De mensen zijn nog steeds de belangrijkste flessenhals
English translation: bottleneck
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14:04 Jan 31, 2009
Dutch to English translations [PRO] Bus/Financial - Business/Commerce (general)
Dutch term or phrase:De mensen zijn nog steeds de belangrijkste flessenhals
Interview about the role of the modern CFO for a business school magazine. Is this intended to be slightly negative (finding good people is still a 'sticking point', a problem)? Seems an odd word to use, where 'knelpunt' might have been expected if this is what the speaker intends.
Wat is het ideale profiel van de financiële professional?
"Hij is een wit schaap met vijf poten dat vertrouwd is met IFRS en de impact van aandelenopties, converteerbare obligaties en goodwill impairments moeiteloos beheerst. De financiële functie moet ook instaan voor een sterke communicatie tussen de financiële afdeling en de andere departementen. ***De mensen zijn nog steeds de belangrijkste flessenhals.*** Goede mensen aantrekken met sterke competenties primeert. In sterke ondernemingen zijn er in heel de onderneming goede financiële mensen terug te vinden."
Client 's feedback was: "flessenhals = knelpunt, probleem (there are not enough people with the appropriate skills)", so Brian was on the right track. Tricky one to grade, as "critical factor" could also be interpreted this way. Might use something like "human resources problems..." to avoid too many "people" in this bit. 4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
IMHO as translator you do not always have to rewrite the original. If you want to go back to your client and criticise their original and you have a good relationship with them now, fine and I hope you keep your good relationship, but quite frankly, I would not consider this "imperfect Dutch" so unclear as to really impair understanding of the passage. I would just translate it as bottleneck and get on with it, without agonising over something like this. Bottleneck is what it says. You can understand it if translated as written. I would save having recourse to your client for things which are likely to give rise to real misunderstandings if not perfectly clear.
IMHO, there's nothing really wrong here. The writer is just trying to emphasize the importance of getting the right man or woman for the job. A 'flessenhals' here is a critical position in the organisation, and, for that reason, employing well-qualified staff ('goede mensen met sterke competenties') is given high priority. That's the basic message. Of course it could have been phrased a lot better ;-)
I must admit my first instinct was to translate this as something like 'People are still the most important resource a company can have' before I started thinking about the negative connotations of bottleneck. It does seem odd to say something negative here, so Paula's and Erik's suggestions are persuasive. I'm going to check back with the client to see if I can get any clarification.
It seems to me that the author has indeed used 'flessenhals' incorrectly here. I would expect a more positive tone when describing the 'ideal profile'. I wonder whether something like 'people are the prime movers' is meant here.
Sorry dat vertalers dit soort problemen op moeten lossen. De auteur heeft de klok horen luiden maar weet niet waar de klepel hangt. Yes, people are the bottleneck, but what that is supposed to mean....?
This is merely pretentious and bad Dutch. The writer is trying to say that business progress is limited by the qualities and performance of the employees, of which the writer, of course, is one. I would write around it