English translation: I've kept one step ahead and gone before the flow
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06:41 Sep 20, 2011
German to English translations [PRO] Bus/Financial - Manufacturing
German term or phrase:vor der Welle schwimmen
Ich bin bislang sozusagen immer vor der Welle geschwommen ...
A manager new to a company is talking in a (Swiss) in-house PR publication about something, unspecified apart from punchy name of action, going live in a couple of months [quoted sentence] and how he hasn't seen it yet, being new to the company, but really looking forward to it. Because of client confidentiality it's difficult to quote much more. I was thinking along the lines of "I've had my head down busy preparing.../taking care of the back room stuff"
but I understand it slightly differently. I have found numerous examples of this phrase being used (try Googling it), and in most cases they seem to mean something like being one step ahead, perhaps in terms of being so well prepared that you have spotted problems before they arise, or already have solutions worked out. I think it is mostly meant to be quite positive, and a deliberate contrast to "von den Wellen getrieben werden", perhaps the differnce between being able to choose a course of action and having to do what circumstances dictate.
However, only you have the full context to be able to judge what is really meant.
Explanation: I think this Manager is explaining that in the past he has always " stayed ahead of the times". This is an English idiom which means" you are always on top of things when it matters".
I hope this is helpful to you.
Peter Warwick United Kingdom Local time: 01:56 Specializes in field Native speaker of: English
Explanation: the word "bislang" led me to this conclusion, since it infers he's beginning something new. So if he's always been one step ahead, "bislang" what is he doing now? Falling behind? Thats not something he'd want to air on TV, is it?
Ramey Rieger Germany Local time: 02:56 Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 30
Explanation: A belated suggestion. I appreciate that it is difficult for you to quote the text more fully. This is my take on the basis of what you have provided.
I think your manager is saying that this will be a new experience for him as in the past he has been accustomed to leading the wave rather than simply riding the wave (vor rather than AUF der Welle Schwimmen), i.e. he is used to leading rather than following, leading the wave rather than riding someone else's. He is nonetheless looking forward to being involved in the new project, albeit not in a leading role on this occasion. Might that fit in with the rest of what he says?