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I am working on a translation and came across this phrase:

「お客様は神様」というが、客からのクレームをニーズとし、それにチャレンジしていく企業家精神は、どの時代にあっても必要である。

I am having trouble following the structure of this sentence – I follow that 起業家精神 is the subject of the predicate どの時代にあっても必要である, but I really don't follow the first clause 「お客様は神様」というが. Is this a nominalization (i.e. would it be correct to say this as 「お客様は神様」というのが)? Another idea that crossed my mind was that this might be a way to show a quotation/abstract idea (maybe something like "The idea that 'the customer is god'"…).

I am at loss here and I would really appreciate any advice or insight that would point me in the right direction.

  • 企業家精神 or 起業家精神? – Chocolate May 5 '15 at 8:29
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This というが consists of the quotative particle と, the verb 言う (say), and the connector が (as/and/although).

That part literally means "(they) say お客様は神様だ, and, ...", where "they" refers to the general public. In this context, the author says that お客様は神様 is a generally accepted idea, and then explains the spirit of that proverb.

Note that that "and" should be translated as "but" depending on what is said in the latter half of the sentence.

よく「お客様は神様」というが、それは違うと思う。
People often say "the customer is god/king/always-right," but I think that's not true.

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