sciences de l'univers

English translation: astrophysical sciences / cosmology / space science

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:sciences de l\'univers
English translation:astrophysical sciences / cosmology / space science
Entered by: Jocelyne S

07:11 Sep 28, 2010
French to English translations [PRO]
Science - Astronomy & Space
French term or phrase: sciences de l'univers
I am not convinced that "sciences de l'univers" (the discipline) can be acceptably translated into "science of the universe" in English, but my client - a French professor - is convinced that it can be.

I would be interested in the (substantiated) opinions of colleagues with experience in astronomy, astrophysics and/or cosmology.

Many thanks in advance.

Best,
Jocelyne
Jocelyne S
France
Local time: 16:55
astrophysical sciences
Explanation:
Not my field, but philosophers feel like disciplinary distinctions are their specialty!

I gather from the descriptions on the web that the "science of the universe" is basically physics, but with a cosmological focus - ie astrophysics - and I think "astrophysical sciences" gives the appropriate multi-disciplinary meaning and is commonly used in English, see eg. the dept of astrophysical sciences at http://www.princeton.edu/astro/

I would suggest to your client that "sciences of the universe", although used as a transliteration of departments/institutes of this name, in English sounds about as learned as "to infinity and beyond!"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 25 mins (2010-09-28 07:37:08 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ie as per asker's description, the "sciences de l'univers" = astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sciences_de_l'Univers), which I would refer to by the umbrella term "astrophysical sciences".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 17 hrs (2010-09-29 00:51:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

... Or astronomical sciences? There appears to be controversy over names: cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy#Use_of_terms_.22astro...
Selected response from:

Melissa McMahon
Australia
Local time: 02:55
Grading comment
It is really difficult to award points here since I don't believe there is a single "correct" answer in this case. My context was quite historical (Newton + the construction of scientific knowledge) and I felt that "space science" was too modern a term. I used Melissa's suggestion, but in the end my client and I have agreed to go with cosmology instead. Many thanks to all for your help.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +1Space science
Mathieu Isidro (X)
5Sciences of the Universe
Sylvie Chartier
3 +1study of the universe
Richard Hedger
3astrophysical sciences
Melissa McMahon
3astrophysics
David Richardson


Discussion entries: 4





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
study of the universe


Explanation:
"science of the universe" = 2'690'000 hits
"study of the universe" = 14'200'000 hits

Its not wrong but can be said in other ways too :)

Richard Hedger
Switzerland
Local time: 16:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Melissa McMahon: but neither the science nor the study of the universe is the discipline(s) referred to by "les sciences de l'univers"
11 mins

agree  Kiwiland Bear
13 hrs
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26 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Sciences of the Universe


Explanation:
The French professor is right...


    Reference: http://www.physlink.com/Directories/Departments/showdept.cfm...
Sylvie Chartier
Canada
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
Notes to answerer
Asker: Do you have any English evidence to back this up? The link you've provided is the translation of a French CNRS research unit. I haven't found anything convincing to back this up in (native) English documents, other than specific book titles or the like, but not in reference to the discipline as a whole.

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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Space science


Explanation:
Hi, indeed, Sciences of the Universe is not a phrase you'll find very often. Just check occurrences on google, and the source.
CNES, the French space agency, often uses "Universe sciences", but it is merely a translation of the French. I wouldn't say it's wrong, but it's not used in English circles in my experience.
NASA uses "Space science", of which you'll find a lot more sources on google.
The debate I had with colleagues at CNES was whether science should be plural or not, to better show the different science involved in this field. Astrophysics is just one field, Space science also includes fundamental physics, planetology, exobiology, heliophysics, among others.
In my opinion, stick with what NASA, ESA, or Americans, do and say when it comes to space vocabulary in English.



    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_science
    Reference: http://www.esa.int/export/esaSC/index.html
Mathieu Isidro (X)
Local time: 16:55
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Anna Quail: Sounds convincing to me, although I'm no expert. Definition given in one of your refs: http://www.esa.int/export/esaSC/SEMG0KR1VED_index_0.html Will post another reference in Discussion section.
1 hr
  -> Thanks Flo

neutral  Melissa McMahon: My concern though would be whether this is too NASA-activity based: ie too much about the science and technology of space exploration and observation rather than the physical sciences per se.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, I think you may be right, see discussion thread
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
astrophysics


Explanation:
"les sciences" is quite generic, I would believe the best term to simply be "astrophysics"

David Richardson
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Carrie Comer: Over 37 million google hits, many university level classes, etc. My brother was an astrophysics minor. In my opinion this is the most recognizable way to refer to this field.
4 hrs

disagree  Kiwiland Bear: Definition for the "sciences de l'univers" includes astrophysics but that's not all there is to it. It also includes cosmology and others. So astrophysics is way too narrow here.
10 hrs
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
astrophysical sciences


Explanation:
Not my field, but philosophers feel like disciplinary distinctions are their specialty!

I gather from the descriptions on the web that the "science of the universe" is basically physics, but with a cosmological focus - ie astrophysics - and I think "astrophysical sciences" gives the appropriate multi-disciplinary meaning and is commonly used in English, see eg. the dept of astrophysical sciences at http://www.princeton.edu/astro/

I would suggest to your client that "sciences of the universe", although used as a transliteration of departments/institutes of this name, in English sounds about as learned as "to infinity and beyond!"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 25 mins (2010-09-28 07:37:08 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ie as per asker's description, the "sciences de l'univers" = astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sciences_de_l'Univers), which I would refer to by the umbrella term "astrophysical sciences".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 17 hrs (2010-09-29 00:51:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

... Or astronomical sciences? There appears to be controversy over names: cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy#Use_of_terms_.22astro...

Melissa McMahon
Australia
Local time: 02:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
It is really difficult to award points here since I don't believe there is a single "correct" answer in this case. My context was quite historical (Newton + the construction of scientific knowledge) and I felt that "space science" was too modern a term. I used Melissa's suggestion, but in the end my client and I have agreed to go with cosmology instead. Many thanks to all for your help.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  fionn: This philosopher agrees with you. Also that 'science(s) of the universe' is a description, not the name of a discipline.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Fionn!

disagree  Kiwiland Bear: Definition for the "sciences de l'univers" includes astrophysics but that's not all there is to it. It also includes cosmology and others. So astrophysics is way too narrow here.//But physical sciences are still about/within physics. Not so with astro...
12 hrs
  -> I agree, which is why I did not suggest "astrophysics". Cf. Physical sciences vs physics - not the same thing!
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