Greetings from Germany!

Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 9:45 PM | Filed under

Earlier this month, I wrote about the German Garfield book I got at Value Village. This article is about the other eight books that were inseperably packaged with that book. The other books included in the bag were Angeln, Der tag der einheit, Viel Spaß beim Fotografieren, Viel Spaß beim Fliegen, Du läßt dich gehn!, and three books about Bremen, Germany.

Here's the fun part! Five of those books have writing in the inside covers. And they're all addressed to someone named Jonathan A. My cousin suspected that the books were from an exchange family that Jon stayed with, but they're mostly all written in English, and they seem to be from peers from various locations.

My guess is that a group of people traveled to Germany together. My Garfield book doesn't have any writing in it, but the Du läßt nicht gehn book has this line from Brenda, which I think is funny: "I'll always admire your 'logical thinking' skills, although you'll probably hate me for saying that. Good luck in Montana next year, but don't forget your little buddie in Wisconsin! I'll be seeing ya next summer!" So maybe some of these people were planning to travel again. I don't know. There isn't enough information.

The writing by Corné in the cover of Viel Spaß beim Fliegen says "It was realy [sic] great getting to know you!" So maybe some of these people were strangers. In the inside cover of Angeln, Shawn A. gives his address—it's Canadian—and he invites Jon to come fishing with him in Vancouver. Corné also wrote "I wish you a happy birthday and one heck of a long life!" so maybe these people conspired to all give Jonathan books as a birthday present.

One of the Bremen books has several signatures in the inside cover, and it's dated 01.08.92—that's August 1, 1992. So these books are old! Since then, I suppose Jon stopped reading these books, and decided to donate them to Value Village. I only got the package of books for the Garfield book—most of the rest are too hard for me—but it was fun to figure out what all these books had in common. Thanks for the Garfield book, Jonathan.

German Garfield Book Comparison

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 6:05 PM | Filed under

Yesterday, I found a German Garfield book at Value Village. Now, being a huge Garfield fan (I have all of the first 36 Garfield books) and a student of the German language, I was excited to come across this. The book was bagged with a half dozen other German books that I really wasn't interested in, but the employees refused to sell just the one book, since they were all bagged together.

Obviously, that's the English version on the left, and the German version on the right. They are both book 14, and they contain the same strips. But the covers are wildly different! The English book is titled Garfield Swallows His Pride and the German version is called Garfield läßt nicht locker which translates to "Garfield Doesn't Give Up." These are very different titles!

I was surprised that I was able to understand the first strip in the book, posted above. Perhaps it helps that I'm familiar with the English material, though. The strips are almost entirely literal translations of the English versions.

According to Wolfram Alpha, a typical translation to German is 10% longer than the original English source, which means more letters. Accordingly, you can tell that the font size in the German Garfield strips is smaller, to accommodate more letters in the same amount of space.

Like in the English version of Garfield (and nearly every other comic), the German version of Garfield capitalizes every letter. This is worth noting because the German letter ß (eszett, or sharp s) exists only as a lower-case letter. If you want to capitalize "ß", you turn it into "SS". So words like "weiß" and "Spaß" become "WEISS" and "SPASS", as in the strip above.

I also noticed that the German Garfield strips remove Jim Davis's name, the copyright info, and the date from the strips. The playground strip above seems to be an exception, though—it looks like they forgot to remove the date.

And now, the fun part: ONOMATOPOEIAS!!!

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, onomatopoeias (or sound words) are different in different languages. German for "scratch" is "kratzen", so I can see where "KRIIIETSCH!" comes from. It's odd, though, that I imagine a different sound in my head when I read both comics.

Garfield's trademark SPLUT! sound becomes the even more comical FLATSCH! Something else they changed in this panel is the lettering on Garfield's bowl. It says the same thing, but the letters are different. (This is a lot easier to see if you scanned the books and were flipping through the images.) It's not a big change, so I wonder why they bothered redoing it.

Anyway, now I have to collect all the German Garfield books too.

Dumb Family Feud Answers

Friday, October 9, 2009 at 8:05 AM | Filed under

Here are actual responses given by contestants on the game show Family Feud (or the British version Family Fortunes). I admit, it may be mean to call some of these answers "dumb", so if you'd like, you can call them "erroneous" or "funny" if you prefer.

Name something in a bird cageHamster
Something you'd find in an operating roomOperator
Something that comes with a summer stormSnow
Something you'd yell at if it stopped workingSpouse
Something worn only by childrenClothes
Something you might buy that could turn out to be phonyHorse
An animal with three letters in its nameFrog
An animal with three letters in its nameAlligator
Something you feel before you buy itExcited
The price of a dozen roses$1.75
An article of clothing that children always losePants
An animal whose eggs you'd never eat for breakfastHamster
Something you might accidentally leave on all nightShoes
One of the three bearsYogi
A holiday named after a personJanuary
A holiday named after a personEaster
One of Santa's reindeerNixon
One of Santa's reindeerAdolf
Something Russia is famous forRussians
Something that comes in pairsBananas
A time when people wake upMorning
A time when people go to bedNight
A state with good skiingFlorida
Something you buy in a larger size if you have a large familyJeans
Something you buy in a larger size if you have a large familyGames
A city in the state of GeorgiaAlabama
A pie that does not contain fruitLemon Meringue
Something that kills a lively partyGuns
A brand of gasolineRegular
A brand of gasolineEthyl
A job around the house that has to be done every fallSpring Cleaning
A man's name beginning with the letter KKentucky Fried Chicken
The month where a pregnant woman begins to showSeptember
A food that's red on the insideKiwi
Something people do clothed that others don'tRide a motorcycle
The heaviest item in your house600 pounds
The heaviest item in your houseHusband
Something you put in teaTea bag
A holiday where stores are always busyMonday
Something made of leather that a cowboy usesPurse
The first thing you take off after workUnderwear
A weather term that can also describe your wifeWet
A day of the year when you want to be with friendsDecember
A department in a supermarketLingerie
The most lovable breed of dogKitten
Something women borrow from each otherHusbands
An invention that has replaced stairsWheel
Something you often misplace in your carSteering wheel
A famous “Arnold”Arnold & Willis
A reason you might stay indoors on a beautiful dayIt's raining
Something associated with the show Who Wants To Be A MillionaireBob Barker
A yellow fruitOrange
A kind of attraction you see in almost every paradeMerry-go-round
Something you strokeA match
A tradition associated with ChristmasHanukkah
A holiday where men buy last minute gifts for their wifeThanksgiving
A food people give as a giftLasagna
A vegetable you marinateGrapes
The one thing that the people living near you have that you wantA beautiful wife
Something you buy and then have to be careful about how you carry it homeAn infant
Besides a house or a car, the most expensive item you ownCar
A food with an edible skinBanana
A piece of clothing wives buy for their husbandsHalter tops
A street name that is common to cities all over the USHollywood Boulevard
A kind of bearPapa Bear
A real person who made a living scaring peopleRed Skelton
Something a hostess does to let her guests know it's time to leaveGoes to bed
An animal with really good sightBat
A state beginning with the letter MMexico
Something an Indian chief might useSquaw
Something that floats in the bathtubWater
A word beginning with “Egg”Excellent
A city named after a presidentCarson City
A sport in which two people compete against each otherCheckers
An occupation in which you disguise your appearanceDoctor
Something that flies that doesn't have an engineDishes
Something that flies that doesn't have an engineA bicycle with wings
Something a blind person might useSword
A song with “moon” in the titleBlue Suede Moon
An occupation where you need a flashlightBurglar
A famous brother and sisterBonnie & Clyde
An item of clothing worn by the Three MusketeersA horse
Something you wear on the beachA lawnchair
Something redMy cardigan
A number you have to memorizeSeven
Something you do before going to bedSleep
Something of yours you hit when it's not working properlyYour spouse
Something you put on wallsRoofs
Something in the garden that's greenShed
Something in the garden that's greenScarecrow
Something you might be allergic toSkiing
A famous bridgeThe bridge over troubled waters
Something a cat doesGoes to the toilet
Something you do in the bathroomDecorate
Something associated with the policePigs
A sign of the zodiacApril
Something slipperyA conman
A kind of acheFillet 'O' Fish
A kind of achePancake
A jacket potato toppingJam
Something with a hole in itWindow
A food that comes in instant formAsparagus
A non-living object which has feetPlant
A domestic animalLeopard
A part of the body beginning with the letter NKnee
A part of the body beginning with the letter NName
A way of cooking fishCod
Something you open other than a doorBowels
A part of the body everyone has only one ofBig toe
Real or fictional, a famous WillyWilly the Pooh
Something you squeezePeanut butter
A bird with a long neckPenguin
A continentItaly
A sport you can never play on grassBaseball
An occupation starting with "J"Jackhammerer
A phrase some husbands dread hearing"Honey, I'm home"
A bad occupation if you don't like kidsMortician
A question you don't like to be asked"Are those real?"
A European country in which you'd expect to find castlesLondon
Something every doctor hasSpeculum
An animal with hornsBee
A medieval weaponHand grenade
Something made of woolA sheep
Something a bridegroom might wearA dress
Someone you wouldn't expect to see in a strip clubAnimals
An animal with a long tailRabbit
Something you put out for the birdsWorms
A way to prevent snoringPut a pillow over his face
A word used to describe a very hot dayA very hot day
Someone who works early hoursBurglar
Something made to be wheeled aroundA hammer
A reason for kneelingTo be beheaded
A nickname for a slim personSlimmy
A measurement of liquidPaint
Something that's nice to wear next to your skinPants
A famous DickCarrot
Something that Santa Claus does when he comes to your houseFeeds your pets
Something that comes in 7'sFingers
Something associated with LiverpoolThe Yellow Brick Road
A boy mentioned in a nursery rhymeLittle Red Riding Hood
Something associated with Queen VictoriaHer husbands
Something you hide in your socks when you go swimmingYour legs
A place you would keep a penA zoo
Something you beatAn apple
Something you make into a ballEggs
A game that uses a black ballDarts
A way parents reward chidrenTime out
A popular TV soapDove
Something you might find in a garageA grand piano
A fast animalHippo
A famous PeterPeter
Something you keep in the gardenA cat
Something that gives you goose bumpsMumps
A character from Little Red Riding HoodHansel and Gretel
Something that has a shellBatman
Something a policeman might say"Spread 'em"
Something that frightens DraculaThe King of the Vampires
A mode of transportation that you can walk inYour shoes
An animal with big earsA bear
Something you do on waterWallpaper
A musical instrument you can play in the bathDrum kit
Something associated with EgyptCigars
Something you pullA potato
An animal used as a form of transportationTurtle
A Thunderbirds characterDoctor Spock
Another TV game show with the word 'family' in the titleThe Generation Game
Something that makes you screamA squirrel
A food that can be eaten without chewingChips
The ideal everyday temperature98.6 degrees
A type of recordA floppy disk
A type of large catPersian
A job that a working dog doesA slave
Something you use a microchip onA fish-fryer
A game played in the darkCharades
A part of the body you have more than two ofArms
Something you find on a fire engineCoal
The first place detectives look for fingerprintsThe floor
Something you associate with the seaA coffin
A famous ArthurShakespeare
A weapon in the game of ClueDice
Something people take to the beachTurkey
A reason someone digs a hole in the roadGrave digger
Something a girl should know about a man before marrying himHis name
An item of clothing a woman might borrow from a manUnderpants
Something taken from a hotel as a souvenirThe lamps
Something you keep in a garden shedA gardener
Something you wear on the beachDeckchair
Fruit used in fruit saladCucumber
The last thing you take off before going to bedYour feet
Something that has to warm up before you use itYour wife
A noisy birdChipmunk
A car known by its initialsCorvette
Something you keep handy by the front doorSpittoon
A job that helicopters are used forTuna fishing
A famous robberCops
A famous resort area outside the continental United StatesTahoe
An American state where people speak with accentsMexico
Something a man has that he'd be upset if someone else used itHis jockstrap
Something London is famous forPasta
Something you wouldn't want the police to find in the trunk of your carPickles
A game you could play in the bathScuba diving
A food that makes a noise when you eat itReally loud hamburger
Something that your wife would do that would be shockingGreet you at the door naked
Something you throw away when you're moving awayPantry
A dangerous animal that some people keep as petsWolf
When you sneak out of work, the reason you give for leaving"I'm going to the beach!"
When you sneak out of work, the reason you give for leaving"Going to another job"
An animal that eats miceRat
Something you have that you wish worked betterSpouse
Something you wouldn't try even onceSex on a train
A famous male dancerBetty Grable
An occasion for which you stayed up all nightLost my virginity
Your favorite country western singerVan Whalen
Something that falls from the treesBird shit
Something a dentist says"Just a small prick"
An excuse that a girl uses not to invite you in after a dateHer husband's home
A name that rhymes with "Larry"Larry
Something you just won't buy unless it's on saleCake mix
Something you just won't buy unless it's on saleDrapes
Besides an animal, something with a tailTailpipe
Something that gets accidentally run over by a lawn mowerThe lawn mower's cord
An occupation where someone wears a robe at workA fireman
An occupation where someone wears a robe at workA graduate
A sport that people sometimes play by themselvesTic-tac-toe
A household pet you can leave by itself for a couple of daysMonkey
A part of the body people love to have massagedHips
An activity that makes people cryPlaying games
A vegetable that is grown in a patchStrawberry
Something some people fear that starts with the letter SSquirrels
A reaction someone might have if they got really scaredLaugh
An occasion when family photographs are takenPhotography
Something that comes after the word "double"U
Something you'd hate for the plane you're on to only have one ofPillows
Something your spouse does in the bedroom that rhymes with "mumble"Pumble
Something you should do in moderation or you'll be sorry laterSex
A famous group of singersThe Simpsons
A breed of dog that starts with the letter CCheetah
A vegetable that takes more than one bite to eatApple
Something every dream home must haveRV parking
A word that rhymes with "bubble"Fubble
A question, such as, "How old are you?" that you might answer with a lie18
A question, such as, "How old are you?" that you might answer with a lie50
A question, such as, "How old are you?" that you might answer with a lieI'm 39
Something you see along the side of the streetCarnage
Something that people stick a pin intoTheir eyes
The perfect dessert for a supermodelChocolate cake
The perfect dessert for a supermodelBrownies
A country that has exactly four letters in its nameChina
A city famous for its museumsEngland
A liquid that pours slowlyMilk
A fruit that is redKiwi
A way of toasting someoneOver fire
Something you keep in a kitchen canisterCans
A way which you can make bathing a sexy experience401(k) jelly
Something a man might hate about his chestFlat
A place where people are scolded for falling asleepOn the airplane
Something you might find in a manicure setA wig
A part of a telephoneThe bottom part
When kids finally move out of the house, something specific they often leave behindTheir parents
When kids finally move out of the house, something specific they often leave behindA blender
When kids finally move out of the house, something specific they often leave behindTheir boyfriend or their girlfriend
Something that guests get hit with a Jerry SpringerKeys
Something a teenage boy can do for hours at a timeMasturbate
In order to get a three-day weekend, a holiday usually celebrated on MondaysThanksgiving
In order to get a three-day weekend, a holiday usually celebrated on MondaysSomeone's birthday
A part of the body people dab perfume onOn the tongue
A liquid that people drink when they're sickVicks
Something you can't use without waterAn ice cream cone
A place where you might see a dead bodyIn your house
Something frogs do that people don'tTurn colors
Your wife's most unappealing habitPicking her feet
A night with the worst TV programsUPN
A word that rhymes with "Coke"Float
A word that rhymes with "Coke"Moke
Something that dries up when it gets oldWater
A mischievous animalBeaver
Something of yours you hope doesn't start making noisesCell phone
Something of yours you hope doesn't start making noisesBed
Real or fictional, a famous DennisBuddy Holly
An animal that starts with the letter RRectangle cow
Someone you have to lie to once in a while just to keep the peaceDog
A famous fictional islandRhode Island
A famous pigYour mother-in-law
A reason a man takes off his toupeeTo show off
Something that you hope your husband never losesHis pants
Something with clawsChristmas
Something you associate with GodzillaGorilla
A card game that's easy to cheat atCheckers
One of Oprah's favorite peopleRegis Kelly
Something nailed down in a hotel roomThe soap
A type of beanLesbian
The month with the best weatherJanuary
A slang term that means wifeBitch
The birthday men dread the mostTheir wife's
A sport that husbands and wives can play togetherKickball
A food that's good for your heartSteak
Something people learn from a how-to bookRead
Something you should not do in someone else's carGet arrested
An animal you would recognize by its earsA chicken

I'd like to thank Adam Buckley, Carrie, Laura, Ling, Lori, Paul, Sean Willett, and Zach for helping me compile this list!