Sonderling Sunday – Hektischer Betriebsamkeit

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! When I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books. I’m not quite sure why I get so viel Genugtuung from this weekly game, but I do.

Tonight we’re back to Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, the German translation of The Order of Odd-Fish. Last time, we left off in the middle of Chapter 12, when Jo had met with Olvershaw, in preparation for officially becoming a squire. There’s a fun phrase right away:

“gave a sigh of relief” = erleichtert aufseufzen

Here’s a good one:
“a panic of efficiency” = hektischer Betriebsamkeit

“rushed hither and thither” = hin und her huschten

This one’s oddly alliterative:
“ragged tents” = zerfetzten Zelten (That’s what English needs. More words starting with Z.)

I still like the way Germans combine three words into one:
“patched cloth roof” = Segeltuchdecke

And here’s one from four English words:
“stacks of loose papers” = Papierstapeln (Really, that’s just “Paper-piles,” but it works.)

Interesting. “forms” = Formulare (I never connected “forms” and “formulas” before.)

“stamping machine” = Prägemaschine

“office-stalls” = Büroverschläge

“had chewed her out” = sie so heruntergeputzt hatte

I don’t think this is as elaborate:
“as if calling upon a rapidly dwindling patience”
= als wollte er verhindern, dass ihm der Geduldsfaden riss
(“as if he wanted to hinder, that from him the patience ripped”)

I still say the insults are fun.
“Pushy little creature” = aufdringliche kleine Kreatur

“rookies, greenhorns” = Neulinge, Frischlinge

“got it?” = kapiert?

“watching old movies” = alte Filme anzugucken

“shaggy black hair” = zotteligem schwarzem Haar

I was prepared not to like this without the alliteration, but it won me over anyway:
“A squat-snouted nangnang” = Ein flachschnäuziges Nangnang

“mussed dark hair” = zerzausten schwarzen Haar

“barfed out of a fish” = barfu? aus einem Fisch gestiegen (“barefoot out of a fish rose”)

“bait” = Köder

“grapefruits” = Pampelmusen

“gutless mollycoddles” = saftlose Weichlinge (“juiceless soft-lings”)

Now here’s a nice long word:
“confused babble” = durcheinanderplapperten (“through one another prattled”)

“riding on top of that building” = oben auf diesem Gebäude gesurft ist (After all, isn’t riding on top of the building surfing on top of it?)

“wreckage” = Trümmern

“dust and cobwebs” = Staub und Spinnweben

“rattling around in me” = in mir herumklappert

“scattered” = verdattert

And that’s it for Chapter 12. Jo and Ian got a quest! (Aufgabe)

Summing up, we had a new 23-letter word that’s quite useful for a crowd of people all talking at once and durcheinanderplapperten.

There were some useful phrases this week. I can’t think of a reason to talk about zerfetzten Zelten, but now I can tell my son that he has zerzausten Haar.

I may start referring to my cubicle as a Büroverschlag, and I know all about hektischer Betriebsamkeit. And tackling Staub und Spinnweben is far more interesting than merely vacuuming.

All in all, I enjoy having these random phrases in mir herumklappert. How about you?

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