Sonderling Sunday – Escape from the Ruby Palace

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! I’m on Chapter Four, Part Three in my use of The Order of Odd-Fish and Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge in a quest to learn how to say bizarre things in German.

We’re on page 40 in the English version, and Seite 55 in the German version. Here’s the first paragraph of the next section:

Jo and Colonel Korsakov raced down the foggy, twisty passages, searching for Sefino. The deeper they plunged into the palace, the thicker the clammy clouds of insecticide became, until they had to hold handkerchiefs to their noses to breathe.

Auf Deutsch:

Jo und Oberst Korsakov rannten durch die leeren, verschlungenen Gänge und suchten Sefino. Je weiter sie in den Farbenpalast vordrangen, desto dichter wurde die verdammte Wolke aus Insektiziden, bis sie sich Taschentücher vor die Nasen halten mussten, damit sie Luft bekamen.

I know I’m getting better at German from this process, because nothing about that passage surprised me. However, I’ll make some observations.

I know we’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s still fun to say. “twisty” = verschlungenen

“plunged” = vordrangen

“clammy clouds” = verdammte Wolke (No, they’re not swearing. It’s damp.) I have to admit that the English for that one sounds better. (What can I say, I like alliteration.)

You know, when I typed “handkerchiefs” I thought that must be a word of German origins, being a portmanteau word, and since I know “hand” itself comes from German. And doesn’t “kerchief” sound like it’s probably of German origin? But the actual German word is even better. Taschentücher means “pocket cloths.” Isn’t that perfect?

Going on, I’ll list some interesting words:

“greenhouse” = Gewächshauses (“plant house,” and “plant” is same root as “to grow”)

“prodding” = piksten (like “poke,” I think.)

“pleased with himself” = selbstzufrieden (for once, the German is shorter!)

“multiply” = vervielfachen (“for many times”)

“duties” = Pflichten

Here’s a lovely long one:
“differences” = Meinungsverschiedenheiten (“opinion differences”)

“tender recesses” = zarten Gliederungen (“tender outlines”)

“inconveniences” = Unbequemlichkeiten (Funny. I was investigating this word. As did not surprise me, bequem means “convenient.” More interesting: bequemlich means “sedentary.” I guess inconveniences are things that don’t allow you to be sedentary.)

“barked” = blaffte

This one uses a funny idiom in place of an English one:
“Jo knew the twisting maze of the ruby palace by heart.” becomes Jo kannte das verschlungene Labyrinth des Rubinpalastes wie Ihre eigene Westentasche.

wie Ihre eigene Westentasche means “like her own vest pocket.”

“wide-brimmed” = breitkrempigen

I like the word at the end of this sentence:
Das Faktotum packte Ken Kiangs Hand und schüttelte sie wie einen Pumpenschwengel.

That’s translated from: “Hoagland Shanks grabbed Ken Kiang’s hand, shaking it vigorously.” wie einen Pumpenschwengel means “like a pump handle.”

“suffocating” = erstickend

“double doors” = Flügeltüren (“flying doors”)

“glory of battle” = der Pracht der Schlacht

“whacking him with canes, walkers, and wheelchairs” = Sie schlugen mit Gehstöcken, Krücken und Rollatoren auf ihn ein.

A new word for “crop duster” is Sprühflugzeug. (“spray flying thing”)

And that gets us through Chapter Four! Summing up, I think my favorite words of the day are Pumpenschwengel und der Pracht der Schlacht.

Happy Sonderling Sunday! Do something today to make yourself selbstzufrieden.

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