On Saturday it was International Translation Day, which has now been officially recognised by the UN. Our local Heidelberg/Mannheim branch of the BDÜ (German Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association) has a history of coming up with fun ideas to raise awareness of our profession, and this year was no exception. To celebrate International Translation Day 2017 they planned a freeze mob, also known as a mannequin challenge.
I’d never been involved in a freeze mob before. In our case it involved going to the station forecourt in Mannheim and assuming typical translator/interpreter poses. Each of us was supported by an assistant holding a speech bubble, to make clear what the actual point was. We stood for about five minutes (it felt like half an hour!) while a camera crew moved around us and filmed the group from different angles. And then we moved off, going about our business as if nothing had happened and then meeting up back at the pub.
It was quite weird standing still in public for all that time, but it was a fun thing to do with colleagues, and I had the impression that quite a few passers-by stopped to see what was going on. So certainly a success so far, and I can’t wait to see the video!
Many thanks to Matthias Haldimann and Sönke Eggers for the photos.