The finished french artist

Here he is: the finished L’artiste. The puppet I showed last week  in progress.

I am pretty sure Deutsch Fraulein will fall in love with him when she meets him. (I will have to say something about her, but this post is about L’artiste).

He doesn’t appear to be unhappy, but when one looks closely at his neck, there are little fish visible (you can’t really see it in this pic, it  is too small). In German we have the saying that “somebody is up to their neck in water” (“Das Wasser bis zum Hals stehen”) if somebody is in trouble. Having the fish around his neck says it all, but he seems to care little about it. This saying, I think, is pretty much the same as “being in deep water” in English. Sink or Swim!

But as a second language speaker, you have to think much more careful about proverbs.

I have written the book in English and wasn’t thinking about the German translation at all at the time. There are a lot of similar sayings in both languages. But one in particular will cause me a lot of trouble, should I translate the book. In English you have “skeletons in the cupboard”. (In the book I moved them to the wardrobe – as my cupboard is too small to accommodate my huge family of skeletons). The Germans have a “body in the cellar”. I had totally forgotten until my brother pointed it out.

Of course a skeleton looks different from a body. Maybe I could get away with it, by saying that my bodies have been in the cellar for a very, veeeery long time.