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I am reading through some statistical PhDs in French and the term "ecart-type" is used, which my dictionary gives as standard deviation, but from the mathematical context I think that in fact variance is meant. "Ecart" back translates to "variance" as well as "deviation" though, whilst of course the English word "variance" is given in French as "variance" but of course here it's hard to make sure that the context is strictly statistical. Are there any francophone statisticians out there who can clear up this confusion for me? Je vous en remercie Nick Wray

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Comment. I put 'My sample has standard deviation 4 and variance 16' into Google translate and got French translation 'Mon échantillon a un écart type de 4 et une variance de 16.'

Of the various languages I have tried in Google translate, French performs best on technical terminology. I understand Google translate for French is based in part on extensive Canadian government documents available in both languages.

If I write a long complicated paragraph for one of my answers here, I often run it through Google translate for French or German to see if the fundamental meaning is preserved. If not, I try to simplify the paragraph. IMHO, Google translate does not work quite as well for technical German as for technical French. Not that I claim to be exactly fluent in either.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that $\endgroup$
    – Nick Wray
    Sep 9 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ I use the same technique :-). Sometimes deepl.com provides better results! $\endgroup$
    – Pitouille
    Sep 9 at 21:15
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Actually you got it right in the first place: écart-type is standard deviation while variance is the same word in French. Bonne lecture !

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  • $\begingroup$ Je n'avait que voulu ecrire "merci" mais il faut utiliser a moins quinze lettres... $\endgroup$
    – Nick Wray
    Sep 9 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Nick, I was not expecting reading French on CV :-) $\endgroup$
    – Pitouille
    Sep 9 at 21:11

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