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positiv/negativ

English translation: it all depends....

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13:00 Apr 3, 2003
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Accounting / Annual Report
German term or phrase: positiv/negativ
Ich stoße zurzeit immer wieder auf ein Problem mit dem eher
harmlos
aussehenden deutschen Wort "positiv" bzw. "negativ". Z. B. in einem
Geschäftsbericht heißt es

"Das Ergebnis der gewöhnlichen Geschäftstätigkeit war mit
xxx Mio.
Euro negativ". Heißt das es betrug -xx Mio. Euro? Wenn ja,
könnte man
dann einfach mit "loss on ordinary activities amounted to xxx Euro"
übersetzen? Oder lieber "results from ordinary activities were xxx
Euro negative or -xxx Euro"????

Aber es geht ja noch weiter ...

Im Teil des Geschäftsberichts zur gesamtwirtschaftlichen
Entwicklung
heißt es zur Konjunkturentwicklung in Deutschland u. a.

"Das war das schwächste Wachstum seit der Wiedervereinigung. Dass
das
*Wachstumsergebnis* insgesamt noch *positiv* war, ist dem
Außenhandel
zu verdanken." Kann man hier ganz schlicht von positive result
sprechen, oder was genau ist gemeint?

Dankbar für alle aufklärenden Hinweise,

Michaela
Michaela Sommer
Local time: 14:34
English translation:it all depends....
Explanation:
First, lets get some other terminology issues out of the way.

Ergebnis der gewöhnlichen Geschäftstätigkeit is "result from ordinary activities"

Here, you are quite right with your first suggestion of putting in a minus sign. I wouldn't use your two other suggestions. You might consider saying
"the result from ordinary activities was negative, totaling € -xx million".

In the second part of your question, I'd say something like "the fact that growth was positive was primarily due to exports".

HTH

Alison
Selected response from:

Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 14:34
Grading comment
Thanks to everybody for your clarifying suggestions and getting me on the right track!
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2it all depends....
Alison Schwitzgebel
4 +1Net profit / Net loss
William Stein
3 +1Erklärungsversuch
Martin Hesse


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Erklärungsversuch


Explanation:
Im ersten Fall sieht das mehr nach einer Wertung aus. " ... blieb mit xxx Mio Euro unter den Erwartungen" = " and was thus below expectations"

Im zweiten Fall ist es aber tatsächlich ein positives Wachstum.

Martin Hesse
Local time: 14:34
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  gangels
1 hr
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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
it all depends....


Explanation:
First, lets get some other terminology issues out of the way.

Ergebnis der gewöhnlichen Geschäftstätigkeit is "result from ordinary activities"

Here, you are quite right with your first suggestion of putting in a minus sign. I wouldn't use your two other suggestions. You might consider saying
"the result from ordinary activities was negative, totaling € -xx million".

In the second part of your question, I'd say something like "the fact that growth was positive was primarily due to exports".

HTH

Alison

Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 14:34
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 334
Grading comment
Thanks to everybody for your clarifying suggestions and getting me on the right track!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  hirselina
39 mins

agree  Steffen Walter: in general but, in the first case, the question remains that they could as well mean "variance to budget = EUR -XXX million" while in the second, the eternal paradox of positive vs negative growth crops up again (can growth ever be negative???)
45 mins
  -> On 1: As a translator you can check this against the company's financials to make sure. On 2: I agree, but the same also applies to the German.....
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Net profit / Net loss


Explanation:
The problem is that Jahresergebnis should be translated by either annual net profit (+) or annual net loss (-), as the case may be. In your first example, I'd say: Ordinary business operations resulted in a net loss of -xxx euros.
Strangely enough, the term "negative growth" is commonly used, so you might as well say: "The company still showed positive growth thanks to foreign trade...

William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 06:34
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 38

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  vafo
5 hrs
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