positive Störenfriede

English translation: helpful/constructive gadfly

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Positive Störenfriede etc ... (see context!)
English translation:helpful/constructive gadfly
Entered by: Dr. Fred Thomson

22:10 Oct 3, 2004
German to English translations [PRO]
Marketing - Marketing / Market Research / Image brochure
German term or phrase: positive Störenfriede
Headline: Die zündensten Ideen entwickeln wir beim Kunden.

Copy: Als Agentur-Team verstehen wir uns als Dienstleister – die Betonung liegt dabei auf Leistung. Um Top-Leistungen für unsere Kunden zu bieten, haben wir daher zwei **** – mitunter lästige – **** Angewohnheiten: Wir hören unseren Kunden zu – und wir stellen zielgerichtete, durchaus auch kritische Fragen **** und verstehen uns als positive Störenfriede.*****
Denn nur die kritische und gleichzeitig begeisterte Beschäftigung mit den Produkten und Angeboten unserer Kunden ermöglicht es uns, deren Probleme zu verstehen und kreative Lösungen zu entwickeln, die nachhaltig Erfolg haben – oft springt der Funke bereits in der Diskussion mit dem Kunden über.

This sentence/concept is doing my head in - They're trying to say that they prefer to nag the customer until they get what they want to achieve a successful project rather than leaving them in peace. But how on earth do I translate the parts in **** without them sounding too negative? - I thought about "slightly pesky" for "mitunter lästig" as it has a kind of jokey touch for me (the sort of thing you might hear in a cartoon), but somehow "positive nuisances" just doesn't work for me (to be quite honest, I'm not sure about pesky here either, but then if I were I probably wouldn't be asking this question;-)

Thanks in advance for any help!
Sarah Downing
Local time: 16:14
gadflies or instigators or nags
Explanation:
These people prompt you to wake up and smell the roses, i.e., to get things done.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 9 mins (2004-10-03 23:20:12 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

A Stoerenfried is a troublemaker or a mischiefmaker. You could also use one of these two terms.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 10 mins (2004-10-03 23:21:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Some people would use \"pot stirrer,\" i.e., someone who stirs the pot to get things going or moving.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 16 mins (2004-10-03 23:27:21 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Of course, you would want to us \"positive\" or \"useful\" in front of these terms. Or you could even use \"beneficial.\"
Selected response from:

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 14:14
Grading comment
I wanted to find something that was not just negative but which reflected the actual meaning, which is why I didn't think something like troublemaker would do the trick - it's not so much trouble here but rather nagging, pestering ... I also thought of agents provocateurs, but I'm not really sure the meaning's quite right (I checked it in Webster to make sure - It's more than just a provoker). I think I'm going to go for helpful/constructive gadflies. I'm not sure instigators is negative enough and nags was something I thought of but wasn't sure about. Also: Thanks for Deborah for admittedly irksome - I'll be using that too (It's a shame I can't give points to both of you, but I'm giving points to this one as this has given me the answer to the part of the question which was giving me the most trouble.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +1gadflies or instigators or nags
Dr. Fred Thomson
3 +1constructive troublemakers
Deborah Shannon
3productive agitators
msherms
3 -1movers and shakers
Johanna Timm, PhD
1friendly interrogators
Frosty


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


27 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
Positive Störenfriede etc ... (see context!)
movers and shakers


Explanation:
maybe?

Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 13:14
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 48

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Jacques Benbassat: I prefer your term of "nuisances" but instead of positive, would call them "useful nuisances"
7 mins
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
Positive Störenfriede etc ... (see context!)
friendly interrogators


Explanation:
Or 'positive' or 'benign' etc - no bright lights and rubber coshes! Or how about 'brainstormers'?

Frosty
Local time: 22:14
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 34
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Positive Störenfriede etc ... (see context!)
constructive troublemakers


Explanation:
or whatever works best for Störenfriede - but I'd choose 'constructive' over 'positive' just to make sure their vices are definitely presented as virtues.

I'm not sure about 'pesky' - I think I'd go for something a bit less cartoony like 'somewhat bothersome' or 'admittedly irksome'

Deborah Shannon
Germany
Local time: 22:14
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mario Marcolin: irksome...constructive troublemakers
8 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Positive Störenfriede etc ... (see context!)
gadflies or instigators or nags


Explanation:
These people prompt you to wake up and smell the roses, i.e., to get things done.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 9 mins (2004-10-03 23:20:12 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

A Stoerenfried is a troublemaker or a mischiefmaker. You could also use one of these two terms.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 10 mins (2004-10-03 23:21:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Some people would use \"pot stirrer,\" i.e., someone who stirs the pot to get things going or moving.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 16 mins (2004-10-03 23:27:21 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Of course, you would want to us \"positive\" or \"useful\" in front of these terms. Or you could even use \"beneficial.\"

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 14:14
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 24
Grading comment
I wanted to find something that was not just negative but which reflected the actual meaning, which is why I didn't think something like troublemaker would do the trick - it's not so much trouble here but rather nagging, pestering ... I also thought of agents provocateurs, but I'm not really sure the meaning's quite right (I checked it in Webster to make sure - It's more than just a provoker). I think I'm going to go for helpful/constructive gadflies. I'm not sure instigators is negative enough and nags was something I thought of but wasn't sure about. Also: Thanks for Deborah for admittedly irksome - I'll be using that too (It's a shame I can't give points to both of you, but I'm giving points to this one as this has given me the answer to the part of the question which was giving me the most trouble.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Heidi Stone-Schaller: gadflies works really well because it gets across the jokey "flavor" -- "helpful gadflies" perhaps?
9 hrs
  -> Thanks and the asker agreed. She chose helpful/constructive gadfly
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Positive Störenfriede etc ... (see context!)
productive agitators


Explanation:
productive agitators or:

agent provocateur
productive rascals
productive busybodies

rogues...

msherms
Local time: 22:14
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
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