connections (business relationships)


Senior Member
English, USA
The term connections refers to social or familial relationships that can be advantageous in various situations.

For example,

He was able to get a job at the hotel through his connections: his uncle is the doorman.

How do other languages translate this term?

One translation I've heard is veze in Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian. veze is formed in the same way as the English term: it is the plural of veza “connection, link”, from the verb vezati "to tie, bind“.
  • DaylightDelight

    Senior Member
    Japanese - Tokyo
    We say つて (tsute) or more formally 縁故 (enko), both literally mean connection or relation. We also use コネ (kone), which is an abbreviated form of コネクション (konekushon), which in turn is a phonetic transcription of "connection". They are all used more or less interchangeably.
    In Greek we say that someone has «διασυνδέσεις» [ð͡ʝasinˈðesis] (fem. nom. pl.) --> connections, links, a MoGr calque for the Eng. connections formed with the joining together of three Classical words:
    Prefix, adverb, and preposition «διά» diắ --> in two, apart, through (PIE *dis- apart cf Lat. dis-, Alb. ç- [t͡ʃ-] apart) + preposition, and adv. «σύν» sún --> with, together (with obscure etymology) + fem. 3rd declension deverbal noun «δέσις» désis (nom. sing.), «δέσεως» désĕōs (gen. sing.) --> binding (< v. «δέω» déō --> to bind (PIE *deh₁- to bind cf Skt. द्यति (dyati), to bind, Hitt. tii̪a (idem)).

    Colloquially we also say that someone has a «βύσμα» [ˈvizma] (neut. nom. sing.) --> lit. connector, input jack, plug, metaph. connections, high-ranking contacts < Classical deverbal neut. noun «βύσμα» búsmă --> plug, bung < Classical v. «βύω» búō (PIE *beu̯s- to blow, swell cf Proto-Germanic *pusōną, to snort, blow > Ger. pusten, Eng. pose; Alb. mbush, to fill).
    The person with «βύσμα» is a «βυσματίας» [vizmaˈ] (masc. & fem.), or a «βυσματούχος» [vizmaˈtuxos] (masc. & fem.).

    There's also this old fossilised expression from early 19th c. that someone well-connected has a «μπάρμπα στην Koρώνη» [ˈbarba stiŋ͜ goˈɾoni] --> an uncle in Koroni.
    During the Ottoman rule over Greece, the town of Koroni, was the centre of olive-oil production in SW Greece, so anyone who had relatives with a considerable olive grove in the vicinity of Koroni, exercised significant influence over the local Ottoman ruler, the Aga. S/he had "an uncle in Koroni".
    «Μπάρμπας» [ˈbarbas] (masc.) is the colloquiliasm of uncle (considered obsolete nowadays, personally haven't heard it for ages), or middle-aged man, and derives from the Italian name for the beard, barba.


    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    In Chinese, I could think of 關係(relationship) or 人脈(network among people):
    關(lock, close)
    係(connect, link)
    人(human, person)
    脈(line, pattern-->vein, pulse, mountain range, etc.)


    You can oftentimes replace 透過(do... through) with 靠(rely on... to).


    Senior Member
    Spanish has enchufes ("sockets"), although the verb (enchufar) is more common. It refers to the action of employing someone due to familiar or other links, not the links themselves. As for the links, I think contactos is a suitable term.


    Senior Member
    The closest German equivalent would probably be Beziehungen ('relations', 'relationships'). An expression that is sometimes used in the context described in the OP is: Vitamin B, 'B vitamin' (B being an abbreviation for Beziehungen):

    - Wie hat er es denn geschafft, diesen Superjob zu bekommen? 'How on earth did he manage to get this fantastic job'?
    - Na ja, Vitamin B. 'Oh well, B vitamin'.

    Another term (which seems to be slightly dated) is Seilschaften: Seil 'rope' + schaft '-ship' (derivational suffix) + -en (plural suffix).



    známosti (sing. známost) - this word has many translations into English, I'll write translations from one dictionary - acquaintance, girlfriend, boyfriend, relationship, being (well-)known, fame, renown; strangely enough the meaning as it's used in this thread (connections) is not in this dictionary

    známí (sing. známý) (masc.) - acquaintance (lit. "known") (this word is not much used in English, but it's nomally used in Czech)

    the root of these 2 words is surely recognizable for people reading this thread (znát - to know)

    konexe (sing. konexe)

    konekce (sing. konekce)

    kontakty (sing. kontakt)
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    Senior Member

    врски (plural of "врска", from the verb "врзе", which is cognate to Serbo-Croatian "vezati")

    This word is very popular, and it's often encountered in all sorts of sarcastic contexts, because "connections" are necessary for so many things in Macedonia.


    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    He was able to get a job at the hotel through his connections: his uncle is the doorman.

    In Portuguese:
    Ele conseguiu/arranjou o emprego/trabalho no hotel graças aos seus conta(c)tos/porque tem pistolão (at least in Brazil)/cunha: o tio dele é porteiro lá.