Sonderling Sunday – Idle Braggadocio

Surprise! After several months off, it’s time for Sonderling Sunday!

Sonderling Sunday is when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s book and making a very silly phrasebook of Useful Phrases To Know in German — that I challenge you to ever actually use in any language.

Since it’s been so long since I’ve written a post, tonight I’m going back to the book that started it all, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, by James Kennedy, known in the original English as The Order of Odd-Fish.

We left off last time on page 348 in the English edition, Seite 442 auf Deutsch. We left off when Jo and Fiona were about to start their duel. Since duels begin with threats, this is going to be especially fun.

I like to begin by translating a complete sentence, and this is a good one:

“Fiona had already dismounted and started the threats:”
= Fiona war bereits abgestiegen und hatte begonnen, ihre Drohungen auszustoßen:

“Silver Kitten of Deceit” = Silbernes Kätzchen der Arglist

“Know the terror of your doom!”
= Erkenne den Schrecken deines Untergangs!

“the All-Devouring Mother” = die All-Vershlingende Mutter

“Tonight your deceits shall be overthrown, your silver fur gnashed between my all-masticating jaws!”
= Heute Nacht werde ich deinen Tücken ein Ende bereiten und dein silberner Pelz wird zwischen meinen alles zermalmenden Kiefern zerfetzt werden!

“boos” = Buhrufen (“Boo-cries”)

Here’s something you may want to try on the next person who threatens you in German:
“Boasting in speech, yet paltry in deed!”
= Du prahlst mit Worten und bist doch so erbärmlich in deinen Taten!

“my meow is your death sentence” = mein Miauen wird deine Todesstrafe sein

“my purr, your despair” = mein Schnurren deine Verzweiflung

“my litterbox, your grave!” = mein Papierkorb dein Grab!

“Let fly your thrashing tongue, your gnawing teeth, your gulping throat”
= Lass nur deine widerliche Zunge fliegen, deine Zähne beißen, deine Kehle schlucken!

“I choke your esophagus with the foodstuffs of destruction”
= Ich werde deine Speiseröhre mit dem Labsal der Vernichtung stopfen

“I fill your greedy maw with the meal of dishonor!”
= Ich werde dein gieriges Maul mit den Speisen der Schande füllen!

“savor your doom” = genieße deinen Untergang

I like this one, because I don’t think it’s a direct translation:
“The crowd went wild.”
= Die Zuschauer flippten aus.
(“The spectators flipped out.”)

“sneered” = schnaubte

“wearable” = tragbaren

“idle braggadocio” = alberne Prahlerei

“weakling” = Schwächling

“pusillanimous” = zaghaft

I write out this whole sentence for the sake of the big long word at the end in German, but I dare you to find a way to utter this sentence:
“Do you not know, Aznath, that I, Ichthala, the All-Devouring Mother, shall gather unto myself a thousand living scorpions and sew them into a pair of scorpion underwear?”
= Weißt du nicht, Aznath, dass ich, Ichthala, die All-Vershlingende Mutter, tausend lebende Skorpione versammelt und zu einer Skorpionunterwäsche genäht habe?

“unmentionable places” = unaussprechlichen Stellen

“writhing, poisonous underwear” = windenden giftigen Unterwäsche

“retorted” = konterte

“stitching disgraceful underwear” = schamlose Unterkleidung zusammenzuflicken

“thin twine” = dünnen Schnüren

They’ve got a word for this!
“second least favorite song” = vorletztes Lieblingslied
“least favorite song” = letztes Lieblingslied

“spicy gumbo” = würzigen Gumboschotensuppe

“intestines” = Eingeweide

“dollhouses” = Puppenhäusern

Now here’s an insult:
“your dark, unholy, malformed, unnatural, godless, nauseating, cancerous, wretched, crap-spackled heart”
= dein düsteres, unheiliges, missgestaltetes, unnatürliches, gottloses, widerwärtiges, geschwürgleiches, verdammtes, mächtiges Herz

The duel is about to begin!

I’m going to finish by showing how the translator rendered their last cries at each other before they engage in battle:

“Avaunt!” = Hinweg mit dir!
“Hark!” = Hört, hört!
“Fie!” = Pfui!
“Alack!” = Ach weh!
“Egad!” = Oh Gott! (I’m not sure I agree with this translation.)
“Forsooth!” = Fürwahr!
“Aaaaaaaagh!” = [Not translated] Mit einem lauten Schrei…

Now if you ever want to spout off some alberne Prahlerei in German, you’ll know what to say!

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