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avant la lettre

English translation: ante litteram ("(long) before the term was invented")

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:avant la lettre
English translation:ante litteram ("(long) before the term was invented")
Entered by: Heathcliff
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15:57 May 29, 2001
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
French term or phrase: avant la lettre
I know there's a ready phrase for this one, but I can't remember.
Sentence:
Herodotus gave an anthropological description avant-la-lettre of the European character. (Anthropology became a scientific field of study in the 18th century).
I don't want to keep the French term because this text is actually in German.
Parrot
Spain
Local time: 07:20
before the term was even invented
Explanation:
That's the standard phrase (cf. the Larousse Grand Dictionnaire). In this context, "before the discipline [i.e., anthropology] was formalized" or words to that effect should do the trick.

Cheers,
HC
Selected response from:

Heathcliff
United States
Local time: 22:20
Grading comment
Thanks. I had something temporarily like this, but I like the "even"!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
naante litteram
CLS Lexi-tech
nabefore the term was even inventedHeathcliff


  

Answers


10 mins
before the term was even invented


Explanation:
That's the standard phrase (cf. the Larousse Grand Dictionnaire). In this context, "before the discipline [i.e., anthropology] was formalized" or words to that effect should do the trick.

Cheers,
HC

Heathcliff
United States
Local time: 22:20
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 953
Grading comment
Thanks. I had something temporarily like this, but I like the "even"!
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1 hr
ante litteram


Explanation:
is the Latin phrase from which all the other descend; I have seen it used in English contexts of an artistic and literary nature.

Paola L M


CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 01:20
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in pair: 162
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