German Reading Project – Die Tribute Von Panem by Suzanne Collins, Chapter 3

It looks like I’m getting through these fast but actually I’m just ploughing through because I owed like three chapters after getting back from Amsterdam…

Favourite word: Der Spotttölpel: Mockingjay.

Bonus trivia! OK, this isn’t a real word, but whatever! I like birds. It looks like, rather than an amalgam of “mockingbird” and “jay”, the German version of mockingjays are “mockingbird” “boobies“! Jays, both the Eurasian jay and blue jays, are “häher”. In the English language version, it makes sense that the Capitol would use jaylike birds to genetically engineer, as blue jays seem to be pretty common throughout huge chunks of the US and are known for their varied songs and can learn to mimic human speech. I’m not sure why the German decided to deviate here. “Spotthäher”, the logical translation, doesn’t seem to be a real bird anywhere, so that’s not the reason, and no booby of any species lives around Europe (once a red-footed booby washed up in Sussex and it was a Big Deal) so it’s not for reasons of familiarity either – anyone got any ideas why the change?

Favourite non-invented word: die Pappschachtel: cardboard box.

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