A common phrase commonly tricky. Context is a patient doing therapy. "Her words [of the therapist] finally allowed me to be what I am : imperfect and whole."

Je cherche autour de plénitude, pleine, construite, entière, uni avec soi, etc. Bof… Étant un terme comportementaliste, je suppose qu'il existe une ou plusieurs traductions canoniques.

2 Answers 2


It’s no help for finding a canonical/clinical translation, ...
but to the extent that the pop/non-clinical notions of:

“imperfectly whole”(cf: “wholly imperfect” from the same GoogleBooks link);
“imperfectly complete” (from a poem by Jessica Watson); and/or
“imperfectly perfect” (& perhaps “perfectly imperfect”(both from Urban Dictionary) ...

come close to capturing “imperfect and whole” in English, ...
maybe you could explore French versions of some of the above, ...

where the use of an adverb could at least help to avoid having to decide whether to replace the “and” in the English version with a “mais” in the French one (which replacement, imo, could perhaps change the impact, if not the meaning, of the message), ...

such as in this video by yoga diva Maryse Lehoux:

Etes-vous parfaitement imparfait ou imparfaitement parfait ?


No idea about a canonical translation but I would suggest droite, pure, authentique, absolue or intègre.

...être ce que je suis, imparfaite mais authentique.

  • Thank you, these are nice possibilities, but to be whole is a fixed phrase in therapy and cognitive science, which is the whole question…
    – kantx
    Oct 1, 2017 at 11:07
  • imparfaite mais moi-même or even imparfaite mais moi ?
    – jlliagre
    Oct 1, 2017 at 13:06

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