Posts Tagged ‘Book of a Thousand Days’

Sonderling Sunday – Book of a Thousand Days – Memories

Monday, February 24th, 2020

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?

Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tage – Tag 268

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

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.

A couple weeks ago at the Newbery Banquet, I met Shannon Hale again, and she mentioned that she’d sent me a copy of the German version of Book of a Thousand Days, Das Buch der Tausend Tage, for Sonderling Sunday. So in her honor, I’m going back to this lovely book tonight.

Last time we looked at this book, we left off at the start of Day 268. The first sentence of that day is one I’d really like to know how to say in German:

“She’s devoured our dried fruit, every crumb, and all the sugar’s gone but dust.”
= Sie hat unsere Trockenfrüchte verschlungen und vom Zucker ist nur noch ein wenig Staub übrig.

Too bad. This one lost the image in translation:
“Though I grumble enough to put any piglet to shame.”
= Aber ich bin besorgt deswegen.
(Google translate: “But I’m worried about that.”)

“wheel of cheese” = Laib Käse (“Loaf cheese”)

“The rats will be heartbroken.”
= Das wird den Ratten das Herz brechen.

“careful” = sorgsam

“coffin” = Sarg

“dizzy” = schwindelig

“I swore an oath.” = Ich habe einen Eid geschworen.

“dimple” = Grübchen

“How she droops and moans”
= Wie sie stöhnt und sich hängen lässt

“purpose” = Lebenszweck

“chief of animals” = Tieroberin

“real person” = leibhaftigen Menschen

“headache or bellyache”
= Kopfschmerzen oder Bauchweh
(“head-pain or belly-woe”)

“whatever troubles her inside”
= was sie innerlich quält

“wail” = Wehklagen (“Woe-complaint”)

“throat” = Kehle

“curled up against me”
= schmiegte sich an mich

“pea toss” = Erbsenwerfen

“progress” = Fortschritte

More images disappearing in translation:
“crooked-brained” = verdreht (“twisted”)

It always surprises me when German is shorter:
“perhaps daring one another to draw near”
= vielleicht in einer Art Mutprobe
(“maybe in a kind of courage-test”)

“uncovered hole” = deckellose Loch

“haul (up)” = hochhieven

“shivering dark” = bebende Dunkelheit

“She looks at the whole world as though it crouches over, ready to pounce.”
= Sie betrachtet die ganze Welt, als ob sie nur darauf warten würde, ihr wehzutun.
(“She looks at the whole world, as if it’s only waiting to bring woe to her.”)

“Her eyes wandered.”
= Sie konnte den Blick nicht stillhalten.
(“She could her gaze not steady-keep.”)

“where the barest slip of breeze comes through the crack between bricks”
= wo sich nur der Hauch einer Brise durch die Ritzen fädelt

“arrows” = Pfeilen

And the final sentence for tonight, the last sentence of Day 640:
“The heat is so huge, I have no space left for thoughts.”
= Die Hitze ist so gewaltig, dass für Gedanken kein Platz mehr in mir ist.

That’s all for now! Now the challenge is to try to use your new German words this week!

Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tage, Day 160

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

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.

Buch_Tausend_Tage

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.

Book of a Thousand Days – Day 158

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

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.

Buch_Tausend_Tage

This week I’m in the mood for that book I love so much — Book of a Thousand Days, Das Buch der Tausend Tage, by Shannon Hale.

Last time we visited this book, we left off ready to start Day 158, on page 57 in the English edition, Seite 68 auf Deutsch:

“until I put the brush to paper” = als ich den Pinsel aufs Papier setzte

“my lap” = meinem Schoß

“saucy things” = schlüpfrige Bemerkungen

“by the orange light of the fire” = im orangefarbenen Feuerschein
(“orange-colored fire-shine”)

“fawn” = Rehkitz

“spooked” = verängstigt

“she couldn’t speak or move” = Sie war wie versteinert.

“screamed” = geschrien

“metal spikes” = Eisennägeln

“chuckling” = gluckste

“a log full of hornets” = ein Hornissennest

“sweetly” = zuckersüß (“sugar-sweet”)

“hiding game” = Versteckspiel

“she squeaked like rusted hinges” = sie quietschte wie verrostete Scharniere

“crying” = Heulerei

“corners and folds” = Ecken und Ritzen

“sacks of barley” = Gerstesäcken

This is fun in German:
“two braids” = Zwei Zöpfen

“his knees shook” = ihm schlotterten die Knie

“dull” = stumpf

“prey” = Beutetiers

“rasp” = Krächzen

“smothered” = erstickt

“prowess” = Heldenhaft

“as tired as a weeping willow in full leaf”
= so müde wie eine Trauerweide in vollem Grün

I especially like the first part of the last sentence in this section:
“His purring shakes my lap but steadies my hand.”
= Sein Schnurren schüttelt meinen Schoß, aber es schenkt meiner Hand die nötige Ruhe.

That’s all for tonight! If I go on much longer, I’ll be so müde wie eine Trauerweide in vollem Grün.

Sonderling Sunday – Book of a Thousand Days

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

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.

Buch_Tausend_Tage

This week I’m back to one of my favorite books in English, Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon HaleDas Buch der Tausend Tage.

Last time, I left off ready to start Day 35.

I’ll start with a nice pleasant sentence from Tag 35:
“I hope he has a safe journey.”
= Hoffentlich kommt er sicher voran.
(“Hopefully comes he safely ahead.”)

And this is good to know, from Day 39:
“I’m in love!” = Ich bin verliebt!

Oooh, I like these sentences too much not to include them, even though the translation isn’t complicated:
“My heart’s so light it floats and carries me so my feet don’t walk.”
= Mein Herz ist so leicht, dass es in der Luft schwebt und mich trägt, sodass meine Füße nicht laufen müssen.

“I sing all day and I don’t mind the washing, and that’s how I know I’m in love.”
= Ich singe den ganzen Tag und die Wäsche macht mir nichts aus. Daran erkenne ich, dass ich verliebt bin.

Now I have to finish the paragraph!
“Completely smitten with My Lord the cat.”
= Hin und weg von Mylord, dem Kater.
(Bwahaha! Google Translate gives a very funny translation for this:
“Toward and away from my Lord, the hangover.”)

“sleek and gray” = schlank und grau

“prettier than a morning sky” = hübscher als der Morgenhimmel

“mangy” = räudig

I love Shannon Hale’s use of language, and it translates well here:
“they wheezed like startled snakes”
= sie schnauften wie afgeschreckte Schlangen

“petted” = gestreichelt

“never occurred to me before” = ist mir zuvor nie in den Kopf gekommen
(“has to me before never in my head come.”)

“rim of ice” = Eisschicht

“bucket” = Eimer

“funeral” = Begräbnis

“a lower tone” = eine tiefere Tonlage

“high harmony” = hohen Akkorden

“rolled up” = hüllte

“smothered” = erstickte

“my jaw was hammering” = pochte es in meinem Kiefer
(“throbbed it in my jaw”)

“reindeer” = Elchfell

“what I gave him in return” = was ich ihm im Gegenzug gab

“crumble into a heap of ash” = zu einem Häufchen Asche verbrenne

I’m going to stop there — just before a much longer section, Day 158. (I’m going to read it in English to myself, though, before I shut the book. It’s a dramatic part!)

May you be so happy this week that you can say, Mein Herz ist so leicht, dass es in der Luft schwebt und mich trägt, sodass meine Füße nicht laufen müssen.

Meanwhile, ich singe den ganzen Tag.

Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tage, Day 32

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

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!

Okay, it’s a little late for it tonight, but hey, it’s Daylight Savings Time, so my body doesn’t realize that I should be tired. I’ll try for a short one.

And it’s time to go back to one of my favorite English books, Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale, >Das Buch der Tausend Tage, with the so gorgeous German cover.

Buch_Tausend_Tage

Last time (which I can’t believe was a year ago!), I left off before Day 32, which starts on page 31 in the English edition, and Seite 42 in the German edition.

Right away, there’s something that’s more easily said in English:
“whisper-shouting”
= flüsterte und rief zur gleichen Zeit
(“whispered and shouted at the same time”)

This is fun in German:
“mending a stocking” = stopfte einen Strumpf

It’s interesting when onomatopoeia is done so differently, but it works:
“Rap, rap, rap” = Tack, tack, tack.

“rotten” = abscheulich

“palms” = Handflächen (“Hand surfaces”)

“wooden spoon” = Holzlöffel

“puddle of moonlight” = Lache Mondlicht

“double stitched” = doppelt genähtem

“I knew he was teasing me” = ich wusste, dass er mich nur neckte

“friendly insult” = wohlgesonnene Beleidigung (Google: “sympathetic insult”)

“sturdy ankles” = stramme Knöchel

“slippers” = Pantoffeln

“the kind with the toe curled up prettily”
= solche mit einer hübsch gebogenen Spitze
(“such with a pretty bowed tip”)

“metal catch” = Eisenhaken

“pine bough” = Tannenzweig

“winter nap” = Winterschlummer

“Midwinter” = Wintersonnenwende (“winter-sun-turn”)

“to feast until it hurts” = zu prassen, bis es wehtut

“felt tents” = Filzjurten

“blotchy face” = fleckiges Gesicht

“browned and callused hands” = braunen schwieligen Hände

“barrel of water” = Wasserfass

“silliest song” = albernste Lied

“bodiless piglet” = Ferkel ohne Körper

“Happily snuffling” = Fröhlich schnüffelts

“grumble” = nörgeln

“brush” (for writing) = Pinsel (Ah! I just learned where the word “pencil” came from.)

“wistful” = wehmütig

“twisting and floating” = zuckend und schwebend

And that’s all for tonight! I finished Day 32.

But what useful things we’ve learned! After all, who would want to travel in Germany without knowing how to say “bodiless piglet”?

Sonderling Sunday – Day 31 of a Thousand Days

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

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.

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

Last time I looked at this book, I was on Day 31, which is page 26 in the English version, and Seite 37 auf Deutsch.

I think of Sonderling Sunday as a silly phrase book. Imagine coming across these in a phrase book. You know they’re useful phrases, since they’ve actually gotten used in a book!

It begins:
“A few minutes ago, we heard a voice.”
= Vor wenigen Minuten hörten wir eine Stimme.

“hiding her face in my neck” = barg das Gesicht an meinem Hals

“I gasped.” = Ich rang um luft. (“I struggled for breath.”)

“the flap” = die Klappe

“I fetched a wooden spoon and lodged it against the flap to hold it open.”
= Ich klemmte einen Holzlöffel in die Klappe, damit sie offen blieb.

“started to pace and fret and rub her head”
= tigerte umher, rang die Hände und raufte sich die Haare

“Say you are me.” = Behaupte, du wärst ich.

“shook like a rabbit” = bebte wie ein Kaninchen

“her voice was hard and full of the knowledge that she’s gentry”
= war ihre Stimme barsch im vollen Bewusstsein dessen, dass sie hier die Adlige ist

“a sin most gruesome” = eine schlimme Sünde

“stuttered hideously” = stammelte fürchterlich

“my words mimicking my scattered heartbeat”
= meine Worte kamen im Rhythmus meines stockenden Herzschlags
(“my words came in the rhythm of my faltering heartbeats”)

“tip of his boot” = Schuhspitze

“war chief” = Kriegshäuptling

“loads of food” = massenweise Lebensmittel

“salted mutton” = gepökelten Hammel

“I’m relieved.” = Das tröstet mich.

“Feeling as though I had swallowed a great lump of knotted rope”
= Ich fühlte mich, als hätte ich ein großes Stück verknotetes Tau verschluckt

“clank shut” = scheppernd zufiel

That’s it for that day! And for this day. Das tröstet mich to get back to Sonderling Sunday! This week, we’re finishing up judging for the Cybils. Don’t forget to check the announcements on Friday! But it’s fun to squeeze in another frivolous post, even as I’m madly reading!

Sonderling Sunday – Day 13, Das Buch der Tausend Tage

Monday, February 4th, 2013

It’s Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with words by looking at the German translation of children’s books. Okay, Sunday is almost over, and I probably should forgo Sonderling Sunday until February is done and I’ve gotten moved. But I’m copying CDs anyway, and it really is fun. I’ll just do a little bit….

This week, I’m going to go back to Das Buch der Tausend Tage, The Book of a Thousand Days, by one of my favorite authors, Shannon Hale.

Last time I looked at this book, we covered Day 6 and Day 11 of Dashti’s journal in the tower. Today we’ll tackle Day 13.

This is much more prosaic than what we find in Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, but it’s a bit more useful:

“While I was washing up tonight” = Als ich heute Abend den Abwasch machte

I like this sentence. The word for “toe” of a shoe is different than the word for the part of your foot, Zeh.
“She wears fashionable shoes with the toe long and curled toward her ankle.”
= Sie trägt modische Schuhe mit einem langen Schnabel, der sich zu ihrem Knöchel krümmt.
(Literally, according to Google Translate, that would translate back as, “She wears fashionable shoes with a long beak, that to her ankles curl.”)

“Ancestors” = Ahnen

“I feel like a mucker from the ends of my hair to the mud of my bones.”
= Ich fühle mich von den Haarspitzen bis ins Mark meiner Knochen wie eine Aratin.
(German uses “marrow” of my bones, which makes sense, but loses the colorful language Shannon Hale used.)

Ha! I saw this and thought they were talking about e-mail for a second!
“enamel tiles” = Emailziegeln

Hmm. In German, they say the lord’s house is as beautiful as baumen, trees, in Autumn, instead of “beautiful as a mountain in Autumn.” Again, I think it’s losing a little of Dashti’s voice.

“women were wailing, men were yelling” = die Frauen heulten, die Männer brüllten

“waiting for someone to be sensible” = wartete auf einen vernünftigen Menschen (“waiting for a reasonable man”)

“errand boys” = Botenjungen (“request-youths”)

Here’s a good one!
“squinting” = mit zusammengekniffenen Augen (“with together-slitted eyes”)

“puffy” = verquollen

Again, not quite as picturesque language:
“straight as a tent pole” = stocksteif (“stock-stiff”)

“muddle of her hair” = ihre zerzausten Haare

“fur or felt” = Fell oder Filz

“embroidered” = bestickt

“sunset” = Sonnenuntergang (“sun’s exit”)

I like this, too:
“as if fighting off a fit of sobs” = als wollte sie einen Weinkrampf unterdrücken
(“as if she wanted to a crying-spasm push under”)

“lovely” = liebreizend

“bleating” = plärrst

“your mess” = dein Schlamassel

“a touch of sympathy” = ein Hauch Mitgefühl

“from duty” = aus Pflichtgefühl

“cowards” = Feiglinge

“useless” = überflüssig (“overflowing,” “superfluous”)

“birth splotches” = Storchenbissen (“stork bites”)

“rummaging” = wühlte

“hooks” = Bügeln (Hmm. I bet that’s where Bugles got their name, from their shapes.)

“enviable” = beneidenswerte

“rebellion” = Auflehnung

“suspicious of the sun” = voller Argwohn gegen die Sonne (“full of suspicion against the sun”)

“a heap of sticks and felt” = ein Haufen Stangen und Filz

“blessed” = guthie?en (“good-called”)

That’s it for Day 13. Believe me, I didn’t do it aus Pflichtgefühl, but for fun. But now it’s getting late. I don’t want to do this so long, I end up mit zusammengekniffenen Augen. (That one’s a tongue-twister as well as a cool word.) Zum Bett! Until next week, if all goes well…

Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tage

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! – Otherwise known as Nerdy Sonntag. That’s when I play with language by finding German translations of useless and interesting phrases in children’s books.

I’m going to do something a little different tonight. I got the idea of Sonderling Sunday thanks to the brilliant and kind James Kennedy sending me a copy of his book Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, the translation of The Order of Odd-Fish. It even has Sonderlinge in the title!

But, let’s face it, it’s taking a long time to go through the book! That’s because my German is definitely not fluent, and it takes me time to wade through the text, find interesting phrases to use, and such. Now, I have quite a collection of German books, and recently the fabulous Shannon Hale sent me a copy of one of my all-time favorite books, Book of a Thousand Days, translated into German, Das Buch der Tausend Tage.

So, here’s what I think I’ll do: Every other week, I’ll go back to Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge and continue to slowly make my way through it. But on alternate weeks, I’ll look at other books, such as the delightful translation, Winnie der Pu, the Harry Potter series, and another all-time favorite, Momo, by Michael Ende, which was originally written in German. (Right now, my son has taken it with him to the dorm. But all in good time.)

Tonight, in appreciation to Shannon Hale for her kind gift, and because I’ve been itching to get to it, I will begin with Das Buch der Tausend Tage.

I took this picture when she sent me Das Buch der Tausend Tage along with an Advance Reader Copy of Palace of Stone.

Let’s start with stats. As always, the German version is longer. In English, we’ve got 308 pages, contrasted with 319 in German. So it’s not a big difference, but the German print is somewhat smaller.

As with Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, I will try not to give any spoilers, but do hope that I’ll pick some intriguing sentences and phrases that will motivate some readers to pick up the book.

I think it’s nice to start off with the first section. “Part One, The Tower” is Erster Teil, Der Turm In English, we have:

Day 1

My lady and I are being shut up in a tower for seven years.

Lady Saren is sitting on the floor, staring at the wall, and hasn’t moved even to scratch for an hour or more. Poor thing. It’s a shame I don’t have fresh yak dung or anything strong-smelling to scare the misery out of her.

The men are bricking up the door, and I hear them muttering and scraping cement. Only a small square of unbricked sky and light still gape at me. I smile back at its mean grin to show I’m not scared. Isn’t it something, all the trouble they’re going to for us? I feel like a jewel in a treasure box, though my lady is the —

Auf Deutsch:

Tag 1

Meine Herrin und ich werden für sieben Jahre in einen Turm gesperrt.

Lady Saren sitzt auf dem Boden, starrt die Mauer an und hat sich seit einer Stunde nicht mal gekratzt. Die Ärmste, Schade, dass ich keinen frischen Yak-Fladen oder etwas anderes streng Riechendes habe. Ich möchte sie erschrecken, damit sie ihr Elend vergisst.

Die Männer mauern die Tür zu. Ich höre, wie sie murmeln und kratzend den Zement verteilen. Oben klafft nur noch ein kleines, nicht zugemauertes Viereck aus Himmel und Licht. Ich lächele gegen sein gemeines Grinsen an, um zu zeigen, dass ich mich nicht fürchte. Das ist doch schon mal was, dass sie sich unseretwegen so viel Mühe geben. Ich fühle mich wie ein Edelstein in einer Schmuckschatulle, obwohl ja meine Herrin der. . .

Ah, did I think the less bizarre story would yield less interesting phrases to talk about? The beginning has already born fruit. I mean, who wouldn’t want to know how to say “fresh yak dung,” frischen Yak-Fladen, in German? Some more:

“hasn’t even moved to scratch for an hour or more” = hat sich seit einer Stunde nicht mal gekratzt (The translator’s gone briefer in German — “has for an hour not once scratched.”)

“Poor thing.” = Die Ärmste

“scraping cement” = kratzend den Zement verteilen (“scratching the cement to distribute” — see that same root earlier in gekratzt? It’s a good sound for “scratch”!)

“gape” = oben klafft

“a jewel in a treasure box” = ein Edelstein in einer Schmuckschatulle

Going on:

“stupor” = Lähmung (How lame!)

“clawing” = krallte

“trying to shove her way out” = sich mit aller Kraft in die Freiheit zu schieben (“with all her strength in freedom to push”)

“Like an angry piglet.” = Wie ein wütendes Ferkel.

“Stay until your heart softens like long-boiled potatoes.” = Du bleibst da drin, bis dein Herz weich wird wie Kartoffeln, die zu lang gekocht wurden. (“You stay in there, until your heart becomes soft like potatoes, that were too long boiled.” Hmm. A little more awkward that way. But aren’t you glad to know how to say it?)

“to kill you on sight” = dich augenblicklich zu töten

This has a ring to it:
“to think about disobedience” = dir deinen Ungehorsam auszutreiben (“to drive out your disobedience”)

“Until you are meek with regret” = Ehe du nicht lammfromm wirst vor Reue

“feisty ram” = widerspenstigen Bock

This one’s a bit better in English:
“skinny as a skinned hare” = mager wie ein gehäuteter Hase

“the calming song” = das Trostlied

“snoring on my lap” = schnarchend auf meinen Scho?

I like this in both languages:
“Sticky sobs shake my lady even while she sleeps.” = Meine Herrin wird im Schlaf von schwerem Schluchzen geschüttelt. (“My lady in sleep from heavy sobs shakes.”)

“metal flap” = Eisenklappe

“chamber pot” = Nachttopf (“night pot”)

“mucker” = Aratenmädchen

So, that’s a good start! I’m looking forward to attempting to use such handy-dandy phrases as frischen Yak-fladen, das Trostlied, ein Edelstein in einer Schmuckschatulle, wie ein wütendes Ferkel and especially schnarchend auf meinen Scho?.

Tune in next week, as we’ll find out more about what the Belgische Scherzkeks is up to!