Sonderling Sunday – Finding Eeyore’s Schwanz

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.


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



“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!

1 comment

  1. I am still astonished by how very Pooh-like Pooh stays in German! Even the poetry here rhymes and feels the same – so very tricky to do in translation!

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