Sonderling Sunday – Ready for a Duel

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. This week, I’m back to the book that drives this whole series, The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy, otherwise known as Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge.

Last time, we left off in the middle of Chapter Twenty-Five, on page 344 in the English edition, Seite 437 auf Deutsch.

The first sentence has some fun words to know:
“Jo’s ready room was a moldy locker area that it seemed had never been cleaned.”
= Jos Garderobe war ein muffiger Umkleideraum, der offenbar noch nie gesäubert worden war.

(My day is complete, now that I can call moldy things muffiger. Seems perfect for that fuzzy appearance…. Umkleideraum means “undress-room.”)

“the tiles were dirty and chipped” = die Fliesen waren schmutzig und angeschlagen

I hope you never need to use this sentence:
“and the rusty plumbing dripped with mysterious juices.”
= und aus den rostigen Rohrleitungen tropften mysteriöse Flüssigkeiten.

“teasing” = Neckereien

“unexpected tenderness” = unerwarteter Zärtlichkeit

Oh, this one’s much better in German:
“a little gasp”
= einen kleinen Überraschungsschrei
(“a little surprise-cry”)

Germans can make up words at a moment’s notice:
“cat’s-head helmet” = Katzenhelm

I never get tired of saying this word:
“silver whiskers” = silberfarbenen Schnurrbarthaaren

“pointed ears” = spitzen Ohren

“insults” = Beleidigungen

“hard-core” = hartgesotten (“hard-boiled”)

Okay, this just doesn’t capture the English:
“Atta girl”
= So will ich dich hören, Mädchen
(“That’s how I want to hear you, girl”)

Another one that has come up before, whose sound I love:
“sipped” = schlürfte

“hero” = Heldin

“hissed and bubbled” = zischte und blubberte

“tickling her veins” = prickelnd durch ihre Adern

“bruise” = blauer Fleck (“blue spot”)

“putrid air” = stinkende Luft

“fabulous” = fabelhaft

“demolish” = auseinandernehmen (“out-another-take”)

“pep talk” = aufmunternder Worte

“usher” = Lakai

“stirrups” = Steigbügel (“climb-hangers”)

“tumultuous crowd” = tosende Menge

“announcer’s” = Ansagers

“cheering” = spornten

“tying her up” = sie einzuschnüren

“lolled” = lümmelte

“convention of eelmen” = Abordnung von Aalmännern

“streamers” = Papierbahnen

And I’ll stop right before the duel begins:

“She looked up and swallowed. This was it.”
= Dann blickte sie hoch und schluckte. Das war’s.

Gute Nacht! I suspect this week if I run across an Abordnung von Aalmännern, I will give out at least einen kleinen Überraschungsschrei! Bis bald!

2 Responses to “Sonderling Sunday – Ready for a Duel”

  1. Good Lord! “cat’s-head helmet” = Katzenhelm! Eternal respect to the German language!!!

    • Awesome, isn’t it? 🙂 Have you seen the comics by Nathan Pyle of alien beings doing things on earth but using technical language? Their descriptions remind me of Germans putting concepts together to make new words. (For example, a hug is “Mutual limb enclosure.”)

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