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the following sentence came from https://francohalton.ca/ :

L’Espace francophone de Halton a comme mission de favoriser le regroupement et l’épanouissement de la communauté francophone et francophile ainsi que de promouvoir le développement des services en français dans la région de Halton.

I don't know what the word "comme" means here.

Here are some things I've explored to try and figure it out:

  1. using DeepL translator, removing the word "comme" doesn't seem to affect the translation:

Putting "L’Espace francophone de Halton a comme mission de favoriser le regroupement et l’épanouissement de la communauté francophone" into deepL translator gives:

The mission of the Espace francophone de Halton is to promote the regrouping and development of the francophone community.

and putting the same sentence without comme gives:

L'Espace francophone de Halton's mission is to promote the regrouping and development of the francophone community.

  1. Browsing wordreference entry for "comme", there are entries such as "like", and "as" and "just as". But I can't see how I can fit any of these words into " [Ce lieu] a comme mission de " ("This place has mission to .."). Attempting to do so gives something like "This place has also mission to" which doesn't make sense.

  2. If I were to write the sentence without "comme", I would have "[Ce lieu] a __ mission de", which looks wrong. I want to instead put a determiner there, as in "Ce lieu a une mission" or "Ce lieu a la mission". So, maybe "comme" is a determiner of some sort? But, I do not see an entry in the wordreference page where "comme" is a determiner.

Questions:

  1. What does "comme" mean in this sentence?
  2. How could I have figured this out on my own (eg, using the internet or a dictionary etc) ?
  • I don't give an answer because I don't know if I misunderstood you. Comme may convey in this context as. – Dimitris Oct 21 at 15:41
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    A word-by-word translation would be: The Espace francophone de Halton has as mission to foster the regrouping and development of the Francophone and Francophile community as well as to promote the development of French language services in Halton Region. – Dimitris Oct 21 at 15:42
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    @Dimitris: The English sentence "This place has as mission to .." doesn't make sense to my own (native-English) ears? – silph Oct 21 at 16:03
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    I'm not sure that I could go as far as you and say that my own native-English ears couldn't make [any] sense of "This place has as mission to ...," but "This place has as its mission to ..." would definitely sound better to them (as would "... has for its mission to ..." for that matter). – Papa Poule Oct 21 at 18:57
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    As to resources, searching for “comme” in Larousse gives the appropriate definition – Maroon Oct 21 at 23:43
2

I

In this sentence "comme" is an adverb and it means "for". In French a synonym would be "en tant que".

  • Halton's Espace Francophone has for mission …

You can formulate that differently in English as

  • "The mission of the Espace francophone of Halton is to …" or

  • "Halton's Espace Francophone's mission is to …".

It happens that removing "comme" yields another syntax that amounts sematically to the same thing, so DeepL is right.

II

It is not easy to determine this from the sources such as the dictionaries. You have to match the pattern to what you find in the dictionaries (a comme mission de favoriser le … → Verb + comme + Substantif + Prop. infinitive), but that is easier said than done.

| improve this answer | |
  • I've been trying to articulate an answer for the past 10 minutes, but this one is so much better :-) Please note that the "Prop. infinitive" is not always one: "Machin a comme mission de préserver les animaux" = "Machin a comme mission la préservation des animaux". Or even "Le Rhône a comme affluents la Durance et le Gardon", but we're going further from the OP's question – Laurent S. Oct 21 at 16:36

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