enveloppe (financier)

00:28 May 15, 2000
French to English translations [PRO]
French term or phrase: enveloppe (financier)
"Enveloppe" in French appears to be roughly co-extensive with "budget" in English. But of course French has its own term "budget".

In some international contexts (e.g. Europe) the English translations simply give "financial envelope", with all the risks of risible misunderstanding that this entails. Indeed, with time it has become an accepted English financial term within these organisations, so English-speaking administrators write "indicative financial envelope" without flinching, where I would have expected something along the lines of "spending forecast".

This special usage may be justified by the special financial and budgetary structures and procedures in the organisation. But still, it galls somehow...

Does Euro-English really need its own English "envelope"? Is it desirable? I'd appreciate comments from French-English translators, accountants and planners who have encountered this problem.
Ed Friesen

Summary of answers provided
nabudget or allocation
Kirk McElhearn (X)
naSince you're looking for discussion, here is what some NON-Euro English lexicographers have to say..
Yolanda Broad
CLS Lexi-tech
naSpending Envelope
Janet Kemp
naFinancial envelope



15 mins
Financial envelope

This is one example of a French import into the English language. It is , however , in common use an may be regarded as "naturalized".

    Routledge's Dictionary of Business, Commerce and Finance
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4 hrs
Spending Envelope

For "enveloppe" by itself. The company I formerly worked for as an in-house translator preferred "spending envelope", referring to monies set aside in a budget. That's how I've always translated it. It can also mean "total dollars", "part of the budget earmarked for...". But "envelope" is a perfectly acceptable financial term.

Janet Kemp
United States
Local time: 13:07
PRO pts in pair: 39
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5 hrs

It's common parlance in Canadian political and financial English; one says "the social envelope" to mean all dollars budgeted, by different departments, for "social" programs; we take comfort in the fact that English is importing from French, in a country where we still write "cheque" but we say "chequer" to mean "verifier" (lost the accents!)

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 13:07
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in pair: 162
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6 hrs
Since you're looking for discussion, here is what some NON-Euro English lexicographers have to say..

I. From Termium [note the comment at the end that I have set off with **]: English:Public Sector Budgeting Government Accounting envelope s CORRECT,OFFICIALLY APPROVED
resource envelope s CORRECT,OFFICIALLY APPROVED DEF - ... the level of resources available for each policy sector in the current year, the upcoming year and each of three planning years. Envelopes are established on an annual basis in the Fiscal Plan. They are defined primarily in terms of direct outlays from the Consolidated Revenue Fund but also take into consideration the implications of non-cash transactions such as loan guarantees and tax expenditures. s OBS - Envelope; resource envelope: Officially approved by the Management Committee for the BCF (budgetary, accounting and finance) Glossary. **Use of these terms is mandatory in Canadian government texts.** s 1998-11-12 [II] From Termium: English:Financial and Budgetary Management budget allowance s CORRECT French:Financial and Budgetary Management enveloppe budgétaire s CORRECT,FEM enveloppe s CORRECT,FEM DEF - Crédits affectés à chaque unité administrative pour sa gestion. s [III] From LGDT: Domaine(s)
économie politique et sociale finances publiques envelope (a)
Note(s): Les termes «envelope» et «resource envelope» ont été uniformisés par le Comité de ((terminologie du Secrétariat d'État)). (c) Synonyme(s): resource envelope (ab) enveloppe n f (a)
Niveau des ressources dont dispose chaque secteur de dépenses ((établi par des)) limites fixées aux crédits pour un programme déterminé durant la période donnée, ce qui n'exclut toutefois pas la possibilité de modifier plus tard la répartition interne des crédits. (ab) Note(s): Les termes «enveloppe» et «enveloppe budgétaire» ont été uniformisés par le Comité ((de terminologie du Secrétariat d'État)). (c) Synonyme(s): enveloppe budgétaire n f (ab)
[Office de la langue française, 1997] RBT8393128 [IV] From LGDT: Domaine(s) gestion gestion financière budget package (a) enveloppe budgétaire n f (a) Crédits budgétaires prévus pour couvrir une activité pendant une période déterminée. (a)
Synonyme(s): enveloppe n f (a) [1985] RBT8419974 [V] Hee is another one from LGDT, without any English translation. In this case, especially, I should think that **package** would be the best way to handle the French "enveloppe": Domaine(s) gestion
gestion financière enveloppe n m (a) Montant global des crédits affectés à une mission déterminée et répartis entre les différentes administrations et organismes chargés d'en assurer l'exécution (ex.: l'enveloppe recherche, l'enveloppe formation professionnelle). (a) [Office de la langue française, 1980]

    Reference: http://www.termium.com
    Le grand dictionnaire terminologique
Yolanda Broad
United States
Local time: 13:07
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 1551
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1 day 3 hrs
budget or allocation

It is as you say. It is often just budget, but could also be allocated funds (at least in US E).


Kirk McElhearn (X)
Local time: 19:07
PRO pts in pair: 2
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