Archive for the ‘Sonderling Sunday’ Category

Sonderling Sunday – The Duel Begins!

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

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

Sonderlinge3

This week it’s back to the most Sonder book of them all, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, also known as The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy.

Last time, and the time before that, we were inside the Dome of Doom, getting ready for a momentous duel between Fumo, the Sleeping Bee, versus Zam-Zam, the Dancing Ant of Sadness. The duel was preceded by ritualized insults and threats, which were most entertaining in German, I must say.

Now, however, we’re ready for the actual duel! We left off on page 263 and Seite 334 with the words, “Oh , look, it’s starting!” (Oh, sieh nur, es geht los!)

I challenge my readers to think of a way to use this first sentence:
“Both duelists had mounted their ostriches.”
= Die beiden Duellanten waren auf ihre Strauße gestiegen.

“buckling on the ostriches’ armor”
= schnallten die Rüstungen der Strauße fester

“The crowd roared.” = Die Menge tobte.

“ignited their double-bladed lances” = ihre beidseitigen Lanzen entzündeten

“snapped at each other’s throats”
= sich gegenseitig nach der Kehle schnappten

“slumped” = zusammengesunken

“The ostriches stamped and growled”
= Die Strauße stampften und knurrten

“true aficionado” = echten Liebhaber

“bad form” = schlecter Stil

“The crowd went wild” = Die Menge flippte fast aus

“ferocious” = unerbittlich

“The crowd howled with delight.” = Die Zuschauer johlten vor Begeisterung.

“reclaim his dangling master”
= seinen herunterbaumelnden Herrn zurückzubekommen

“So humiliating” = Wie demütigend

A slightly different way of putting it:
“plunging into the water far below”
= landete mit einem Riesenplatscher im Wasser weit unter ihm
(“landed with a giant-splash in the water far below him”)

“gurgling with embarrassment” = gurgelte vor Verlegenheit

“hobbled” = humpelte

“I’d like to take her down a notch.”
= Ich würde sie liebend gern ein bisschen zurechtstutzen.
(“I would her love to a bit prune.”)

“square-jawed” = mit einem kantigen Kinn
(“with an edged chin”)

“Her bald skull was gouged with scars”
= Ihr kahler Schädel war von Narben übersät

“low rumble” = tiefen Grollen

Huh. That’s funny. At the bottom of page 337, “whispered Audrey” is translated flüsterte Orwell. Either that’s a mistake, or I forgot that Audrey’s last name is Orwell.

“The smell of sweat!” = Der Geruch von Schweiß!

“The smell of ostrich poop!” = Der Geruch von Straußenkot!

“gangly” = schlaksiger

“collapse” = zusammenbrechen

“screams, yelps, shouts of panic” = schrien, kreischten und brüllten voller Panik

“rock ceiling” = Felsendecke

“What a kid!” = Was für ein Prachtkerl!

“This kid doesn’t waste words.”
= Dieser Junge verschwendet wirklich keine Worte.

“moxie” = Mumm

“headlock” = Schwitzkasten

“muffled” = genuschelte

“ya big lug!” = du Knilch!

“bozos” = Saufköpfe

“One good turn deserves another, eh!”
= Eine Hand wäscht die andere, sagt man nicht so?
(“One hand washes the other, isn’t that so?”)

“pals” = Kumpel

Translating made-up words are always interesting:
“moffle-hoppers” = Schlappohren (“limp-ears”)

“buzzing voice box” = Verzerrer (“distortion”)

“Consider yourself challenged!”
= Betrachte dich als herausgefordert!

And we’ll finish it off with the last sentence of the chapter:
“I was kidding about the shoe.”
= Das mit Schuh war nur ein kleiner Scherz von mir.

I challenge you to use that in your conversation this week!

Till next time! Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Jinx in Das Haus des Zauberers

Sunday, April 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, creating a Very Silly Phrasebook for Travelers.

This week, let’s go back to Jinx, by Sage Blackwood, known in German as Jinx und der magische Urwald.

Jinx

Last time, we finished Chapter One, so this week we’re starting Zweites Kapitel, Das Haus des Zauberers, “The Wizard’s House.”

We’ll look at interesting phrases and how they are translated. My sister’s visiting Germany this week, so bonus points to her if she can think of ways to use these phrases.

The first sentence (its own paragraph) of this chapter is interesting enough to write out in its entirety here:
“And that is how Jinx came to live with a possibly evil wizard and twenty-seven cats in a huge stone house that stood alone in its own clearing, protected by invisible wards that kept monsters out but let some very strange visitors in.”
= So kam es, dass Jinx bei einem möglicherweise bösen Zauberer und seinen siebenundzwanzig Katzen einzog, in ein großes Haus aus Stein, das einsam auf einer Lichtung stand, beschützt von unsichtbaren Wachen, die Monster fernhielten, einige sehr merkwürdige Besucher jedoch einließen.

“a very satisfactory dinner” = ein höchst schmackhaftes Mahl

“pie” always seems to get translated Kuchen, though it’s not really the same thing. (But Kuchen isn’t really the same as “cake,” either.)
“pumpkin pie” = Kürbiskuchen.

“rafters” = Dachbalken

“barrels and shelves” = Fässern und Regalen

“probably something evil” = vermutlich für etwas Böses

“Jinx was annoyed at being laughed at.”
= Jinx ärgerte sich über den Spott.

“hasten the process” = den Prozess beschleunigst

“drop dead” = tot umfällt

“formidable enemy” = einflößender Feind

“Put that nonsense out of your head.”
= Schlag dir diesen Unsinn aus dem Kopf.

Try finding a reason to say this:
“bottle-shaped blob of terror”
= flaschenförmigen Schreckensklecks

“swear word” = Schimpfwort

“chipmunk” = Streifenhörnchen

This is fun:
“worse and worse” = immer schlimmer

“How darling!” = Wie reizend!

“puff” = Lufthauch

“spiral staircase” = Wendeltreppe

“scattering cats” = verscheuchte mehrere Katzen

“a many-colored patchwork skirt” = einen bunten Flickenrock

Now isn’t it lovely to have one word for this?
“mustache of foam” = Schaumschnurrbart

“dragon scales” = Drachenschuppen

“a red polka-dot kerchief” = ein rot getupftes Tuch

“worrying” = nachgrübeln

“wormwood” = Beifuß

“cackled” = gackerten

“suck your soul out with a straw”
= den Menschen die Seele mit einem Strohhalm aussaugte

“stack your bones up crisscross”
= ihre Knochen kreuzweise übereinanderstapelte

“campfire” = Lagerfeuer

“scrubbed” = schrubbte

“night-blooming bindweed” = Nachtblütenwinde

“zipped” = sausten

“hurtling” = brauste

“He saw footprints, hoofprints, and claw prints frozen in the mud.”
= Er sah gefrorene Spuren von Füßen, Hufen und Tatzen im Matsch.

“zooming” = schwindelerregend

“shakily” = mit wackligen Beinen

“Simon flickered irritation at him.”
= Simon funkelte ihn ärgerlich an.

And that’s it for Chapter Two! I hope things won’t get immer schlimmer and you won’t encounter any flaschenförmigen Schreckensklecks. But now if you see a Schaumschnurrbart, you’ll know what to call it.

Sonderling Sunday – Fumo versus Zam-Zam, the Ritualized Threats

Sunday, April 17th, 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 Sonderbook that started it all, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy.

Sonderlinge 2

I think of Sonderling Sunday as a very silly phrasebook for travelers. Because it’s too much fun imagining a situation where you could use these phrases if you were a tourist in Germany. And when it comes to using phrases in unusual ways, James Kennedy is a master. I also hope, by the way, that it piques my readers’ curiosity and they are tantalized into picking up the book to find out exactly how these phrases are used.

Last time, we left off on page 260 in the English edition, Seite 330 auf Deutsch.

“Raucous cheers and wild applause.”
= Jubel und wilder Applaus brandeten auf.

“hooted” = johlte

“stragglers” = irgendwelchen Nachzüglern

“cash box” = Geldkassette

Only in a James Kennedy book:
“Fumo, the Sleeping Bee, versus Zam-Zam, the Dancing Ant of Sadness!”
= Fumo, die schlafende Biene, gegen Zam-Zam, die Tanzende Ameise der Traurigkeit!

“boasts” = Schmährede

“armored ostrich” = gepanzerten Strauß

Okay, this is just fun to write out:
“One hundred forty-four thousand, four hundred forty-four”
= Einhundertvierundvierzigtausendvierhundertvierundvierzig

“ritualized threats and insults” = ritualisierte Drohungen und Beleidigungen

“exchange of insults” = Austausch von Beleidigungen

“jiggling antennae” = wippenden Fühlern

“stinger” = Stachel

We lost the alliteration here:
“sleek sheaths of segmented steel” =
eine Rüstung aus unterteilten Stahlplatten

“slumber” = Schlummer

Here’s an interesting sentence, which you probably shouldn’t use if you’re a tourist in Germany:
“When I am finished with you, your body shall be torn asunder by five wild boars and buried in five ignominious places, each one more shameful than the last!”
= Wenn ich mit der fertig bin, wird dein Leichnam von fünf wilden Keilern zerfetzt und an fünf schändlichen Orten verscharrt warden, von denen jeder schmachvoller ist als der andere!

“Bold words!” = Kühne Worte!

“Verily shall I construct honeycombs of your carcass”
= Wahrlich, ich werde Honigwaben um deinen Leichnam errichten

“retorted” = konterte

“ashes of defeat” = der Asche der Niederlage

“contemptuous joy” = verächtlicher Freude

“Vile boaster!” = Schändlicher Prahlhans!

“Quafmaf, the Pigeon of the Moon” = Quafmaf, die Taube des Mondes

“Nixilpilfi, the Gerbil Who Does Not Know Mercy”
= Nixilpilfi, die Wüstenmaus, die keine Gnade kennt

“the realm of obloquy” = Reich der Schmach

“force to your lips the flagon of infamy!”
= die Flasche der Schändlichkeit an deine Lippen zwingen!

While you’re learning all these insults, this is a good response to know:
“Idle threats, Fumo!” = Leere Drohungen, Fumo!

“Mizbiliades, the Bleeding Butterfly”
= Mizbiliades, den blutenden Schmetterling

“Paznarfalasath, the Rhinoceros Whose Laughter Destroys Worlds”
= Paznarfalasath, das Rhinozeros, dessen Lachen Welten zerstört

“Zookoofoomoot, the Maggot of Dismay”
= Zookoofoomoot, die Made der Bestürzung

“Pft the Mouse” = Pft, die Maus

“bed of disgrace” = das Bett der Ehrlosigkeit

“the lullaby of destruction” = das Wiegenlied der Verheerung

Interesting translation:
“a tea ceremony in the Grudge Hut in Snerdsmallow”
= einer Teezeremonie in der Grollhütte in Gimpelgarten

Better know this:
“Consider yourself challenged!”
= Betrachtet Euch als herausgefordert!

“Challenge accepted!” = Herausforderung angenommen!

And another sentence I’d love to find an opportunity to use:
“The lowliest cockroach would spit on you.”
= Selbst die ordinärste Kakerlake würde dich anspucken.

And I’ll finish as the fight finally starts:
“Oh, look, it’s starting!”
= Oh, sieh nur, es geht los!

Book of a Thousand Days – Day 158

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

Buch_Tausend_Tage

This week I’m in the mood for that book I love so much — Book of a Thousand Days, Das Buch der Tausend Tage, by Shannon Hale.

Last time we visited this book, we left off ready to start Day 158, on page 57 in the English edition, Seite 68 auf Deutsch:

“until I put the brush to paper” = als ich den Pinsel aufs Papier setzte

“my lap” = meinem Schoß

“saucy things” = schlüpfrige Bemerkungen

“by the orange light of the fire” = im orangefarbenen Feuerschein
(“orange-colored fire-shine”)

“fawn” = Rehkitz

“spooked” = verängstigt

“she couldn’t speak or move” = Sie war wie versteinert.

“screamed” = geschrien

“metal spikes” = Eisennägeln

“chuckling” = gluckste

“a log full of hornets” = ein Hornissennest

“sweetly” = zuckersüß (“sugar-sweet”)

“hiding game” = Versteckspiel

“she squeaked like rusted hinges” = sie quietschte wie verrostete Scharniere

“crying” = Heulerei

“corners and folds” = Ecken und Ritzen

“sacks of barley” = Gerstesäcken

This is fun in German:
“two braids” = Zwei Zöpfen

“his knees shook” = ihm schlotterten die Knie

“dull” = stumpf

“prey” = Beutetiers

“rasp” = Krächzen

“smothered” = erstickt

“prowess” = Heldenhaft

“as tired as a weeping willow in full leaf”
= so müde wie eine Trauerweide in vollem Grün

I especially like the first part of the last sentence in this section:
“His purring shakes my lap but steadies my hand.”
= Sein Schnurren schüttelt meinen Schoß, aber es schenkt meiner Hand die nötige Ruhe.

That’s all for tonight! If I go on much longer, I’ll be so müde wie eine Trauerweide in vollem Grün.

Sonderling Sunday – Inside the Dome of Doom

Sunday, March 6th, 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.

Sonderlinge3

This week we’re continuing the saga found in Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, otherwise known as The Order of Odd-fish, by James Kennedy.

Last time, we left Jo and Ian at the entrance to the Dome of Doom, on page 256 in the original English version, Seite 325 auf Deutsch.

We’ll continue just looking at some interesting and handy phrases to know. I think of this as an extremely silly traveler’s phrasebook, and hope to tantalize you into reading the original books as well. (Such juicy phrases are found in James Kennedy’s writing!)

This one rolls off the tongue in German:
“a great spherical arena” = eine riesige runde Arena

This one is interestingly brief:
“cage of iron grillwork” = Gitterkäfig (“grill-cage”)

“gaps” = Lücken

This is almost onomatopoetic:
“dim and seedy” = dämmrig und schmuddelig

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but still enjoy it:
“centipede” = Tausendfüßler

And here’s a word I challenge you to use in a sentence:
“eelmen” = Aalmänner

“rougher” = rauer

“queasy feeling” = unbehagliche Gefühl

“grimaced” = verzog die Lippen (“twisted the lips”)

“Knock yourself out” = Bedien dich ruhig (“Help yourself calm”)

“a gloved fist” = eine behandschuhte Faust

“ferocious man” = wild dreinblickenden Mann

“ornate” = prunkvollen (“pageantry-full”)

“slumped” = plumpsen

“gangster” = Ganove

Oops! I caught a quote attributed to the wrong speaker!
“‘Ah, a connoisseur,’ said Jo.” is translated as:
»Ah, eine Genießerin«, bemerkte Ian.

And Germans are even more violent in wishing luck:
“Break a leg” = Hals- und Beinbruch (“Neck-and leg-break”)

“sleazy and glamorous” = schmierig und glamourös

“criminals, spongers, and addicts” = Kriminellen, Schmarotzer und Süchtigen

“jinxjuice” = Hexensaft

“marigolds” = Ringelblume

Here’s a nice long word:
“disagreements”
= Meinungsverschiedenheiten

“crash of cymbals and gongs” = Scheppern von Becken und Gongs

And I’ll stop just as the fighting begins, with a sentence where it’s interesting what they don’t translate:
“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the DOME OF DOOM!”
= Wilkommen, ladies and gentlemen, im Dom des Todes!

Sonderling Sunday – Valentine’s Day at Hogwarts

Monday, February 15th, 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. Today is also Valentine’s Day, so I’m going to look at Gilderoy Lockhart’s celebration of Valentine’s Day in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, otherwise known as Harry Potter und die Kammer des Schreckens.

Chamber_of_Secrets

The Valentine’s Day section is in Chapter 13, “The Very Secret Diary,” (Der sehr geheime Taschenkalender) and begins on page 235 in the English edition, Seite 245 in the German edition.

Here’s Gilderoy Lockhart getting his idea…

“You know, what the school needs now is a morale-booster.”
= Wissen Sie, was die Schule jetzt braucht, ist einen Stimmungsheber.
(“humor-lifter”)

“I know just the thing” = ich weiß genau das Richtige

“large, lurid pink flowers” = großen, blassrosa Blumen
(Hmmm. Google says that means “pale pink,” which doesn’t sound very lurid to me.)

“heart-shaped confetti” = herzförmiges Konfetti

“overcome with giggles” = in recht kichriger Stimmung

“was waving for silence” = gebot armfuchtelnd Schweigend

“stony-faced” = versteinerten Gesichtern

“Happy Valentine’s Day!” = Einen glücklichen Valentinstag!

“surly-looking dwarves” = griesgrämig dreinschauender Zwerge

“cupids” = Liebesboten

“And the fun doesn’t stop here!”
= Und damit ist der Spaß noch nicht zu Ende!

“Love Potion” = Liebestrank

“the sly old dog!” = der durchtriebene alte Hund!

“Charms [class]” = Zauberkunststunde

“Oy, you!” = Ei, du!

“a particularly grim-looking dwarf” = ein besonders grimmig aussehender Zwerg

“elbowing people out of the way to get to Harry”
= räumte sich mit dem Ellbogen den Weg zu Harry frei

“Hot all over” = die Vorstellung ein Gräuel
(“the idea an abomination”)

“in front of a line of first years”
= vor den Augen einer Schar von Erstklässlern

“valentine” = Valentinsgruß

“kicking people’s shins” = schlug sich schienbeintretend

“twanging his harp in a threatening sort of way”
= zupfte Unheil verkündend an seiner Harfe herum

This has more oomph to it than the English:
“Stay still!” = Stillgestanden!

“his bag split in two” = ging seine Tasche entzwei

“wand” = Zauberstab (“magic-rod”)

“quill” = Federkiel

“causing something of a holdup in the corridor”
= Im Korridor entstand ein kleiner Menschenauflauf
(“in the corridor stood a small people-casserole.”)

“drawling” = schleppende

“losing his head” = verlor der Kopf

“singing Valentine” = Valentinslied

I have to do the song completely:
“His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad,”
= Siene Augen, so grün wie Frisch gepökelte Kröte

“His hair is as dark as a blackboard.”
= Sein Haar, so Schwarz wie Ebenholz

“I wish he was mine, he’s really divine,”
= Ich wünscht’, er war mein, den göttlich muss sein

“The hero who conquered the Dark Lord.
= Der die Macht des Dunklen Lords schmolz.

Well, I didn’t actually finish before Valentine’s Day was done, but I’ll still wish you a belated glücklichen Valentinstag!

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!