d'infinie distance

English translation: unattainability

19:05 Apr 19, 2014
French to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Philosophy
French term or phrase: d'infinie distance
In an article on feminism and the creation of female identity:

"...les canons du beau tel qu’il est socialement prescrit (et qui n’est qu’un étalon avec tout ce que cela implique d’infinie distance)...."

I'm struggling with the portion inside the parentheses. Is the idea that there are infinitely many benchmarks of beauty such as it is socially prescribed, that the "yardstick" is of infinite distance? Something else altogether?

Thanks!
Daniel McCartney
United States
Local time: 01:27
English translation:unattainability
Explanation:
Having read the whole article, I think this infinite distance refers to the gap between the socially prescribed beauty norms and the reality of what is achievable.
Selected response from:

Elizabeth Tamblin
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:27
Grading comment
I'm leaning toward something like an "unattainable benchmark", but I think this translation hits the nail on the head. Thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +1(which is not more than a reference standard with all that it implies as "amplitude")
Remy Ib
3 +1so far removed
Francis Marche
3which is just a standard, with everything that implies about infinite distance
David Merry
3(ever) expanding yardstick/benchmark
Verginia Ophof
3unattainability
Elizabeth Tamblin
3the unbridgeable distance
Daryo


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
(which is not more than a reference standard with all that it implies as "amplitude")


Explanation:
IMO, "the infinite distance" refers to the "infinite margin" from the standard as the concept of beauty can greatly differ from an individual to another.

I hope that you'll find a more philosophical term for "amplitude".

Remy Ib
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:27
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Anca Florescu-Mitchell: Nice explanation, too.
9 hrs
  -> Thank you!
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the unbridgeable distance


Explanation:
the unbridgeable distance between the "norm/ideal/model" and the real life occurrences.

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:27
Native speaker of: Native in SerbianSerbian, Native in FrenchFrench
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
so far removed


Explanation:
as in for how we live is so far removed from how we ought to live, that he who abandons what is done for what ought to be done, will rather bring about his own ruin than his preservation

Another term than "yardstick" or "benchmark" might do just as well : "Etalon" is more of a template than a yardstick in this context.

Francis Marche
France
Local time: 08:27
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 32

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  GILOU
10 hrs
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17 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
unattainability


Explanation:
Having read the whole article, I think this infinite distance refers to the gap between the socially prescribed beauty norms and the reality of what is achievable.


    Reference: http://www.philomag.com/blogs/feminin-singulier/sois-belle-e...
Elizabeth Tamblin
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
I'm leaning toward something like an "unattainable benchmark", but I think this translation hits the nail on the head. Thanks!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
(ever) expanding yardstick/benchmark


Explanation:
which is merely an ever expanding/never ending yardstick/benchmark





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Note added at 18 hrs (2014-04-20 13:29:58 GMT)
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The ever-expanding scope of NYC Human Rights Law

Example sentence(s):
  • "Happiness" is not a condition but an ideal of ever-changing aspirations, of an ever-expanding vision of self-fulfillment through

    Reference: http://lexrex.com/enlightened/AmericanIdeal/yardstick/pr8.ht...
Verginia Ophof
Belize
Local time: 01:27
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Francis Marche: "ever expanding yardstick" c'est pousser le bouchon un peu loin... "ever moving benchmark or goal post", peut-être...
2 hrs
  -> yes, indefinite, unstable, fluid......
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1 day 19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
which is just a standard, with everything that implies about infinite distance


Explanation:
I think the point translates reasonably well literally. You can leave out "measure" if you like. I think with étalon the author has in mind things like the étalon metre or the standards for grams etc. The point with these is that they give you a standard for measuring things but they importantly don't tell you anything like "this is enough". Trying to become more beautiful according to society's standards is like trying to become taller or heavier: you'll never succeed because you can always keep going. But you'll also always be in the same place relative to your goal. There's no fixed point you're aiming at. So aiming at social standards of beauty is futile.


    Reference: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89talon_%28mod%C3%A8le%29
David Merry
Germany
Local time: 08:27
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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