[Translators-l] How should I translate "the Board"?

Gregory Varnum greg.varnum at gmail.com
Thu Jan 26 20:12:39 UTC 2017

I too am not a lawyer, however, having been involved with a lot of nonprofit governance, I think that for these purposes, in other languages, yes - "Board of Trustees” and “Board of Directors” are basically interchangeable. The selection of words is usually a stylistic or homage based reason more than a legal distinction. That is not always the case, and when available, I recommend using “Board of Trustees” - but if there’s a language issue presented by this, I think "Board of Directors" is a reasonable substitute to base a translation on. Again, I say that not being with Legal and not as an official WMF recommendation, just my own personal two cents. :)


> On Jan 26, 2017, at 3:07 PM, Guillaume Paumier <gpaumier at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> Hello,
> 2017-01-26 9:38 GMT-08:00 Lena Traer <ltraer at wikimedia.org>:
>> Would you say that the Board of Trustees at WMF has the same role as the
>> traditional Board of Directors? If that is the case, "Conseil
>> d'administration" likely is most appropriate translation.
>> In Russian, the "board" is also translated as "council". However, "Board of
>> Directors" and "Board of Trustees" translate slightly differently. I think
>> non-profit organizations are likely to use "Board of Trustees" whereas
>> for-profit corporations use "Board of Directors".
> I'm not very familiar with the legal intricacies of the different
> kinds of Boards. To be completely accurate, the best term would
> probably be the English one ("Board of Trustees"), simply because it
> has an official definition in a specific geography and doesn't have an
> exact equivalent in other locales. But for the reasons given by
> Matthieu, it's generally better to try and find the closest
> approximation.
> In France, both non-profit organizations and for-profit organizations
> can have a "Conseil d'administration". It's also the French phrase
> we've been using on the Foundation's website since 2004 (although the
> page hasn't been kept up-to-date with changes in Board members
> recently): https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Conseil_d%27administration
> Hope this helps :)
> -- 
> Guillaume Paumier
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