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double tranchant

English translation: double-edged sword (figurative); double-bladed (literal)

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:double tranchant
English translation:double-edged sword (figurative); double-bladed (literal)
Entered by: Sheila Wilson

20:56 Jul 31, 2007
French to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Social Science, Sociology, Ethics, etc. / police, security
French term or phrase: double tranchant
Mais c’est un instrument à double tranchant
stevenharper
Local time: 10:39
double-edged sword
Explanation:
This is the most common expression

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Note added at 24 mins (2007-07-31 21:21:13 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I imagine you want the figurative use in your security context eg a proposed reform could make things worse in some ways whilst improving them in others

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 30 mins (2007-07-31 21:27:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If the context refers literally to an instrument that cuts on both sides, then I personally prefer double-bladed instrument/arm/weapon/etc, simply to avoid any confusion with the figurative use. Mind you, maybe you'd be better off deliberately clouding the issue ...
Selected response from:

Sheila Wilson
Spain
Local time: 14:39
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +3double-edged sword
Sheila Wilson
4 +1which cuts both ways
MatthewLaSon
4 +1double-edged sword
Lori Cirefice
4two-edged
Gabrielle Leyden
1 +1double-edged knife
Evi Prokopi (X)
2 -1sword of Damocles
Ben Gaia


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
two-edged


Explanation:
two-edged: having two edges; especially (of a sword, axe, ec.), having two cutting edges (OED definition)

(also the figurative "two-edged sword," of course)

Gabrielle Leyden
Belgium
Local time: 15:39
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 11

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Ben Gaia: This is the rendering I hear more of in NZ English
39 mins
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20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
double-edged sword


Explanation:
More context would be helpful as Juliebarba already mentioned, but :

Wikipedia "The term double-edged sword can be used as an expression for anything that can simultaneously help and hinder, as when in swordfighting a person can ..."

IMHO this is more idiomatic than double-edged knife




    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword
Lori Cirefice
France
Local time: 15:39
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jean-Claude Gouin
1 hr
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
double-edged sword


Explanation:
This is the most common expression

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 24 mins (2007-07-31 21:21:13 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I imagine you want the figurative use in your security context eg a proposed reform could make things worse in some ways whilst improving them in others

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 30 mins (2007-07-31 21:27:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If the context refers literally to an instrument that cuts on both sides, then I personally prefer double-bladed instrument/arm/weapon/etc, simply to avoid any confusion with the figurative use. Mind you, maybe you'd be better off deliberately clouding the issue ...

Sheila Wilson
Spain
Local time: 14:39
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 14
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  juliebarba
2 mins
  -> Thanks

neutral  writeaway: but does it fit the context (we have no idea). 5 CL is a bit OTT since we have no idea what the instrument means in the context
2 mins
  -> I take your point - I hadn't actually at the time considered that it might be a literal usage

agree  Jean-Claude Gouin
1 hr
  -> Thanks

agree  Chantal Thomas (X)
9 hrs
  -> Thanks
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56 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): -1
sword of Damocles


Explanation:
Isn't this a synonym as well?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-07-31 23:25:02 GMT)
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tranchant=slicing

Ben Gaia
New Zealand
Local time: 01:39
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Bourth (X): Not the same. That's the one hanging over your head from a hair, not one that can equally well inflict damage to you as to the person you wish to hurt. I'm a fencer (not of the No.8 wire type), you see ... /Go easy on the kiwiana, leave some for the rest.
13 mins
  -> Oh yeh yeh she'll be right mate, cheers for that eh. ...touché!
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +1
double-edged knife


Explanation:


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2007-08-01 00:10:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Robert's suggestion "double-edged instrument"


    Reference: http://www.pecos.net/news/arch2000a/101700o.htm
Evi Prokopi (X)
Local time: 16:39
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Robert Frankling: A "double-edged instrument" could be an agency or board of review overseeing ethics, etc.
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Robert!
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
which cuts both ways


Explanation:
Hello,

à double tranchant = that cuts both ways

This is an instrument which cuts both ways.

Often used to describe policies in place, laws, etc.

I hope this helps.




    Reference: http://www.portlandtribune.com/rethinking/story.php?story_id...
MatthewLaSon
Local time: 09:39
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  Bourth (X): Prefer this for the figurative sense.
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, Bourth!
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