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Das Beste ist der Feind des Guten

English translation: we never rest on our laurels

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11:39 Mar 3, 2004
German to English translations [PRO]
Marketing - Advertising / Public Relations
German term or phrase: Das Beste ist der Feind des Guten
heads up the following paragraph:

....Wenn wir und unsere Produkte immer besser werden,so steckt System dahinter: "Total Process Management".Hierbei werden alle qualitätsrelevanten Abläufe registriert,kontrolliert,auf Wechselbeziehungen untersucht und im Sinne der formulierten Unternehmensziele nach Bedarf optimiert oder korrigiert.Dabei geht es um eine höchst systematisch Bereitstellung aller relevanten Informationen und die Einbeziehung aller internen und externen Abläufe ebenso wie aller Geschäfts-und Produktionsabläufe.Daraus werden Schlüsse gezogen und konsequent Korrekturen und Verbesserungen vorgenommen.Dies geschieht nicht von "oben nach unten",sondern wird durch gemeinschaftliche Diskussionen und Entscheidungen -auf allen Ebenen -vorangetrieben.

Context: glossy brochure of an office furniture manufacturer

Is there an English equivalent to this saying (if it is a saying)? Thanks for your ideas.
Nicole Tata
Local time: 23:27
English translation:we never rest on our laurels
Explanation:
we can always do better / complacency is not our business / we are not in the business of complacency
Selected response from:

Jonathan MacKerron
Grading comment
Thanks for all your ideas. 'No room for complacency' is what I finally decided on.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3the best is the enemy of the goodsilvia glatzhofer
3 +1(just) 'good' is not good enough
Cilian O'Tuama
2 +2we never rest on our laurels
Jonathan MacKerron
3The best is not good enough
Erica Magielse


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
(just) 'good' is not good enough


Explanation:
per'aps

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Note added at 2004-03-03 11:49:02 (GMT)
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Found it:

The better is the enemy of the good (Voltaire)
Le mieux est l\'enemi du bien

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Note added at 2004-03-03 13:59:49 (GMT)
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L\'eNNemi

Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 00:27
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 103

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: le mieux is used in adverbial phrases, but whatever, it means the best!
1 hr

agree  Klaus Herrmann: This suggestion is consistent with the text copy as it suggests an on-going process. I don't think the German headline misquotes Voltaire on purpose, there's nothing witty or more sophisticated about it. They just put the words a less old-fashioned order.
2 hrs
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
the best is the enemy of the good


Explanation:
as far as I know there's exactly the same wording in E

silvia glatzhofer
Local time: 00:27
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Deborah Shannon: but what does it mean here? better to be good across the board than to excel in one area?
22 mins

agree  Gábor Simon
1 hr

agree  Pedro Afonso
1 hr
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
The best is not good enough


Explanation:
.

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Note added at 2 hrs 28 mins (2004-03-03 14:08:13 GMT)
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By saying that something is already \'the best\', you are actually saying that it can\'t be improved. Therefore it\'s better to say that it is \'good\', meaning it still can get better.

Erica Magielse
Netherlands
Local time: 00:27
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +2
we never rest on our laurels


Explanation:
we can always do better / complacency is not our business / we are not in the business of complacency

Jonathan MacKerron
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 57
Grading comment
Thanks for all your ideas. 'No room for complacency' is what I finally decided on.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Armorel Young: yes, I think you need to be creative here - for me the literal translation is baffling and obscure
23 mins

agree  davidgreen: i like your first suggestion (the second one sounds like we never do a good enough job)
17 hrs
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