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enterprise vs. company

English translation: company

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:enterprise vs. company
English translation:company
Entered by: Maya Jurt
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09:25 Dec 4, 2001
German to English translations [PRO]
Marketing / globalization
German term or phrase: enterprise vs. company
enterprise vs. company?

I have heard different opinions re. the translation of "Unternehmen". One of the text examples is as follows:

Unter dem Begriff Globalisierung versteht man die strategische Entscheidung eines Unternehmens, in allen relevanten Ländern der Erde präsent zu sein und somit grenzüberschreitend tätig zu sein.

Thanks for your input!
Pegmoe
company
Explanation:
I am a bit confused by your question. You ask a translation from English to German, but the sentence you quote indicates that you want to understand the term "Unternehmen" in English.

Unternehmen in the sense of "untertaking or initiative" is "enterprise".

Unternehmen in the sense of "company or firm" is COMPANY.

Does this answer your question? HTH
Selected response from:

Maya Jurt
Switzerland
Local time: 09:46
Grading comment
Maya, thanks a bunch! Sorry for the confusion . . .
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1Unternehmen / Gesellschaft
LegalTrans D
5 +1Unternehmen / Firma
Alexander Schleber
4 +1company
Maya Jurt
5Unternehmen/Gesellschaft = Enterprise/company
Hermeneutica
5Unternehmen / Firma
Martina Keskintepe
4corporate enterprise
Ursula Derx


  

Answers


20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Unternehmen / Gesellschaft


Explanation:
The word enterprise refers to the enterprise you are pursuing as an enterpreneur, that is why I would rather translate it as "Unternehmen". It concerns the activities of a company.

"Company", by contrast, refers to the structure (also the legal structure) of the entity and is frequently part of the legal designation of an entity, e.g. limited liability company. This is why I would translate it as "Gesellschaft"; in certain places the word "Firma" may be appropriate.

There are occasions when you may want to deviate from this rule. I have found it a good guideline to go by, though, and have never experienced any problems with clients.

Good luck!


    Own experience
LegalTrans D
Turkey
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 551

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Daniel Hartmeier: Gesellschaft is also the generic term for the different legal forms of societies. Firma includes also sole proprietorship.
34 mins

agree  Steffen Pollex
11 hrs
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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Unternehmen / Firma


Explanation:
Unternehmen -> usually a larger entity, sometimes a group of companies, that covers a wider range of products and services (often with separate business units).

Firma -> any company, but usually tending towards smaller companies in a single sector or industrial branch.

HTH

Alexander Schleber
Belgium
Local time: 09:46
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2340

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Translations4IT
8 hrs

neutral  Steffen Pollex: IMO, any "Firma" is an "Unternehmen", regardless to size. Although,in German everyday language it is common to use "Firma" for smaller companies. It has nothing to do with legal or economic considerations that are required for proper translation.
11 hrs
  -> Since neither term is a legal designation, I believe only usage is of importance
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37 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Unternehmen/Gesellschaft = Enterprise/company


Explanation:
Hi, I am not sure what your source and what your target are at this point. If translating into EN, please note that "enterprise" has come to be used, in the last couple of years or so, in the US in exactly the same way as you would use Unternehmen in DE or entreprise in FR or empresa in ES.

Good luck!

Dee


    25 years translating, 10 owning a company in US
Hermeneutica
Switzerland
Local time: 09:46
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 106
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50 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Unternehmen / Firma


Explanation:
I agree with these two terms. Being brought up with both languages as mother tongue, this seems to fit best.





Martina Keskintepe
Malta
Local time: 09:46
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 153
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50 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
company


Explanation:
I am a bit confused by your question. You ask a translation from English to German, but the sentence you quote indicates that you want to understand the term "Unternehmen" in English.

Unternehmen in the sense of "untertaking or initiative" is "enterprise".

Unternehmen in the sense of "company or firm" is COMPANY.

Does this answer your question? HTH

Maya Jurt
Switzerland
Local time: 09:46
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 545
Grading comment
Maya, thanks a bunch! Sorry for the confusion . . .

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steffen Pollex
11 hrs
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
corporate enterprise


Explanation:
In your example "Unternehmen" stands for something like "corporate enterprise".
If you are an entrepreneur, your have an enterprise, meaning you undertake the risk and the trouble to lead a business of your own. This is ein "Unternehmen" and can be any type of business.
A company is an organisation established to carry out the enterprise. Firma, but Unternehmen is also often used in German in this sense....

Ursula Derx
Austria
Local time: 09:46
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 27
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