How would I say “with basin-like characteristics” in French?

I have something along the lines of “avec des caractéristiques comme un bassin” but I find it very ugly and unappealing. Anything better?

Some context:

With nearly 10 km of uninterrupted flatwater, consistent depth and basin-like characteristics, as well as some of the most placid and beautiful flatwater in the world, the canal is a wonderful place to host an event.

  • 1
    In oral speech with people I'm familiar with (and who understand English), I tend to keep the “machin-like” form in French, for concision. Good question ! Jan 27, 2013 at 3:37

2 Answers 2



Some suffixes in English are derived from its Germanic base.
-like is one of those suffixes (German: -lich, Dutch: -lijk)

Words of this nature do not translate easily into French.


French co-incidentally possess no such affix that performs a similar process as -like does in English. Therefore utterances containing such constructions in English must be altered in French much like how you already translated … with basin-like characteristics.


  1. with childlike characteristics → avec des caractéristiques enfantines
  2. with soldier-like poise → avec un maintien soldatesque
  3. with ball-like shape → avec la forme d'une balle


If the word has an appropriate adjective form, then use that. Otherwise use example 3 to formulate the translation.

Additionally, using a construction “avec le [qualified characteristic]” only feels right to me as an adverbial prepositional phrase.

  • Thanks for the nice breakdown. I'll edit my post to add some context.
    – nopcorn
    Jan 26, 2013 at 18:03

If the noun has an corresponding adjective in French, chances are that it will suit your needs best. Un lieu paradisiaque is a heaven-like place.

Otherwise, I belive “qui ressemble à [un bassin]” is the most lightweight general approach.

In the specific context you gave, I'd go for “aux allures de bassin”.

  • 1
    Oh, I like "aux allures" and I think it fits quite well. Thanks
    – nopcorn
    Jan 26, 2013 at 18:07
  • 2
    "aux allures de bassin" absolutely expresses exactly what the sentence in English says. This means in English something along the lines of "... with the captivating qualities of a basin". It simply implies that these qualities are generally positive ... and alluring :).
    – Sean
    Jan 26, 2013 at 18:08

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