Sonderling Sunday – Neverending, Unendliche

It’s Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books — or the English translation of German children’s books.

Last week, my Sonderling Sunday post was interrupted when I found out the offer I’d made on a new home was accepted, and I was way too distracted to continue. (I’m so excited! It’s a lovely condo with a lake view! And my very first home purchase!)

So this week, I’ll continue where I left off in Die unendliche Geschichte, by Michael Ende, translated into English as The Neverending Story

About all I’d covered last time was the snorkeled letters on the door of the shop. This is the section before the chapters with large alphabet illustrations. I didn’t mention that in the German edition, this section is in red type, while the later chapters are in green type. The English version has this section in italics.

Continuing on, listing German first, because that’s the original language:

regenfleckige Mauer = “rain-splotched wall”

da? eine kleine Traube von Messingglöckchen, die über hing, aufgeregt zu bimmeln begann
= “that a little cluster of brass bells tinkled wildly”
(literally: “that a little bunch of grapes of little brass bells, that hung over it, excited to jingle began”)

Der Urheber dieses Tumult = “The cause of this hubbub”

durchweicht = “soaked” (“through-wet”)

Schulmappe = “school satchel”

Dämmerlicht = “half-light” (“twilight”)

mannshohen = “shoulder-high” (“man-high”)

I like this one:
Rauchkringel = “ring of smoke”

Es zieht = “There’s a draft.” (“It attracts.”)

in einem hohem Ohrenbackensessel aus abgewetztem Leder
= “in a high worn leather wing chair”
(“in a high Ears-back-chair of threadbare leather”)
“Wing chair” or “Ears chair”? I kind of like the latter!

Büschel = “outcroppings”

bissigen Bulldogge = “vicious bulldog” (“biting bulldog”)

knollenförmigen Nase = “bulbous nose” (“tuber-formed nose”)

Oh, I like this word!
Mundwinkel = “corner of his mouth” (“mouth angle”)

A new expression to try:
Ach du liebes Bi?chen! = “Goodness gracious.” (“Oh dear little bit!”)

ein Mordsgetue = “a terrible fuss” (“a murder-to-do”)

I probably shouldn’t challenge you to use this sentence:
Ich bin ganz and gar kein Kinderfreund.
= “I simply have no use for children.”
(“I am completely and totally no child-friend.”)

Oh, goody! More insults! (Always the most fun)

blöde Schreihälse = “screaming”
(“stupid screamnecks” — I guess the translator didn’t want to be so rude.)

Quälgeister = “torturing people”
(“spirits of torment”)

die alles kaputt machen = “breaking things”
(“who make everything broken”)

die die Bücher mit Marmelade vollschmieren = “smearing books with jam”
(“who the books with jam fully smear”)

die Seiten zerrei?en = “tearing the pages”

die sich den Teufel darum scheren, ob die Erwachsenen vielleicht auch ihre Sorgen und Kümmernisse haben
= “It never dawns on them that grown-ups may also have their troubles and cares.”
(“who don’t give a damn that adults possibly also have their worries and cares.”)

seine Lektüre fort = “went on reading”
(Interesting! Lektüre means reading, not talking. I bet that’s how the English word “lecture” started out.)

Here’s a fun expression, and a tongue-twister, to boot:
Manieren hast du nicht für fünf Pfennig = “Where are your manners?”
(“Manners have you not for five pennies.”)

dich verspotten = “make fun of you”

Spinner = “Screwball” (“spider”)

Mondkalb = “nitwit” (“mooncalf”)

Aufschneider = “braggart” (“out-cutter”)

Schwindler = “liar”

Love those sch- words!
schlurfte = “shuffled”

dumpfes Gemurmel = “low mumbling”

Unwiderrufliches = “irrevocable”

wunderschöne, gro?e Anfangsbuchstaben
= “large, beautiful capital letters at the beginning of the chapters”
(I love it! German has a word for “capital letters at the beginning of the chapters”)

eigentümlich verschlungenen Buchstaben = “strangely intricate letters”
(“strangely inter-snaked letters”)

I’ll stop tonight where Bastian reads the name of the book he has discovered:
Die unendliche Geschichte

Summing up, I think the best new word of the night was Anfangsbuchstaben.

Most fun to say: schlurfte

Hardest to say: Manieren hast du nicht für fünf Pfennig

Cutest word: bimmeln

Biggest change of perspective: Ohrenbackensessel

Best insult: blöde Schreihälse

Worst insult: die die Bücher mit Marmelade vollschmieren

Again, go out and practice your new vocabulary! If only in the form of a dumpfes Gemurmel.

Sonderling Sunday – Die unendliche Geschichte

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. Today, I’m going to flip it around and look at the English translation of a German children’s book, Michael Ende’s Die unendliche Geschichte, known and loved in English as The Neverending Story

First, the stats: The original German version is 428 pages long, but it’s a much nicer, more lavishly illustrated version than my English paperback, which is 377 pages long. Still, the English version did at least give a full page to each starting chapter illustration, even though they’re in black and white instead of two-color as in my lovely German edition. And they did preserve the A-to-Z nature of the illustrations.

But right on the title page, we find a difference! The German edition has a subtitle!

Die unendliche Geschichte

Von A bis Z mit Buchstaben und Bildern versehen von Roswitha Quadflieg

This translates to: “from A to Z with letters and pictures provided by Roswitha Quadflieg.”

You see, the full-page illustration at the front of each chapter has a letter in the illustration, progressing from A to Z. The English edition merely says “Illustrated by Roswitha Quadflieg.”

The beginning of the book is about Bastien Balthazar Bux, and does not have the Illuminated Letters or any heading except the backwards words on the door of the bookshop.

In the English version, this is:
“rednaeroC darnoC lraC
skooB dlO”
— except mirrored as well as backwards. (Carl Conrad Coreander: Old Books)

In the German version, it is:
rednaeroK darnoK lraK :rebahnI (ANTIQUARIAT: Inhaber: Karl Konrad Koreander)

While talking about the rain rolling over the letters on the door, we learn
“ornate letters” = geschnörkelten Buchstaben
In the context, it made me think of snorkeling letters! And when I look in Google translate, they call it “scrolled.” Perhaps that’s where a snorkel gets its name — from that curve on the end.

**Okay, my Sonderling Sunday was interrupted by finding out that my offer was accepted on a new home!**
And you know what? Now I’m too hyper to focus at all! I’m so excited!

Mind you, this place went on the market yesterday, and I loved it by the pictures. But was it really so good? I looked at it today, and it was even better than the pictures. My favorite part? A whole wall filled with windows and a lake view. I didn’t even know that it was possible to find a place near my church with a lake view!

But four people had already seen it, and there was already an offer. So my realtor recommended offering full price. I did, and they accepted my offer! What a whirlwind of a day!

So next time, I will continue beyond the snorkel-shaped letters! But I think that’s all for now! Good night!