Spinning or going nuts?

At some point into Episode 76 of series 4 of the much acclaimed US TV series King of Queens we hear Carrie say something along the lines of 'Were you thinking we were spinning around on the floor?' (could not find original quote yet, will keep looking) and she is illustrating the spinning movement with a vivid gesture. This whole scene depicts her being dressed for the gym and on the verge of leaving the house, announcing her leaving to Doug by saying something like 'Gone for the gym, am having a spinning class'.

The German translation as expected reads "Hast Du gedacht, dass wir auf dem Boden rumspinnen?". Now, it's hard to determine here, whether synchronization intentionally chose this translation in order to somehow carry over the jocularity of her graphic acting out the dialog. Because "spinnen" in German rather means 'going nuts' than referring to a fast circular motion (which the original dialog refers to with regard to the pedals of the immotile spinning bike at the gym). Whether the fact of a person going nuts is worth a laugh may remain disputable. However, the introduction of spinning in European gyms and the idea of exercising on a bike save a forward motion gave some people a good laugh.

If we look at a literal translation as an alternative, the translators could have come up with something like "Hast Du gedacht, wir drehen uns auf'm Boden 'rum?". Now, that ain't funny at all, isn't it? Whereas "auf dem Boden rumspinnen" may have at least some comic quality to it, albeit not a very sophisticated one. What do you think?

Ideas anyone? Mine keep (pointlessly) spinning in my head, I think I'm about to go nuts here...


At 5:43 PM, Blogger Julia said...

Hi there,
Just came across your blog and thougth I might post some comments.

I remember that "King of Queens" episode - I was wondering why it was translated "rumspinnen".
But other than "to go nuts" it might mean to actually spin some yarn. A spinning wheel makes a spinning motion, doesn't it?
But that wouldn't be too funny either.


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