Sonderling Sunday – No Longer Exiled

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 Traveler’s Phrasebook for Very Silly People.

Sonderlinge 1

This week, I’m back to my stand-by, the ever-so-Sonder Der Orden der seltsamen Sonderlinge, by James KennedyThe Order of Odd-Fish.

Last time, we left off with some alliterative headlines. Jo has learned that Aunt Lily is no longer exiled!

We’re on page 236 in the original English version, Seite 298 auf Deutsch.

As usual, we’ll look at whatever interesting phrases catch my eye. Trust me, this won’t give away the plot — though I do hope it intrigues a few people.

Let’s start with the key word:
“exiled” = verbannt

As in:
“This means you’re not exiled any more?”
= Das bedeutet, du bist nicht mehr verbannt?

May you never need to use this sentence:
“The mayor’s dropped the case.”
= Der Bürgermeister hat den Fall eingestellt.

But this is a good phrase to know:
“For now, at least.” = Jedenfalls fürs Erste.

Oh, I like this word!
“nap” = Mittagsschläfchen (“midday-little-sleep”)

Another useful phrase:
“Are you crazy?” = Bist du verrückt geworden?

“she whispered fiercely” = flüsterte sie hitzig

Oo, I like how this sounds in German:
“That the Silent Sisters have gone away?”
= Dass die Stummen Schwestern verschwunden wären?

“They are all on the move.”
= Sie alle sind sehr umtriebig.
(“They all are very go-getting.”)

I hope you don’t need this sentence:
“But I’m living a lie!”
= Aber ich lebe in einer Lüge!

I’ve mentioned this before, but still like knowing the word:
“Inconvenience” = Ärgernis

“people who’ve been sticking their necks out for you”
= die Leute, die für dich ihren Hals riskiert haben

Again, I hope you don’t have reason to say this, but best to be prepared:
“It’s the worst possible plan!”
= Es ist sogar der schlimmstmögliche Plan!

Think about the situation where you might want to say this!
“prying at a mishmash of intertwined mechanisms.”
= wühlte in einem Haufen miteinander verhakter mechanischer Teile.
(“rummaged in a heap together entangled mechanical parts.”)

I always like James Kennedy’s lists of interesting phrases:
“Months of silence, of awkward pauses, of avoiding the topic broke down.”
= All die Monate des Schweigens, der verlegenen Pausen, der Vermeidung dieses Themas forderten ihren Tribut.
(“All these months of silence, the embarrassed pauses, the avoidance of these themes demanded their tribute.”)

“the least thing” = der kleinste Kleinigkeit

“Her face had warped and sagged.”
= Ihr Gesicht war verzerrt und eingefallen.

I like this word:
“Doorknob” = Türknauft

“escape” = Fluchtweg (“flight-way”)

“sheepish” = schüchtern

“No hard feelings?” = Kein Groll?

Here’s a grand collection of long words!
“Minor difference of interpretation of city ordinances.”
= Das waren nur unbedeutende Meinungsverschiedenheiten hinsichtlich der Interpretation der Stadtverordnungen

And we’ll finish with the end of the scene:
“Jo left the room as quickly as possible and didn’t look back.”
= Doch Jo veließ den Raum so schnell wie möglich und blickte nicht zurück.

If you are ever verbannt, I hope your exile will be lifted quickly. Bis bald!

1 comment

  1. The stereotype is that German words are longer and more unwieldy than the equivalent English words, but “Ärgernis” is quite streamlined and petite compared to the cumbrous “Inconvenience.” I always enjoy reading your transliterations: the phrase “They all are very go-getting” has a certain louche panache, like a quip lazily drawled by a Bright Young Thing in an early Evelyn Waugh novel… and “the avoidance of these themes demanded their tribute” has a certain quasi-militaristic threat at the end that I found quite tonic!

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