Path: Welcome > Misc > Humorous Stuff > The Most Difficult-to-translate Sentence of All Time

The Most Difficult-to-translate Sentence of All Time

The following simple German quip must be one of the most difficult-to-translate sentences of all time: Wenn Einstein albert, krümmt sich der Raum vor Lachen.

The literal translation is of course trivial: if Einstein does a joke, all the people (in a room) are weak from laughter.

But the real ingenuity (and beauty) of this sentence is hidden in two interconnected double meanings:

That alone would be clever enough. But the guy who invented that sentence (sadly, I don't know his or her name) could do one better:

But never fear, here is an English sentence that's equally impossible to translate: Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. (Then again, this sort of grouchy Marxist dialectic was and will always remain untranslatable.)


$updated from: The Most Difficult-to-translate Sentence of All Time.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:12:48 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$