Archive for the ‘Sonderling Sunday’ Category

Sonderling Sunday – Harry Potter with Bonus Language!

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

German HPs

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, that time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.

I’ve recently begun corresponding with a man on a dating site whose first language is French. So I’m thinking it’s time to brush up my French. That means this week I’m looking at the one book I have in German and English and FrenchHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, Harry Potter à l’École des Sorciers.

Note: I’m using the British edition, since that’s the original. I just noticed that there was a difference with one word I translated. Dudley’s first word, “Shan’t!” was “Won’t!” in the American edition.

Last time I looked at these three books, I left off on page 10 in the British edition, page 9 in French, and page 10 in German.

I’ll start with “the last report on the evening news”
= la fin du journal télévisé
= das Neueste in den Abendnachrichten (love those German long words!)

= Vogelkundler
(The French version doesn’t use this word, just talks about “testimonials” = témoignages, but doesn’t say who gave them.)

Another nice long German word:
(British): “the news reader”
(American): “the newscaster”
= der Nachrichtensprecher
= le présentateur

“downpour of shooting stars”
= ganze Schauer von Sternschuppen
= de véritables pluies d’étoiles filantes

“Perhaps people have been celebrating Bonfire Night early — it’s not until next week, folks!”
= Peut-être s’agissait-il de feux de joie, bien que ce ne soit pas encore la saison. (“Perhaps it was fires of joy [bonfires], but it was not yet the season.”)
= Vielleicht haben die Leute zu früh Silvester gefeiert — das ist noch eine Weile hin, meine Damen und Herren!
(“Perhaps people have too early New Year’s Eve celebrated [when Germans really do shoot off fireworks] — that is still a while yet, my ladies and gentlemen!”)

I like this sentence, in each language:
“Mr Dursley sat frozen in his armchair.”
= Mr Dursley se figea dans son fauteuil.
(“Mr. Dursley froze in his chair.”)
= Mr. Dursley saß starr wie ein Eiszapfen in seinem Sessel.
(“Mr. Dursley sat stiff as an icicle in his chair.”)

“Owls flying by daylight?”
= Eulen, die bei Tage flogen?
= Des hiboux qui volent en plein jour?

“Mysterious people in cloaks all over the place?”
= Des gens bizarres vêtus de capes?
= Allerorten geheimnisvolle Leute in sonderbarer Kleidung?
(Ah! An appearance where sonder means “special” in the sense of “strange.”)

“It was no good.”
= Es hatte keinen Zweck. (“It had no point.”)
= Décidément, il y avait quelque chose qui n’allait pas.
(“Decidedly, there was something wrong.”)

“her lot”
= ihrem Klüngel
= sa bande

“Mrs Dursley sipped her tea through pursed lips.”
= Mrs Dursley retroussait les lèvres en buvant son thé à petites gorgées.
(“Mrs Dursley curled her lips drinking tea in little sips.”)
= Mrs. Dursley nippte mit geschürzten Lippen an ihrem Tee.

“Was he imagining things?”
= Bildete er sich das alles nur ein?
= Mr Dursley imaginait-il des choses?

“His last, comforting thought before he fell asleep”
= Bevor er einschlief, kam ihm ein letzter, tröstender Gedanke
(“Before he fell asleep, came to him a last, comforting thought”)
= La seule pensée qui le consola avant de sombrer enfin dans le sommeil
(“The only thought that consoled him before finally falling asleep”)

“How very wrong he was.”
= Wie sehr er sich täuschte.
= Et il avait grand tort de penser ainsi.

There. I’ve gotten us finished with the Dursleys for now. The next scene will involve Albus Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall.

It’s fun to see how the German and French translators differ, and now you know what to call it if you see Des gens bizarres vêtus de capes or geheimnisvolle Leute in sonderbarer Kleidung.

Sonderling Sunday – Ecknische und Knirps

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.


It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post, with no good reason but your basic busyness. So I’m happy to get back to it tonight. And it’s the turn of my stand-by, the truest Sonderbook of them all, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, by James Kennedy, the translation of The Order of Odd-fish.

Last time I visited this book, I finished with “the picture of happiness,” die Verkörperung von Glückseligkeit, which is on page 228, Seite 287.

As always, I love learning how to translate James Kennedy’s disgust-inducing prose. :)

“a dingy, nameless place” = ein schmuddeliger namenloser Ort

“its walls yellowed with decades of smoke and stains”
= Die Wände waren von jahrzehntealtem Rauch und Schmutz vergilbt.

“an ornery dog” = ein übellauniger Hund

“godawful” = einfach schrecklich (“simply horrible”)

“worry” = Kopfzerbrechen (“head-breaking”)

“corner booth” = Ecknische
(Yes! This is now exactly what I’m going to name my corner cubicle!)

Here’s a handy phrase to know:
“scrawled-upon napkins” = vollgekritzelten Servietten

We can say this much more concisely:
“snaky” = schlangenartiges

“brushed off” = freiklopfen

“thinking about it too much” = zu viel darüber nachgegrübelt

I mean, who puts words like these together but James Kennedy? This is why this book got me going with these handy-dandy phrases you didn’t know you wanted to know.
“squeaky whisper” = quietschendes Flüstern

Again, we’re a bit more concise:
“Right now!”
= In ebendiesem Augenblick!

“or worse”
= möglicherweise geschieht sogar Schlimmeres

“Nora had gone too far.”
= Jetzt war Nora eindeutig übergeschnappt.
(“Now was Nora undoubtedly over-snapped.”)

“vindicated” = gerächt

“headline” = Schlagzeile (“Strike-line”)

They kept all the headlines alliterative. Here’s the shortest:
(“Chatterbox flattened”)

“superlative distinction” = unübertrefflicher Ehre

“swaying tassels” = wippenden Quasten

I like this one:
“a wee tot” = ein Knirps

And let’s finish off “with delirious joy” = freudetrunken (“joy-drunk”)

I’m truly jazzed about finding an appropriate name for my cubicle at work (The Ecknische), though perhaps not quite freudetrunken. And I’m going to look for an excuse to call my little nieces the Knirps.

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tage, Day 33

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday – that time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.

Today I’m back to the book I love so much in English, Shannon Hale‘s Book of a Thousand Days, Das Buch der Tausend Tage.


Last time I looked at this book, I left off ready to begin Tag 33.

This is a random sentence, early on, that I think could be handy to know:
“Or was it right to let her sleep?”
= Oder war es richtig, sie schlafen zu lassen?

Here’s another good sentence:
“You’re an antelope who bounds through life.”
= Ihr seid eine Antilope, die durchs Leben hüpft.

“feverish hot” = lichterloh

And who knows but when you might need to say this?
“Your ankles are skinnier than a jackrabbit’s ribs.”
= Eure Knöchel magerer sind als die Rippen eines Hasen.

“trying to hold in the laugh made me snort like a camel”
= das unterdrückte Lachen brach sich in einem kamelartigen Schnauben Bahn

I like the way this sounds:
“didn’t want to wake the guards”
=die Wachen nicht wecken wollte

“How my side ached!”
= Ich hatte solches Seitenstechen!

“laughing with” = herumzualbern (Google: “fool around”)

“my skin tingling” = einem Prickeln auf der Haut

There’s a special word for tears of laughter:
“I’d wiped the tears from my face”
= ich mir die Lachtränen abgewischt hatte
(“I from myself the laugh-tears wiped had.”)

“wild dog” = Wildhund (Nothing surprising there, but always fun to say.)

“crazy” = wahnwitzig

I always like the long words:
“sword practice” = Schwertkampftraining

“swimming while dry” = trockenen Körpers schwimmen

“shy” = schüchtern

“ease suffering” = lindern Leiden

“resting my head on my hands” = stützte den Kopf in die Hände

“squinting” = mit zusammengekniffenen Augen

“something furry that mewed”
= etwas Flauschiges Maunzendes

“riverbed clay” = Lehm im Flussbett

And this one rhymes:
“heartache” = Herzschmerz

That’s it for Day 33. May you never know Herzschmerz and may the only tears you know be Lachtränen.

Sonderling Sunday – Dithering and Smell-Songs

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.

Sonderlinge 1

This week, we’re back to James Kennedy‘s Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, The Order of Odd-Fish

Last time, we left off on page 226 in the English version, Seite 285 in the German edition. The very next paragraph begins with a lovely sentence for translation. Why isn’t this in every phrasebook, anyway?

“Sir Oliver showed them around his observatory, packed with telescopes, star charts, and whirring machines.”
= Sir Oliver führte sie durch sein Observatorium, das vollgestopft war mit Teleskopen, Sternenkarten und surrenden Apparaturen.

(I like “packed” = full-ge-stuffed, I mean vollgestopft.)

“first-rate dithering”
= erstklassig sinnlose Arbeiten (“first-class senseless work”)

(Why am I not surprised that German doesn’t have a word for “dithering”?)

Another good sentence to know:
“I keep all the equipment broken, so I can fiddle with it for hours.”
= Ich sorge zum Beispiel dafür, dass die Instrumente alle kaputt sind, damit ich stundenlang daran herumdilettieren kann.

Oh, here’s a word for dither:
“dither” = tändeln

“exploring” = herumzustreifen

“crawlspaces” = Kriechräume

“peephole” = Guckloch

I like the way this uses English:
“matching pajamas” = Partnerlook-Pyjamas

“sly look” = schelmische Miene

“homemade” = selbst gebaute (“self-built”)

“rubber tubes” = Gummischläuchen

“a wild, looping jig” = eine wilde, hüpfende Gigue

Don’t you think you’ll need to say this if you’re ever in Germany?
“huffing and snorting with gusto” = voller Genuss keuchte und schnaubte

“attempts” = entpuppten

“smell-songs” = Duftliedern

“scales” = Tonleiter (“tone-ladders”)

“clumping up the stairs” = die Treppe hinaufstampfte

“embarrassing and strange” = peinlich und seltsam

And I will finish that section with:
“the picture of happiness” = die Verkörperung von Glückseligkeit

Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tage, Day 32

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, that time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books!

Okay, it’s a little late for it tonight, but hey, it’s Daylight Savings Time, so my body doesn’t realize that I should be tired. I’ll try for a short one.

And it’s time to go back to one of my favorite English books, Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale, >Das Buch der Tausend Tage, with the so gorgeous German cover.


Last time (which I can’t believe was a year ago!), I left off before Day 32, which starts on page 31 in the English edition, and Seite 42 in the German edition.

Right away, there’s something that’s more easily said in English:
= flüsterte und rief zur gleichen Zeit
(“whispered and shouted at the same time”)

This is fun in German:
“mending a stocking” = stopfte einen Strumpf

It’s interesting when onomatopoeia is done so differently, but it works:
“Rap, rap, rap” = Tack, tack, tack.

“rotten” = abscheulich

“palms” = Handflächen (“Hand surfaces”)

“wooden spoon” = Holzlöffel

“puddle of moonlight” = Lache Mondlicht

“double stitched” = doppelt genähtem

“I knew he was teasing me” = ich wusste, dass er mich nur neckte

“friendly insult” = wohlgesonnene Beleidigung (Google: “sympathetic insult”)

“sturdy ankles” = stramme Knöchel

“slippers” = Pantoffeln

“the kind with the toe curled up prettily”
= solche mit einer hübsch gebogenen Spitze
(“such with a pretty bowed tip”)

“metal catch” = Eisenhaken

“pine bough” = Tannenzweig

“winter nap” = Winterschlummer

“Midwinter” = Wintersonnenwende (“winter-sun-turn”)

“to feast until it hurts” = zu prassen, bis es wehtut

“felt tents” = Filzjurten

“blotchy face” = fleckiges Gesicht

“browned and callused hands” = braunen schwieligen Hände

“barrel of water” = Wasserfass

“silliest song” = albernste Lied

“bodiless piglet” = Ferkel ohne Körper

“Happily snuffling” = Fröhlich schnüffelts

“grumble” = nörgeln

“brush” (for writing) = Pinsel (Ah! I just learned where the word “pencil” came from.)

“wistful” = wehmütig

“twisting and floating” = zuckend und schwebend

And that’s all for tonight! I finished Day 32.

But what useful things we’ve learned! After all, who would want to travel in Germany without knowing how to say “bodiless piglet”?

Sonderling Sunday – Erschreckte Schrei

Sunday, March 1st, 2015


It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, that time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.

This week, we’re back to my stand-by, and the inspiration for Sonderling Sunday, James Kennedy‘s The Order of Odd-Fish, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge.

After all this time, we’re past the halfway point, on page 225 in English, and Seite 283 auf Deutsch. I’m still hoping that the phrases I choose to translate, while obviously being tremendously practical, will also intrigue readers into picking up this book, without giving away spoilers.

“straying” = streunten

Hmm. What does this translation say about the title?
“freakish” = seltsamer

“extinct” = ausgestorben (“out-died”)

“his skin became bark-like” = seine Haut aus wie Borke

“sneaked” = schlichen

“muttered scathing insults” = murmelte beißende Beleidigungen (“murmured biting insults”)

“deliriously colored butterflies” = berauschend bunte Schmetterlinge

Interesting that English is more efficient here:
“prodded” = stupste mit einem Finger (“poked with a finger”)

“trudged” = schlurfte

You never know when you’ll need to say this:
“beeping crystal-like flowers” = piepsenden kristallartigen Blume

“Amazingly” = Verblüffenderweise

And how handy to know the German word for this, for your next vacation!
“secret dissection lab” = geheimen Sezierlabor

“colorful guts” = bunte Innereien

Should we be worried that I find this fun to say?
“sliced into sheets” = in Scheiben geschnitten

“stole” = stibitzte

“furry starfish” = pelziger Seestern

Another fun one to say:
“roar of shock” = erschreckte Schrei

“campaign” = Schlachtplan

“funeral” = Beerdigung

“It’s become harder and harder to fritter away the entire day.”
=Es wird immer schwerer, den ganzen Tag nur herumzuhängen.

Okay, I can’t get past that sentence, when I look at the clock! I’m going to call it a night.

Some fun words to say tonight. On your next vacation to Germany, be sure to ask where you can find piepsenden kristallartigen Blume or a geheimen Sezierlabor.

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Jinx und der magische Urwald

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.

I have a new book to look at today! I found this German edition of one of my favorites, Jinx, by Sage Blackwood, on Amazon, and I had to order it!


You can see that my copy is an Advance Reader’s Edition — hopefully there weren’t too many changes.

You’ll also notice they’ve added to the title. I find I like Jinx und der magische Urwald, “Jinx and the magical Primeval Forest.”

Oh! Surprise! This is one of the few books that is shorter in German. Maybe because of the bigger pages? It’s 360 pages in English, and only 351 in German. Wow. Looking more closely, that’s even with the English Chapter One starting on Page 1, but the German Erstes Kapitel starting on Seite 7.

I’m going to begin with some interesting front matter. The translator’s name is Sylke Hachmeister.

Opposite the title page, we have the author bio:
“Sage Blackwood lives at the edge of a large forest, with thousands of books and a very old dog, and enjoys carpentry, cooking, and walking in the woods of New York State.”

This translates to: Sage Blackwood lebt am Rande eines dunklen Waldes, mit Tausenden von Büchern und einem sehr alten Hund. Sie liebt es, zu tischlern und zu kochen, und macht gerne Spaziergänge durch die Wälder des Bundesstaats New York.

My favorite in that bio is “carpentry” = tishlernen, “table-learning.”

The dedication in English is, “To Jennifer Schwabach because it’s her kind of story.”

It has a lilt in German: Für Jennifer Schwabach weil es eine Geschichte nach ihrem Geschmack ist. (“For Jennifer Schwabach because it a story after her taste is.” But the sound of it rolling off the tongue is what’s especially nice about it.)

Jinx has a classic opening line, so let’s look at that.

“In the Urwald you grow up fast or not at all.”
= Im Urwald wurde man entweder schnell groß oder gar nicht.

Now I’ll mention interesting words and phrases as they come up:

“carefully” = bedächtig

Interesting. “Stepparents” = Stiefeltern (“boot-parents”)

“Inherited” = geerbt

Here are some good-to-know phrases for your next foreign adventure!

“died of werewolves” = von Werwölfen getötet

“was carried off by elves” = von Elfen verschleppt worden war

“a passing firebird” = eines vorüberfliegenden Feuervogels (“an over-flying Firebird”)

“ignited” = angezündet

“Besides” = Zu allem Überfluss (“To all this overflow”)

Something German has a word for:
“the winter would be a hungry one”
= ein Hungerwinter stand bevor
(“a Hungerwinter stood before”)

“calculating eye” = berechnenden Blick (“reckoning glance”)

“surplus children” = überzählige Kinder

“a single bite of his toad porridge”
= nur einen Happen von seinem Krötenbrei
(“only one bite of his toad-brew”)

Again, it actually feels a little smoother in German:
“great trees as big around as cottages”
= gewaltige Bäume mit hausbreiten Stämmen
(“huge trees with house-wide trunks”)

“the front of his coat” = Mantelkragen (“coat collar”)

“doomed” = verdammt

Interesting. This must be where we got the word:
“twilight” = Zwielicht

“disapproval” = Missfallen

“gnarled” = knorrigen

“twisty hair” = zwirbeligen Haaren

“pointed beard” = Spitzbart

Here’s a good phrase:
“the wizard’s nose twitched at the bad smell of the lie.”
die Nase des Zauberers zuckte, als er die Lüge roch

“measly” = mickrigen

“Bergthold drew himself up.” = Bergthold straffte sich.

That’s a good stopping place for now, just before a violent death. I feel like I need to walk in the woods to get good use out of these phrases — which makes me miss living in Germany, where there are always plenty of woods to walk in.

Have a wonderful week! It may be a cold winter, but at least it’s not a Hungerwinter!

Sonderling Sunday – Kapitel 18

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Hooray! At long last, it’s again time for Sonderling Sunday: That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.

I hardly got to it when I was reading for the Cybils. And then I wanted to catch up on posting reviews. And then I went to ALA Midwinter Meeting. And had a medical scare. (Benign!) And have just been busy.

So tonight I may not be able to go as long as I’d like. But I am going to do it. And since it’s been awhile, I am going to go back to the book that started it all, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, The Order of Odd-fish, by James Kennedy.

Sonderlinge 2

Last time, we actually finished up Chapter 17, so we are on Kapitel 18, which is on page 223 and Seite 281.

It begins with a sentence that’s good to know in any language:

“Jo and Audrey became fast friends.”
= Jo und Audrey freundeten sich rasch an.
(“Jo and Audrey friended themselves rapidly.”)
Apparently “to friend” was a concept in German before Facebook!

Now you know what to call these people:
“a stuttering deliveryman” = den stotternden Lieferanten

“a hapless tourist” = den ahnungslosen Touristen

“seemingly inexhaustible collection” = scheinbar unerschöpfliche Sammlung

And now you know how to ask for this if you’re ever in Germany and need to go undercover:
“false whiskers” = falschen Backenbärten

“fat suits” = Fettpolstern

I like this one:
“furious” = recht ergrimmt

“slightly daunted” = leicht eingeschüchtert zusammen

This is for when you’re describing why you’re going undercover:
“nefarious plans” = ruchlosen Pläne

This is a good word to know:
“nonsense” = Quatsch

“barely restrained contempt” = kaum verhüllter Verachtung

“scrawling notes in the margins” = Notizen in kleine Hefte kritzelte

“constructing bewildering charts of arrows and boxes and labels”
= merkwürdige Tabellen mit Pfeilen, Kästchen und Etiketten anfertigte

Okay, that’s actually a good stopping place — the end of the first section of Chapter 18. Perhaps if I give it a short segment tonight, it will be easier to get around to next week.

And this week I’ll wish you someone with whom you may friend yourselves rapidly!

Sonderling Sunday – Pu der Bär

Monday, December 8th, 2014

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of Children’s Books.


Tonight, on a whim, I think I’ll go back to Pu der Bär, otherwise known as Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne.

It’s been more than a month since I posted Sonderling Sunday, but today I finished a fabulous book for the Cybils, so I can take an hour and indulge in Sonderling Sunday. Once again, I think I’ll dedicate this week’s post to my niece Kristen, who will be studying in Germany next year. Let’s see if I can find some handy-dandy German phrases for her to learn from Winnie-the-Pooh!

Today we’ll be looking at the second chapter, “In Which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets Into a Tight Place” = In welchem Pu einen Besuch macht und an eine enge Stelle gerät

Now for some handy phrases:

“Pooh for short” = einfach Pu (“simply Pooh”)

I’d like Kristen to need this phrase, whether she actually does or not:
“… was walking through the forest one day, humming proudly to himself.”
= … ging eines Tages durch den Wald und summte stolz vor sich hin.

“a little hum” = ein kleines Gesumm

“Stoutness Exercises” = Kraftübungen (“Strength exercises” — not the same thing at all!)

“as he stretched up as high as he could go” = und er reckte sich, so hoch er konnte

“as he tried to reach his toes” = als er versuchte seine Zehen zu erreichen

“by heart” = auswendig
(This is interesting. It seems to be “out” + “nimble, mobile.” So it gives the idea of readily available. No heart mentioned at all.)

“right through” = vollständig

“properly” = fehlerfrei (“failure-free”)

“sandy bank” = sandigen Abhang

This one’s a bit longer in German (Surprise, surprise!):
“If I know anything about anything” = Wenn ich überhaupt irgendwas über irgendwas weiß

“Rabbit means Company” = Kaninchen bedeutet Gesellschaft

“Company means Food and Listening-to-Me-Humming and such like”
= Gesellschaft bedeutet Essen und Mirbeim-Summen-Zuhören und Ähnliches in der Art

“scuffling noise” = ein Trippeln (“a scurrying”)

“Bother!” = So ein Mist!

This has to be included for the nice long word:
“Well, could you very kindly tell me where Rabbit is?”
= Könnten Sie mir dann liebenswürdigerweise sagen, wo Kaninchen ist?

“very much surprised” = überaus erstaunt

“So Pooh pushed and pushed and pushed his way through the hole”
= Also gab sich Pu einen Schubs und noch einen Schubs und noch einen Schubs in das Loch hinein
(“So Pooh gave himself a shove and another shove and another shove through the hole.”)

“You were quite right” = Du hattest völlig Recht

“looking at him all over” = sah ihn von oben bis unten an

Words to live by:
“One can’t have anybody coming into one’s house.”
= Man kann nicht jeden in sein Haus lassen.

“a mouthful of something” = einem Mundvoll irgendwas

‘a little something” = eine Kleinigkeit

“Honey or condensed milk with your bread?” = Honig oder Kondensmilch zum Brot?

“not to seem greedy” = um nicht gierig zu wirken

“humming to himself in a rather sticky voice” = mit ziemlich klebriger Stimme vor sich hin summend

“So he started to climb out of the hole.” = Und er begann aus dem Loch zu klettern.

“front paws” = Vorderpfoten

“back paws” = Hinterpfoten

“I can’t do either!” = Es gelingt er beides nicht!

“front door” = Vordertür

“Hallo, are you stuck?” = Hallo, sitzt du fest?

“carelessly” = sorglos

“one of us was eating too much” = einer von uns beiden zu viel isst

“Silly old Bear” = Dummer alte Bär

“sniffing slightly” = schniefte leicht

“Rabbit scratched his whiskers thoughtfully” = Kaninchen kratzte sich nachdenklich am Schnurrbart

“having got so far, it seems a pity to waste it.”
= nachdem du nun schon mal so weit vorgedrungen bist, Verschwendung wäre, nicht in derselben Richtung weiterzuarbeiten.
(“after you have already penetrated so far, it would be a waste not to work further in the same direction.”)

Good words to know:
“‘We’ll read to you,’ said Rabbit cheerfully.”
= »Wir werden dir vorlesen«, sagte Kaninchen vergnügt.

It’s hard to imagine needing to use this phrase, but best to be prepared:
“do you mind if I use your back legs as a towel-horse?”
= Würde es dir etwas ausmachen, wenn ich deine Hinterbeine als Handtuchhalter verwende?

“doing nothing” = untätig

“it would be very convenient just to hang the towels on them.”
= es wäre sehr praktisch, wenn ich meine Handtücher dort zum Trocknen aufhängen könnte.
(“It would be very convenient, if I my hand towels there to dry could hang.” — Now it’s wet towels!)

“gloomily” = düster

And practical to know:
“What about meals?”
= Wie ist es mit den Mahlzeiten?

“getting thin quickly” = schnelleren Dünnerwerdens

“Bear began to sigh” = Bär wollte gerade seufzen

“tightly stuck” = eingeklemmt

And my favorite sentence from this chapter:
“Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?”
= Würdest du dann bitte ein gehaltvolles Buch vorlesen, eins, das einem eingeklemmten Bären in starker Bedrängnis Hilfe und Trost spendet?

“slenderer” = schlanker

“all Rabbit’s friends and relations” = sämtliche Bekannten-und-Verwandten von Kaninchen

And not to give anything away, but here’s the last paragraph of the Zweite Kapitel:

“So, with a nod of thanks to his friends, he went on with his walk through the forest, humming proudly to himself. But, Christopher Robin looked after him lovingly, and said to himself, ‘Silly old Bear!'”

= Also schenkte er seinen Freunden ein Nicken des Dankes und setzte seinen Weg fort, wobei er stolz vor sich hin summte.

Aber Christopher Robin sah ihm liebevoll nach und sagte »Dummer alter Bär!« vor sich hin.

That’s quite enough for this week! Here’s wishing that you may read ein gehaltvolles Buch this week!

Sonderling Sunday – For Kristen!

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

It’s Sonderling Sunday, that time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books!

This week’s installment is dedicated to my niece, Kristen, who recently learned that she gets to spend her Sophomore year of college in Heidelberg, Germany!

Heidelberg Castle

During my ten years living in Germany, we were only about 30-45 minutes from Heidelberg, and it was one of my favorite places to bring visitors. I hope I’ll get the chance to go visit Kristen while she’s there!

And now for Sonderling Sunday. This week, I was asked to step in at the last minute to be a Cybils panelist for first-round Middle Grade Speculative Fiction! What this means is that I probably shouldn’t spend much time on Sonderling Sunday until after the end of the year — I should be reading! (And I *love* that I can legitimately say “I should be reading.”) However, it’s been a long time since I posted, and last week, I spent an hour on a post — and then lost it in a fluke (I hope) WordPress accident. When it got to where it was taking me as long to try to recover it as it would to rewrite it, I decided to stop. But it’s still eating at me that I want that section done!

For Kristen — I like to think of Sonderling Sunday as a sort of phrasebook, with translations you won’t find in ordinary phrasebooks, but which are clearly useful, since they have been used in a children’s book, for goodness’ sake!

This week (and last week), I’m back to Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, The Order of Odd-fish, by the illustrious James Kennedy, whom, it turns out, also knows a lot about Star Wars.

Last time — or anyway, the last time I managed to post — we left off on page 216 in the original English edition, and Seite 273 auf Deutsch. I have to start with the reply to the last line I posted.

“Knitting? I’ll knit you!”
= Stricken? Ich werde dir gleich zeigen, wie man strickt!
(“Knitting? I will you the same show, how one knits!”)

“awkward pause” = verlegene Pause

“snorted” = schnaubten

Here’s hoping you will never ever need to use this phrase, but just in case:
“a rotting face smiling inches from her own”
= ein verrottetes Gesicht, das nur wenige Zentimeter vor ihrem eigenen grinste

“murmuring just beneath human hearing”
= das unterhalb der Hörschwelle des menschlichen Ohres schlug
(“that below the hearing-threshold of the human ear struck”)

“throat” = Schlund

This is mellifluous:
“ruby-lipped” = mit dem rubinroten Lippen

“with all the noise and fury of an oncoming train”
= mit dem Lärm und der Wucht eines heranrasenden Zuges

“sharp lights were stabbing behind her eyes”
= stechendes Licht flammte hinter ihren Augen auf

“Jo was left treading water.”
= Jo blieb zurück und strampelte im Wasser.
(“Jo stayed back and struggled in the water.”)

“hopelessly lost”
= hoffnungslos verirrt

“her body” = ihre Leiche (“her corpse”)

“a concrete shelf near a sewer pipe”
= einem Betonvorsprung in der Nähe eines Abflussrohrs

“Ian kicked open the sewer grate”
= Ian öffnete das Gitter des Abflusskanals mit einem kräftigen Tritt
(“Ian opened the gate of the outflow-channel with a powerful kick”)
— That one gains something in translation.

“humming city” = summenden Stadt

Interesting. This time through I noticed a little stitching up in the German. Nick and Jo are outside the sewers, and it said nothing about bringing Nick out. But as they’re talking, the English then jumps to describe the cut across Nick’s brow. The German covers that, but first inserts, Sie gingen zurück, “They went back.”

Speaking of Nick’s brow:
“There was a nasty cut across Nick’s brow”
= Nicks Stirn zierte eine hässliche Platzwunde
(“Nick’s brow graced an ugly gash”)

“wig” = Perücke

This is definitely longer in German:
“familiar jeweled key”
= vorkommenden juwelenbesetzten Schlüssel

But this one’s shorter:
“half running, half walking”
= im Laufschritt
(“on the run-step”)

And here’s another one I hope Kristen will never use:
“dragging around an unconscious girl”
= ein bewusstloses Mädchen herumschleppten

“front parlor” = Empfangsalon

“Jo suddenly realized what must have happened.”
= Jo begriff plötzlich, wie alles zusammenhängen musste.

“Unscramble the letters”
= Schüttle die Buchstaben… durcheinander

“nursing the lump on her head”
= betastete die Beule auf ihrem Kopf

“deathly croak” = heiserem Krächzen

“sleepily mischievous” = verschlafen-mutwillig

“shyly hopeful” = zaghaft hoffnungsvoll

“petty” = albern

“East Squeamings” = Ost-Heikel (“East-Delicate”)

“Nora’s head would explode”
= dann platzt Nora der Kragen
(“then bursts Nora the collar”)

“every last thing”
= die kleinste Kleinigkeit
(“the littlest littleness”)

“garish” = grelle

“the buttery glow of the moon”
= das gelbliche Glühen des Mondes

And to finish off Chapter 17 with a sentence I hope Kristen will have many occasions to use:
“They took the long way home.”
= Sie nahmen den längeren Weg nach Hause.

Until next time!