Some years ago, I was doing time at a world-famous research library. One of the other inmates posed a problem to the assembled denizens. A Frenchman, he was translating an American novel into his native tongue and there was a passage in the book that he could not understand. He thought it might be a joke but he couldn't make heads nor tails of it. He read us the passage. "Two men are in a bar. The first man asks, 'What do you do with a giraffe who has three balls on him.' The second man answers, 'Walk him and pitch to the elephant.'"
As I remember, everyone in the room "got it," but no one could suggest a good solution to the translation problem. Word-for-word wouldn't do and an equivalent was impossible to indentify. I don't know what the poor fellow decided. Something elegant, I hope.