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zuvorkommend

English translation: attentive and professional

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:zuvorkommend
English translation:attentive and professional
Entered by: Ulrike Kraemer
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11:09 Jan 31, 2009
German to English translations [PRO]
Marketing - Advertising / Public Relations
German term or phrase: zuvorkommend
Bildunterschrift in the corporate image brochure of a construction equipment manufacturer:

"Zuvorkommende Beratung gehört zum Service von XXX (company name), auch wenn es um Ersatzteile geht."

The photo simply shows two people sitting opposite each other, the one sitting on the left showing/explaining something to the one sitting on the right.

I never know how to translate "zuvorkommend" in such a context. It's more than just being polite, IMHO, because it also communicates that those who do the "Beratung" are experts in their field.

Any creative suggestions highly appreciated.
TALIA for your help.
Ulrike Kraemer
Germany
Local time: 16:28
attentive
Explanation:
The emphasis in this sentence is on the attentiveness of the service, not the expertise of the provider. The provider will of course be an expert. However, since the second half of the sentence emphasizes that attentiveness is paid even for spare parts, it is this that is the main point.
Selected response from:

Jeffrey Nadeau
United States
Local time: 09:28
Grading comment
Thank you all for so many helpful suggestions and comments. I've now used a combination of attentive (thanks, Jeffrey) and professional (thanks, Jutta). As I can't split the points, they go to Jeffrey for his helpful "clues".
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5attentive
Jeffrey Nadeau
4 +2friendly and attentiveLonnie Legg
3 +2expert (advice)
Steffen Walter
4polite (courteous, helpful)Ellen Kraus
3 +1courteous [advice] tailored to a client's needs / courteous, specialist [advice]
Helen Shiner
3proactivecasper
3Readiness to help
Stephen Sadie
3friendly and professional
Jutta Wappel
2obliging
Mustafa Er (BSc MA)


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
polite (courteous, helpful)


Explanation:
any of these adjectives will do

Ellen Kraus
Austria
Local time: 16:28
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
Notes to answerer
Asker: Sorry, but they won't do. I could have come up with any of these myself. As I said, it includes more than just being polite. Please read my question.

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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
friendly and professional


Explanation:
I understand your dilemma, it's hard to come up with one word that conveys all that "zuvorkommend" implies - so why not use two words?

Jutta Wappel
Germany
Local time: 16:28
Works in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 3
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
obliging


Explanation:
courteous, helpful; friendly; accommodating

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 34 mins (2009-01-31 11:43:39 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"Obliging consultation belongs to the service of XXX (company name), even if it is about spare parts"

Mustafa Er (BSc MA)
Turkey
Local time: 17:28
Native speaker of: Native in TurkishTurkish, Native in EnglishEnglish
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Readiness to help


Explanation:
my thruppence worth, püossibly with an extra adjective thrown in

Stephen Sadie
Germany
Local time: 16:28
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 116
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
proactive


Explanation:
Zuvorkommende Beratung = proactive consultancy

casper
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 14
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31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
courteous [advice] tailored to a client's needs / courteous, specialist [advice]


Explanation:
I wonder whether something like this would go towards conveying what you want to express - if it sounds more natural in EN, all to the good.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2009-01-31 14:38:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Following Jutta's native-speaker comments, I would like to drop my second suggestion - she has clarified for me the full meaning of the term in question.

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 43

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ingeborg Gowans: that expresses all of the above: anticipating the client's needs, polite, friendly and courteous; it'sindeed hard to find just one word which captures the meaning of "zuvorkommend"
2 hrs
  -> Thank you, Ingeborg
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
expert (advice)


Explanation:
"XYZ's [Our] service always includes expert advice tailored to your specific needs..." ("tailored to your specific needs" borrowed from Helen - thank you)

I think you need to get away from the strict(er) meaning of the German "zuvorkommend" here.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs (2009-01-31 16:30:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Also note that "expert" can have two meanings (as in "advice provided by experts" = "Beratung durch Spezialisten/Fachleute" versus "expert advice" = "fach-/sachkundige Beratung").

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs (2009-01-31 16:31:21 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

From a slightly different angle, I wouldn't insist too much on the "courteous" aspect (which is, admittedly, involved in this case, too).

Steffen Walter
Germany
Local time: 16:28
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 84

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Paul Cohen
1 hr

agree  E Perret
2 days21 hrs
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
attentive


Explanation:
The emphasis in this sentence is on the attentiveness of the service, not the expertise of the provider. The provider will of course be an expert. However, since the second half of the sentence emphasizes that attentiveness is paid even for spare parts, it is this that is the main point.

Jeffrey Nadeau
United States
Local time: 09:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you all for so many helpful suggestions and comments. I've now used a combination of attentive (thanks, Jeffrey) and professional (thanks, Jutta). As I can't split the points, they go to Jeffrey for his helpful "clues".

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Trudy Peters: good solution
3 mins

agree  Jutta Wappel: I like it too
2 hrs

agree  Inge Meinzer
9 hrs

agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
14 hrs

agree  Christin Kleinhenz
16 hrs
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
friendly and attentive


Explanation:
Combining attentive ("assiduously attending to the comfort or wishes of others" Oxf.Amer.Dict.) w. friendly would seem a close approximation of Wahrig's definition of "zuvorkommend":
"auf jmds. Wünsche freundlich eingehend, höflich und hilfsbereit"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 hrs (2009-01-31 20:03:38 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Only just now saw your proposal, Jeffrey--hadn't refreshed my screen for the last couple of hours--otherwise would have acknowledged it.

Lonnie Legg
Germany
Local time: 16:28
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jutta Wappel: "attentive" sounds good, with or without "friendly"
1 hr

agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
13 hrs
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