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October 2013 - About abbreviations of terms in non-destructive testing

Written by Administrator
Saturday, 14 September 2013 09:56

Once our French/English PT and MT lexicons(1)(2) have been completed by adding the main current abbreviations of terms used, we found out that there are much more abbreviations in English than in French.

We may wonder why.
Would French people be lacking some imagination or inventiveness?
We are not far from thinking so, only by reminding us of the reaction of some French Engineers as shown by the following paragraphs.

There is an English term widely used in our profession. It is “probability of detection”, the abbreviation of which is “POD”.
As a matter of fact, the French term is “probabilité de détection” and, logically, the abbreviation is “PDD”.

However, during the drafting of a technical paper in French, one of us (we are both French) used the abbreviation “PDD”, and a French Engineer replied that no one would understand this abbreviation, while everyone understands what is “POD”.

This is an effect either of the snobbery and the pedantry, or of the ignorance of some French Engineers who use English terms in papers written in French, while there are indeed French equivalent terms. These Engineers have a lot to learn from Quebecers who stubbornly defend the French language.

Indeed, in a paper(3) of Transport Canada, which dates back to 1997, you can read “probabilité de détection (PDD).” As you can see, “PDD” has existed for at least more than 16 years.

So, why not take the good example of "our cousins from la Belle Province", as French people call the Quebecers?


(1) Pierre CHEMIN and Patrick DUBOSC, MT lexicon (French/English), March 2010, (document updated in March 2013). On our Website.

(2) Pierre CHEMIN and Patrick DUBOSC, Lexique PT lexicon (French/English), April 2010, (document updated in March 2013). On our Website.

(3) Bill MILLER, Ingénieur en essais non destructifs, Maintien de la navigabilité (Editor’ note: Non-destructive testing Engineer, Continuing airworthiness), Transports Canada, Ottawa , Le défi du transfert de technologies (Editor’s note: The challenge of technology transfer), 44th Annual CASI (Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute) Conference, April 28-30, 1997. On this Website.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 14 September 2013 10:13 )