Archive for the ‘Sonderling Sunday’ Category

Sonderling Sunday – into the Dome of Doom

Monday, February 8th, 2016

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 it’s back to the book that started it all, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, otherwise known as The Order of Odd-fish, by James Kennedy.

Sonderlinge 1

Last time we left off on page 254 in the English edition, Seite 321 auf Deutsch. So you see, we are now significantly past the halfway point.

As usual, I’m hoping that seeing James Kennedy’s unusual turns of phrase in bits and pieces will entice you into reading the book — tantalizing rather than spoiling, even though we’re pretty far along into the story.

(Ian is playing pool:)
“Ian returned to his shot.”
= Ian knozentrierte sich wieder auf seinen Stoß.
(“Ian concentrated himself again on his impact.”)

Here’s a useful word to know!
“prig” = Moralapostel (“moral-apostle”)

“his arms crossed” = und verschränkte die Arme
(“and folded his arms”)
I have to wonder if verschränkte meaning “folded” has anything to do with the fact that a Schrank is a large cupboard for clothes. So if you’re folding something you’re For-Schranking it. (Even if that’s not where it came from, it’s a good way to remember it.)

“dreadful electricity” = schrecklichen Spannung
(Google Translate: “terrible tension”)

“bashful” = verschüchtert

“judgmental” = abfällig

“invincible” = unbesiegbar

“you get in some mess” = steckst bis zum Hals in der Klemme
(“stick up to the neck in the terminal”)

“and I have to clean it up for you”
= und ich soll die Sache für dich ausbügeln
(“and I should the matter for you iron out”)

“Shut up!” = Haltet die Klappe!

Interesting translation variant:
“I’m sick of your arguing, both of you!”
= Eure Streitereien gehen mir auf die Nerven. Ihr beide geht mir auf die Nerven!
(“Your quarrels go on my nerves. You both go on my nerves!”)

“warehouses” = Lagerhäusern

More picturesque language is interesting in translation:
“The rain bucketed down, churning the puddles into mist”
= Es regnete wie aus Eimern, so stark, dass die Pfützen schäumen
(“It rained like out of buckets, so strong, that the puddles foamed”)

“splashed down the unlit streets” = durch die unbeleuchteten Straßen wateten
(“through the unlit streets waded”)

“heaps of scrap metal” = Schrotthaufen (“scrap heap”)

“unmarked door” = unauffälligen Tür

“squished noisily” = quietschten laut

“assembly line” = Fließband (“flow-band”)

“put on a brave face” = tapfer zu wirken (“bravely to act”)

Sadly, not as much of a ring to it in German:
“the Dome of Doom” = der Dom des Todes

We’ll leave Ian and Jo in the Dome of Doom for this week.

Bis später!

Sonderling Sunday – Heidi Discovers Snow

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

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.

Heidi

This is a snowy weekend, so I wanted to find a snow passage to use this week. I was thinking I’d like to use Heidi and bemoaning that I have a German edition, but not an English one, and my son pointed out that I could probably easily find a copy online. Sure enough! I checked out a copy right away through Fairfax County Public Library.

Instead of starting at the beginning, I’m going to start on Chapter 4, where Heidi first sees snow. Since Heidi was originally written in German, I’ll list the German text first. This chapter is called Bei der Grossmutter in German, and “The Visit to Grandmother” in English. As usual, I’ll translate interesting phrases:

den Geissen = “the goats”
der Weide = “the high meadows”

so ging es Tag für Tag = “and so it went on day after day”

und Heidi wurde bei diesem Weideleben
= “till Heidi, passing her life thus among the grass and flowers”
Aha! It seems that sometimes it’s just the translated language that is longer. German just uses “meadow-life.”

der Wind lauter zu sausen anfing
= “the wind blew louder and stronger”

Missgeschick = “mishaps”

English translated this with two words:
störrig = “naughty and obstinate”

den es sah immer irgend etwas Erfreuliches vor sich
= “for wherever she was she found something to interest or amuse her”

Raubvogel = “great bird”

herumrührte = “stirred”

das Wogen und Rauschen in den drei alten Tannen hinter der Hütte
= “the waving and roaring of the three old fir trees”

dieses tiefe, geheimnisvolle Tosen in den Wipfeln da droben
= “the deep mysterious sound in the tops of the trees”

hauchte in die Hände
= “blowing on his fingers to keep them warm”

den auf einmal fiel über Nacht ein tiefer Schnee, und am Morgen war die ganze Alp schneeweiss und kein einziges grünes Blättlein mehr zu sehen ringsum und um
= “for one night there was a heavy fall of snow and the next morning the whole mountain was covered with it, and not a single little green leaf was to be seen anywhere upon it.”

schaute ganz verwundert
= “looking out in wonderment”

den nun fing es wieder zu schneien an = “for the snow was beginning again”

die dicken Flocken fielen fort und fort
= “the thick flakes kept falling”

bis der Schnee so hoch wurde, dass er bis ans Fenster hinaufreichte
= “till the snow was up to the window”

und man ganz verpackt war in dem Häuschen
= “and she and her grandfather were shut up fast within the hut.”

den nun schneite es nicht mehr = “the snow having ceased”

und schaufelte ums ganze Haus herum
= “and shoveled away the snow round the house”

und warf grosse, grosse Schneehaufen aufeinander, dass es war wie hier ein Berg und dort ein Berg um die Hütte herum
= “and threw it into such great heaps that they looked like mountains standing at intervals on either side the hut.”

Dreifuss = “three-legged stools”

hohen Schichten = “deep snowdrifts”

zu tauen = “to thaw”

ein gelinder Wasserfall = “a trickling waterfall”

Griffel = “pencil”

Wissbegierde = “curiosity” (“knowledge-desire”)

trocknen von oben bis unten = “thoroughly dry”

I love this phrase:
die Mundwinkel gezuckt
= “a twitch of amusement at the corners of his mouth”

als es draussen knisterte und knarrte vor Kälte bei jedem Schritt
= “when with every step one took the ground crackled with frost”
(“as it crackled and creaked out cold at each step”)

und die ganze grosse Schneedecke ringsum hart gefroren war
= “and the whole vast field of snow was hard as ice”

Heuboden = “hayloft”

Ah! Except for the “after him” part, this is what I did today!
In grosser Freude hüpfte das Kind ihm nach in die glitzernde Schneewelt hinaus
= “The child skipped out gleefully after him into the glittering world of snow.”

in dem Sonnenschein schimmerte und funkelte es überall von den Bäumen in solcher Pracht
= “they looked so lovely as they glittered and sparkled in the sunlight”

Heidi hoch aufsprang vor Entzücken
= “Heidi jumped for joy”

Stossschlitten = “hand-sleigh”

laut aufjauchzte = “shouted aloud with delight”

I’ll have to stop there, where Heidi just arrived at the grandmother’s house. But this was a perfect section for today — I like Heidi’s delight in the glittering, snowy world — die glitzernde Schneewelt, and yesterday we certainly had die dicken Flocken fielen fort und fort.

Till next time, bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – The Hallows of Death

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

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, I’ve got a hankering to go back to Harry Potter und die Heiligtümer des Todes, which translates as “Harry Potter and the Hallows of Death.”

HP_Deathly_Hallows

Last time we looked at this book (more than a year ago, I’m afraid), we finished on page 6 in the English edition, Seite 14 auf Deutsch.

Right away, they’ve got one word in German for a long phrase in English:
“The company around the table” = Die Tischgesellschaft

But this is a longer phrase in German:
“Harry Potter’s continued existence”
= dass Harry Potter immer noch am Leben war

“unconscious body” = bewusstlosen Körper

This does sound like the right way for a supervillain to talk about his plans:
“best-laid plans” = bestgeschmiedeten Plänen

“a sudden wail” = ein plötzliches Wehklagen (“sudden woe-lamentation”)

“misery and pain” = Qual und Schmerz

“scrambled” = kletterte

“scurried” = huschte

“a curious gleam of silver” = ein merkwürdiges silbernes Schimmern

“volunteers” = Freiwilligen

Interestingly shorter in English:
“his eyes were sunken” = seine Augen lagen tief in ihren Höhlen (“his eyes were deep in their sockets”)

“wrist” = Handgelenk (“hand-link”)

“Elm” = Ulme

“fraction” = Bruchteil (“break-piece”)

“maliciously” = gehässig

This phrase rolls off the tongue:
“The soft voice seemed to hiss on” = Die sanfte Stimme schien weiterzuzischen

“The huge snake” = Die riesige Schlange

“thigh” = Oberschenkel (“upper-shank”)

“vertical slits” = senkrechten Schlitzen

“absently” = geistesabwesend (“spirit-absence”)

“in bearing and demeanor” = in Haltung und Gebaren

“rigid and impassive” = starr und teilnahmslos

“tears of delight” = Freudentränen

“jeering laughter” = höhnisches Gelächter

“gleeful looks” = hämische Blicke

“humiliation” = Demütigung

“outpouring of mirth” = Ausbruch von Heiterkeit

“Mudblood” = Schlammblüter

“brat” = Göre

“cubs” = Bälger

“family trees” = Familienstammbäume

“breathless and imploring” = atemlos und flehentlich

“canker” = Krebsgeschwür

“infects” = verseucht

“tiny flick” = winzige Schlenker

“cracked and terrified voice” = gebrochener und grauenerfüllter Stimme

Alliterative in both languages:
“stroking the snake’s snout” = die Schnauze der Schlange streichelte

“broad, hunched woman” = derbe, bucklige Frau

“gagged” = geknebelt

“corrupting and polluting” = verdirbt und besudelt

“resounding crash” = dröhnenden Schlag

“trembled and creaked” = bebte und knarrte

And that’s the end of Chapter One!

I’m hoping you won’t be in any conferences with powerful and evil wizards this week and won’t have too much use for these phrases, but if you ever do encounter a riesiges Schlange in Germany, at least you’ll know what to call it!

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Crazy Cockroaches

Sunday, December 13th, 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 our stand-by, the most Sonderbook of them all, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, by James Kennedy, originally titled The Order of Odd-Fish.

Last time, we left off on page 251 in the English version, Seite 318 auf Deutsch.

We’ll start with some basic, handy phrases:

“sudden exit” = überstürzte Abgang

“the talk of the lodge”
= das Tagesgespräch im Logenhaus

“as the other knights and squires bustled around”
= während die anderen Ritter und Knappen um sie herumwuselten

“dully” = gleichgültig

Of course we know this one:
“cockroaches” = Kakerlaken

This one Google translate doesn’t recognize:
“bender” = Sauftour (but it seems to be “booze-tour”)

“wrinkled and sweaty” = zerknittert und verschwitzt

“their ties stained or missing” = ihre Fliegen waren schmutzig oder fehlten ganz

“snoring, drooling” = schnarchenden, sabbernden

“society column” = Gesellschaftsspalte

This is a little more vehement in translation:
“Not a word!
= Nicht ein Sterbenswörtchen!
(“Not a dying-little-word!”)

“fiercely” = hitzig

Here’s a sentence worth translating (spoken by a cockroach):
“Last night I broke three windows, fell down the stairs, got in a fight with a beetle, danced on eight separate tables, and drank things most people don’t even know exist!
= Ich habe gestern Nacht drei Fenster eingeschlagen, bin eine Treppe hinuntergefallen, habe mich mit einem Käfer geprügelt, habe auf insgesamt acht Tischen getanzt und Dinge getrunken, von deren Existenz die meisten Leute nicht einmal etwas ahnen!
(“I have yesterday night three windows hit in, one staircase fell down, have myself with a beetle beaten, have on a total of eight tables danced and things drunk, of which existence most people don’t have any idea!”)

“threw out the window” = auf dem Fenster geworfen

Here’s a phrase you’ll want to know:
“ate enough caviar to kill a man”
= so viel Kaviar gefressen, dass es einen normalen Menschen töten würde

“What are we going to be outraged about now?”
= Worüber sollen wir uns jetzt echauffieren?

“notoriety” = berüchtigen Ruf (“notorious reputation”)

“If I pick my nose” = Wenn ich in der Nase bohre (“If I in the nose drill”)

“vomiting” = kotzen

Don’t use this one:
“I’ll open a vein and let it run”
= Ich schneide mir eine Ader auf und lasse das Blut fließen
(“I will cut me a vein open and let the blood flow”)

I like this word:
“shuffle past” = davonzuschleichen

“Insolence! Insolence and impropriety!”
= Frechheit! Anmaßung und Unverschämheit!

Drooling came up again:
“drooling grin” = sabbernden Grinsen

This is a bit clunkier in German:
“Dugan looked like someone had hit him with a brick.”
= Dugan schaute aus, als hätte ihm jemand mit einem Ziegelstein auf den Kopf geschlagen.

“strangled cough” = erstickten Husten

That’s it for tonight! This week, if anyone gives you trouble, be ready to call out, “Frechheit! Anmaßung und Unverschämheit!

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Der Lorax, BIGGER!

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Lorax

It’s been almost two months, but 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, I don’t have much time, but I’m going to do a little bit anyway! Tonight we’ll look at Der Lorax. This one’s fun because it’s poetry, so I’ll usually do a section at a time and then give a more direct translation from the German back to the English, so you can see how things were changed to make them more poetical.

Last time, we left off as the Bar-ba-loots sadly walked away because the Thneed business needs to grow.

And then we come to the new factory:

“I meant no harm. I most truly did not.
But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got.
I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads
of the Thneeds I shipped out. I was shipping them forth
to the South! To the East! To the West! To the North!
I went right on biggering . . . selling more Thneeds.
And I biggered my money, which everyone needs.”

= Ich wollte nichts Böses, auf gar keinen Fall.
Doch der Laden muss wachsen, so ist das nun mal.
Es wuchs die Fabrik, es wuchsen die Kisten.
Es wuchsen die Schnauchbestellungslisten.
Es wuchsen die Straßen. Es wuchs der Transport
von Waggons voll mit Schnäuchen. Wir schifften sie fort —
nach Osten, nach Süden, nach West oder Nord.
Es wuchs einfach alles, das Geld wuchs auch.
Und Geld is etwas, das jedermann braucht.

(“I wanted nothing evil, absolutely no way.
But the shop must grow, and that’s simply that.
It grew the factory, it grew the crates.
It grew the Thneeds-order-list.
It grew the streets. It grew the transport
of trucks full of Thneeds. We shipped them forth
from the east, from the south, from the west or north.
It grew simply everything, the money grew also.
And money is something that everyone needs.”)

My favorite rhyme in that previous section is definitely Kisten rhymed with Schnauchbestellungslisten.

Yes, the rhymes are fun. Listen to this one:

“Then again he came back! I was fixing some pipes
when that old-nuisance Lorax came back with more gripes.”

= Doch später, ich war bei den Abwasserkammern,
kam dieser Lorax, um
wieder zu jammern.

(“Then later, I was in the wastewater chambers,
came this Lorax, again to whine.”)

And then Dr. Seuss makes the English so onomatopoetic. Let’s see how the translator does:

“‘I am the Lorax,’ he coughed and he whiffed.
He sneezed and he snuffled. He snarggled. He sniffed.
‘Once-ler!’ he cried with a cruffulous croak.
‘Once-ler! You’re making such smogulous smoke!
My poor Swomee-Swans. . . why, they can’t sing a note!
No one can sing who has smog in his throat.”

= „Ich bin der Lorax.‟ Er schnappte. Er schniefte.
Er nieste und japste und keuchte und piefte.
„Einstler‟, rief er, jetzt heulte er auch.
„Einstler, du machst so rußigen Rauch!
Meine Schwippschwäne bringen kein Lied mehr heraus.
Diesen Smog in der Kehle, den halt niemand aus.‟

I don’t think the translator is making up as many words, but they did get a nice rhythm to the lines. Google Translate says that rußigen Rauch means “sooty smoke” — so if it’s not quite smogulous, well, it’s getting there.

I like the way this paragraph was rephrased for rhythm:

“‘And so,’ said the Lorax,
‘– please pardon my cough —
they cannot live here.
So I’m sending them off.'”

= „Und weil du nicht aufhörst,
hier Dreck rauszupusten,
verschwinden die Schwäne —
verzeih meinen Husten.‟

(“And because you don’t stop
here filth out-blowing,
disappear the swans —
pardon my cough.”)

Ah! The translator does well with Gluppity-Glupp:

“‘What’s more,” snapped the Lorax. (His dander was up.)
“Let me say a few words about Gluppity-Glupp.
Your machinery chugs on, day and night without stop
making Gluppity-Glupp. Also Schloppity-Schlopp.'”

= „Doch fast noch schlimmer‟, er fing wieder an,
„is dieser üble Schlickerschlamm.
Tag und Nacht schwappt der stinkende Schlubberschlapp
aus dreckigen Rohren, der Schlabberpapp.‟

(“‘But almost even worse,’ he began again,
‘is this bad Schlickerschlamm (silty-mud).
Day and night sloshes the stinky Schlubberschlapp
out of dirty pipes, the Schlabberpapp.'”)

When the Humming-Fish leave, some notable words are:
“their gills are all gummed” = sein Mund is verklebt

This rhyme was easy:
“weary” = schwierig
“smeary” = schmierig
Though look at that — they skipped the rhyme about, “Oh, their future is dreary.”

Another interesting word:
“yap-yap” = meckern (“gripe”)

Then the big confrontation:

“And, for your information, you Lorax, I’m figgering
on biggering
and BIGGERING
and BIGGERING
and BIGGERING,
turning MORE Truffula Trees into Thneeds
which everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE needs!”

= Ich will noch viel mehr, und zwar jetzt und hier.
Mein Geschäft wird erweitert,
VERGRÖSSERT,
VERBREITERT.
Aus jedem Tuff wird hier ein Schnauch,
weil jeder, JEDER einen braucht!

(“I want a lot more, and that here and now.
My business is extended,
INCREASED,
WIDENED.
For each tuft here is a Thneed,
because everyone, everyone needs one!”)

Instead of “smoke-smuggered stars,” we’ve got verpesteten Ort (“pestilential place”).

Shorter in German:
“seat of his pants” = Hosenboden

“a small pile of rocks” = ein Haufen Steine

Instead of “UNLESS,” the pile of rocks says ES SEI DENN (which seems to mean the same thing).

I like this line:
“I’ve worried about it
with all of my heart.”

= Ich zerbrech’ mir den Kopf,
grüble hin, grüble her.

Very roughly, this is something like: “I rack my brains, speculating in and out.”

“Catch!” = Fang!

“It’s a Truffula Seed.
It’s the last one of all!”
= Der letzte Trüffelasamen von allen!

And here is the finish:
“You’re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.”

= Trüffelas sind, das weißt du nun auch,
etwas, was wirklich jeder braucht.
Pflanz einen Trüffela, und vergiss bitte nicht
klares Wasser, frische Luft, viel Pflege und Licht.
Mach einen Wald draus, hege ihn gut,
schütz ihn vor Äxten, sei auf der Hut!
Das ist dein Auftrag, du schaffst das, viel Glück!
Und vielleicht kommt der Lorax
mit seinen Freunden
zurück.

(“Truffulas are, that know you now also,
something that really everyone needs.
Plant a Truffula, and please don’t forget
clear water, fresh air, much care and light.
Make a forest around, cherish it well,
protect it from axes, be on your guard!
That is your job, you can do it, good luck!
And perhaps comes the Lorax
with his friends
back.”)

Look! I finished a book! I went longer than I meant to, but in doing so I biggered my fun.

Viel Glück!

Sonderling Sunday – To Stop the Belgische Scherzkeks

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I look at the German translation of children’s books and devise a Useful Phrasebook for Very Silly Travelers.

This week, we’re continuing in Chapter 19 of The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy, otherwise known as Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge.

Sonderlinge3

Last time, we left off on page 249 in the English edition, Seite 315 in the German edition.

The first sentence of the next section is a useful one, especially if you’re traveling in Germany:
“The rainy season had started.”
= Der Regenzeit hatte begonnen.

This sounds nicer in English:
“a dim, drizzling morning”
= ein düsterer, verregneter Morgen

What a sad way to think of the morning!
“dawn” = Morgengrauen (“morning-gray”)

Here’s a great word!
“soaked with sweat” = schweißüberströmt (“sweat-over-flowing”)

This isn’t said quite the same way:
“happily exhausted” = fröhlich und erschöpft (“happy and exhausted”)

“rushed past” = vorbeistürmten

Here’s a phrase to know:
“the peevish croak of ostriches waking up”
= das gereizte Krächzen der aufwachenden Strauße

“armor clanking” = klapperten die Rüstungen

“It doesn’t matter.”
= Das spielt keine Rolle.
(“That plays no role.”)

“The Belgian Prankster has made his move.”
= Der Belgische Scherzkeks hat seinen Schachzug gemacht
(“The Belgian Joke-cookie has his chess-move made.”)

“A gunshot went off in Jo’s stomach.”
= In Jos Magen schien etwas zu explodieren.
(“In Jo’s stomach seemed something to explode.”)

This one really is a handy phrase to know:
“I was wrong.”
= Ich habe mich geirrt.

“tinkering” = herumgebastelt

“zigzagging pole” = gezackten Stange

“stuck all over with prongs, wheels, and corkscrews”
= die überall mit Zacken, Zahnrädern und Korkenziehern bestückt

“wrapped up in fur” = mit Fell umwickelt

“the jury-rigged thing”
= das notdürftig zusammengeflickte Teil
(“the makeshift [hardship-meager] together-patched part”)

“spattering storm” = prasselnden Regensturm (“roaring rain-storm”)

“The rain pelted Jo.”
= Der Regen peitschte auf sie herunter.

And I’ll finish the section with a sentence I hope you never need:
“She was soaked and terrified.”
= Innerhalb weniger Sekunden war sie klatschnass und vollkommen verängstigt.
(“Within a few seconds was she scandal-wet and fully frightened.”)

If you are ever schweißüberströmt, here’s hoping you are also fröhlich und erschöpft! Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Momo – Imaginary Adventures

Monday, October 12th, 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 — or in this case, looking at the English translation of a German children’s book. Sort of a Very Silly Phrasebook for Travelers.

Momo1

Tonight I want to go back to one of my favorite children’s books of all, originally written in German, Momo, by Michael Ende. Last time I looked at Momo, we left off toward the end of Chapter 3, on Seite 36 auf Deutsch, page 22 in English.

[And before I get started, I’d like to give a shout-out to Alex Baugh, who was at KidLitCon this weekend. She blogs at Randomly Reading, and I learned that she was a German literature major and reads Sonderling Sunday! I didn’t know anyone did besides James Kennedy and me! :) Glad to meet you this weekend, Alex!]

We were right in the middle of a dramatic (imaginary) ocean voyage:
Meter für Meter kämpfte sich die >Argo< , alle Maschinen auf Volldampf, gegen die Urgewalt dieses Taifuns vorwärts.
= “With all engines running full ahead, the Argo inched her way forward against the elemental might of the storm.”
(“Meter by meter battled itself the Argo, all engines on full steam, against the elemental power of the typhoon forward.”)

Machinisten und Heizer = “engineers and stokers”

Kesselräume = “boiler rooms”

Übermenschliches = “superhuman efforts”

dicken Tauen = “stout ropes”

grausamen Schlingern und Stampfen des Schiffes
= “the ship’s violent pitching and tossing”

innerste Kern des Wirbelsturms = “innermost eye of the storm”
“innermost core of the cyclone [whirl-storm]”

Auf der Meeresoberfläche, die hier spiegelglatt war, weil alle Wellen einfach von der Gewalt des Sturmes flachgefegt wurden, tanzte ein riesenhaftes Wesen.
= “Gyrating on the surface of the sea, which had been ironed flat as a pancake by the sheer force of the sorm, was a huge figure.”
(“On the seas-over-surface, that here mirror-smooth was, because all waves simply from the violence of the storm flat-swept were, danced a gigantic being.”)

ein Brummkreisel von der Größe eines Berges
= “a mountainous humming top”
(“a humming top of the size of a mountain”)

This is better in German:
Ein Schum-Schum gummilastikum!
= “A Teetotum elasticum!”

allersten Zeiten der Erdentwicklung
= “the earliest phase of life on earth”

Es ist ein Jammer!
= “What a shame”

Das einzige Exemplar = “The sole surviving specimen”

Kontrafiktions-Kanone = “antifriction gun”
(Google: “Contraindications-Fiction Cannon” Is this a case where the translator changed the meaning to a similar-sounding word? It is, after all, an imaginary creature, so an Anti-Fiction Gun might work.)

Riesenkreisel = “giant spinning top”

Stichflamme = “tongue of flame”

Zwillingsrohr = “twin barrels”

leuchtende Geschoß = “flaming missiles”

Es ist zwecklos! = “It’s no use.” (“It is purposeless.”)

Erste Steuermann = “first mate”

Wandernden Taifun = “Traveling Tornado”

Überlieferungen = “traditions”

wahrer Kern = “grain of truth”

bestimmte Tonschwingungen = “certain sonic vibrations”

Nice big words in this section! Appropriate since a child is pretending to be an important scientist.
Lebensbedingungen = “mode of existence”

höchst eigentümlichen Gesang = “most peculiar song”

Donnernd schlossen sich die Wassermassen über ihm.
= “With a thunderous roar, the sea closed over it.”

patschnaß = “soaked” (“smack-wet”)

I’ll finish with the last sentence of chapter 3:
So wie bei Momo konnte man sonst nirgends spielen.
= “The games they played with Momo were more fun than any others.”
(“So as with Momo could one otherwise nowhere play.”)

That’s it for tonight! It’s good to be back! May you avoid any Whirl-storms before we come back to Momo!

Sonderling Sunday – Sonderlinge Kapitel 19

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I look at the German translation of children’s books and devise a Useful Phrasebook for Very Silly Travelers.

This week, it’s back to the book that started it all, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, by James Kennedy, The Order of Odd-Fish.

Sonderlinge 2

After years of doing this, we are up to Chapter 19 in the book (out of 28). I can safely say that I have not given spoilers. I see the sentences I choose as teasers. Who can possibly resist wanting to read a book containing such choice and useful sentences?

For example, have fun imagining a scenario where you would need to know the translation of the very first sentence in the chapter:
“The next month it was Jo and Ian’s turn to groom the ostriches.”
= Im nächsten Monat fiel Jo und Ian die Aufgabe zu, die Strauße zu pflegen.
(“In the next month fell Jo and Ian the assignment to, the ostriches to maintain.”)

“nested” = nisteten

“came and went as they pleased” = sie kamen und gingen, wie es ihnen gefiel

“banking and swooping raucously over the water”
= wo sie genüsslich über dem Wasser kreisten, hinabstießen und wieder aufstiegen
(“where they pleasurably over the water circled, came down and again went up”)

“their armor glittering in the sun”
= Ihre Rüstungen glitzerten in der Sonne.

“nasty, smelly work” = widerliche, stinkende Arbeit

“embarrassed” = geschämt

“dirty plumage” = schmutzigen Gefieders

“ragged feathers” = zerrupften Federn

“prune their talons” = ihre Krallen reinigen

Perhaps you shouldn’t use this to describe a friend:
“proud, stupid eyes” = stolzen, dummen Augen

“colorful regalia” = bunten Insignien

Hmmm. I would have thought this was straight from the German.
“fledgling” = flügge

“cranky personality” = leicht reizbaren Persönlichkeit
(“slightly irritable personality”)

“slightly offended” = ein bisschen beleidigt

“sparkling, foamy sea” = funkelnde, schäumende See

“zigzagging through the maze of buildings”
= im Zickzack durch das Labyrinth der Gebäude

And who knows when you might need to say this?
“racing wild pterodactyls in the fens outside of town”
= lieferte sich mit den wilden Flugsauriern in dem außerhalb der Stadt gelegenen Sumpf Wettrennen
(“delivered herself with the wild Fly-osaurs in the outside of the city lying swamp races”)

“rambling farmhouses” = verstreute Bauernhöfe

“tidy fields of crops” = ordentliche Getreidefelder

Of course Germans have a word for this:
“half-collapsed castle” = Schlossruine

I found a missing phrase in the translation! In the sentence, “When it got too hot in the city, Jo, Ian, and Nora would climb on their ostriches, Audrey would hold on to Ian’s back, and they would fly out to a deserted beach where a river streamed out into the ocean, near a decaying mansion overgrown with weeds.” It’s missing the phrase “near a decaying mansion overgrown with weeds.” Here’s the translation:
Wenn es in der Stadt zu heiß wurde, stiegen Jo, Ian und Nora auf ihre Strauße. Audrey setzte sich auf den von Ian und hielt sich an ihm fest, und so flogen sie hinaus zu einem verlassenen Strand, wo ein Fluss in den Ozean mündete.

“chasing the crabs” = jagten Krabben

And may you find a need to use this sentence:
“Those days were close to perfect.”
= Diese Tage waren nahezu vollkommen.

“specter” = das Gespenst

“keep at bay” = in Schach halten (“in check [chess] keep”)

“just by immersing herself in everyday life”
= indem sie sich einfach nur um ihren Alltag kümmerte

“crowd” = Menschenmenge

“thinnest piece of tissue” = hauchdünnen Papierwand (“hint-thin paper-wall”)

That’s all for tonight! May it be said of you this week, Diese Tage waren nahezu vollkommen.

Sonderling Sunday – Book of a Thousand Days

Sunday, September 13th, 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, sort of a Very Silly Phrasebook for Travelers.

Buch_Tausend_Tage

This week I’m back to one of my favorite books in English, Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon HaleDas Buch der Tausend Tage.

Last time, I left off ready to start Day 35.

I’ll start with a nice pleasant sentence from Tag 35:
“I hope he has a safe journey.”
= Hoffentlich kommt er sicher voran.
(“Hopefully comes he safely ahead.”)

And this is good to know, from Day 39:
“I’m in love!” = Ich bin verliebt!

Oooh, I like these sentences too much not to include them, even though the translation isn’t complicated:
“My heart’s so light it floats and carries me so my feet don’t walk.”
= Mein Herz ist so leicht, dass es in der Luft schwebt und mich trägt, sodass meine Füße nicht laufen müssen.

“I sing all day and I don’t mind the washing, and that’s how I know I’m in love.”
= Ich singe den ganzen Tag und die Wäsche macht mir nichts aus. Daran erkenne ich, dass ich verliebt bin.

Now I have to finish the paragraph!
“Completely smitten with My Lord the cat.”
= Hin und weg von Mylord, dem Kater.
(Bwahaha! Google Translate gives a very funny translation for this:
“Toward and away from my Lord, the hangover.”)

“sleek and gray” = schlank und grau

“prettier than a morning sky” = hübscher als der Morgenhimmel

“mangy” = räudig

I love Shannon Hale’s use of language, and it translates well here:
“they wheezed like startled snakes”
= sie schnauften wie afgeschreckte Schlangen

“petted” = gestreichelt

“never occurred to me before” = ist mir zuvor nie in den Kopf gekommen
(“has to me before never in my head come.”)

“rim of ice” = Eisschicht

“bucket” = Eimer

“funeral” = Begräbnis

“a lower tone” = eine tiefere Tonlage

“high harmony” = hohen Akkorden

“rolled up” = hüllte

“smothered” = erstickte

“my jaw was hammering” = pochte es in meinem Kiefer
(“throbbed it in my jaw”)

“reindeer” = Elchfell

“what I gave him in return” = was ich ihm im Gegenzug gab

“crumble into a heap of ash” = zu einem Häufchen Asche verbrenne

I’m going to stop there — just before a much longer section, Day 158. (I’m going to read it in English to myself, though, before I shut the book. It’s a dramatic part!)

May you be so happy this week that you can say, Mein Herz ist so leicht, dass es in der Luft schwebt und mich trägt, sodass meine Füße nicht laufen müssen.

Meanwhile, ich singe den ganzen Tag.

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – We Need to Talk!

Sunday, September 6th, 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. Sort of a Traveler’s Phrasebook for Very Silly People.

Sonderlinge3

This week we’re back to the book that started it all, The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy, otherwise known as Der Orden der seltsamen Sonderlinge.

We left off last time in the middle of chapter 18 on page 239, Seite 303, with Nora about to whisper the immortal words, “We need to talk.”

Confess! Don’t you think it would be useful to know how to say this in German? And yet, I’m guessing you won’t find it in your normal run-of-the-mill traveler’s phrasebook. (What a travesty!)

And the translation is:
Wir müssen uns unterhalten.

Here’s a not-surprising response to that:
“Jo was in no mood for it.”
= Jo war eigentlich nicht in der richtigen Stimmung dafür.

“Nora insisted” = Nora blieb hartnäckig (“Nora stayed obstinate.”)
(This looks to me as if it’s related to hard-naked, but I don’t think it actually is.)

“floorboards” = Bodenbretter

“crawl spaces” = Kriechräume

“chimney” = Schornstein

“She was exhausted, her nerves frayed.”
= Sie war erschöpft und angespannt.
(“She was exhausted and tense.”)

And who knows when you might need to say this?
“underground cathedral” = unterirdische Kathedrale

This one’s handy:
“just in case” = Sicherheitshalber
(“Safety’s sake”)

The translator sacrificed some flair here:
“Fear dripped slowly into Jo’s heart.”
= Furcht durchströmte Jo.
(“Fear flowed through Jo.”)

“All-Devouring” = All-Verschlingenden

“favorite topic” = Lieblingsthema

“stitch her back together” = sie wieder zusammenflicken

“disturbing” = erschütternd

“fuse” = verschmelzen

This seems like a long way to say it:
“And here’s how”
= Und zwar folgendermaßen
(“And indeed follows-reasonably”)

I hope you never need to say this:
“They sucked out all his blood”
= Sie saugten ihm all sein Blut aus

“unpredictable powers” = unvorstellbare Macht

“boiling over” = übergekocht ist

“It drove him crazy.”
= Sie hat ihn in den Wahnsinn getrieben.

“stinger” = Stachel

This could be useful:
“I know it doesn’t make sense”
= Ich weiß, dass es nicht logisch klingt

“beak” = Schnaubel

“Her fear hardened into anger.”
= Dann schlug ihre Furcht in Wut um.

“thighs” = Schenkel

“revenge” = Rache

“coffin” = Sarg

“revulsion” = Ekel

“shrank” = schrumpfen

“helpless feeling” = ohnmächtigen Gefühl (“without-power feeling”)

This sounds grand:
“Jo suspected her choices counted for nothing”
= Jo vermutete, dass ihre Entscheidungen keinerlei Konsequenzen hatten
(“Jo suspected that her decisions no consequences had”)

“quietly panicked” = kämpfte stumm gegen ihre Panik
(“fought silently against her panic”)

I hope you won’t need to say this:
“a moist sucking sound” = ein feuchtes, saugendes Geräusch

“snoring” = schnarchten (Isn’t that a much better word for “snoring”?)

“The snuffling got louder.” = Das Schniefen wurde lauter.

“engorged” = vergrößert

“a shapeless mass of skin and fat and veins”
= eine formlose Masse aus Haut und Fett und Adern

“something long, pale, and scabby”
= etwas Langes, Blasses und Schuppiges

You can see how this had to be changed:
“inched out”
= Zentimeter um Zentimeter herauskam
(“centimeter by centimeter came out”)

And I’ve finished up Chapter 18. Here’s hoping that knowing how to say these things will invoke Murphy’s Law, and you’ll never have occasion to say them! Aber Sicherheitshalber…