Sie wurde über die Köpfe ihrer Vorgesetzten hinweg befördert.

I think “superiors” might be a better translation of “Vorgesetzten” here; it is currently translated “seniors” but in English the word “seniors” usually means older and does not necessarily mean higher in position in a workplace (it CAN mean this but not necessarily), whereas “superiors” necessarily means that the people are in a higher position in the workplace hierarchy, and I’m pretty sure that’s what this German sentence means, i.e. it is not referring to age.


I agree. “Vorgesetzen” can be literally construed as “those previously placed,” which is the actual meaning here.

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I’ve always thought of it as “one who has been put in front (of the inferiors)”, i.e. a spacial “before”, not a temporal one.

Of course, “vor-” in other words can be temporal as in “ahead of time” or “in advance”, e.g. “voreingenommen” - biased / prejudiced, or “vorheizen” - to pre-heat.

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