I try to translate a Vietnamese document into English. And I am confused with the term "The different development paths" OR "the different developmental paths". Which one is appropriate?

"The different development paths of indigenous culture in the drainage basins of the Red River, Ma River, Ca River, and others converged and formed the Dong Son culture. This was the period that the first state in Vietnam was born under the form of a community, which was the basis for primitive tribes to develop into a nation."

Everyone, Could you help me, please?

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    I've removed the Vietnamese original text as we don't do translation here, and if someone answers based on that text, we don't share the ability to verify any answer. If you could clearly explain in English what the first phrase of that paragraph means, that would be a suitable reference point for us to answer from.
    – gotube
    Oct 17, 2022 at 5:03

2 Answers 2


I don't see much scope1 for different meanings, and both versions are syntactically fine, so it's primarily a matter of which you prefer - possibly influenced by which is most common...

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1 Probably some people will say developmental alludes more strongly to biological processes, and development is more strongly associated with "human enterprises" (people building cities or producing software, for example). But that's a very weak distinction, often neither intended nor perceived.

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While development paths would be completely acceptable (and possibly even favored) in spoken American English, according to the dictionary, development is only a noun, not an adjective. Developmental is the adjective. So I believe you should say:

The different developmental paths...

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