I am trying to find a crisp translation of the German phrase "Pflicht und Kür. deepl.com yields "Duty and freestyle" as translation for "Pflicht und Kür" which irritated me.

In my (business) context "Pflicht" is understood as expected/required/obligatory actions/things, while "Kür" is understood as voluntary actions/things usually surpassing "Pflicht" with their quality/greatness. So freestyle feels a bit short here as it doesn't reflect the part where people are "going above and beyond/over deliver". (Thank you for your helpful comment @Ben A.)

Also I tried but failed to find a meaningful synonym to "freestyle" in my context, which is not "skating" but delivering projects.

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    Discernment? Selection? Creativity? – Colin Fine Feb 7 at 11:43
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    If you need it in the context of ice dancing etc., "duty and freestyle" is not irritating but suitable. But if you need it for general expressions I suggest "on-top performance". – Ben A. Feb 7 at 11:59
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    Please give a couple of sentences, with a gap, but also a paraphrase / explanation. ELU requires questions needing zero understanding of foreign terms, and 'a loose synonym for freestyle is unhelpful. And have you investigated suggested synonyms / loos synonyms? – Edwin Ashworth Feb 7 at 12:05
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    Why should it irritate? It is about "that which must follow a model" and "that which is freestyle." – Kris Feb 7 at 13:24
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    In a generalized understanding "Pflicht" are expected/required/obligatory actions/things, while "Kür" are voluntary actions/things usually surpassing "Pflicht" with their quality/greatness. So, "Kür" is more than freestyle here. – Ben A. Feb 7 at 14:35

I think the difficulty you have with the given translation is caused more by the translation of 'pflicht' rather than the translation of 'kür'. The Collins Dictionary gives two translations for 'pflicht', the first is


As you have seen but the second relates specifically to sport and is given as

compulsory section

Using the second translation 'Pflicht und Kür' becomes 'Compulsory section and freestyle' which could be written as 'compulsory and freestyle section' if the section is freestyle with compulsory elements or 'compulsory and freestyle sections' if it refers to two or more separate sections.

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I don't know if you consider this crisp enough, but using

doing the bare minimum

for "Pflicht" versus

going the extra mile

for "Kür" would convey exactly the meaning you intend. These are both well-known English idioms.

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    "Going the extra mile" in the US. Do they say "going the extra kilometer" in the UK? – GEdgar Mar 10 at 17:56
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    @GEdgar You'd be surprised how much the UK still uses miles colloquially. Australia and New Zealand, not so much. But "going the extra distance" is also used. – Spencer Mar 10 at 17:59
  • Even in the US we still have stories about "Seven League Boots" or "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", even though hardly anyone knows what a league is. – GEdgar Mar 10 at 18:21
  • 'Doing the bare minimum' is pejorative. 'Fulfilling one's obligations' is a less marked expression. If one is paid to work 8 hours, why should there be an expectation that people should do unpaid overtime? – Edwin Ashworth Aug 7 at 17:53
  • @EdwinAshworth Because that is the invariable nature of bosses. – Spencer Aug 7 at 19:21

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