Sonderling Sunday – More of the Belgian Joke-Cookie

It’s Sonderling Sunday, loosely translated Nerdy Sonntag. Have you ever wondered how phrasebooks decide which phrases to translate? I’ve decided to create a sort of blog phrasebook, using phrases pulled from children’s books. After all, if it’s been used in a children’s book, it must be good to know! I admit I’m going after the more bizarre phrases, but the point is having fun and being somewhat silly. And enjoying a close look at tändeltechnisch.

This week, I’ll be back in James Kennedy‘s The Order of Odd-Fish and its translation, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge. This is the book that inspired the series, since, after all, it is obviously a Sonderbook, with Sonderlinge in the actual title! As of last week, I decided to mix it up a little, coming back to Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge every other week, and looking at other children’s books from my German collection in alternating weeks.

We left off two weeks ago in the middle of Chapter Ten, on page 110 in English, Seite 140 auf Deutsch. We were in the middle of a confrontation between the Belgian Prankster, der Belgische Scherzkeks (“the Belgian Joke-Cookie”) and aspiring archvillain Ken Kiang.

Some fun phrases to know:

“The plot thickens” = Die Geschichte verdichtet sich (“The story compacts itself.”)

“But the worst was when she would just give him a strange smile.” = Doch das Schlimmste war, wenn sie ihn einfach nur höchst sonderbar anlächelte. (I go on about how sonder is a prefix meaning “special,” but, okay, yeah, sometimes it just means “strange.”)

Oh! The translator went with the cliche, instead of what was written:
“You couldn’t see your own feet.” = Man konnte nicht einmal die Hand vor Augen sehen. (“You couldn’t see your hand before your eyes.”)

“to seep in” = zu sickern

I like the sound of this:
“meanwhile” = in der Zwischenzeit (“in the between time”)

“Food was running out.” = Lebensmittel wurden knapp.

“blue veils” = blauen Schleiern

This is simply fun to say:
“Even the howling things that flew about in the fog became still.” = Selbst die heulenden Dinger, die in dem Nebel herumflogen, verstummten.

“midwives” = Hebammen

“locked themselves in their house” = sich in seinem Haus verbarrikadiert

“a strange and unbreakable siege” = einer fremdartigen und nicht zu durchbrechenden Belagerung

This one adds an image:
“said in private” = hinter vorgehaltener Hand getuschelt hatten (“painted behind reproached hand”)

“furious” = fuchsteufelswild (“fox-devil-wild”)

“ghostly image” = geisterhaftes Bild

“screen” = Leinwand (“flax wall”)

“chalky, smoking ash” = wei?licher qualmender Asche

Oh, this is a good phrase to know:
“armored ostriches” = gepanzerten Strau?envögeln

“The camera drew back.” = Die Kamera öffnete auf die Totale. (“The camera opened to the Total.”)

This one’s shorter in German, for once:
“surrounded in a circle” = umzingelten

This one’s longer:
“squeezing” = zusammenzuquetschen

“curling” = lodernde

“throbbing, groaning, pulsing in and out” = pulsierte, stöhnte, ächzte

“melting bricks” = schmelzenden Ziegelsteinen

“spraying out the chimney” = spritzte aus dem Schornstein

“The house strained at the seams, swelling, heaving, gurgling.” = Das Haus platzte regelrecht aus den Nähten, schwoll an, pulsierte, gurgelte.

“My favorite part” = Meine Lieblingsstelle

“Sir Nils was a whirl of limbs” = Sir Nils war ein wahrer Derwisch (“Sir Nils was a true dervish.”)

“doddering” = tatterigen

“terrifyingly fast and fierce” = in ihrer Schnelligkeit und Wildheit furchterregend

“blasting out slime” = Schleim quoll heraus

“armor” = Rüstungen

“Something in Dame Lily snapped.” = In diesem Moment schien Dame Lily auszurasten.

“surprised” = überrumpeln (“overpower”)

“stopper” = Stöpsel

Here’s a nice long one:
“opposite side” = gegenüberliegenden

“exiled” = schickte sie in die Verbannung

“legal issues” = juristischen Spitzfindigkeiten

“flimsy” = fadenscheinig

“laughing silently” = lautlos zu lacheln (“loudless to laugh”)

“ghastly merriment” = gruseliger Heiterkeit

“stitched back together” = zusammengeflickt

“a horrible jelly” = ein grauenvoller Wackelpudding

“with a sickening THUP” = mit einem ekelerregenden, satten Schmatzen (“with a disgusting, rich smack”)

Here’s a good word:
“deflate” = schrumpfen

“hissing squeal” = kreischendes Zischen

“spewing stale air” = stie?en abgestandene Luft aus

“spluttering into shreds” = in kleine Fetzen auflösten

“a shriveled empty skin” = eine schlaffe, geschrumpfte, leere Hülle

“deeply humiliated” = zutiefst gedemüdigt

There! That’s it for Chapter Ten. Doesn’t that just make you want to find out what all the gruseliger Heiterkeit is about? Meine Lieblingsstelle was probably ein grauenvoller Wackelpudding or perhaps eine schlaffe, geschrumpfte, leere Hülle.

In two weeks, we’ll start in on Chapter Eleven! Kapitel Elf! In der Zwischenzeit, next week I think I will take a look at Winnie der Pu. Enjoy the Heiterkeit!

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