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Another Sentence

English translation: learn of shortcomings

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09:06 Dec 2, 2003
German to English translations [Non-PRO]
Marketing / Telephone Conduct
German term or phrase: Another Sentence
"Oft erfährt man als Praxisinhaber erst zufällig und mit vielen Umwegen von Defiziten im Telefonmanagement."

From this text about the need for dental practices to improve their telephone manners. This time the sentence is right at the beginning (I'm now in revision mode).

Here's my current (hideous) translation:

"Owners of dental practices frequently experience shortcomings in telephone management, haphazardly at first and with many detours."

Makes no sense at all (especially from "haphazardly" onwards), but the German isn't making any sense to me either.

Here's the rest of the paragraph (not too long):

"Bislang wird dieser Teil der Praxisdienstleistung meist noch unterschätzt. Professionell gestaltete und umgesetzte Telefonkommunikation ist vor allem ein Kennzeichen überdurchschnittlich erfolgreicher Zahnarztpraxen."

So, the rest of the paragraph isn't too bad, but the first sentence is frightful. TIA for helping me find a considerably improved translation!
Rowan Morrell
New Zealand
Local time: 04:18
English translation:learn of shortcomings
Explanation:
or..."find out about shortcomings...", Rowan. Erfahren..von = learn of, learn about, find out about. I think it is this trick part that ran you off the track, Rowan. Once you get this right, the rest of the sentence makes sense, too.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2003-12-02 09:18:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

About the detours, Rowan: as CMJ points out, practitioners don\'t find out about these problems directly but rather in haphazard and round-about ways, mainly because practitioners are busy pulling their patients\' teeth while their assistant happily make a mess of their telephone management (whatever that is).
Selected response from:

LegalTrans D
Turkey
Grading comment
Although CMJ_Trans got more "agrees" and was the first to suggest "roundabout ways" for "zufällig und mit vielen Umwegen", Volkmar was the first to reveal my "erfahren von" oversight. and I liked his "shortcomings" best for the "Defiziten" part of the sentence. His added note was also quite useful.

Here is what I have ultimately gone with:

"Dental practitioners frequently discover shortcomings in their telephone management system, in roundabout ways at first."

Although the source text doesn't mention a system, I feel it makes sense in the context.

Anyway, thank you all for your assistance, and commiserations to CMJ_Trans, who came a close second here!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5erfahren von = to hear about/discover/learn aboutxxxCMJ_Trans
4 +2learn of shortcomings
LegalTrans D
5s.b.Aniello Scognamiglio
4learn about problems with telephone management by accident or second-hand
Lori Dendy-Molz
3 +1As below
Textklick


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
erfahren von = to hear about/discover/learn about


Explanation:
This is where you are going wrong. You have missed the fact that the "von" goes with "erfahren". So it means that dental practioners often first discover in random and round-about ways that there are problems with their telephone answering service

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-12-02 09:18:20 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

practitioners

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 16:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2071

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hilary Davies Shelby: exactly right
21 mins

agree  Gareth McMillan: Good short grammar lesson.
34 mins

agree  jerrie: roundabout way is great
1 hr

agree  roneill
7 hrs

agree  avantix
21 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
learn of shortcomings


Explanation:
or..."find out about shortcomings...", Rowan. Erfahren..von = learn of, learn about, find out about. I think it is this trick part that ran you off the track, Rowan. Once you get this right, the rest of the sentence makes sense, too.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2003-12-02 09:18:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

About the detours, Rowan: as CMJ points out, practitioners don\'t find out about these problems directly but rather in haphazard and round-about ways, mainly because practitioners are busy pulling their patients\' teeth while their assistant happily make a mess of their telephone management (whatever that is).

LegalTrans D
Turkey
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 551
Grading comment
Although CMJ_Trans got more "agrees" and was the first to suggest "roundabout ways" for "zufällig und mit vielen Umwegen", Volkmar was the first to reveal my "erfahren von" oversight. and I liked his "shortcomings" best for the "Defiziten" part of the sentence. His added note was also quite useful.

Here is what I have ultimately gone with:

"Dental practitioners frequently discover shortcomings in their telephone management system, in roundabout ways at first."

Although the source text doesn't mention a system, I feel it makes sense in the context.

Anyway, thank you all for your assistance, and commiserations to CMJ_Trans, who came a close second here!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Heidi Stone-Schaller
53 mins

agree  roneill
7 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
As below


Explanation:
Practitioners often only become aware of poor telephone communication either indirectly or by pure coincidence.

(Reminds me of my dental receptionist :-)



Textklick
Local time: 15:18
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 1097

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Edhild
6 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
s.b.


Explanation:
Hi Rowan,

"*mit* vielen Umwegen" does exist, however, here the correct grammar is "*auf* vielen Umwegen". Confirmed by about 30.000 German Google hits!

Just a hint, not important for the translation though...

Aniello Scognamiglio
Germany
Local time: 16:18
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 922
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
learn about problems with telephone management by accident or second-hand


Explanation:
another possiblity

Lori Dendy-Molz
Germany
Local time: 16:18
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 1453
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