How Do You Translate “Déroulement”?

Syllabus, Montreal, Translation, Tangle of red thread isolatedAs an editor of translations, I recently stumbled upon the term “the unfolding” in an English text as the heading for the day’s programming. What on earth, I thought. And then I did some backward thinking.

“Unfolding” is one possible, and quite literal, translation of “déroulement.” But in this case, it was a set of activities that were unfolding, not a ball of string.

The term “déroulement” often crops up in administrative texts, where it translates as “agenda,” “proceedings,” or even “roll-out,” among others. If you’re aiming for something less admin-speak, “bon déroulement” translates nicely as simply “run smoothly.”

If you’re tempted to type terms like “unfolding,” “unwinding,” or “unraveling” onto the page, be sure you’re thinking of yarn or yarns, both literal and figurative.

How do you translate “déroulement”?

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