Sonderling Sunday – To Outwit the Belgian Prankster

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, that time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translations of children’s books.


This week, it’s back to The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge. We are ready to begin Chapter 20!

This sentence seems good to know:
“Ken Kiang was quite pleased with himself.”
= Ken Kiang war ziemlich zufrieden mit sich.

“to outwit the Belgian Prankster”
= den Belgischen Scherzkeks zu übertölpeln

“to disrupt his plans”
= seine Pläne zu vereiteln

“to overthrow his infernal machinations”
= seine teuflischen Machenschaften zu durchkreuzen

Try to think of a reason to say this!
“Municipal Squires Authority”
= Städtischen Knappenbehörde

“a small army of clerks”
= eine kleine Armee von Sachbearbeitern

“shamelessly groveled”
= krochen (“crawled”)

“moment of idleness”
= Moment des Müßiggangs

= tollkühne (“foolhardy”)

“dingy dormitory”
= schmuddelige Schlafsaal

It’s always interesting how names are translated.
“Bimblebridge” = Pimperbrück

“partition” = Trennwand (“divide-wall”)

“simplified” = vereinfacht

“distractions” = Ablenkungen

“moth-eaten” = mottenzerfressene

“bolt” = Schraube

“a wire cut” = ein durchgeschnittener Draht

“file” = Aktenordner

“ever greater sophistication” = immer raffinierterer Durchtriebenheit

“deployed, canceled, reversed, appropriated, adapted, and foiled”
= ersonnen, widerrufen, ins Gegenteil gekehrt, angepasst, zweckdienlich gemacht und vereitelt

Here’s a nice long word:
= Waffenstillstandsverträge

“decoys” = Köder

“red herrings” = Ablenkungsmanöver

“Ken Kiang’s mind reeled.” = Ken Kiang schwindelte. (“Ken Kiang was made dizzy.”)

“excruciating subtlety” = quälenden Subtilität

Here’s a phrase you should know if you travel in Germany!
“pie damnation” = Kuchen-Verdammnis

“slouched” = schlurfte

This sounds better in German:
“a distant smile on his lips”
= ein abwesendes Lächeln auf den Lippen

And the last sentence for tonight, at the end of a section:
“He had the most wonderful idea.”
= Er hatte soeben die wundervollste Eingebung von allen gehabt.

Good night! May wundervollste Eingebungen be yours until next time!


  1. Thank you again for the fun! This time I’m noticing the difference between the British and American usage of “quite” as I’d say “ziemlich” fits the British usage better. I only just read about this in one of my new 400s books and would otherwise have been puzzled by this translation.

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