. The civil engineer must have a thorough knowledge of all types of surveying, of the properties and mechanics of construction materials, of the mechanics of structures and soils, and of hydraulics and fluid mechanics.
Valters Feists
Latvia
Local time: 17:46
English translation:Yes, but
Explanation:
Yes they are synonymous, but for me (British) "public works" has the additional quite separate meaning of philanthropic works, which may have nothing to do with infrastructure, or even building. In the 19th C this meaning of "public works" might be for example caring for the poor, more recently it might be sponsoring culture.
Selected response from:

Chris Rowson
Local time: 16:46
Grading comment
Thanks Chris and Fuad.


Valters
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +8One is a science or professional discipline or practice. . .Fuad Yahya
4 +2Yes, butChris Rowson


  

Answers


13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Yes, but


Explanation:
Yes they are synonymous, but for me (British) "public works" has the additional quite separate meaning of philanthropic works, which may have nothing to do with infrastructure, or even building. In the 19th C this meaning of "public works" might be for example caring for the poor, more recently it might be sponsoring culture.


    Reference: http://www.apwa.net/
    Reference: http://www.pwmag.com/
Chris Rowson
Local time: 16:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 243
Grading comment
Thanks Chris and Fuad.


Valters

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxEDLING
6 mins

agree  Tanja Abramovic
1 hr
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
One is a science or professional discipline or practice. . .


Explanation:
. . . while "public works" is a term that covers either the domain of activities covered by civil engineers or, often, a local governement department that takes care of projects that are typically the domain of civil engineers.

Put differently, a civil engineer is an engineer "trained in the design and construction of public works, such as bridges or dams, and other large facilities" (American Heritage Dictionary).

To construct a loose analogy, the difference between the two terms is like the difference between "ethics" and "morality."


Fuad

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxEDLING
4 mins

agree  Tony M: Well put!
8 mins

agree  Marie Scarano: the engineers design, the government pays
22 mins

agree  Sarah Ponting
23 mins

agree  Tanja Abramovic
1 hr

agree  Kardi Kho
17 hrs

agree  Dolly Xu
1 day 5 hrs

agree  AhmedAMS
317 days
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