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"dienstbarer Zwerg"

English translation: secret helper

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:dienstbarer Zwerg
English translation:secret helper
Entered by: Dawn Montague
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

07:45 Jan 14, 2001
German to English translations [PRO]
German term or phrase: "dienstbarer Zwerg"
"Er fungiert offensichtlich als Handlanger, als 'dienstbarer Zwerg' des Pharma-Kartells."
I know the literal translation of this -- is there a better term in English?
Dawn Montague
Local time: 03:08
secret helper
Explanation:
Or perhaps "little helper".

Kristina
Selected response from:

xxxKristina M
Local time: 03:08
Grading comment
Thanks so much!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
nabonded dwarf or midget
Muhammad Riedinger
naall-round handyman
Elisa Capelão
nafactotumUlrike Lieder
naallround man/helper
Elisa Capelão
nasecret helperxxxKristina M


  

Answers


17 mins
secret helper


Explanation:
Or perhaps "little helper".

Kristina


xxxKristina M
Local time: 03:08
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 94
Grading comment
Thanks so much!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

44 mins
allround man/helper


Explanation:
I think in this context it means that he is the one you call for any sort of help/work, someone who does all sorts of things ( in this case for the Pharma Kartell).
There might be an even better expression for it but the above is the only one I can think of right now
Good luck!

Elisa Capelão
Local time: 08:08
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 117
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1 hr
factotum


Explanation:
Just another option.

Factotum is defined as
An employee or assistant who serves in a wide range of capacities
www.bartleby.com/61/82/F0008200.html

"man Friday" might also be an option.


Ulrike Lieder
Local time: 00:08
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 3525
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2 hrs
all-round handyman


Explanation:
Me again...
gave it a little more thought and here goes:
Zwerg has the connotation of "small" meaning this is someone small in importance/status. The same word Zwerg means dwarf and gives here the connotation of a hard worker (its known that dwarves are preceived as being hard workers). "Dienst" means as u know service.
I think this gives u an idea of what is meant.
Man Friday is used to describe single help/assistance to an individual/single person and it comes from a story you might have heard of:
Robinson Crusoe shipwrecked on an island and took a native as his helper and this happened on a Friday...hence the term "Man Friday"!

Good luck again!



    My own knowledge
Elisa Capelão
Local time: 08:08
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 117
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3 hrs
bonded dwarf or midget


Explanation:
Why not do a literal one? I think the metaphor in German is rather strong, giving an undertone of contempt, and if you translate it as help etc. that is lost.
good luck

Muhammad Riedinger
Pakistan
Local time: 13:08
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 26
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