Sonderling Sunday – Book of a Thousand Days – Memories

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.

Tonight I’m looking at one of my favorite books in English, Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale, Das Buch der Tausend Tage. Last time we were in this book, we left off on page 87 in the English edition, Day 684, and Seite 99 in the Deutsch edition, Tag 684.

Let’s begin with the first sentence of the section:

“Here’s something true about darkness — after enough time, you begin to see things that aren’t there.”
= Es ist wahr, dass man nach einiger Zeit in der Dunkelheit anfängt, Dinge zu sehen, die es gar nicht gibt.
(“It is true, that one after some time in the darkness begins, things to see, that are absolutely not there.”)

“fade away” = verblassen

I hope you won’t ever need to say this, but now you know how:
“Shiny gray dream rats” = Glänzende graue Traumratten

I like it on the rare occasions German is shorter:
“but don’t make a sound” = geräuschlos (“noiseless”)

“behind bricks” = eingemauert (“in-bricked”)

“thoughts and questions and memories” = Gedanken, Fragen und Erinnerungen

“surrounded” = umzingelt

“we were on our own” = waren wir auf uns gestellt

“Weedflower” = Grasblume

“hunched up” = verkrochen

“rags” = Lumpen

“We survived.” = Wir überlebten.

“healthy enough” = einigermaßer gesund

“mudfish” = Schlammfische

This one’s a lot longer in German:
“watered the milk gray”
= verlängerten die Milch mit Wasser, bis sie grau war
(“lengthened the milk with water, until it was gray”)

This is a lovely sentence:
“we laughed enough to shake the forest and ripple the rivers.”
= lachten wir auch so laut, dass der Wald erbebte und die Flüsse Wellen schlugen.

“parting songs” = Abschiedslieder

“Ancestors’ Realm” = Reich der Ahnen

I like this adjustment to the translation:
“with no shaman around for miles”
= weil meistens weit und breit kein Schamane in Sicht ist
(“because mostly far and wide no shaman in sight is”)

“haunting” = gespukt

“winter coverings” = Winterhülle

“aching work, longtime work”
= eine anstrengende langwierige Schufterei

“stagger” = taumelte

“summer pastures” = Sommerweiden

“ill-fated life” = Pech verfolgtes Dasein (“bad luck following existence”)

“purring” = schnurrend

“lap” = Schoß

“rodents” = Nagetiere

“a bowl of food” = Eine Schale Essen

Here’s a use of the prefix sonder-:
“Is that strange?” = Ist das sonderbar?
(It means “special,” but that’s not always good!)

“chiefs” = Häuptlinge

“I miss myself, how I used to be.”
= Ich vermisse auch mich selbst, mein früheres Ich.

I’ll finish with this sad sentence from the end of Day 780:
“Time is a wind that keeps blowing in my face and mumbling words that don’t make sense.”
= Die Zeit ist ein Wind, der mir ins Gesicht bläst und sinnlose Worte murmelt.

That’s it for tonight! Bis bald!

I still truly enjoy writing Sonderling Sunday when I have the chance. Ist das sonderbar?

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