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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6 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!

  6. Harald Syverud says:

    Having English as a foreign language it took me some time to realise the double meaning of “stalling”. I thought of the first flight ever in an Piper J4, 14ish years. Pilot took us through some stalls, and my stomach reacted. Did not throw up tho, but made some “stallings” on the way from the tarmac.
    Greetings from Telemark – Harald

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