On the official English-language website of the institute, it is called thus:

D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology

However, I find this a bit jarring. I would use of:

D.I. Mendeleyev Institute of Metrology

Is this for acceptable in this case - since I do find some instances of "institute for" online? Or is it better to consider this a minor mistake by the website's creators (who are not native speakers of English) and to change it to of in my translation?

The instances with for that I find seem to carry a sense that is different from my case. There, for seems to convey the sense of "in support of":

Institute for Diversity
Institute for Sustainability

The D.I. Mendeleyev Institute must be simply a place "where metrology is being taught and studied", and not a place "where metrology is being supported or promoted", thus I'd pick of.

  • 1
    Even a metrologist would have a hard time measuring the difference between the two. Both are acceptable. for = purpose, E,g, compare the English names of the various Max Planck institutes for ...., or the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 5 '17 at 10:34
  • 1
    Using "for" in English is fine, if you think of it as "D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for (the benefit/study/understanding of) Metrology". Any translation issue is another matter. – user3169 Feb 5 '17 at 23:08
  • 1
    Because it's a name, I would not change it in my translation. It's their name and they may call themselves however they want. Meanwhile, I do agree, I would use "of" myself, for the same reason that you state. – Teacher KSHuang Feb 9 '17 at 9:29

The term Metrology within the title D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology is best thought of as meaning the study of measurement or the study of metrology.

So the preposition for within the phrase for Metrology is perfectly apt here. It means for the benefit of and promotion of the study of measurement. This would bring the title of this institute in line with other institutes such as:

  • The Institute for Materials and Processes
  • The Institute for Digital Communications
  • The Institute for Employment Studies

and many others as well.

Although Institute of... is more common, many very prestigious insitutes quite properly use Institute for... instead.

  • It still feels like the use of for is more "pretentious". "The Institute for Materials and Processes" - good find! Clearly a phrase coined by native speakers. But feels not very apt.. I'll just memorize that this usage is okay. – CowperKettle Feb 10 '17 at 3:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.