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!

3 Responses to “Sonderling Sunday – To Outwit the Belgian Prankster”

  1. Katy K. says:

    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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