Sonderling Sunday

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 Traveler’s Phrasebook for Very Silly People.


This week, I’m back to my stand-by, The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy, the most Sonder book of them all, Der Orden der seltsamen Sonderlinge. However, it’s already quite late, so I’m promising myself I’ll stop after only a half-hour. Let’s see what we can find in that time.

Last time, I left off on page 232, Seite 293.

“forced” = gezwungen

“the Hat of Honor” = dem Hut der Ehre

I really think they left something out here:
“a prancing throng of cockroaches” = einer Horde Kakerlaken

And these are just not as good either:
“dragon of deceit” = Drachen des Betrugs
“kingdom of calumny” = Königreich der Verleumdung

A phrase everyone should know:
“silly hat” = albernen Hut

Oh, and you certainly want to be able to say this:
“We must be gracious in our victory.”
= Wir müssen großzügig sein in unserem Sieg.

Nice long words for Aunt Lily’s research specialty:
“irregular contraptions” = unvorschriftsmäßige Apparaturen

“scavenged appliances” = geweideter Geräte

“gears” = Zahnrädern (“tooth-wheels”)

“spindles” = Spulen

“homemade batteries” = selbst gemachten Batterien

“bottles stuffed with nails and bolts and wires”
= Gläsern mit Nägeln, Drähten und Nieten

Oops! My time’s up. I’m going to try to be good and stop while it is still Sunday.

Meanwhile, always remember to be gracious in your victory.


  1. Hey, that’s quite a bit of territory for only a half-hour! “Unvorschriftsmäßige Apparaturen” for “irregular contraptions” is exactly the kind of labyrinthine, agglutinated, bonkers-to-these-American-ears German I love to discover…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *