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Foreign Language Forums => Practice English => Topic started by: msmirnov on December 25, 2007, 03:01:59 AM

Title: The term for short trip
Post by: msmirnov on December 25, 2007, 03:01:59 AM

Sometimes I have to go to customer's office to work on-site. This is usually a short trips within the city by car or by subway.
Could you tell me what is the best term to discribe such trips: trip, jorney, travel, ride or other?

Thank you!
Title: Re: The term for short trip
Post by: Νεκτάριος on December 25, 2007, 03:45:14 AM
Journey is more literary and implies that the travel is much more complicated than a short drive.  Hence something like Radishchev's Путешествие из Петербурга в Москву is translated as Journey from St Petersburg to Moscow in English.  That is the type of travel that is a journey in English. 

Using "travel" also implies a larger distance.  It is very frequent to hear in English, "I was traveling on business" and this always means travel to a different city.  It wouldn't be incorrect to say that you traveled from Alexander Nevsky Square to Gostiny Dvor, but it wouldn't sound very natural. 

To ride or to take are the two best verbs to use when using a form of public transportation. 
It's faster to take a mashrukta than the metro.  We rode the metro to Nevsky Prospect.

The most natural way to say this would probably be something like this:
I took the metro to a client's office on the other side of town in order to do on-site work.  I spent all day there.  It took about an hour to get there from our office.  We got back in the early evening.   

     
Title: Re: The term for short trip
Post by: msmirnov on December 25, 2007, 05:49:39 AM

Thank you, Derek, that makes some sense! But I think I need a certain noun to fill in a time report. For example:

11.00-11.30 A trip to customer's office.
11.30-14.00 An installation of wireless network.
...


By the way, you touched upon another question that I'm interested to know. What is the difference between the terms "client" and "customer"? Before getting the present job I was sure that a client is usually some firm that deals with another firm on a long-term basis, and seldom a man who buys something in a shop or a firm making a single purchase. It accords to Russian "клиент". On the contrary a customer is rather a man or a firm who buys something once, according to Russian "покупатель". But in our company our permanent client firms are usually called "customer". So I was a bit confused...
Title: Re: The term for short trip
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on December 25, 2007, 10:53:56 AM
Customer is more general; it's anyone who buys something from you, be it a one-time purchase or a relationship of several years. A client is anyone (individual or firm) who buys from you on a frequent, often (but not necessarily) contractual basis. So if someone buys a screwdriver from you once, you can call that person a customer, but not a client. But if that same person buys screwdrivers from you every month, that person is a customer or a client.

In addition, certain fields (such as law and social work) tend to use the word clients whereas other fields (such as retail stores and suscription services like cable TV and newspapers) tend to use customers.
Title: Re: The term for short trip
Post by: ialmisry on December 25, 2007, 02:24:18 PM
Sometimes I have to go to a [you can also say the, but some article should be here] customer's office to work on-site. This is usually a short trips within the city by car or by subway.
Could you tell me what is the best term to discribe such trips: trip, jorney, travel, ride or other?

Thank you!

Errand might be the word you are thinking of. It implies a) you had to leave the office, b) with a definite purpose in mind, c) which related to your job.

Quote
Thank you, Derek, that makes some sense! But I think I need a certain noun to fill in a time report. For example:

11.00-11.30 A trip to customer's office.
11.30-14.00 An installation of wireless network.

Here you don't need the a/an (or the): in lists headline style (dropping of "little words" like articles) prevails.

Client would be better here, it implies you had to go to the office to cultivate the business relationship.

You also might say "consultation at client's office."  Sounds "big." ;D
Title: Re: The term for short trip
Post by: Νεκτάριος on December 25, 2007, 03:12:38 PM
Thank you, Derek, that makes some sense! But I think I need a certain noun to fill in a time report. For example:

11.00-11.30 A trip to customer's office.
11.30-14.00 An installation of wireless network.
...

In a formal report like that, I would probably write this:
11.00-11.30: travel to customer's office
11.30-14.00: installation of wireless network

Written communication in a business setting is usually very formal, but spoken English remains about the same as normal conversation.   

Quote
By the way, you touched upon another question that I'm interested to know. What is the difference between the terms "client" and "customer"? Before getting the present job I was sure that a client is usually some firm that deals with another firm on a long-term basis, and seldom a man who buys something in a shop or a firm making a single purchase. It accords to Russian "клиент". On the contrary a customer is rather a man or a firm who buys something once, according to Russian "покупатель". But in our company our permanent client firms are usually called "customer". So I was a bit confused...

To add to what others have said, vocabulary for some of these concepts differs from company to company in anglophone countries.  So in this case it would be more important to use what is the standard usage in your company than what seems more natural to a native English speaker.     
Title: Re: The term for short trip
Post by: username! on February 07, 2008, 02:03:58 AM
If you are going to the installation site and I would think the office knows how far away it is.
I would just say:

11:00-14:00 Installation of __________ 

In my experience the travel time is a given and not needed as explanation.  Management usually knows where their people are, or at least they should.
Title: Re: The term for short trip
Post by: msmirnov on February 12, 2008, 03:15:06 AM
In my experience the travel time is a given and not needed as explanation.  Management usually knows where their people are, or at least they should.

This is right. But when our company sends bills to the clients we should attach explanations what they have to pay for... This is the common purpose of such reports in our company.