Archive for the ‘Sonderling Sunday’ Category

Sonderling Sunday – Finding Eeyore’s Schwanz

Sunday, June 19th, 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 I’m back to Pu der Bär, by A. A. Milne, better known to English speakers as Winnie-the-Pooh.

Pu_der_Bar

Last time we looked at Pu, we finished Kapitel Drei, so today we’ll look at Chapter Four — “In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Finds One,” which is to say, In welchem I-Ah einen Schwanz verliert und Pu einen findet.

I like lots of parts of the first sentence:

“The Old Grey Donkey, Eeyore” = Der alte graue Esel, I-Ah

“a thistly corner of the forest” = einem distelbewachsenen Winkel des Waldes
(“a thistle-overgrown angle of the forest”)

“his front feet well apart” = die Vorderbeine gespreizt

“his head on one side” = den Kopf auf eine Seite gelegt

“and thought about things” = und dachte über alles nach

“Inasmuch as which?” = Inwiefern? (“To what extent?”)

“came stumping along” = herangestapft kam

“gloomy manner” = düsterer Weise

I’m having fun imagining a reason to say this in Germany:
“Why, what’s happened to your tail?”
= Was ist den mit deinem Schwanz passiert?

“with a long, sad sigh” = mit einem langen, traurigen Seufzer

“solemnly” = feierlich

“So Winnie-the-Pooh went off to find Eeyore’s tail.”
= Also machte Winnie-der-Pu auf den Weg um I-Ahs Schwanz zu finden.

“Little soft clouds played happily in a blue sky”
= Kleine, weiche Wolkenspielten froh an einem blauen Himmel

“skipping from time to time in front of the sun”
= hüpften hin und wieder vor die Sonne

“dowdy” = ungepflegt

“copse and spinney” = Gehölz und Dickicht (“woods and thickets”)

“down open slopes of gorse and heather” = offene Hänge voller Stechginster und Heidekraut hinab

“rocky beds of streams” = felsige Flussbetten

“steep banks of sandstone” = steile Böschungen aus Sandstein

“If anyone knows anything about anything”
= Wenn irgendwer irgendwas über irgendwas weiß

“Chestnuts” = Kastanien

“knocker” = Türklopfer

“bell-pull” = Klingelzug

“notice” = Zettel

“MEASLES” = ZIEGENPETER

“BUTTERED TOAST” = TOASTMITBUTTER

“He’s Moping about it.” = Jetzt bläst er Trübsal.
(“Now blows he sorrow.”)

“very kindly” = überaus freundlicherweise

“Bear of Very Little Brain” = Bär von sehr wenig Verstand

“long words Bother me” = lange Wörter jagen mir Angst ein

“sneezed” = geniest

“a small something” = ein kleines Sowieso

“a lick of honey” = einer Idee Honig (“an idea of honey”)

“frisked” = tobte

“waving his tail so happily” = wedelte so glücklich mit dem Schwanz

And finishing up with the song at the end:

Who found the Tail?
‘I,’ said Pooh,
‘At a quarter to two
(Only it was quarter to eleven really),
I found the Tail!'”

= Wer fand den Schwanz?
»Ich«, sprach Pu,
»Um Viertel vor ganz
(Das heißt, es war um Viertel vor elf),

Ich fand den Schwanz!«

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – To Outwit the Belgian Prankster

Sunday, June 12th, 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 Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge. We are ready to begin Chapter 20!

This sentence seems good to know:
“Ken Kiang was quite pleased with himself.”
= Ken Kiang war ziemlich zufrieden mit sich.

“to outwit the Belgian Prankster”
= den Belgischen Scherzkeks zu übertölpeln

“to disrupt his plans”
= seine Pläne zu vereiteln

“to overthrow his infernal machinations”
= seine teuflischen Machenschaften zu durchkreuzen

Try to think of a reason to say this!
“Municipal Squires Authority”
= Städtischen Knappenbehörde

“a small army of clerks”
= eine kleine Armee von Sachbearbeitern

“shamelessly groveled”
= krochen (“crawled”)

“moment of idleness”
= Moment des Müßiggangs

“devil-may-care”
= tollkühne (“foolhardy”)

“dingy dormitory”
= schmuddelige Schlafsaal

It’s always interesting how names are translated.
“Bimblebridge” = Pimperbrück

“partition” = Trennwand (“divide-wall”)

“simplified” = vereinfacht

“distractions” = Ablenkungen

“moth-eaten” = mottenzerfressene

“bolt” = Schraube

“a wire cut” = ein durchgeschnittener Draht

“file” = Aktenordner

“ever greater sophistication” = immer raffinierterer Durchtriebenheit

“deployed, canceled, reversed, appropriated, adapted, and foiled”
= ersonnen, widerrufen, ins Gegenteil gekehrt, angepasst, zweckdienlich gemacht und vereitelt

Here’s a nice long word:
“treaties”
= Waffenstillstandsverträge

“decoys” = Köder

“red herrings” = Ablenkungsmanöver
(“distraction-maneuver”)

“Ken Kiang’s mind reeled.” = Ken Kiang schwindelte. (“Ken Kiang was made dizzy.”)

“excruciating subtlety” = quälenden Subtilität

Here’s a phrase you should know if you travel in Germany!
“pie damnation” = Kuchen-Verdammnis

“slouched” = schlurfte

This sounds better in German:
“a distant smile on his lips”
= ein abwesendes Lächeln auf den Lippen

And the last sentence for tonight, at the end of a section:
“He had the most wonderful idea.”
= Er hatte soeben die wundervollste Eingebung von allen gehabt.

Good night! May wundervollste Eingebungen be yours until next time!

Sonderling Sunday — Drachenreiter — A Meeting in the Rain

Sunday, May 29th, 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, or, in this case, the English translation of a German children’s book.

This week, we’re looking at Drachenreiter, by Cornelia Funke, known in English as Dragon Rider.

Drachenreiter

It’s been a few years since I looked at Drachenreiter. We are ready to begin with Chapter Two, Versammlung im Regen, “A Meeting in the Rain.” This is Seite 14 auf Deutsch, page 7 in English.

We’ll start with the name of a dragon:
Schieferbart = “Slatebeard”

I like the way this sentence sounds:
Seine Schuppen schimmerten schon lange nicht mehr = “His scales no longer glowed”

aber Feuer speien konnte er noch = “but he could still breathe fire”
(“but fire spewing could he still”)

nicht weiterwussten = “at a loss” (“not further-knew”)

Missmutig = “gloomily”

Feuchtigkeit = “damp”

Gelenke = “joints”

wichen = “made way” (“evaded”)

Schwefelfell = “Sorrel”

Kobold = “brownie”

scheifendem Schwanz = “dragging tail”

Schnaufend stieg = “Breathing hard”

verscheuchen = “deal with it” (“scare away”)

flink = “nimbly”

Rascheln = “rustling”

knabberte = “nibbling”

belauschen = “eavesdrop”

Barthaar = “whisker” (“beard-hair”)

überschwemmt = “flooded”

spöttisch = “sarcastically”

rümpfte = “wrinkled”

Hohlkopf! = “dimwit!” (“hollow-head!”)

schmilzt = “melts”

Verflixt! = “Oh, drat it!”

Das war töricht. = “It was a foolish hope.”

Der Saum des Himmels = “The Rim of Heaven

Hängen = “slopes”

Bergkuppen = “mountaintops”

fröstelnd = “shivering”

Blödsinn = “nonsense”

strömenden Regen = “pouring rain”

stapfte = “trudged”

Da platzte Schwefelfell der Kragen.
= “This was too much for Sorrel.”
(“There burst Sorrel her collar.”)

hinter den Ohren kraulen = “scratch you behind the ears” (“behind the ears fondle”)

I like this one. I’ve heard people speak schnippisch.
schnippisch = “sharply”

Keulenfüßigen Trichterling = “Tedious toadstools”

meckern = “complain”

And the last sentence of the chapter:
Bestimmt nicht genug, um dich mit dieser holzköpfigen Pilzfresserin zu Ende zu streiten.
= “Certainly not enough time to finish your quarrel with this dim-witted mushroom-muncher.”
(“Certainly not enough, for you with this wooden-headed mushroom-devourer to end to argue.”)

And that’s all for tonight! Please try not to call anyone a holzköpfigen Pilzfresserin this week!

Bis bald!

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!