Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tages

Surprise! 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.

Way too many years ago now, I lived in Germany for ten years, and while I was there collected some children’s books in German. I also solicited German translations from certain authors who mentioned their lovely translated books on social media. I like to keep my German a little less rusty by trying to read those German translations. And it reminds me of the silly phrases that appear in phrase books that you would never use, and thought I’d make a silly phrasebook out of children’s book translations, and that’s how the series got started.

It’s a surprise today because I have very much fallen out of the habit of posting these. And since I connected it to Sunday and now go to a gaming group on Sunday afternoons, it’s all too easy to skip. In fact, the last time I used Shannon Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days, Das Buch der Tausend Tage (such a wonderful book!), translated by Anne Brauner, was when the Covid-19 pandemic was just getting started and we could all relate to being confined to a tower.

But here I am today, with my timer set for an hour, so let’s begin!

English text will be in quotes, German in italics and if the Google translate from German is different, that will be in parentheses.

Last time, we left off at the start of Day 928. The Lady and her servant are still trapped in the tower, the servant doing the journaling. Here’s the first sentence:
“If my script wiggles, it’s because my hand won’t be steady.”
= Wenn meine Schrift schwankt, liegt es daran, dass ich die Hand nicht ruhig halten kann.

“bricked up” = zugemauert

“Just ripe for the picking” =
Lasst uns das Blümchen brechen! (“Let us break the flower!”)

“log” = Holzklotz

“weak spot” = Schwachstelle

“wet marks” = Spuren von Nässe (“traces of wetness”)

“rescue” = Rettung

“She’s a ball of trembling”
= Sie ist eine bibbernde Kugel

I like the alliteration here:
“the rats chittering around her”
= die Ratten zischen zwitschernd um sie herum
(“the rats hiss and chirp around her”)

“brave” = tapfer

“run away” = weglaufen

“tear at their eyes” = die Augen auskratzen werde

“more dangerous than a mad rat” = gefährlicher als eine wütende Ratte

“shard of the kitchen knife” = die versehrte Klinge des Küchenmessers
(“the damaged blade of the kitchen knife”)

“battering” = der Sturm auf den Turm (“the storming of the tower” – guess they couldn’t resist the rhyme)

“that’s a blessing” = ein Segen erscheint (“a blessing appears”)

Love those long words!
“tight together on the same mattress”
= aneinandergeschmiegt auf einer Matratze
(“on-one-another-nestled on one matress”)

“the ladder squeaks” = die Leiter knarrt

“In the tar black dark” = In der pechschwarzen Dunkelheit

“dried peas” = Dörrerbsen

“comfort” = Trost

“I wish I had a cat curled up in my lap, his sleep purr singing that everything is all right.”
= Wenn sich bloß ein Kater auf meinem Schoss zusammenrollen würde und sein schläfriges Schnurren summte, dass alles in Ordnung ist.

“crouching” = kauern

“It doesn’t matter.” =Es spielt keine Rolle. (“It plays no role.”)

“salted meat” = Pökelsfleischs

“enough to eat” = genügend Nahrung

“snoring” = Schnarchen

“a ram with a cold” = ein erkälteter Bock

I love it when the German’s shorter than the English:
“wax from a cheese wheel” = Käserinde

“lit” = zündete

“the sound of its claws” = das Kratzen der Krallen

“a stinging breath of late Autumn air” = der beißende Hauch der Herbstluft

And I made it to the end of Part One! This is the last sentence:
“And save my lady, who once said that her mucker maid was her best friend.”
= Und versucht, meine Herrin zu retten, die einst sagte, ihre Aratendienerin wäre ihre beste Freundin.

Okay, that’s enough for today! I very much hope you never sound like ein erkälteter Bock and never be described as eine bibbernde Kugel! Here’s wishing you many Segen.

Sonderling Sunday – Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge – Chapter 26

Believe it or not, 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 book, focusing on very silly phrases of course you want to learn in German. Sort of a highly impractical phrase book for very silly travelers.

Yes, it’s been a very long time since I’ve done Sonderling Sunday. I usually play games with my gaming group on Sunday — except now to make things even more complicated, I’m dating a guy who lives two hours away, and Sunday is usually the day we can manage to get together. If only I hadn’t tied Sonderling Sunday to a day of the week! Except that Sunday is also the perfect day for setting aside productivity and doing frivolous and silly things. Anyway, in my disappointment of neither of those activities happening today, I can at least make the best of things and write a Sonderling Sunday post.

And today I began reading an advance reader copy of James Kennedy‘s new book, Dare to Know, and that made me think of Sonderling Sunday and how close I am to finishing going through the book that started it all, James Kennedy’s The Order of Odd-Fish, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge.

Yikes! The last time we looked at Odd-Fish was almost a year ago! And after years of close examination and teasing translated tidbits, we are oh, so close to the end! Tonight we’re looking at Chapter 26, Kapitel 26, and, dear Reader, there are only 28 chapters in all!

It begins on page 357, Seite 453 auf Deutsch.

So let’s delve right in with the first sentence:

“Jo landed and was overwhelmed.”
= Jo landete und wurde fast von den Zuschauern überwältigt.
(“Jo landed and was almost by the onlookers overwhelmed.” — Seems like the translator has elaborated a bit.)

“Jo was in a daze.”
= Jo war wie benommen.

“ruby palace” = Rubinpalast

“doorknob” = “Türknauf

“to fall apart” = zusammenbrechen (“together-break”)

“one wrong move” = eine falsche Bewegung

“victory party” = Siegesparty

“mobbed” = umzingelt

Here’s something we say more easily in English:
“Phil Snurr pumped her arm”
= schüttelte Phil Snurr ihr die Hand, bis ihre Schulter wehtat
(“shook Phil Snurr her hand, until her shoulder hurt”)

“nailed her” = sie fertiggemacht (“her finished-made”)

“was burned in her eyes”
= war in ihre Netzhaut wie eingebrannt
(“was in her retina burned”)

“good-naturedly” = gutmütig

“her bruises and cuts and aches”
= ihre Wunden und Schnitte und ihre schmerzenden Knochen
(“her wounds and cuts and her aching bones”)

“exposed” = enttarnt

“bang” = Knall

“in a small voice” = Stimme klang kläglich (“voice sounded pathetic”)

“surrender” = Kapitulation

I like the way this sounds:
“and trudged out of the room, sniffing”
= und schlurfte schniefend aus dem Saal
(“and shuffled sniffing out of the hall”)

And that’s where I’m going to have to stop tonight. I’m nowhere near the end of the chapter, but I will still endeavor not to schlurfe schnüffelnd aus dem Saal

I won’t promise bis bald! this time, but some day, I vow, I will finish the tantalizing translation tidbits from Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge!

Sonderling Sunday – The Battle’s Thrilling Finish

Surprise! It’s been months since I’ve done it, but tonight it’s time for Sonderling Sunday!

Sonderling Sunday is 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 armchair travelers.

Since I’m skipping so many weeks now, I’m going back to the Sonderbook that gave me the idea, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, with the original English title The Order of Odd-fish, by James Kennedy.

Last time, which I’m afraid was back in April, we left off on page 353 in the English edition, Seite 449 auf Deutsch. For a very long time, Jo and Fiona have been fighting a bitter battle. (I try not to give away any spoilers, just intrigue you with the language and phrases used, so I won’t say more than that.)

The way the next section begins hints at the drama:
“Jo grabbed the bars of the cage, hanging on. It wasn’t over until she fell in the water.”
= Sie erwischte die Stangen des Gitters und hielt sich fest. Der Kampf war erst vorbei, wenn sie ins Wasser fiel.

See if you can find a reason to use this sentence this week:
“But she had lost her ostrich.”
=Aber sie hatte ihren Stauß verloren.

The translator has often lost alliteration:
“she was bruised, bloody, and broken”
=sie war übel mitgenommen, blutüberströmt und am Ende ihrer Kräfte
(“she was evilly run-down, blood-overflowing and at the end of her strength”)

“gibbered” = plapperte sinnlos (“babbled senselessly”)

“a black, sludgy gelatin” = eine schwarze, schlammige Gelatine

“the universe itself might unravel”
= das Universum selbst möglicherweise vernichtet werden würde

“She was still clinging to the side of the cage.”
= Sie klammerte sich noch immer an den Käfigstäben fest.

“bestial and ugly, screaming for blood”
= bestialisch, hässlich und nach Blut schreiend

“bucked fiercely” = bockte wild

“every chance” = bei jeder sich bietenden Gelegenheit

“waving her over” = winkten sie zu sich.

Long word alert:
“opposite side” = gegenüberliegenden Seite

“stamping, hollering, and pressing their faces against the cage”
= stampften und brüllten und pressten ihre Gesichter gegen den Käfig

“encouragement” = Aufmunterungen

“screamed abuse” = beschimpften sie

“extra lance” = Ersatzlanze

“blast” = Knall

“clogging the doors and hallways” = verstopften Türen und Gänge

“unheard-of” = absolut unerhört

“breaking the furniture” = zertrümmerte die Möbel

“debris” = Trümmer

“flung aside” = beiseitegestoßen

“squirting out of her eyes” = spritzte aus ihren Augen

“running out her nose” = lief aus ihrer Nase

“gurgling in the back of her throat” = gurgelte in ihrer Kehle

“seeping from under her fingernails” = sickerte unter ihren Fingernägeln hervor

“in the back of her throat” = an ihrem Gaumen

“piteously” = erbärmlich

“dark and angry” = düster und wütend

“thunderous cheer” = donnernder Jubel

And the last sentence of Chapter 25:
“She had betrayed them all.”
= Sie hatte sie alle betrogen.

Auf wiedersehen! Now until next time, see how many of these phrases you can work into conversation, preparing for the day when we can travel to Germany again! When that day comes, we’ll surely hear donnernder Jubel. Let this be Aufmunterungen until that day! Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Duel in the Dome of Doom

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, the 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 armchair travelers. Tonight I’m back to the Sonderbook that started this series, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, with the original English title The Order of Odd-fish, by James Kennedy.

Last time we looked at this book, we left off on page 350, Seite 445 in the German edition. Fiona and Jo are finally beginning their duel!

Just in case you ever get yourself into a duel in Germany, you’ll want to know how to say this:

“Jo swung her leg over Ethelred, and the ostrich sprang to its feet.”
= Jo schwang sich auf Ethelred und der Strauß sprang auf.

“Ethelred scampered back, spun, hunched, and charged into the air, diving toward Fiona.”
= Ethelred nahm Anlauf, drehte sich um, duckte sich, sprang hoch in die Luft und stürzte sich dann auf Fiona hinunter.

“Jo brandished her lance” = Jo schwang ihre Lanze

I’d like to think of a reason to say this:
“so that fire blossomed out either side”
= sodass aus beiden Enden Flammen schossen
(“so that out of both ends flames shot”)

“the flames zigzagging blindingly”
= die Flammen blendend hin und her loderten
(“the flames dazzlingly back and forth blazing”)

“clawed each other” = mit den Klauen nacheinander schlugen

“distant darkness” = fernen Schwärze

“a tiny, colorful man, dancing”
= ein winziger bunter Mann zu tanzen

“She gasped for air.”
= Sie rang nach Luft.

“overwhelmed” = überwältigt

“tiny glowing man” = kleine glühende Mann

One of those nice long German words:
“one-second snatches” = Sekundenbruchteilen

“crumb of color” = Farbpunkt (“color-point”)

“I’m blacking out!”
= Ich verliere das Bewusstsein

“noise” = Lärm

“encouragement” = irgendetwas Ermutigendes (“anything encouraging”)

“This time Fiona didn’t mess around.”
= Diesmal spielte Fiona nicht herum.

Not a bad job translating this:
“Fiona’s lance stabbed, slashed, bashed, and skewered her”
= Fiona stach und schlug mit ihrer Lanze zu, hämmerte und rammte sie

“biting into her armor”
= zertrümmerte ihre Rüstung

“tearing at the fur”
=riss an dem Fell

“burning her skin”
= verbrannte ihre Haut

“pummeling her”
= verprügelte sie

“practicing” = geübt

“growling and snapping” = knurrten und schnappten

“striking range” = Reichweite (“kingdom-width”)

“skill” = Geschicklichkeit

“to hold Fiona at bay” = sich Fiona vom Hals zu halten
(“Fiona from the neck to hold”)

“The crowd groaned and booed.”
= Die Menge stöhnte und buhte.

“feints” = Täuschungen

“stabs” = Hieben

“thrusts” = Schlägen

“slashes” = Prügeln

“The crowd cheered wildly.”
= Die Menge johlte vor Vergnügen

“seething power” = kochender Macht

“sticky” = klebrigen

“back of her head” = Hinterkopf

“undertow” = Strömungen

“The crowd went nuts.” = Die Zuschauer drehten förmlich durch.

“victory swoop” = Siegesschleife

“fray” = Manege (“ring”)

“audacious move” = kühne Aktion

“somersaulting through the air” = Purzelbäume durch die Luft

I’ll finish with this dramatic sentence:
“Finally, with a ferocious kick, the ostrich flung her across the arena, and Jo hit the cage wall.”
= Schließlich schleuderte der Strauß sie mit einem wilden Tritt quer durch die Arena und Jo landete an der Wand des Käfigs.

May you have lots of occasions to make a Siegesschleife this week!

Sonderling Sunday – Confined in a Tower

I’ve got it! The perfect book for Coronavirus Quarantines! In Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale, the heroine and her lady are walled up in a tower for a thousand days. This will make you feel like your quarantine or self-isolating is nothing at all! So tonight’s choice for Sonderling Sunday is Das Buch der Tausend Tage.

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, when I look at the German translations of children’s books. You can think of it as a very silly phrasebook, with all the things you never thought you’d need to say in another language, laid out for you here.

Last time, we left off ready to begin Day 795 in the tower, Tag 795. It’s on page 93 in the English edition, Seite 106 auf Deutsch. You can think about ways you might use this first sentence:

“There is an odor about my lady, like a dung heap on a hot day.”
= Meine Herrin hat einen Geruch an sich wie ein Misthaufen an einem heißen Tag.

I like the next sentence, too:

“If my script looks ill, it’s because I closed my eyes as I wrote that.”
= Wenn meine Schrift krakelig aussieht, liegt es daran, dass ich beim Schreiben die Augen geschlossen hatte.

“jailed” = eingesperrt

“tricks” = Streiche

“nibbled” = gepickt

“any quantity of flat bread”
= eine Unmenge Fladenbrot

“grumbles” = grummelt

“like a beast feeding on short grass”
= wie ein Tier, das niedriges Gras abweidet

“Strangely” = Komischerweise

“vomited” = sich erbrach

“stored grain” = gelagertem Mehl

“dump” = kippen

“squeaking madly” = quieken wie verrückt

“just to laugh at me” = nur um mich auszulachen

“limbs” = Glieder

“It’s such a relief!”
= Was für eine Erleichterung!

“We’ll find a way.”
= Wir werden einem Weg finden.

“mortar” = Mörtel

“scraping” = weggekratzt

“Rat meat is not tasty.”
= Rattenfleisch schmeckt nicht himmlisch.

“stringy meat” = sehnige Fleisch

“chewed and swallowed” = kaute und schluckte

Gotta do this one!
“odd” = sonderbar

And I’ll finish up with a sentence at the end of Day 928:
“It makes me smile to think of how brilliant they are at surviving.”
= Ich muss lächeln, weil sie so fantastische Überlebenskünstler sind.

That’s enough for tonight! No matter how long you end up staying home in the coming weeks, I hope you never have occasion to use very many of these phrases! Bis bald!

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?

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!

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!

Sonderling Sunday – Seltsamen Sonderlinge Kapitel 25

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, we’re back to the book that started it all, The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy, otherwise known as Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge.

Last time, we left off ready to begin Chapter Twenty-Five! There are twenty-eight chapters in the book, so we have almost given tidbits from the entire book — without giving away the plot, I might add. I hope I have merely tantalized my readers, while giving them handy phrases to use the next time they travel to Germany. This first sentence, for example, could come in handy:

“Jo didn’t remember how she got back to the lodge.”
= Jo konnte sich nicht daran erinnern, wie sie zum Logenhaus zurückgekommen war.

“crumpled” = zerknittert

“boiled furiously” = kochte brodelnd

“twisting up her guts” = verdrehte ihr die Gedärme

“exhausted” = erschöpft

Sometimes the translator just had to draw out and explain the playful English:
“Her brain itched with needles and worms and fizzing sparks”
= Nadeln schienen sie ins Hirn zu stechen, Würmer wanden sich und Funken stoben
(“Needles seemed her in the brain to pierce, worms writhed and sparks flew”)

“pleaded” = angefleht

“slosh around” = herumschwappte

“rattled and bounced” = ratternd und schaukelnd

“exciting” = aufregend

“enticing” = verlockende

“exuberant crowd” = ausgelassene Menge

“disinfectant” = Desinfektionsmittel

“opposite corner” = gegenüberliegenden Ecke

I hope you’ll never say this, but here it is if you need it:
“If you die, too bad.”
= Wenn ihr sterbt, Pech gehabt.

“Razzle-dazzle” = Tamtam

“Deceit” = Arglist

“left big toe” = linken dicken Zeh

“thigh” = Oberschenkel

“show of respect” = Respektbezeugungen

“fondling” = liebkoste

That’s all for tonight! If you encounter any ausgelassene Menge this week, I hope you will find it aufregend and verlockend, but that you won’t be too erschöpft for some Tamtam! Bis bald!

Sonderling Sunday – Das Buch der Tausend Tage – Tag 268

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!