Trying to speak about "logiciel libre"

Guillaume Ponce contact at
Wed May 15 12:06:49 UTC 2002

Surfing the net to get some references to put into an article about free
software I was writing for my web page, I've been on the site of

I was surprised to notice that on the French translation of their definition of
open source software (version 1.9) they translated the term "open source" as
"logiciel libre", wich is the exact translation of "free software".  This is not
the case - for example - on the Spanish translation which is "Código Fuente
Abierto".  For the Italian version it is even not translated.


Most of the time in France we do not translate the term if we want to refer to
"open source" but we may say "logiciel libre" to refer to "free software".  The
exact translation of "open source" would rather be "sources ouvertes", but we do
not use it.

I prefer to speak of "logiciel libre " to refer to "free software" (see the "we
speak about free software campaign").  But if the "official translation" of
"open source" is also "logiciel libre", it will be a bit harder for French free
software supporters to explain people what is the difference (if any) between
those 2 concepts and why on term should be preferred to the other.

Any advice?

Guillaume Ponce

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