Sonderling Sunday – Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge – Desolation Day is here!

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 the book that started this feature, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, which is the translation of The Order of Odd-fish, by James Kennedy.

Last time (far too long ago), I covered Jo’s dinner with Fiona, and ended on page 304 in the original English edition, Seite 387 in the German edition.

The first sentence of the next section is so practical, I’ll start with that:

“Jo couldn’t sleep.” = Jo konnte nicht einschlafen.

“bubbling and boiling” = überschlugen
(Google Translate says “raced.” The context is this is what Fiona’s thoughts are doing. The original English seems a bit more vivid.)

“dream-wracked” = von Träumen gepeinigt (“by dreams tormented”)

I hope you won’t need to say this!
“Everyone up. It’s Desolation Day.”
= Aufstehen. Es ist der Tag der Verwüstung.

“underground courtyard” = unterirdischen Hof

“exhausted and disoriented” = erschöpft und orientierungslos

I think this sentence has come up before, but I like it.
“Jo was astonished.” = Jo war verblüfft

“disobeyed” = missachtet

“veil” = Schleier

Just fun to say:
“who was who” = wer wer war

“a familiar face” = ein vertrautes Gesicht

“shuffling echo of footsteps” = Schlurfen von Schritten

“rustle of skirts” = Rascheln von Kleidern

“turn back” = umgekehrt

“queasily and unsteadily” = Unbehagen und schwankend

“confusion and horror and guilt” = Verwirrung, Entsetzen, Schuldgefühlen

“found out” = enttarnen

“not a human sobbing” = kein menschliches Schluchzen

“long, twisty pipes” = langen, krummen Flöten

“windy sky” = sturmgepeitschten Himmel (“storm-whipped sky”)

“rising and falling” = hoben und senkten

“bright” = grell

“frenzy” = Raserei

“tipping” = torkelte

“climbed up” = hinaufkletterten

“milky liquid” = milchigen Flüssigkeit

“gurgling” = blubbernd

“puddles” = Pfützen

“sidewalk” = Bürgersteig

And the last sentence of Chapter 22:
“She had never felt more alone.”
= Noch nie hatte sie sich einsamer gefühlt.

That’s all for tonight! May you never have to describe kein menschliches Schluchzen.

Bis bald!


  1. Man oh man, “Schlurfen von Schritten” is one for the ages. It sounds like the name of a character, some jovial but menacing aristocrat. Thanks for keeping this up, I always love reading it!

    1. It’s been 4 years now I’ve been doing it! Now I’m getting close to the end. I will have to finish before I start reading for the Newbery Medal next year!

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