Sonderling Sunday – Momo – Meeting Guido

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at phrases in children’s books and how they’re translated into German.

But today we’ll go the other way! Today I’m looking at one of my favorite children’s books ever, Momo, by Michael Ende, which was originally written in German. So we’ll look at how it was translated into English.

When my family first moved to Germany in 1996, I think it was our second night there when we found a bookstore. I had no idea what to buy — and then I saw a copy of Momo! And realized it was originally written in German and got very excited and purchased it. I also bought a detailed road-and-hiking map of our region that I used over and over and over again, so that was a productive and memorable bookstore visit.

Last time I covered Momo was 2016. We are in Kapitel 4, which in English is just called “Two Special Friends,” but in German is called Ein schweigsamer Alter und ein zungenfertiger Junger (“A silent old man and a tongue-ready young man.”) Now we’re ready to meet Guido, the “tongue-ready” young man. We’re on page 30 in my English edition, Seite 45 in German.

Here’s the first sentence of the next section:
Der andere beste Freund, den Momo hatte, war jung und in jeder Hinsicht das genaue Gegenteil von Beppo Straßenkehrer.
= “Momo’s other special friend was not only young but the exact opposite of Beppo in every respect.”

hübscher Bursche = “handsome fellow”

verträumten Augen = “dreamy eyes”

einen schier unglaublichen Mundwerk
= “an incredible gift of the gab”
(“a sheer unbelievable Mouth-factory”)

Er steckte immer voller Späße und Flausen
= “he was always playing practical jokes”
(“He was always full of jokes and nonsense”)

Interesting. In English his nickname is Guido, but in German it’s Gigi. Probably too feminine-sounding in English.

Fremdenführer = “Guide” (“Stranger-leader”)

Schirmmütze = “peaked cap”

Dichter = “poets”

Reisende = “tourists”

This is fun. There’s a list of Guido’s odd jobs, and some nice long German words are included.

Trauzeuge = “witness at weddings” (Google says “best man”)

Hundespazierenführer = “dog walker”

Liebesbriefträger = “deliverer of love letters”

Beerdigungsteilnehmer = “mourner at funerals”

Andenkenhändler = “souvenir seller”

Katzenfutterverkäufer = “cat’s meat man” (“cat’s-feed-seller”)

Armseligkeit = “poverty”

unermüdlichem Fleiß = “perseverance” (“tireless diligence”)

tadelte = “chided”

Leichtfertigkeit = “irresponsibility”

Gegend = “neighborhood”

tagtäglich = “day by day”

Eroberer = “invaders”

immer zahlreicher = “ever-increasing numbers” (“always number-richer”)

unheimliche Weise = “uncanny knack”

auffielen = “noticed”

die grauen Herren = “the men in gray”

spinnwebfarbenes = “the color of a spider’s web”

auf dem obersten Rand der Ruine aufgetaucht waren
= “peering over the edge of the ruined building”

keine gewöhnliche Kälte = “no ordinary chill”

leise und doch gewaltige Musik = “soft but majestic music”

And the last sentences of the chapter:
Momo machte sich keine Gedanken mehr über die seltsamen Besucher. Auch sie hatte sie vergessen.
= “She thought no more about her weird visitors, and it wasn’t long before she, too, forgot them.”

That finishes out Chapter Four. Lots of phrases here that might be useful on my trip to Germany. I hope I’ll find an Andenkenhändler and get a chance to be auf dem obersten Rand der Ruine aufgetaucht waren.

Until next time! Bis nächste Zeit!

Sonderling Sunday – Eeyore Has a Birthday

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 taking on the wonderful classic Winnie-the-Pooh, which I’m afraid isn’t quite as charming as Pu der Bär, but the translator, Harry Rowohlt, makes a good effort. Of course, all the nouns are Already Capitalized in German, so they can’t use capitalization With Great Meaning.

Last time I covered Pu der Bär was *gasp* 2016! We covered the chapter where Pooh meets the Heffalump. This means that today we’re on Chapter 6, “In Which Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents,” which when translated is Kapitel 6, In welchem I-Ah Geburtstag hat und zwei Geschenke bekommt.

I like including the first sentence. This one’s actually shorter in German!
“Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water.”
= I-Ah, der alte graue Esel, stand am Bach und betrachtete sich im Wasser.

= Ein Bild des Jammers
(“A picture of misery”)

Shorter again in German:
“There was a crackling noise in the bracken behind him”
= Es raschelte im Farn hinter ihm
(“It rustled in the ferns behind him”)

“gloomily” = düster

“Which I doubt.” = Was ich bezweifle.

“Gaiety” = Frohsinn

“Here we go round the mulberry bush”
= Ringel Ringel Rosen. Darf ich bitten, mein Fräulein.

“riddle” = Rätsel

Sorry, just not the same:
“a Bear of Very Little Brain”
= ein Bär von sehr geringem Verstand
(“a bear of very low understanding”)

Okay, this had to have been a Great Big Challenge to translate:

“Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fly can’t bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.”

The German version:
Fragen, Fragen, immer nur Fragen.
Es kann der Käfer den Specht nicht ertragen.
Gib mir ein Rätsel auf; ich werde sagen:
»Da musst du jemand anders fragen.«

It rhymes!

(Put through Google translate:
“Questions, questions, always just questions.
The beetle cannot bear the woodpecker.
Give me a riddle; I would say:
»You’ll have to ask someone else.«”)

“verse” = Strophe

zweite Strophe:

“Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fish can’t whistle and neither can I.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.”

Auf Deutsch:
Fragen, Fragen, immer nur Fragen.
Ein Fisch kann nicht pfeifen und ich kann nicht klagen.
Gib mir ein Rätsel auf; ich werde sagen:
»Da musst du jemand anders fragen.«

(The new line through Google translate is:
“A fish can’t whistle and I can’t complain.”)

And finally, the third stanza:

“Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
Why does a chicken, I don’t know why.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.”

Auf Deutsch:
Fragen, Fragen, immer nur Fragen.
Unsichtbar wird der Honig im Magen.
Gib mir ein Rätsel auf; ich werde sagen:
»Da musst du jemand anders fragen.«

(“Invisible becomes the honey in the stomach.”)

Hey, it rhymes!

“Many happy returns of the day”
= Herzliche Glückwünsche zum Geburstag

“proper” = angemessenes

We’ve done this before, but have to include:
“Piglet” = Ferkel

“knocker” = Türklopfer

“kindly” = liebenswürdig

“Very Sad Condition” = sehr traurig Zustand

“wants to cheer him up” = zur Aufheiterung wünscht

And a good sentence to know:
“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.”
= Niemand kann mit einem Ballon unaufgeheitert bleiben.
(“Noone can with a balloon uncheered remain.”)

“trotted” = trabte

“jar of honey” = Honigtopf

“tip of his nose” = seiner Nasenspitze

“trickled” = tröpfelte

Another phrase we Need to Know:
“Time for a little something.”
= Zeit für eine Kleinigkeit.

“as he took his last lick of the inside of the jar”
= als er den Topf ein letztes Mal ausschleckte

“useful pot” = nützlichen Topf

“paw” = Pfote

“wobbly” = wacklig

“admiringly” = bewundernd

“carelessly” = leichthin (“lightly”)

“rabbit hole” = Kaninchenloch

“blown up” = in die Luft geflogen (“in the air flown”)


“bang” = Knall

“with great difficulty” = unter großen Schweirigkeiten

“I burst the balloon!”
= ich habe den Ballon kaputtgemacht!

“snuffling” = schniefend

“And it’s for putting things in.”
= Und man kann Sachen hineintun.

“So it does!” = Es klappt ja! (“It works!”)

“It goes in!” = Es passt hinein! (“It fits in!”)

“as happy as could be” = so glücklich, wie man nur sein kann

“box of paints” = Malkasten

And the last sentence of the chapter:
“‘Yes, I remember,’ said Christopher Robin.
»Ja, jetzt weiß ich es wieder«, sagte Christopher Robin.

So, that took a while, but I like doing a complete chapter. May your next week be so glücklich, wie man nur sein kann!

Sonderling Sunday – An Arrest?

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

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

Last time we looked at this book, we left off on page 363 in the English edition, Seite 460 in the German edition, with the words, Wir sind hier, um eine Verhaftung vorzunehmen! So the beginning words for the new section won’t come as a surprise:

“Everyone saw the policemen.”
= Alle blickten auf die Polizisten

“why rain on her parade now?”
= Warum sollten wir ihr deshalb ihr Fest vermiesen?
(“Why should we for her because of this her party spoil?”)

“growled” = knurrend

“But tonight she will be exposed!”
= Heute Nacht werden wir ihr allerdings die Maske vom Gesicht reißen!
(Google translate: “Tonight, however, we’re going to rip the mask off her face!”)

“What are you talking about?”
= Wovon reden Sie?

“Jo’s stomach dropped.”
= Jo rutschte der Magen in die Kniekehlen.
(“Jo slipped her stomach to the back of her knees [knee-throats].”)

“unmistakably” = unverkennbar

“The room broke into screams.”
= Schreie gellten auf.
(“Screams rang out.”)

“The wound had become much worse.”
= Die Wunde war schlimmer geworden.

“All-Devouring Mother”
= All-Verschlingended Mutter

A handy phrase to know:
“But I’m not bad!”
= Aber ich bin nicht böse!

“lock her up”
= sperrt sie ein

“rumbles, scrapes, and cracks” = Poltern, Kratzen und Knacken

This is good in German:
“echoing all around the cavern”
= durch die Höhle hallte
(“through the cave echoed”)

“rage” = Wut

“heartbeat” = Herzschläge

“staggered” = taumelte

“to restore” = wiederherzustellen (“again-there-to-place”)

“crowd’s roar” = Getöse (“din”)

We’ll end with this sentence on page 366, Seite 464:
“The Silent Sisters were waiting for her.”
= Wo die Stummen Schwestern bereits auf sie warteten.
(“Where the Silent Sisters already on her waited.”)

That’s it for tonight! And now I’m ready to say, if confronted by Polizisten in Germany, Aber ich bin nicht böse!

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Jinx und der magische Urwald!

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.

I let Sonderling Sunday lapse for a long time, but now I’m reviving it in eager anticipation of my 60th birthday trip in a month and a half, when after 18 years away, I’m going to go back and visit the place where I lived for ten years.

So, yes, Sonderling Sunday! Today I pulled out a kids’ fantasy book that I loved when I read it, Jinx, by Sage Blackwood, called Jinx und der magische Urwald in German. I’m appalled to discover that while I have used Jinx before for Sonderling Sunday, the last time was in 2015. Far, far too long!

So we will begin where we left off, the third chapter “Strange Feet,” on page 25 in English, Drittes Kapitel “Fremdes Füße,” Seite 31 auf Deutsch.

The first sentence is:
“Winter settled in to stay.”
= Der Winter richtete sich zum Bleiben ein.

“Simon was away a lot.”
= Simon war viel unterwegs.

“he often came back in a foul mood”
= Oft kehrte er übellaunig zurück

“terrifying” = Furchterregendes

“gradually” = allmählich

“cooking mood” = Kochlaune

“cranky” = mürrisch

“fed them” = bewirtete sie

“south wing” = Südflügel

“clearing” = Lichtung

“Try as he might” = Sosehr Jinx es auch versuchte

“inside and out” = drinnen wie draußen

“slid off” = hinuntergerutscht

“on purpose” = mit Absicht

“gnarly feet” = schwielige Füße (Google translate: “calloused feet”)

“had nothing in common with tree roots” = nichts mit Baumwurzeln gemein hatten

“time ran together in a blur”
= Zeit verschwamm zu einem großen Ganzen
(“Time blurred to one big whole”)

“icky” = klebriges (“sticky”)

“Alarmed, he gave a loud snore”
= Erschrocken schnarchte er laut auf

“bristles” = Borstiges

I like this word:
cat-repellant spell = Katzenabwehrzauber

“my business” = meine Angelegenheit

“testily” = gereizt

“shooting star” = Sternschnuppe

“She had a formidable nose.”
= Ihre Nase war beeindruckend.
(“Her nose was impressive.”)

“something more polite” = etwas Höflicheres

“And wives were kind of hard to miss.”
= Ehefrauen waren kaum zu übersehen.

“was already becoming fuzzy in his memory”
= in seiner Erinnerung immer verschwommener wurde

“Everyone was afraid all the time on general principle”
= Alle hatten grundsätzlich immer Angst
(“Everyone was basically always afraid.”)

“to hide his confusion” = seine Verwirrung zu verbergen

“poker” = Schürhaken

“smooshed” = zerquetschte

“midnight meeting” = Mitternachtstreffen

“sizzle” = knisterte

“Were they all dead before you met my husband?”
= Waren sie alle schon tot, bevor du meinen Mann kennengelernt hast?

And that’s it for Chapter Three! I hope by the next time I come back to Jinx I won’t be saying Zeit verschwamm zu einem großen Ganzen!

Sonderling Sunday – Das nachfolgende Abenteuer

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! The time to be nerdy and play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books – sort of a silly phrasebook for unserious travelers.

And this time – I actually have a trip booked to go back to Germany for my 60th birthday, happening in a month and a half! So all the more reason to revive these posts! Want to get the tune of German in my head again.

This week, I’m going back to one of my favorite novels of all time, Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale, in German Das Buch der Tausend Tage.

[And hey, Book of a Thousand Days is one of the best young adult fantasy novels ever written – I mean that completely – and if you’re local to me and have a Fairfax County Public Library card, we just purchased a simultaneous use eaudiobook license for a year to the audiobook on Libby (along with many other backlist titles). This is a full cast production and is amazing. Check it out!]

What I do with Sonderling Sunday is look at sections of the book with interesting German translations. I try not to give away the plot, but do try to pique your curiosity.

Last time we looked at this book, we finished Part One, with the two of them trapped in a tower for not quite a thousand days. We are now on “Part 2 The Adventure Thereafter” = Zweiter Teil Das nachfolgende Abenteuer

“I decided to start numbering the days at one again to mark the time when we began anew.”
= Ich beschloss, mit der Nummerierung der Tage wieder bei Eins anzufangen um den Neubeginn deutlich zu machen.

“Who can sleep when there’s real air to breathe?”
= Wer kann schon schlafen, wenn es richtige Luft zum Atmen gibt?

“the news” = der Neuigkeit

“relieved” = erleichtert

“waffled” = schwankte

“tetchy” = ungeduldig (“impatient”)

“a sulky sheep” = ein unwilliges Schaf (“an unwilling sheep”)

“It was nearly dawn.” = Die Dämmerung nahte.

“My lady kept her eyes squeezed shut.”
= Meine Herrin kniff die Augen zu.

I like that schlepped is really a German word:
“I dragged her inside.”
= Ich schleppte sie wieder in den Turm.

“hoarse” = heiser

Love those long words:
“grain husks” = Getreidehülsen

“tossed” = beiseitewerfen (“beside-threw”)

“brushes and ink” = Pinsel und Tinte

“moan” = jammern

“shadow world” = Schattenwelt

“I draped a blanket over her head”
= Ich legte ihr ein Tuch auf den Kopf

“stumbled” = taumelte

“strange” = sonderbar (I did mention it’s not always a nice meaning of “special”?)

“whispers” = Geflüster

“her brain awry in her head and her understanding tilted steep
= ihr Hirn liegt schief im Kopf und ihr Witz ist hinten rübergekippt
(“her brain is crooked in her head and her wit is backwards”)

“a gray smudge” = eine grau verwischte Linie
(“a gray blurred line”)

A word for this in German:
“the trees that line the road” = der Bäume am Straßenrand

“crept” = schlich

“As I climbed atop the heaping rubble”
= Als ich den Geröllberg erklomm

“teemed” = gewimmelt

Last sentence from Day 5:
“She is not well.”
= Es geht ihr schlecht.

That’s it for today. We’re finishing up on page 118 in the English edition, Seite 130 auf Deutsch.

On my vacation in June, I’m looking forward to seeing der Bäume am Straßenrand!

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge – Beginning with a Dance

Surprise! It’s time for Sonderling Sunday — That part of the week when I make a very silly German phrasebook from the Germany translations of children’s books.

Why is this a surprise? Because ever since I started meeting with a gaming group on Sunday afternoons (10 years ago now!), my Sonderling Sunday posts have gotten more sporadic.

Why am I doing a short one tonight anyway? BECAUSE I’M GOING TO GERMANY!!!!

That’s right, I just purchased tickets for June in Germany to celebrate my 60th birthday going back to the place where I left a big chunk of my heart. So to get ready — I need to do Sonderling Sunday posts again! I want to get my ear for German back, while learning some phrases I’ll almost certainly never use.

Today I’m going back to the book that started it all – Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, which is the German translation of The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy.

Last time, which was sadly a year and a half ago, we left off on page 361 of the English edition, Seite 457 of the German translation. (Yes, German words are longer.) Let’s begin as the scene changes:

“Jo and Ian kept dancing.” = Jo und Ian tanzten weiter.

From there, I’ll just mention some interesting phrases:

“on thin ice” = auf dünnem Eis

“midnight feast” = Mitternachtsmahl

“they exchanged glances” = wechselten sie häufige Blicke

“felt something unfamiliar open up inside her”
= spürte etwas Fremdes in sich aufblühen
(“felt something strange in herself blossom”)

“unconscious” = bewusstlos (without knowing)

“take advantage of your generosity in the afterglow of victory”
= Ihre Großzügigkeit im Nachklang Ihres Sieges missbrauchen

“Always the naive crumpet.”
= Sie sind und bleiben ein naives Kätzchen!

“scandalous underclothes”
= skandalöse Unterwäsche

“unnatural vices”
= unnatürlichen Laster

“all-out onslaught of libel”
= vernichtenden Anschlag von Verleumdungen
(“devastating attack of slander”)

“inevitable” = unausweichlichen

“Further proof of my virtue”
= Ein weiterer Beweis meiner Tugend

“tireless charity work”
= unermüdliche Arbeit für wohltätige Zwecke
(“tireless work for charitable purposes”)

“shout of joy”
= Freudenschrei

This sounds serious to me:
“he’s not seriously injured”
= er hat keine ernsthaften Verletzungen davongetragen

“squawks” = quakte

Here’s a useful phrase:
“all the lizards and weeds he could eat” = so viel Echsen und Grünzeug, wie er fressen konnte

“impeccable table manners” = makellose Tischmanieren

Okay, I haven’t gotten very far, but let’s finish up on page 363, Seite 460 with this sentence:

“We are here to make an arrest!”
= Wir sind hier, um eine Verhaftung vorzunehmen!

I will take my diligence in finally getting back to this as ein weiterer Beweis meiner Tugend. May you never have reason to say, “so viel Echsen und Grünzeug, wie er fressen konnte,” but have many reasons to give a Freudenschrei!

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tages

Surprise! 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.

Way too many years ago now, I lived in Germany for ten years, and while I was there collected some children’s books in German. I also solicited German translations from certain authors who mentioned their lovely translated books on social media. I like to keep my German a little less rusty by trying to read those German translations. And it reminds me of the silly phrases that appear in phrase books that you would never use, and thought I’d make a silly phrasebook out of children’s book translations, and that’s how the series got started.

It’s a surprise today because I have very much fallen out of the habit of posting these. And since I connected it to Sunday and now go to a gaming group on Sunday afternoons, it’s all too easy to skip. In fact, the last time I used Shannon Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days, Das Buch der Tausend Tage (such a wonderful book!), translated by Anne Brauner, was when the Covid-19 pandemic was just getting started and we could all relate to being confined to a tower.

But here I am today, with my timer set for an hour, so let’s begin!

English text will be in quotes, German in italics and if the Google translate from German is different, that will be in parentheses.

Last time, we left off at the start of Day 928. The Lady and her servant are still trapped in the tower, the servant doing the journaling. Here’s the first sentence:
“If my script wiggles, it’s because my hand won’t be steady.”
= Wenn meine Schrift schwankt, liegt es daran, dass ich die Hand nicht ruhig halten kann.

“bricked up” = zugemauert

“Just ripe for the picking” =
Lasst uns das Blümchen brechen! (“Let us break the flower!”)

“log” = Holzklotz

“weak spot” = Schwachstelle

“wet marks” = Spuren von Nässe (“traces of wetness”)

“rescue” = Rettung

“She’s a ball of trembling”
= Sie ist eine bibbernde Kugel

I like the alliteration here:
“the rats chittering around her”
= die Ratten zischen zwitschernd um sie herum
(“the rats hiss and chirp around her”)

“brave” = tapfer

“run away” = weglaufen

“tear at their eyes” = die Augen auskratzen werde

“more dangerous than a mad rat” = gefährlicher als eine wütende Ratte

“shard of the kitchen knife” = die versehrte Klinge des Küchenmessers
(“the damaged blade of the kitchen knife”)

“battering” = der Sturm auf den Turm (“the storming of the tower” – guess they couldn’t resist the rhyme)

“that’s a blessing” = ein Segen erscheint (“a blessing appears”)

Love those long words!
“tight together on the same mattress”
= aneinandergeschmiegt auf einer Matratze
(“on-one-another-nestled on one matress”)

“the ladder squeaks” = die Leiter knarrt

“In the tar black dark” = In der pechschwarzen Dunkelheit

“dried peas” = Dörrerbsen

“comfort” = Trost

“I wish I had a cat curled up in my lap, his sleep purr singing that everything is all right.”
= Wenn sich bloß ein Kater auf meinem Schoss zusammenrollen würde und sein schläfriges Schnurren summte, dass alles in Ordnung ist.

“crouching” = kauern

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

“salted meat” = Pökelsfleischs

“enough to eat” = genügend Nahrung

“snoring” = Schnarchen

“a ram with a cold” = ein erkälteter Bock

I love it when the German’s shorter than the English:
“wax from a cheese wheel” = Käserinde

“lit” = zündete

“the sound of its claws” = das Kratzen der Krallen

“a stinging breath of late Autumn air” = der beißende Hauch der Herbstluft

And I made it to the end of Part One! This is the last sentence:
“And save my lady, who once said that her mucker maid was her best friend.”
= Und versucht, meine Herrin zu retten, die einst sagte, ihre Aratendienerin wäre ihre beste Freundin.

Okay, that’s enough for today! I very much hope you never sound like ein erkälteter Bock and never be described as eine bibbernde Kugel! Here’s wishing you many Segen.

Sonderling Sunday – Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge – Chapter 26

Believe it or not, 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 book, focusing on very silly phrases of course you want to learn in German. Sort of a highly impractical phrase book for very silly travelers.

Yes, it’s been a very long time since I’ve done Sonderling Sunday. I usually play games with my gaming group on Sunday — except now to make things even more complicated, I’m dating a guy who lives two hours away, and Sunday is usually the day we can manage to get together. If only I hadn’t tied Sonderling Sunday to a day of the week! Except that Sunday is also the perfect day for setting aside productivity and doing frivolous and silly things. Anyway, in my disappointment of neither of those activities happening today, I can at least make the best of things and write a Sonderling Sunday post.

And today I began reading an advance reader copy of James Kennedy‘s new book, Dare to Know, and that made me think of Sonderling Sunday and how close I am to finishing going through the book that started it all, James Kennedy’s The Order of Odd-Fish, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge.

Yikes! The last time we looked at Odd-Fish was almost a year ago! And after years of close examination and teasing translated tidbits, we are oh, so close to the end! Tonight we’re looking at Chapter 26, Kapitel 26, and, dear Reader, there are only 28 chapters in all!

It begins on page 357, Seite 453 auf Deutsch.

So let’s delve right in with the first sentence:

“Jo landed and was overwhelmed.”
= Jo landete und wurde fast von den Zuschauern überwältigt.
(“Jo landed and was almost by the onlookers overwhelmed.” — Seems like the translator has elaborated a bit.)

“Jo was in a daze.”
= Jo war wie benommen.

“ruby palace” = Rubinpalast

“doorknob” = “Türknauf

“to fall apart” = zusammenbrechen (“together-break”)

“one wrong move” = eine falsche Bewegung

“victory party” = Siegesparty

“mobbed” = umzingelt

Here’s something we say more easily in English:
“Phil Snurr pumped her arm”
= schüttelte Phil Snurr ihr die Hand, bis ihre Schulter wehtat
(“shook Phil Snurr her hand, until her shoulder hurt”)

“nailed her” = sie fertiggemacht (“her finished-made”)

“was burned in her eyes”
= war in ihre Netzhaut wie eingebrannt
(“was in her retina burned”)

“good-naturedly” = gutmütig

“her bruises and cuts and aches”
= ihre Wunden und Schnitte und ihre schmerzenden Knochen
(“her wounds and cuts and her aching bones”)

“exposed” = enttarnt

“bang” = Knall

“in a small voice” = Stimme klang kläglich (“voice sounded pathetic”)

“surrender” = Kapitulation

I like the way this sounds:
“and trudged out of the room, sniffing”
= und schlurfte schniefend aus dem Saal
(“and shuffled sniffing out of the hall”)

And that’s where I’m going to have to stop tonight. I’m nowhere near the end of the chapter, but I will still endeavor not to schlurfe schnüffelnd aus dem Saal

I won’t promise bis bald! this time, but some day, I vow, I will finish the tantalizing translation tidbits from Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge!

Sonderling Sunday – The Battle’s Thrilling Finish

Surprise! It’s been months since I’ve done it, but tonight it’s time for Sonderling Sunday!

Sonderling Sunday is 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 armchair travelers.

Since I’m skipping so many weeks now, I’m going back to the Sonderbook that gave me the idea, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, with the original English title The Order of Odd-fish, by James Kennedy.

Last time, which I’m afraid was back in April, we left off on page 353 in the English edition, Seite 449 auf Deutsch. For a very long time, Jo and Fiona have been fighting a bitter battle. (I try not to give away any spoilers, just intrigue you with the language and phrases used, so I won’t say more than that.)

The way the next section begins hints at the drama:
“Jo grabbed the bars of the cage, hanging on. It wasn’t over until she fell in the water.”
= Sie erwischte die Stangen des Gitters und hielt sich fest. Der Kampf war erst vorbei, wenn sie ins Wasser fiel.

See if you can find a reason to use this sentence this week:
“But she had lost her ostrich.”
=Aber sie hatte ihren Stauß verloren.

The translator has often lost alliteration:
“she was bruised, bloody, and broken”
=sie war übel mitgenommen, blutüberströmt und am Ende ihrer Kräfte
(“she was evilly run-down, blood-overflowing and at the end of her strength”)

“gibbered” = plapperte sinnlos (“babbled senselessly”)

“a black, sludgy gelatin” = eine schwarze, schlammige Gelatine

“the universe itself might unravel”
= das Universum selbst möglicherweise vernichtet werden würde

“She was still clinging to the side of the cage.”
= Sie klammerte sich noch immer an den Käfigstäben fest.

“bestial and ugly, screaming for blood”
= bestialisch, hässlich und nach Blut schreiend

“bucked fiercely” = bockte wild

“every chance” = bei jeder sich bietenden Gelegenheit

“waving her over” = winkten sie zu sich.

Long word alert:
“opposite side” = gegenüberliegenden Seite

“stamping, hollering, and pressing their faces against the cage”
= stampften und brüllten und pressten ihre Gesichter gegen den Käfig

“encouragement” = Aufmunterungen

“screamed abuse” = beschimpften sie

“extra lance” = Ersatzlanze

“blast” = Knall

“clogging the doors and hallways” = verstopften Türen und Gänge

“unheard-of” = absolut unerhört

“breaking the furniture” = zertrümmerte die Möbel

“debris” = Trümmer

“flung aside” = beiseitegestoßen

“squirting out of her eyes” = spritzte aus ihren Augen

“running out her nose” = lief aus ihrer Nase

“gurgling in the back of her throat” = gurgelte in ihrer Kehle

“seeping from under her fingernails” = sickerte unter ihren Fingernägeln hervor

“in the back of her throat” = an ihrem Gaumen

“piteously” = erbärmlich

“dark and angry” = düster und wütend

“thunderous cheer” = donnernder Jubel

And the last sentence of Chapter 25:
“She had betrayed them all.”
= Sie hatte sie alle betrogen.

Auf wiedersehen! Now until next time, see how many of these phrases you can work into conversation, preparing for the day when we can travel to Germany again! When that day comes, we’ll surely hear donnernder Jubel. Let this be Aufmunterungen until that day! Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Duel in the Dome of Doom

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, the 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 armchair travelers. Tonight I’m back to the Sonderbook that started this series, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, with the original English title The Order of Odd-fish, by James Kennedy.

Last time we looked at this book, we left off on page 350, Seite 445 in the German edition. Fiona and Jo are finally beginning their duel!

Just in case you ever get yourself into a duel in Germany, you’ll want to know how to say this:

“Jo swung her leg over Ethelred, and the ostrich sprang to its feet.”
= Jo schwang sich auf Ethelred und der Strauß sprang auf.

“Ethelred scampered back, spun, hunched, and charged into the air, diving toward Fiona.”
= Ethelred nahm Anlauf, drehte sich um, duckte sich, sprang hoch in die Luft und stürzte sich dann auf Fiona hinunter.

“Jo brandished her lance” = Jo schwang ihre Lanze

I’d like to think of a reason to say this:
“so that fire blossomed out either side”
= sodass aus beiden Enden Flammen schossen
(“so that out of both ends flames shot”)

“the flames zigzagging blindingly”
= die Flammen blendend hin und her loderten
(“the flames dazzlingly back and forth blazing”)

“clawed each other” = mit den Klauen nacheinander schlugen

“distant darkness” = fernen Schwärze

“a tiny, colorful man, dancing”
= ein winziger bunter Mann zu tanzen

“She gasped for air.”
= Sie rang nach Luft.

“overwhelmed” = überwältigt

“tiny glowing man” = kleine glühende Mann

One of those nice long German words:
“one-second snatches” = Sekundenbruchteilen

“crumb of color” = Farbpunkt (“color-point”)

“I’m blacking out!”
= Ich verliere das Bewusstsein

“noise” = Lärm

“encouragement” = irgendetwas Ermutigendes (“anything encouraging”)

“This time Fiona didn’t mess around.”
= Diesmal spielte Fiona nicht herum.

Not a bad job translating this:
“Fiona’s lance stabbed, slashed, bashed, and skewered her”
= Fiona stach und schlug mit ihrer Lanze zu, hämmerte und rammte sie

“biting into her armor”
= zertrümmerte ihre Rüstung

“tearing at the fur”
=riss an dem Fell

“burning her skin”
= verbrannte ihre Haut

“pummeling her”
= verprügelte sie

“practicing” = geübt

“growling and snapping” = knurrten und schnappten

“striking range” = Reichweite (“kingdom-width”)

“skill” = Geschicklichkeit

“to hold Fiona at bay” = sich Fiona vom Hals zu halten
(“Fiona from the neck to hold”)

“The crowd groaned and booed.”
= Die Menge stöhnte und buhte.

“feints” = Täuschungen

“stabs” = Hieben

“thrusts” = Schlägen

“slashes” = Prügeln

“The crowd cheered wildly.”
= Die Menge johlte vor Vergnügen

“seething power” = kochender Macht

“sticky” = klebrigen

“back of her head” = Hinterkopf

“undertow” = Strömungen

“The crowd went nuts.” = Die Zuschauer drehten förmlich durch.

“victory swoop” = Siegesschleife

“fray” = Manege (“ring”)

“audacious move” = kühne Aktion

“somersaulting through the air” = Purzelbäume durch die Luft

I’ll finish with this dramatic sentence:
“Finally, with a ferocious kick, the ostrich flung her across the arena, and Jo hit the cage wall.”
= Schließlich schleuderte der Strauß sie mit einem wilden Tritt quer durch die Arena und Jo landete an der Wand des Käfigs.

May you have lots of occasions to make a Siegesschleife this week!