Fiducial calibration is a calibration of an x-ray machine using fiducial marks or fiducial markers to find positional differences between samples. I'm not sure if it's correct to say 'calibration fiducial' in French without loosing it's meaning?

If I search for fiducial in Electropedia, they suggest it as 'conventionelle' in the terms they have available:

  • fiducial value -> valeur conventionnelle
  • fiducial error -> erreur réduite conventionnelle
  • fiducial uncertainity -> incertitude conventionnelle

But I'm not sure if translating it as 'Calibration conventionelle' will mislead the user to think it's a standard calibration procedure or something, without detailing what it specifically is?

  • According to your définition of fiducial marker, it is very similar to the concept of fiducial marker used in photogrammetry. In this case you could use the adjective "fiduciel", which is not in all dictionnaries but is commonly used in watchmaking. Some books use the term "fiduciaire", but this has the primary meaning of "fiduciary" so I would rather avoid.
    – radouxju
    Oct 22, 2015 at 11:46
  • 1
    See french.stackexchange.com/a/37847/1109
    – jlliagre
    Sep 10, 2019 at 10:24

1 Answer 1



It seems French simply uses "calibrage", without anymore specification.

If you want to be more precise, you may say you calibrated the machine by using fiducial markers : "Le calibrage se fait en utilisant des marqueurs."

Your other proposals

About "calibration fiducial"

Forget it. "Fiducial" does not seem to exist in French (according to the Wiktionnaire).

As for "calibration", I'd personnally go for "calibrage" or "étalonnage".

"Étalonnage" seems great because it refers to an "étalon", a reference, which the fiducial markers are. But this is still the uneducated guess.

About "conventionnel"

You are correct again: this seems ill-adapted to this context and may lead to misunderstandings, "conventionnel" being heard as "conventional" or "standard".

Search/thought process

Fiducial markers

I looked for a translation of "fiducial marker" and found "marqueur de calibrage". Here is a definition that seems to match your own:

Plus spécifiquement, un marqueur de calibrage est un objet radio-opaque ayant un diamètre approximatif de 25 mm. Il s’agit généralement d’une boule de métal installée au bout d’une tige flexible. La tige permet de positionner l’objet dans le plan anatomique recherché.

From the marker to the calibration

On the same page, the calibration process is quickly spoken of (emphasis is mine):

Un marqueur de calibrage est parfois appelé un marqueur mise à l’échelle. Pour plus d’informations au sujet du calibrage (ou de la mise à l’échelle)

Disclaimer: I am not a physicist. Someone may know better than me.

  • 1
    Voir aussi ici, l'idée de répères. Merci !
    – user3177
    Oct 22, 2015 at 13:52

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