Sonderling Sunday – Alone with the Belgian Prankster

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 on page 335 in the English edition, Seite 426 in the German edition. I’ll begin with the first sentence of the new section:

“Jo and the Belgian Prankster were alone.”
= Jo und der Belgische Scherzkeks waren allein.

Aren’t you glad to know how to say these things?
“dirty fur pelts, green ski goggles, and enormous rawhide diaper”
= schmutzigen Pelze, die grüne Skibrille und eine riesige Windel aus Rohleder.

“His breathing was forced and shallow”
= Er atmete heftig und flach

“fatty bulk” = feister Wanst

“patchwork” = Flickwerk

“Sweating and snuffling, slowly smacking his lips”
= Er schwitzte, keuchte, schmatzte

This seems like a good sentence to know:
“With all her might Jo resisted the mad urge to run away screaming”
= Jo musste sich zusammenreißen, um dem dringenden Bedürfnis zu widerstehen, schreiend wegzulaufen
(“Jo must herself together-pull, for the urgent need to resist screaming away-running”)

“almost tempted” = fast geneigt

Too bad, they took out the picturesque elements here:
“But Jo held her ground with the last shred of her fingernails, even as it seemed to be crumbling away from her.”
= Doch Jo widerstand dem Drang mit letzter Kraft, obwohl sie zusehends schwächer wurde.
(“But Jo resisted the urge with last strength, although she rapidly weaker was.”)

“satisfaction” = Genugtuung (“enough-doing”)

“I’m forlorn”
= Ich bin vollkommen einsam und verlassen.
(“I am completely lonely and forsaken.”)

“Jo gritted her teeth.”
= Jo knirschte mit den Zähnen.

“icy attitude” = eisige Haltung

“saw through” = durchschaute

“come back with a nasty insult”
= mit einer boshaften Beleidigung konterte
(“with an evil insult countered”)

“her voice close to breaking”
= Ihre Stimme klang brüchig.
(“Her voice sounded broken.”)

“A wave of dread crashed through her.”
= Eine Woge von Angst durchflutete sie.

“get back” = zurückzubekommen

“Brave girl!” = Tapferes Mädchen!

“Jo clenched her fists.” = Jo ballte die Fäuste.

“devour and devour and devour” = schlingen und schlingen und schlingen

“a force” = ein Naturgewalt

“an unstoppable, annihilating wave”
= eine unaufhaltsame, alles vernichtende Woge

“It was a horrible tingle of joy.”
= Es war ein schreckliches freudiges Kribbeln.
(“It was a horrible joyful tingle.”)

Okay, everybody needs to know how to say this in German:
“The nose twitched and quivered in front of her, running juices all over the glass.”
= Die Nase zuckte und zitterte vor ihren Augen und Schnodder lief über das Glas.von Schorf übersät

“hideous beak” = grauenvoller Schnabel

“sticking out” = herausragte

“pricked” = pikste

“scratched” = gekratzt

“roaring” = brüllte

“a twitching stinger” = ein zuckender Stachel

“She was sobbing and screaming” = Sie schluchzte und schrie

And the final phrase of Chapter 24:
“and then blackness fell like an avalanche”
= und dann brach die Schwärze wie eine Lawine über sie herein

And that’s all for tonight! With all your might, do resist the mad urge to run away screaming!


  1. I can’t believe we’re almost to the end of the book! I always love reading these. I was pleasantly surprised at the goofiness of the German for “get back” (zurückzubekommen). This has been an education!

    1. I’m just not getting around to it as much any more — so I may be able to drag this out! It’s been so much fun — your prose taken out of context is just perfect for this.

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