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Thread: bean-counters

  1. #1
    babelito is offline Newbie
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    Default bean-counters

    Hi!
    I am very fortunate to count on thousands of members to help me out with this, as I find it "insoluble" for my poor knowledge of english-australians idioms.
    It goes like this: " It's hard to imagine Disney's bean-counters closing this treasure chest."
    I know it is related to money in a pejorative way; but how to render it in spanish so we can keep the connotative sens of it?
    Again, thanks so much!

  2. #2
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: bean-counters

    "Bean-counters" is an unflattering way to refer to accountants whose resposibility it is to determine whether a business is profitable. I am not familiar enough with idiomatic Spanish to give you a reasonable translation.

  3. #3
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: bean-counters

    Quote Originally Posted by babelito View Post
    Hi!
    I am very fortunate to count on thousands of members to help me out with this, as I find it "insoluble" for my poor knowledge of english-australians idioms.
    It goes like this: " It's hard to imagine Disney's bean-counters closing this treasure chest."
    I know it is related to money in a pejorative way; but how to render it in spanish so we can keep the connotative sens of it?
    Again, thanks so much!
    Idioms never really translate well. That is why in English we just adopt them and if they are used often enough they sort of become English too.

    A good example to illustrate what I am saying is the phrase - déjà vu which literally translates to already seen

    This is the literal translation but it doesn't really mean this.

    Here is an example sentence using the phrase

    When I entered the room the feeling of deja vu was so strong I had to sit down. I had been here before. When Bob opened the door I knew exactly the words he would say.

    As you can see, the simple substitution of the literal translation of deja vu does not really communicate the meaning of this phrase. Deja vu would require several sentences to describe that psychic feeling of reliving a part of your life. But by using the French idiom, we communicate it in two simple words.

    Coming back to the idiom "bean counter". It is a derogatory term for an accountant who controls a company's finances so tightly that he/she will not deviate from their plan. They are only concerned with profit and the bottom line. Often their views are so short sighted they cause a company to lose their reputation and good will with their clients.

    I once worked for a company that prided itself on after-sales service. In normal times this was not a problem as we made a good profit from our products. However, in an economic downturn we did not make the profit that was normal. The company accountant who had a huge influence in the running of the company decided that in order to maintain the company's profit he would reduce the staff levels in the company. As a result we did not have the staff to give the quality after-sales that was the reputation of the company.....sales went down because of this....profits went down.... further staff cuts were made, reducing after-sales service more.

    Because of this bean-counter accountant, when the economy improved our normal clients stayed with our competition who continued a better level of service through the bad times. He actions severely hurt the company.

    So........ does this help you translate "bean-counter" into Spanish??

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: bean-counters

    Perhaps you can translate "number cruncher" instead?

  5. #5
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: bean-counters

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Perhaps you can translate "number cruncher" instead?
    A number cruncher is certainly an idiom for accountant. However, it does not have the negative feeling of bean counter. They do not have the same type of personality...they just work at the same type of job.

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