Sonderling Sunday – Harry Potter – In Three Languages

German HPs

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.

Having recently read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I’m in the mood for visiting Harry’s world, so it’s back to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. (I will use the British edition, since that’s the original.)

Now, I have multiple editions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — including American English, British English, German, French, Bulgarian, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, and Czech. However, the only one I have a hope of reading besides English and German is French — so I’m going to add in the French translations of notable phrases alongside the German.

This goes more slowly than just doing two languages. So last time I tackled Harry Potter, I only finished the first section with the Dursleys.

We are on page 12 of the British edition, page 8 of the American, Seite 12 of the German, and page 12 of the French.

Here’s the first sentence of the new section:
“Mr Dursley might have been drifting into an uneasy sleep, but the cat on the wall outside was showing no sign of sleepiness.”
= Mr. Dursley mochte in einen unruhigen Schlaf hinübergeglitten sein, doch die Katze draußen auf der Mauer zeigte keine Spur von Müdigkeit.
= Tandis que Mr Dursley se laissait emporter dans un sommeil quelque peu agité, le chat sur le mur, lui, ne montrait aucun signe de somnolence.

“car door slammed”
= Autotür zugeknallt
= portière de voiture claqua

“two owls swooped overhead”
= zwei Eulen über ihren Kopf hinwegschwirrten
= deux hiboux passèrent au-dessus de sa tête

“so suddenly and silently”
= so jäh und lautlos
= si soudainement et dans un tel silence

“high-heeled, buckled boots”
= Schnallenstiefel mit hohen Hacken
= bottes à hauts talons munies de boucles

“half-moon spectacles”
= halbmondförmigen Brillengläsern
= lunettes en demi-lune

= durchstöberte
= chercher

“silver cigarette lighter”
= silbernes Feuerzeug
briquet en argent

This is fun to say:
“He flicked it open”
= Er ließ den Deckel aufschnappen
= Il en releva le capuchin

“clicked it”
= es knipsen
= l’alluma

= Ausmacher
= l’Éteignoir (“the snuffer”)

= Stecknadelköpfe
= points minuscule

I like this one:
“shooting stars”
= Sternschnuppen
= étoiles filantes

= Du-weißt-shon-wer
= Vous-Savez-Qui

“sherbet lemon”
= “lemon drop” (American)
= Brausebonbon
= esquimau au citron

“a kind of Muggle sweet”
= eine Nascherei der Muggel
= une friandise que fabriquent les Moldus

I’m going to stop there, after the lemon drops. It takes longer in three languages! Although I took French in high school, it’s very rusty, and I had to use Google translate to be sure I’d grabbed the right words out of the text.

I wish I had learned the words for Shooting Stars before the meteor shower last week.

As it is, it may be tricky to find reasons to use these words this week….

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