KudoZ home » English » General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters

the salt of the earth

English translation: a very valuable commodity

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:the salt of the earth
English translation:a very valuable commodity
Entered by: Phong Le
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

10:00 Feb 16, 2009
English to English translations [PRO]
Marketing - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
English term or phrase: the salt of the earth
The text are from a website of a designer:

Public health

Plumbers are the salt of the earth, but are uncommon in Vietnam.

We know how to design plumbing and drainage systems that work.

After all the last thing you need in a building are smells, liquids and other wastes, that are not being disposed of properly.
Phong Le
Vietnam
Local time: 23:01
a very valuable commodity
Explanation:
it means someone is very valuable, very useful, difficult to do without.
Selected response from:

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:01
Grading comment
All explanations from All are very nice and right.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
5 +7saying of Jesus
Terence Ajbro
4 +5vital, essential people
Jack Doughty
5 +3simple but very important to have aroundwordgirl
4a very valuable commodity
Mary Worby
Summary of reference entries provided
common but valuable
Claire Chapman

Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
a very valuable commodity


Explanation:
it means someone is very valuable, very useful, difficult to do without.


    Reference: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/310200.html
Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:01
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
All explanations from All are very nice and right.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
vital, essential people


Explanation:
Well, considered so in most of the world anyway.
A highly complimentary expression for any class or group of people.

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:01
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 366

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vitaly Kisin
22 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  chaman4723
1 hr
  -> Thank you.

agree  Alice Bootman
3 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  xxxd_vachliot
4 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  humbird
6 hrs
  -> Thank you.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +7
saying of Jesus


Explanation:
Someone who makes the world a better place to live in. Salt is used to preserve meat and keep things free of bacteria, also to give taste to food. A very common saying.

Terence Ajbro
Sweden
Local time: 18:01
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jack Doughty: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? Matthew v. 13.//So do I.
2 mins
  -> I just love the KJV translation

agree  Patricia Townshend
2 mins

agree  Gunilla Zedigh
9 mins

agree  chaman4723
1 hr

agree  Gary D: Note above....
3 hrs

agree  humbird: Completely agree, but I would omit religious flavor, i.e. the mater is more straightforward, just as seen in Jack's answer.
6 hrs

agree  Polangmar
14 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
simple but very important to have around


Explanation:
plumbers perhaps do not perform a very intellectual job, but their work is VERY important!

hope this helps!

wordgirl
Italy
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tina Vonhof: The other answers are correct too but I think the 'simple' aspect is important.
5 hrs
  -> Thank you, Tina! :) WG

agree  Claire Chapman: or as I think of it, someone who is common (of a humble nature) but valuable :-)
7 hrs
  -> Thanks so much, Claire! :) WG

agree  Lalit Sati
18 hrs
  -> Thank you very much, Lalit!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Reference comments


7 hrs peer agreement (net): +1
Reference: common but valuable

Reference information:
What all these definitions have in common is that, like salt, which is a common item that is highly valued for what it does, someone who is the salt of the earth is a decent, dependable and unpretentious person and who is valued for those characteristics. In the case of your text, the plumber is valued for his essential, blue-collar skills.

References:
Idiom Definitions for 'Salt of the earth'
People who are salt of the earth are decent, dependable and unpretentious.
http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/salt of the ear...

salt of the earth –noun
an individual or group considered as representative of the best or noblest elements of society.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/salt of the Earth

be the salt of the earth
if someone is the salt of the earth, they are a very good and honest person His mother's the salt of the earth. She'd give you her last penny.
See also: earth, salt
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/be the salt of the earth

the salt of the earth - common people; honest, hard-working people - The Swensons are plain, decent people - the salt of the earth.
http://pessoal.sercomtel.com.br/assis/English/Dictionaries/E...

Salt of the earth
People who are salt of the earth are decent, dependable and unpretentious.
http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/s.html

Idiom(s):
salt of the earth A person or group considered as the best or noblest part of society.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/salt

Claire Chapman
United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Lalit Sati
10 hrs
  -> Thank you, Lalit :-)
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search