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Nichtkunde

English translation: non-customer or prospective customer or the public in general

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Nichtkunde
English translation:non-customer or prospective customer or the public in general
Entered by: Dan McCrosky
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

04:10 Sep 6, 2001
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial
German term or phrase: Nichtkunde
I ran into the term "Nichtkunde" a few years ago and asked Mr. XXX, who had used the term, what he meant by it. Mr. XXX said a "Nichtkunde" was a person or business who bought what Mr. XXX had to sell but not from Mr. XXX. That seemed to me to be a "potential customer", "competitor's customer", or "buyer".

A "Nichtkunde" ?=? "non-customer" could also be a business or person who never buys what Mr. XXX sells because s/he/it never needs what Mr. XXX sells. Such a "non-customer" could also be called a "non-user".

Neither "Nichtkunde" nor "non-customer" show up in my dictionaries, strangely enough.

"Nichtkunde" draws 160 Google hits, mostly banks and insurers and mostly in Switzerland or Austria. This University of Linz site that I can't get to open:

www.lui.uni-linz.ac.at/artikel/right/unterricht/directmail_...

refers to the following at least and probably more:

"guter Stammkunde, gelegentlicher Käufer, Interessent, Nicht-mehr-Kunde, Nichtkunde"

This site:

http://www.schober.com/de/community/info/kc_dbm/index.html

adds:

"Neukunde, bestehende Kunde, inaktive Kunde, abwanderungsgefährdete Kunde, aktive und inaktive Bestandskunde"

For the banks and insurers, a "Nichtkunde" appears to be a person or business that is not an accountholder or policyholder. In other words, a "potential customer" again but this time a potential customer who wants some bank service but has no account, for example the cashing of a check drawn by one of the bank's "Kunden". This general definition seems to be used often among US banks for the term "non-customer" also, as shown by over 4000 Google English hits:

http://www.google.com/search?as_q=&num=100&btnG=Google-Suche...

Germans also sometimes seem to refer to "Neukunden" when they mean what I would call "potential customers". The person or business has not yet bought anything but could or might.

Now that you have waded through all the above, here is the question:

How would you translate "Nichtkunden" is this sentence, with "non-customers", "potential customers", "the general public" or something else entirely?

"Als eine Körperschaft, die sich an gute Sitten hält, ist das Unternehmen mit dafür verantwortlich, dass das Internet zu einem sicheren, verlässlichen und produktiven professionellen Werkzeug für unsere Mitarbeiter, Kunden und Nichtkunden wird."

TIA

Dan
Dan McCrosky
Local time: 23:44
the general public, anyone else ...
Explanation:
”The general public” evidently conveys the meaning. However, since the company seems anxious to make a friendly impression, I think I would say something along these lines:

… a secure, reliable and productive professional tool for our employees and clients – and anyone else who might benefit from the information / to whom the information might be useful.
Selected response from:

Randi Stenstrop
Local time: 23:44
Grading comment
Everybody seems to be right again this time. It appears there are in fact two meanings in German for the term "Nichtkunde".

1. The bank meaning of a non-accountholder. This might be the tourist who walks in to get his dollars changed to Deutschmarks or the holder of an open negotionable "Barscheck" check drawn on the bank, but has no account anywhere, who wants to cash the check. These people are refered to as "Nichtkunden" by German banks and "non-customers" by American banks. These people or businesses cause work for the bank and are therefore often charged more for that specific work than accountholders would be charged for the same work.

2. The meaning used by my longtime customer Mr. XXX mentioned above. I was able to with him again after writing the KudoZ questionand he still maintained that a "Nichtkunde" for his biiig German subsidiary of a biiiiiiig American oil company, is a business which is in the market for and buys the product Mr. XXX sells but not from Mr. XXX. This is in normal business English a "Prospective customer" or a "potential customer" or a "competitor's customer". He also said that the big bosses from his American parent company always look a bit confused when other managers at the German subsidiary start trying to talk about "Nichtkunden". Mr. XXX himself still uses the term "potential customers" I suggested many years ago and then the American managers don't look confused anymore. Thanks Alexander, I had forgotten "prospective customers", which is even better.

My translation customer in this case though is not a bank and not an oil company. They wanted to write an Internet usage policy statement (or guidelines). They went into the Internet, copied such a policy statement written in English by an American banker which can be viewed at this site:

http://www.vvm.com/~zavoina/IAUP.htm

They then translated the American site into German, nearly word for word, circulated it around the company for 8 months before finally approving it and giving it to me for translation into English.

??????

This explains why a non-banker German has used a German banking term. They just translated the American banking term without giving it much thought. In their business, they could not possibly have the problem banks do with services for non-accountholders.

A couple of hours after asking this Kudoz question, I found the original English version in the Internet. From then on, my translating job became incredibly easy. The customer got the translation several days earlier than promised and was very happy with the term chosen.

The suggestions by Thijs, Randi, and Roland seem to best fit what my translation customer would have written if they had really thought about it. Randi's suggestion first lead me to what I finally wrote, so that is where the points must go. My translation customer meant the rest of the world, suppliers, the man on the street, everyone else, anyone.

The final translation was:

"Als eine Körperschaft, die sich an gute Sitten hält, ist das Unternehmen mit dafür verantwortlich, dass das Internet zu einem sicheren, verlässlichen und produktiven professionellen Werkzeug für unsere Mitarbeiter, Kunden und Nichtkunden wird." 243 keystrokes

=

"As an ethical and upright corporate citizen, ZZZZZZZ Inc. is also obligated to ensure that the Internet is a safe, secure, reliable and productive professional tool for our employees, customers and the public in general." 220 keystrokes

Thank you,

Dan

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
naeverybody else
Roland Grefer
nanon-customerUschi (Ursula) Walke
nathe general public, anyone else ...Randi Stenstrop
naNon-customers
Maya Jurt
naprospective customers
Alexander Schleber
naanybody who is not a customer
Thijs van Dorssen
nanon-customers
Sven Petersson


  

Answers


13 mins
non-customers


Explanation:
Paint the town red with Mr. XXX if you are so inclined, but don't listen to his definitions!


    My geriatric brain.
Sven Petersson
Sweden
Local time: 23:44
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1628
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20 mins
prospective customers


Explanation:
I would turn the term around and make it positive.
Not "non-customer" but "not-yet-customer, i.e. a prospective client or customer.

HTH

Alexander Schleber
Belgium
Local time: 23:44
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2340

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Sven Petersson: NO! Example: blind person is a "non-customer" for glasses, but hardly a "prospective customer"!
7 mins
  -> Isn't that going a little far out. We are talking about the 99% and not the special cases

agree  Ralf Lemster: Sven is right in principle, but for this context I guess this would work
18 mins
  -> Yes, in principle! What about practice? The context does demand something different, I think.
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22 mins
anybody who is not a customer


Explanation:
Hi Dan, a "Nichtkunde" could be anybody in the street. A "Nichtkunde" is not necessarily a potential customer. But a potential customer is still a "Nichtkunde" Me for instance, for Mr XXX, I am a typical "Nichtkunde". I don't know him and I don't know what he produces. You seem to know him, you are a potential customer.
There is a black & white difference between Kunde and Nichtkunde.
A "Neukunde" is somebody who has just made his first purchase (or opened an account) and is a new customer. Do not mix up potential customers (prospects) and none customers (not even suspects yet).
I hope this helps a bit, best of luck

Thijs van Dorssen
Local time: 23:44
PRO pts in pair: 39
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25 mins
Non-customers


Explanation:
In German one refers to non-customers mostly for the support service/customer relationship management

You buy a stove from a supermarket, but when you have a technical problem, you ask a professional to solve it. This is a non-customer who askes for repair services or advice.

A Neukunde is a new customer
A potential custumer a "potenzieller Kunde"

and finally: "...a safe, reliable and professional tool for our staff (employyes), customers and non-customers (non-clients).

HTH

Maya Jurt
Switzerland
Local time: 23:44
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 545
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

47 mins
the general public, anyone else ...


Explanation:
”The general public” evidently conveys the meaning. However, since the company seems anxious to make a friendly impression, I think I would say something along these lines:

… a secure, reliable and productive professional tool for our employees and clients – and anyone else who might benefit from the information / to whom the information might be useful.


Randi Stenstrop
Local time: 23:44
Native speaker of: Native in DanishDanish
PRO pts in pair: 265
Grading comment
Everybody seems to be right again this time. It appears there are in fact two meanings in German for the term "Nichtkunde".

1. The bank meaning of a non-accountholder. This might be the tourist who walks in to get his dollars changed to Deutschmarks or the holder of an open negotionable "Barscheck" check drawn on the bank, but has no account anywhere, who wants to cash the check. These people are refered to as "Nichtkunden" by German banks and "non-customers" by American banks. These people or businesses cause work for the bank and are therefore often charged more for that specific work than accountholders would be charged for the same work.

2. The meaning used by my longtime customer Mr. XXX mentioned above. I was able to with him again after writing the KudoZ questionand he still maintained that a "Nichtkunde" for his biiig German subsidiary of a biiiiiiig American oil company, is a business which is in the market for and buys the product Mr. XXX sells but not from Mr. XXX. This is in normal business English a "Prospective customer" or a "potential customer" or a "competitor's customer". He also said that the big bosses from his American parent company always look a bit confused when other managers at the German subsidiary start trying to talk about "Nichtkunden". Mr. XXX himself still uses the term "potential customers" I suggested many years ago and then the American managers don't look confused anymore. Thanks Alexander, I had forgotten "prospective customers", which is even better.

My translation customer in this case though is not a bank and not an oil company. They wanted to write an Internet usage policy statement (or guidelines). They went into the Internet, copied such a policy statement written in English by an American banker which can be viewed at this site:

http://www.vvm.com/~zavoina/IAUP.htm

They then translated the American site into German, nearly word for word, circulated it around the company for 8 months before finally approving it and giving it to me for translation into English.

??????

This explains why a non-banker German has used a German banking term. They just translated the American banking term without giving it much thought. In their business, they could not possibly have the problem banks do with services for non-accountholders.

A couple of hours after asking this Kudoz question, I found the original English version in the Internet. From then on, my translating job became incredibly easy. The customer got the translation several days earlier than promised and was very happy with the term chosen.

The suggestions by Thijs, Randi, and Roland seem to best fit what my translation customer would have written if they had really thought about it. Randi's suggestion first lead me to what I finally wrote, so that is where the points must go. My translation customer meant the rest of the world, suppliers, the man on the street, everyone else, anyone.

The final translation was:

"Als eine Körperschaft, die sich an gute Sitten hält, ist das Unternehmen mit dafür verantwortlich, dass das Internet zu einem sicheren, verlässlichen und produktiven professionellen Werkzeug für unsere Mitarbeiter, Kunden und Nichtkunden wird." 243 keystrokes

=

"As an ethical and upright corporate citizen, ZZZZZZZ Inc. is also obligated to ensure that the Internet is a safe, secure, reliable and productive professional tool for our employees, customers and the public in general." 220 keystrokes

Thank you,

Dan
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs
everybody else


Explanation:
Anybody who is not currently staff or customer is a non-customer (and non-staff).

... becomes a safe, reliable, and productive professional tool for our staff, our customers and everybody else.


Roland Grefer
Local time: 17:44
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 231
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12 hrs
non-customer


Explanation:
When I worked in retail a non-customer was a person who had no intentions, or no funds, to buy anything from anybody,
but visited shops to pass the time, to enjoy the attention or simply to get out of the heat (cold, somewhere else).
Alternatively, they might have the intention and the money, but they are not able to make a decision.

They were part of the "Just looking - people". Most of them would be potential custumers, some were Non-customers. We used to place bets and check with our colleagues from other shops.

The difference is something you feel. You don't judge a book by the cover.

I experienced another category of Nicht-Kunden: After you (the salesperson) gained their confidence, they show you what they bought already, but now they doubt their decision.

To sum it up: a Nichtkunde will not buy from me/you nor from anybody else now or ever after.

That's how the term is understood in the retail (jewellery) trade here. It's a simple term, used by people from different cultures who try to share one language. We might be far off the correct meaning.

HTH









    opals and pink diamonds
Uschi (Ursula) Walke
Local time: 08:44
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 492
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