The Ceiling

Monday morning: Hey, how was your weekend?

My German speaking colleage asks. Well, not much going on, all quiet – and I now write in English just for the sake of it: the ceiling was falling on my head. If you are English you probably look a bit puzzled now. If you are German and speak some English you may have a good laugh. Because it is a German saying so literally translated into English that it HURTS. What it actually means is that you were bored stiff. This is not what translation should be. It should reflect the feeling, the message, not the word. The translators have to be familiar enough with the message behind the word and be talented enough in their native language to get this message across.

With the same meaning but probably different words. But what if this “ceiling” was part of a marketing campaign with its marketing collateral all based on this picture. Then we’d have a problem now and it would have been good to be involved in an earlier stage.

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