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Bilanz schlägt Mensch

English translation: more ideas

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18:42 Mar 8, 2004
German to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
German term or phrase: Bilanz schlägt Mensch
My neighbor is an artist, and regularly posts boards in his studio windows with poignant sayings.... Like "Von allem gibt es zu viel, nur von der Liebe nicht" and his latest post is "Bilanz schlägt Mensch". I have been wracking my brains for weeks since he posted it to try to find an equally succinct English equivalent. My suspicion is that it is pretty untranslatable - or at least impossible to translate it in just three (or even four or five words). Anyone fancy having a go?

Alison
Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 00:31
English translation:more ideas
Explanation:
I agree with you that a literal(ish) translation wouldn’t work at all here. I would therefore use a communicative approach and translate the message rather than the words, but keeping it in the style of a newspaper headline.

Having had considerable problems in trying to work out what this ‘slogan’ is actually supposed to mean, I’m grateful for your added explanation. I presume then that we are talking about a variation on the theme of ‘big bad business versus poor innocent man’? If that is case, here are some ideas for you to peruse over your morning coffee:

Man drowning in corporate shark pool

Man devoured by corporate sharks

Man trampled by corporate giants

Man falls victim to profit-mongering

Man suffocated by balance sheet

Balance sheet hides/covers up human suffering

Corporate accounts for no man

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-03-09 18:57:39 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

a few more:

Big business kills little people

As business goes up, man goes under

The bigger the business, the smaller the man

Business profits no man

Incidentally, I\'ve just heard your news, Alison. Many congratulation on the birth of your baby girl, from a seasoned mother of two little darling monsters. May your milk be plenty and your sleepless nights few! ;-))
Selected response from:

Nicole Tata
Local time: 23:31
Grading comment
I really like both "corporate accounts for no man" and "business profits no man" - I also liked all of the other ideas with "bottom line". I'll keep mulling it over.... I've not made a glossary entry as I don't have a polished translation of this "phrase" yet. Thanks to you all!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +3Bottom line beats human(s)ntext
3 +1more ideas
Nicole Tata
4Balance sheet defeats humankindEdhild
4Balance sheet defeats humankindEdhild
4The balance sheet trumps humankind
jccantrell


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
The balance sheet trumps humankind


Explanation:
A bit longer, and you can see I play bridge, but ....

jccantrell
United States
Local time: 15:31
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Bilanz schlägt Mensch
Bottom line beats human(s)


Explanation:
or: Bottom line beats humankind

ntext
United States
Local time: 17:31
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 48

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  gangels: great!
1 hr

agree  Gábor Simon
13 hrs

agree  Melanie Nassar : I like the rhythm of "bottom line beats humankind"
17 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Balance sheet defeats humankind


Explanation:
just another try

Edhild
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Balance sheet defeats humankind


Explanation:
just another try

Edhild
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
more ideas


Explanation:
I agree with you that a literal(ish) translation wouldn’t work at all here. I would therefore use a communicative approach and translate the message rather than the words, but keeping it in the style of a newspaper headline.

Having had considerable problems in trying to work out what this ‘slogan’ is actually supposed to mean, I’m grateful for your added explanation. I presume then that we are talking about a variation on the theme of ‘big bad business versus poor innocent man’? If that is case, here are some ideas for you to peruse over your morning coffee:

Man drowning in corporate shark pool

Man devoured by corporate sharks

Man trampled by corporate giants

Man falls victim to profit-mongering

Man suffocated by balance sheet

Balance sheet hides/covers up human suffering

Corporate accounts for no man

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-03-09 18:57:39 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

a few more:

Big business kills little people

As business goes up, man goes under

The bigger the business, the smaller the man

Business profits no man

Incidentally, I\'ve just heard your news, Alison. Many congratulation on the birth of your baby girl, from a seasoned mother of two little darling monsters. May your milk be plenty and your sleepless nights few! ;-))

Nicole Tata
Local time: 23:31
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 28
Grading comment
I really like both "corporate accounts for no man" and "business profits no man" - I also liked all of the other ideas with "bottom line". I'll keep mulling it over.... I've not made a glossary entry as I don't have a polished translation of this "phrase" yet. Thanks to you all!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Terry Gilman: the last one sounds like the title of an artwork; my 2 cents: business beats me
4 hrs
  -> man beaten by corporate club?
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