What is the French word for 'scientific calculator'?

Also, what does 'la formule de calcul' mean?


  • 1
    I think Google Translate would (and did) translate those two terms quite well. Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 1:30

1 Answer 1


scientific calculator = calculatrice scientifique.

MAIS ATTENTION : Je crois que le Collins commet une confusion avec le sens 3 de "formule de calcul".

Les collaborateurs contemporains du Collins sont sans doute trop jeunes pour avoir connu l'ancêtre de la calculatrice que les anglais appelaient déjà "calculator" et que les français nommaient règle à calcul.

Et comme, en traduction automatique, la confusion formule / règle est fréquente, je me permets de persister et signer : Règle à calcul et non formule de calcul.

NOTA BENE: Le pédigrée de Peter Shor donne un crédit certain à son objection apportée en commentaires.

  • I don't think that's the reason that Collins got it wrong. I think they were trying to translate an obsolete meaning of calculator that predated electronic calculators. As in the book (found in Google books) "The agriculturist's calculator; a series of tables for the use of all engaged in agriculture or the management of landed property." And quite possibly they got the right translation, but formule de calcul is as obsolete in French as this meaning of calculator is in English. Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 16:35
  • 1
    And a règle à calcul was a slide rule in English, not a calculator (and is as obsolete as the formule de calcul meaning of calculator). Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 16:38

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