Practicing stalling

Many years back, I translated one of our books into German, because many people kept asking me for a German version. So I gave it a try! Like with almost all of my projects, private or business related, I thought “how hard could it be?”, only to discover, as usual, that it’s way harder and more time consuming that I could have imagined.

One of the reasons was strips like today’s. There is no way I could directly translate the play on words into German. Well, there is, but it wouldn’t be funny anymore. So I would rack my brains about different ways I could set up the strip while keeping the structure and drawings. But, unfortunately, that only works in about half the cases. Very rarely, I come up with a gem that’s even funnier than the original. In all other cases, I would grudgingly just use the literal translation and hope that people would reverse-translate the strip in their heads to discover what the joke was. Although people who buy our books in German and not in English would probably be in a disadvantaged position for that. Well, there’s only so much you can do.

By the way, if you’re interested, I just lowered the price of “Chicken Wings 4 – Goldrausch” to € 9.00! Let’s see if I can sell some of those babies, because I need to make some room in my storage.


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5 comments on “Practicing stalling
  1. J Z says:

    I don’t know what the rest of you think, but to me, it seems that his stalls are fine. His stall recovery could use a little work.

  2. Bernd says:

    Hah. “Goldrausch” is so far the only CW book I have. Bought it directly from you during AERO 2017. You wrote a dedication to our Quality and Safety team; the book is still sitting here for everyone to read.

    I still enjoy it, and sometimes think “that was a hard one to translate, but you did pretty well”, and occasionally “that works suprisingly well in German”.

    But I feel the pain, I do translations for the BigBrotherAwards, and there are German puns and jokes I have to translate into English. Sometimes you can come up with something that captures the spirit and isn’t too far off content-wise, but often it remains a crutch (which, in itself, is a metaphor that is common both in English and German).

  3. Bruce says:

    Yep, gives a whole new look to ‘stalling’.

  4. Franck Mée says:

    Welcome to my world. 🙂
    The worse part being afterwards, when you’ve worked long and hard on a translation and someone tells you “Don’t sweat it, just use Google Translate, honestly it works very well 95% of the time”.
    Well, it’s actually that 5 other % that take half the time and 90% of the work.

  5. stef says:

    Thanks for the compliment, Bernd! Feels good to hear that the hard work is appreciated! 😀

    And Franck, that’s the Pareto principle! And I think I have read many a manual that was translated by Google translate, haha!

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