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English-German Translation of
Überstunden verfallen

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Frage:
Überstunden ... verfallen   
von JamesNPt (UN), 2018-05-16, 14:40  Spam?  
Selbst für die Metall- und Elektroindustrie ergibt eine Befragung der IG Metall von ca. 681.000 Beschaftigten, dass bei 15% Überstunden voll­ständig oder teilweise verfallen (IG Metall Vorstand, Arbeitszeit - sicher, gerecht und selbstbestimmt, 5/2017, S. 30 f.).

What does "Überstunden voll­ständig oder teilweise verfallen" mean here? I assume that the 15% refers to the workers.
Antwort: 
For the first time ever my dictionary of idioms came up trumps  #891133
von JamesNPt (UN), 2018-05-16, 14:42  Spam?  
I suppose it must mean "are partially or completely enslaved by overtime" - or words to that effect.
Chat:     
von anonymous1, 2018-05-16, 14:55  Spam?  70.161.250...
 #891134
I believe it means that 15% of the people queried reported that they were only partially or not at all compensated for their overtime work.
Antwort: 
von romy (CZ/GB), 2018-05-16, 15:03  Spam?  
 #891135
:) Kind of... It means that 15% of workers don't get the chance to make up with free time for overtime work they have done, i.e. they allow their entitlement to forfeit/lapse/get eradicated, either in whole (altogether, all of it - vollständig) or in part (teilweise). Normally, if you work 3 hours more after hours you are entitled to take 3 hours off from work on another normal work day, to make up for this. 15% of those workers never take those 3 hours off. This may be their own choice (if they love their work and don't want to miss out) or due to necessities of their workplace, in which case they are needed so urgently that they are not allowed to take that time off (in which case James might be "kind of" right).
Antwort: 
von romy (CZ/GB), 2018-05-16, 15:08  Spam?  
 #891136
As for the Chat comment "only partially or not at all compensated for their overtime work" does not fully reflect the meaning of "verfallen". "Verfallen" indicates that they were granted the right to get compensated for their overtime (they were told that they could take some time off on another day), but this right was not put into practice for a certain period of time, until it expired. Same result, but different approach.
Chat:     
von anonymous1, 2018-05-16, 15:10  Spam?  70.161.250...
 #891137
The German wording is clever. It says literally that 'overtime lapsed' without mentioning the word 'compensation' or giving any indication who was responsible for the lapse or expiration. "Enslaved by overtime" may be a conclusion one can draw from that. But the German states no such thing.
Chat:     
von anonymous1, 2018-05-16, 15:13  Spam?  70.161.250...
 #891138
It's possible James interpreted the verfallen as 'addicted to' (dem Alkohol verfallen).
Chat:     
von romy (CZ/GB), 2018-05-16, 15:21  Spam?  
 #891139
ha ha ... 15% are addicted to doing overtime
No, the little word "bei" indicates that the 15% are an object and not the subject of the sentence, so only the "overtime" can be the subject, which means the "overtime lapses in the case of those 15%".
However, without the little "bei" the above (wrong) translation would be literally indeed possible!
Chat:     
von anonymous1, 2018-05-16, 15:48  Spam?  70.161.250...
 #891141
4;romy, yes, it would. And it even could make sense. Many people do depend on overtime to make ends meet. Brecht could have written Die Ballade von der Überstundenhörigkeit, lol.
Antwort: 
Thanks!  #891142
von JamesNPt (UN), 2018-05-16, 16:17  Spam?  
Yes, my Dictionary of Idioms still has to prove its value. I spoke too soon!

Reading further on it's clear that "lapsed" is the key concept. Another issue discussed in the article is the lapsing of holiday time without being used (that applies to 12% of all vacation time in Germany annually, apparently).

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