English translation: ante litteram ("(long) before the term was invented")
Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.
You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:
avant la lettre
ante litteram ("(long) before the term was invented")
I know there's a ready phrase for this one, but I can't remember.
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.