Sonderling Sunday – Book of a Thousand Days

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.


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 – Day 31 of a Thousand Days

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 – Book of a Thousand Days, Day 14

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

Last time, I left off just before Day 14, Tag 14.

My method is to pick out interesting and useful phrases that it suddenly seems vital how to say in another language. You don’t have to have read the book, though I always hope the phrases I choose might intrigue you into doing so if you haven’t already.

“sacks of barley” = Gerstesäcken

“squeaks and scratches kept nipping at my dreams”
= ein Quieken und Scharren kratzte an meinen Träumen.

“to spare” = abzwacken (Google: “extort”)

“nibbled” = geknabbert

“tallow candles” = =Talglichter

“rat-spoiled food” = rattenverseuchtem Essen

“fashioned” = gebastelt (“tinkered”)

“sharp” = spitz

I like it when German words are actually shorter:
“the lid of a barrel” = einen Fassdeckel

“rocking” = wiegt

“Ancestors” = Ahnen

“But what ails her?” = Doch was ist ihr Leiden?

“heartsick” = Liebeskummer

“can’t wrap my thoughts around” = bleibt mir verborgen (“remains hidden from me”)

“a man from legend” = sagenhafter Mann

“squinting” = geblinzelt

“spooks” = erschrickt

“hooked in the chimney” = im Schornstein tobt

“whining” = knarrt

“crawled” = rutschte

“clutched” = umklammerte

“tethered goat” = angepflockte Ziege

“She made my blood shiver.” = Mein Blut erschauerte.

“glimpse her soul” = auf die Seele erhascht

“tired from shaking” = erschöpft vom Zittern

That’s all for tonight. I’m leaving off at the end of Day 27, page 25, which is Seite 37 in the German version.

May you know nothing about rattenverseuchtem Essen, and never have occasion to say, “ein Quieken und Scharren kratzte an meinen Träumen.

Sonderling Sunday – Day 13, Das Buch der Tausend Tage

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…

Stand-out Authors: Shannon Hale

I’ve now posted 12 years of Sonderbooks Stand-outs, and this year I noticed there were a lot of repeats from previous years.

Now, I don’t think I’m biased in a bad way. Yes, I expect good things when I pick up these authors’ books, but they consistently turn out good ones. Some of them can’t seem to write a book I don’t like.

So, looking at only the authors who appeared in the 2012 list, I thought it would be fun to look back at their previous books that were Sonderbooks Stand-outs.

I’m going to start with Shannon Hale, because she has 3 books on the 2012 Stand-outs, and she also has more total books on all the Stand-outs lists than any other one of this year’s authors, with 15 books.

How, you may well ask, did Shannon manage to get more books on my Stand-outs lists than she has published? Well, her books tend to be stand-outs both in print form and as audiobooks.

Let’s do a retrospective.

In 2003, Shannon published her first book, The Goose Girl. It was my favorite book of the year, and #1 in Young Adult Fantasy.

In those days, there weren’t as many book blogs. I e-mailed Shannon to tell her I’d named her book a Sonderbooks Stand-out, and we struck up an e-mail friendship. Judging by how much I love all her books, it’s obvious we are kindred spirits.

2004 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #4 in Fantasy for Young Adults was Enna Burning, the second of the Books of Bayern.

2005 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #9 in Young Adult Fantasy was Princess Academy. I was so happy when it won a Newbery Honor, even though I’m a little more partial to the Books of Bayern myself.

2006 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #2 in Teen Fiction was River Secrets (edged out only by The King of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner)

2007 was Shannon’s first year with multiple Sonderbooks Stand-outs. I got to listen to an audiobook of The Goose Girl (#2 in Audiobooks), and she wrote my favorite book of all of hers, Book of a Thousand Days, which was #1 in Teen Fantasy Fiction. And she broke into adult books with Austenland, which was #2 in Romance Fiction.

She topped her record in 2008 with 4 Sonderbooks Stand-outs:
Three of them were Audiobooks:
Book of a Thousand Days was #1.
Enna Burning was #4.
Princess Academy was #6.
And Rapunzel’s Revenge was #2 Graphic Novel of the year.

2009 Sonderbooks Stand-outs had another of the Books of Bayern, with Forest Born at #3 in Fantasy Teen Fiction.

After 2009, Shannon had twins, so there’s no surprise she had a few years off my lists. In the meantime, I got to meet her at the National Book Festival. I was so happy when she knew who I was as soon as I said my name!

Perhaps it’s getting where I’m biased about Shannon’s books because I like her so much, but I became her friend because of her books, and I’m not going to stop telling people how wonderful I think her books are simply because I think she’s wonderful, too.

And this year she’s back on my 2012 Sonderbooks Stand-outs three times!

Midnight in Austenland completely hit a sweet spot for me. It’s for adults, a Jane Austen take-off, and has a divorced heroine seeing the truth about how valuable she is. It was my favorite adult book of the year.

And then Palace of Stone was #6 in Teen Fiction, and I finally read Shannon’s one book that I hadn’t read yet, The Actor and the Housewife, which was #6 in Other Fiction.

I think it’s safe to call Shannon Hale one of my favorite authors! If you haven’t read all her wonderful books, consider this a To Be Read List!

Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tage

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!