Sonderling Sunday – Chapter Three

It’s Sonderling Sunday again! Yes, it’s late, but I have time to get in a little bit of language fun before the day’s over.

Did I mention that one of the things I loved about living in Germany 10 years was seeing the ways similar things are expressed in different languages? A favorite incident in France was a sign that said the passage was difficile (difficult) due to the rehabilitation of the bridge! Completely understandable, but definitely not a way I ever would have thought of putting it.

And that’s some of the fun I’m finding in this Sonderling Sunday project. I’m taking bizarre words, sentences, and paragraphs from The Order of Odd-Fish, by James Kennedy — things I certainly never would have thought to say without reading this book — and I’m seeing how they are expressed in German in the book Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge. I’m coming up with all kinds of delightful surprises!

And I’m ready to start Chapter Three. In English, this takes up 10 pages. In German, it is 12 pages, so not a huge difference this time.

As usual, I’ll begin with the first paragraph, but I find I also want to include the second:

Jo backed out of the ruby palace’s garage, yanked the gearshift, and rolled Aunt Lily’s gold Mustang out onto the bumpy road. She didn’t have a driver’s license, but after Aunt Lily crashed their car through the supermarket’s front window, Jo had taken over driving between the ruby palace and Dust Creek.

Aunt Lily and Colonel Korsakov were bickering and flirting in the back. Korsakov was so huge that he took up the entire seat; Aunt Lily, to her delight, had to sit on his lap.

Auf Deutsch:

Jo fuhr rückwärts aus der Garage des Rubinpalastes, riss an der Gangschaltung und rumpelte mit dem goldfarbenen Mustang ihrer Tante auf die holprige Stra?e hinaus. Sie hatte zwar keinen Führerschein, aber nachdem Tante Lily mit ihrem Wagen in die Fensterscheibe des Supermarkts gerauscht war, hatte Jo es vorgezogen, an ihrer Stelle zwischen dem Rubinpalast und Dust Creek hin- und herzufahren.

Tante Lily und Oberst Korsakov hockten im Fond und flirteten kichernd miteinander. Der Russe war so fett, dass er die gesamte Rückbank mit Beschlag belegte, und so musste die frühere Filmdiva sich zu ihrem Entzücken auf seinen Scho? setzen.

So far, we have:
“gearshift” = Gangschaltung (Go Circuit)
“rolled” = rumpelte
“bumpy” = holprige
hockten im Fond = “crouched in the rear” (I thought it meant were fondly bickering, but Google says I was wrong.)
In fact, I don’t find any bickering.
flirteten kichernd miteinander seems to mean “were flirting giggily with one another.”
Also, Germans say it like it is. English says Korsakov was so huge. German says “The Russian was so fat.” = Der Russe war so fett.
Instead of using Aunt Lily’s name again in the last sentence, the translator put in die frühere Filmdiva, “the former Film diva.”

Going on from there, an interesting translation:
“snuggling up to him” = an ihn schmiegte

Ah, on page 28 of the English version, we’ve got a fun paragraph. Watch for the translation of “armadillo.” Here it is in English:

It was a grubby room crowded with metal folding chairs and simulated-wood tables, dimly lit and almost intolerably hot, swimming in the thick stink of burnt coffee, fried dough, and maple syrup. The only decoration sat next to the cash register, a plastic armadillo so dented and abused that Jo almost pitied it.

Translated as:

In dem schmuddeligen Raum drängten sich metallene Klappstühle und Kunststofftische mit Holzimitat. Es war nicht besonders hell dort und unerträglich hei?. Der Raum war erfüllt von dem Gestank nach verbranntem Kaffee, altem Fett und Ahornsirup. Die einzige Dekoration befand sich neben der Kasse: ein Gürteltier aus Plastik, das so verbeult und abgeschlafft war, dass Jo es fast bedauerte.

Here are the goodies from that paragraph:
“grubby” = schmuddeligen
“folding chairs” = Klappstühle (I particularly like that one. “Folding” = Klapp)
“simulated-wood” = Holzimitat (Wood imitation)
German doesn’t say the room was “swimming” in the stink, just that it was erfüllt (filled) with it.
And my favorite:
“armadillo” = Gürteltier (“Belts animal”)

Going on:
“wobbly stool” = wackligen Hocker
“withered” = runzlige
“flowery” = in geblümte Kleider gehüllten (“in flowery clothes wrapped”)
“undertaker” = Bestattungsunternehmer (“burial undertaker”)
“standards” = Ma?stäben
“Adorable!” = Hinrei?end!
“funeral” = Beerdigung (“earth-going”)
“complaining” = beschwerten
“good-for-nothing grandchildren” = nichtsnutzigen Enkelkinder (nothing-useful grandchildren)
“squawked” = keckerten
“pouted” = schmollte
“theme music” = Titelmelodie
“storm clouds” = Gewitterwolken (That one’s just fun to say.)

Yikes! Look at the time! Sunday is over, so I will stop and get this posted. I’m on the Belgian Prankster paragraph on page 30 in English, Seite 42 auf Deutsch.

My favorites today were Gürteltier, schmiegte, schmollte, and Klappstühle.

Tune in next week, as we continue with Chapter Three.

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