Wait until your software finishes teething


Until I reach my goal of becoming a full-time published author, I pay the bills (and support my writing habit) with a full-time job is as a marketing copywriter for a German plumbing, heating and pipe-joining manufacturer and distributor. I work very closely with some folks who are actually from Germany, so as you can imagine, I hear a lot of German being spoken in the office.

One of the people I work the most closely with was actually born and raised in the Black Forest. Can you imagine? Wow. Just thinking about that leaves this Texas/Kansas girl speechless.

But this gal I work with often comes to me with questions about English. Her English is spectacular, though, so most of the time she doesn’t have anything to worry about. The hangups often come with idiom.

American English idiom is strange anyway but trying to force German idiom to translate into American idiom doesn’t work so well.

I got a real kick out of the latest one she asked me about.

In English, when a new system or process becomes available, we say we want to wait to implement it until all the bugs have been worked out. Right?

Well, in German, apparently, they say that the system is “teething.”

That is the literal translation. The word my friend gave me is: Kinderkrankheit. You can see a discussion about the term used in an IT sense on the LEO Dictionary Forum.

Now, remember, I don’t speak German (yet), so I’m totally relying on my friend on this one. But I just thought this was hilarious.

I may just adopt the phrase anyway, even though it makes no sense: “Yes, I’m waiting to upgrade to Windows 8 until it finishes teething.”


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  • Brittni

    Amy, I love this! One of my favorite things about trying to learn the language and way of speaking in Nigeria was hearing these same kinds of things. They had a way of completely getting the point across in such a funny and descriptive way! I so wish I would’ve been writing them down!