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sie müssen dem Kunden dienen, ohne zu dienern

English translation: serve without being servile

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12:15 Mar 9, 2000
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Business/Commerce (general)
German term or phrase: sie müssen dem Kunden dienen, ohne zu dienern
Hi,

Can anyone tell me how I might render the meaning of the above phrase into English. I know that \"dienern\" means to \"bow and scrape\" but it doesn\'t seem to do the phrase justice. Any ideas?

This appears in a paragraph describing the function of the sales & service dept of a company. It says that they represent the company for the customer and the customer associates the company name with their face. It then goes on to say that their job is therefore a balancing act. They must serve the client ...

Any help greatly appreciated.
Fiona Busfield
English translation:serve without being servile
Explanation:
or is that being too servile
Selected response from:

Dan McCrosky
Local time: 06:51
Grading comment
Perfect! Just what I was looking for but my poor overworked brain just couldn't come up with it tonight! I wanted something that kept the original "play on words" but also the tense. I didn't get much further than humble and humiliated, which wouldn't have done at all!

Very impressive! Thankyou, you really got me out of a pickle there!

Regards,

Fiona
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
naserve not servileTerryGilma
nasee below
Dierk Seeburg
naserve the customer without being subserviantUlrike Lieder
naserve without being servileDan McCrosky


  

Answers


1 hr
serve without being servile


Explanation:
or is that being too servile

Dan McCrosky
Local time: 06:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 27
Grading comment
Perfect! Just what I was looking for but my poor overworked brain just couldn't come up with it tonight! I wanted something that kept the original "play on words" but also the tense. I didn't get much further than humble and humiliated, which wouldn't have done at all!

Very impressive! Thankyou, you really got me out of a pickle there!

Regards,

Fiona
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1 hr
serve the customer without being subserviant


Explanation:
(I love the German!) I would normally use terms like customer care since that's all the rage in the US, but here you'd really need to use "serve" and its derivatives to get the point across. Good luck.

Ulrike Lieder
Local time: 21:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 28
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1 hr
see below


Explanation:
'..to serve the customer without being servile/subservient/obsequious.' - I suggest servile in order to keep the word stem the same just like 'dien-' in the German original. Subservient emphasizes den UNTERtänigen Character des Dienerns while obsequious stresses serving by following blindly. Insert standard disclaimer here :-)
Cheerio,
Dierk

Dierk Seeburg
Local time: 22:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 8
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3 days 1 hr
serve not servile


Explanation:
Good translation. Who was the audience for this recommendation (i.e., for the translation)? I have been told repeatedly that it is the fear of seeming servile that accounts for the poor service in German retail outlets. Clerks' refusal to interrupt their own converssations or routines for the sake of the customer is said to be class based; it shows that they are not "Knechte."
I've lived in North Rhine-Westfalia for 20 years and have rarely received decent, American-style service. When it occurs, it is typically from other foreigners who have settled here. This is the one stereotype I have (unfortunately) found to be true.

TerryGilma
Local time: 06:51
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Changes made by editors
Oct 17, 2007 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Term askedSie muessen dem Kunden dienen, ohne zu dienern » sie müssen dem Kunden dienen, ohne zu dienern
Field (specific)(none) » Business/Commerce (general)


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