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Dienen kommt vor Verdienen

English translation: we serve before we deserve

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Dienen kommt vor Verdienen
English translation:we serve before we deserve
Entered by: Kim Metzger
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01:39 Feb 6, 2009
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Social Science, Sociology, Ethics, etc.
German term or phrase: Dienen kommt vor Verdienen
I'd appreciate your ideas on how to translate this proverb/maxim.

Warum Hoffnung bessere Geschäfte macht
Die Märkte von Morgen gehören jenen, die Hoffnung machen. Nur wer an die anderen denkt, kann sich selber Gutes tun. Denn Dienen kommt vor Verdienen. Der Wandel vom Raubtier- zum Hoffnungskapitalismus hat begonnen.
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 07:31
we serve before we deserve
Explanation:
Seen on a Swiss company's website as their translation of the German statement of company values.

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Note added at 12 hrs (2009-02-06 14:06:27 GMT)
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Another way of saying it might be: First we serve, then we deserve.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days12 hrs (2009-02-09 14:25:26 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Thank you very much for the points, Kim!
Selected response from:

Inge Meinzer
United States
Local time: 05:31
Grading comment
Thank you all very much. It was tough choosing the best answer because there were so many good solutions. In addition to Inge's proposal, I also thought the following would work well:
Mark – people before profit
Helen – service before reward
Mary – service comes before gain

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +4we serve before we deserve
Inge Meinzer
4 +3People before profitxxxregardless
3 +1service before reward
Helen Shiner
4first you provide a service, then you make some money
Rosa Paredes
3 +1(public) service trumps private gain
Mary McCusker
3serve others before you serve yourselfpolyglot45
3Put others first.
Charles Rothwell
3serving must precede earningfranglish
3Service (comes) before selfcasper
3work hard, (then) play hard
Nicole Schnell
2work before p(l)ayCreativa
2the higher the salary, the greater the responsibility (to the community?)
Jonathan MacKerron
Summary of reference entries provided
variant phrasingxxxhazmatgerman

Discussion entries: 4





  

Answers


25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
work hard, (then) play hard


Explanation:
Would be my suggestion in this context.


Nicole Schnell
United States
Local time: 05:31
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 7
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
first you provide a service, then you make some money


Explanation:
or something like that. That is the way I understand it.

Rosa Paredes
Canada
Local time: 05:31
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
work before p(l)ay


Explanation:
closest idiom i could think of right now, though the meaning changes slightly, hence the L in brackets..

Creativa
Local time: 14:31
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in DanishDanish, Native in GermanGerman
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
(public) service trumps private gain


Explanation:
It's not entirely clear from the context, but this is what I take to be the message. Other formulation: service comes before gain.

Mary McCusker
Local time: 08:31
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxhazmatgerman: See ref for similar phrase. Not sure whether "public" is apt as source does not say so.
2 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Service (comes) before self


Explanation:
...is how I read it in the context.

casper
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
People before profit


Explanation:
This is a concise rendering of the maxim itself.
I'm not quite sure how to fit it into your translation.


xxxregardless
Local time: 14:31
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  suew
2 hrs

agree  mill2
3 hrs

agree  Helen Shiner: perfect - and perhaps 'the capitalism of hope'?
3 hrs

disagree  xxxhazmatgerman: The emphasis in German is on attitude, not profitability, IMO. Even serving others can - and deserves to be - profitable.
3 hrs
  -> Yes - it's a matter of priority. The text claims that serving people must come first - of course, profit is a positive effect of good service. My solution stands: People before profit.

agree  lirka: I think it fits well here. Short and to the point.
4 hrs
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
serving must precede earning


Explanation:
serving must take precedence over earning

franglish
Switzerland
Local time: 14:31
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
the higher the salary, the greater the responsibility (to the community?)


Explanation:
yet another

Jonathan MacKerron
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Put others first.


Explanation:
Like most idioms I think it virtually impossible to translate with any real degree of literalness.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 hrs (2009-02-06 09:07:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"Public need before private greed" is an alternative (BUT the PROBLEM, though, is that this does have 'historical connotations' with it).

Example sentence(s):
  • Granny possessed a great secret: she knew how to put others first. If she bothered to think about her own needs, it was only after everyone else had been taken care of.

    Reference: http://www.easwaran.org/page/60
Charles Rothwell
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:31
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
serve others before you serve yourself


Explanation:
may be adapted depending on the general style

polyglot45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
service before reward


Explanation:
which one will surely receive in heaven (or some such)

Commitment to Customers. Our customers’ success is our driver. We put ourselves in our customers’ shoes. We aim to understand their needs and to be responsive to those needs. We are in partnership with our customers. We believe in service before reward.
http://www.daxko.com/about/mission

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2009-02-06 11:16:04 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://www.ijawland.com/

And a very interesting use of the phrase: see 8.14 [!]

http://dragonlands.dyns.be/

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:31
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 34

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxhazmatgerman: Methinks the suggestion is well based on examples.
36 mins
  -> Verily so - grateful thanks, hazmatgerman!/Das auch noch!
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
we serve before we deserve


Explanation:
Seen on a Swiss company's website as their translation of the German statement of company values.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 hrs (2009-02-06 14:06:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another way of saying it might be: First we serve, then we deserve.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days12 hrs (2009-02-09 14:25:26 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Thank you very much for the points, Kim!


    Reference: http://www.wtz.ch/our_values.html
Inge Meinzer
United States
Local time: 05:31
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Thank you all very much. It was tough choosing the best answer because there were so many good solutions. In addition to Inge's proposal, I also thought the following would work well:
Mark – people before profit
Helen – service before reward
Mary – service comes before gain

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jutta Wappel: Excellent idea!
1 hr
  -> Dankeschön, Jutta! Was sagt man so schön vom blinden Huhn? :-)

agree  xxxhazmatgerman: I like it but as a nonnative am unsure whether it avoids unwanted connotation with s.th. like "just deserve". Might be considered ironic.
2 hrs
  -> Dankeschön, hazmatgerman! M.E. ist her der selbe Ton wie im Deutschen. Also, wenn sich jemand angesprochen fühlt, dann hat der Spruch ja die richtige Wirkung. :-)

agree  Armorel Young: Comes closest to the original both in meaning and in word play
3 hrs
  -> Thank you Amorel! I can only take credit for finding it. :-)

agree  Lori Dendy-Molz: Or maybe: Only those who serve can also deserve. I like the wordplay here.
1 day8 hrs
  -> Thank you, Lori!
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Reference comments


6 hrs
Reference: variant phrasing

Reference information:
Source for "public service before private gain"
The source is http://www.c-spanarchives.org/congress/?q=node/77531&id=7384...
but system refused to accept it as valid.

xxxhazmatgerman
Germany
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
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