Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tage, Day 160

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 Very Silly Phrasebook for Travelers.


Today I’m going back to my beloved Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale, Das Buch der Tausend Tage.

Last time on this book, we finished Tag 158 of Dashti and her lady’s time in the tower. Today we begin Day 160.

As usual, I will simply quote interesting words and phrases and show how they were translated. I hope that this gives you a taste of the wonderful writing in this book without giving away the plot.

“Times I’ve asked them for news of the world”
= Hin und wieder habe ich sie gefragt, was es in der Welt Neues gibt
(“Here and again have I them asked, what there in the world new is.”)

This is nothing new, but always fun to say in German:
“fresh meat” = frisches Fleisch

“held open” = hochhielt

“snorted” = schnaubend

Interesting. They don’t just call the color “peach.”
“peach” = pfirschfarben (“peach-color”)

“shades” = Schattierungen

“wondrous” = wundersam

“The guard laughed like a horse snorts.”
= Der Wächter lachte wie ein wieherndes Pferd.
(“The guard laughed like a neighing horse.”)

“he was sorry for us, and he was sorry for being sorry.”
= wir taten ihm leid, und es tat ihm leid, dass wir ihm leidtaten.

And I have to note any Sonderwords:
“They weren’t nice words he said.”
= Sonderlich nett waren seine Worte nicht.
(“Especially nice were his words not.”)

Interesting that the translator changes some of the metaphors.
“having made a person feel rubbed down to bones”
= mir den Boden unter den Füßen wegzuziehen
(“the floor under my feet pulled away from me”)

“rubbish heap” = Unrathaufen

“god of tricks” = Gott der Streiche

“stone hearts” = versteinerte Herzen

“chick” = Küken

Tag 162

“first breath” = erster Hauch

“friskier” = munterer

“jump and play” = hüpfen und spielen

“bits of salt meat” = Leckerbissen aus Salzfleisch

“rounded more than straight” = krummer (“crooked”)

“dim” = trüb (“cloudy”)

“buds” = Knospen

“winter hideaway” = winterlichen Zufluchtsort

I will stop there, at the end of Day 180, before Tag 223, when some awful things happen.

Meanwhile, may this week find you munterer than before.

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