I'm searching for an English word which could have the same meaning than the word "prestation" in french, in the sense of "some service (paid or not) that has been executed by an administrative entity."

For example, as a citizen, you may request a specific document or initiate procedure such as a planning permission that requires the authorities to carry out a certain amount of work, such as searching for documents or going through administrative departments to check that your request complies with local legislation or regulations, etc.

The word "prestation" in french can be seen in such sentences:

Le présent règlement régit les tarifs requis pour les prestations du Département de la communication et des affaires extérieures.

Règles relatives à la description des prestations de l'administration fédérale.

The most common occurrence I have found in English is "service" but it seems too vague or too general for me.

  • 1
    If you pluralize it - services- , it points to something(s) more specific. Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 16:23
  • 1
    The word in English for this is services. The French can't use that here les services here for obvious reasons. I do French-to-English translations and can guarantee this is the standard translation of the term.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 20:14
  • Providing an English-language sentence and context would be useful.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 20:28
  • "Service provision" matches with the first french example and just "services" for the second.
    – Graffito
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 22:44
  • These regulations govern the rates for the services of the Communication and Foreign Affairs Department (or Ministry). This is Switzerland. It has a federal system unlike France and Belgium, for example. These départements are in fact what are called ministries in other European countries but departments in the US.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 0:17

2 Answers 2


Service is close indeed but has several meanings in both French and English so can be ambiguous depending on the context.

French prestation is related to the action (we kind of lend something) while service is the result of that action. We can say prestation de service, service rendu or service fourni in French which might translate to provided service or service delivery depending on the context.

These definitions match what we call prestations:

Service (Collins)


If an organization or company provides a particular service, they can do a particular job or a type of work for you.
The kitchen maintains a twenty-four-hour service and can be contacted via Reception.
The larger firm was capable of providing a better range of services.


7 PLURAL NOUN [with poss]
Your services are the things that you do or the skills that you use in your job, which other people find useful and are usually willing to pay you for.
I have obtained the services of a top photographer to take our pictures. [+ of]
The performers have all offered their services free of charge.

In both of your sentences, services provided by[...] should work.


You might reasonably use function

Function: the natural purpose (of something) or the duty (of a person)

Function: to perform the purpose of a particular thing, or to perform the duties of a particular person

Even if the duty of the department is to produce something such as a document, or to search for it, or other material operations, they may be considered to be performing their function by delivering it or by their operations.

  • Would the downvoter care to explain their depressed view of a reasoned answer? It is just possible that we may benefit from their presently unexpressed viewpoint.
    – Anton
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 23:04
  • I have translated for 36 years and prestations has never meant function.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 0:10

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