20 August 2015


Theme Thursday 17

Long before I realised I'd have to take Shredded Cheddar in a different direction if I wanted it to survive, I was wishing I could do something about my header. When Parajunkee made it for me five years ago, she let it reflect my interests in Catholicism, Horror movies, the 1980s, my guitar, and of course, books. I still like all these things (though now you'd have to substitute "guitar-driven Pop music" for "my guitar"), but I've also come to like others; and to be accurate again, the header would need some knitting needles, a crochet hook, and a set of flags to represent all the languages in which I can competently conjugate verbs.

It is one of those languages that provides a snippet for the theme from 14 April 2011, which we finally tackle today.

UPDATE: What do you think of making the featured book a spur-of-the-moment "Two or Three" Book Club pick?

Today's Theme:

Er wurde rot vor Erregung und fuhr fort:

"Wenn einer eine Blume liebt, die es nur ein einziges Mal gibt auf allen Millionen und Millionen Sternen, dann genuegt es ihm voellig, dass er zu ihnen hinaufschaut, um gluecklich zu sein. Er sagt sich: Meine Blume is da oben, irgendwo . . . Wenn aber das Schaf die Blume frisst, so ist es fuer ihn, als waeren ploetzlich alle Sterne ausgeloescht! Und das soll nicht wichtig sein?"

In case you don't recognise it, that's the part when the Little Prince is livid that he even has to explain why the loss of a single flower can be a catastrophe equal to all the stars going out at once. "Rot vor Erregung" can be translated as "red with distress." A few paragraphs earlier, the Little Prince was "ganz blass vor Zorn"--or "utterly pale with anger." A deep feeler, isn't he? 

This chapter also includes one of my favourite lines from the entire text, another emotional one: "Es ist so geheimnisvoll, das Land der Traenen." Often Englished (HA, BAT!) as: The land of tears is so mysterious.

Now is it just one of my very random impressions, or is reading Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery in translation a rite of passage for all serious language learners? That French learners would eventually get to it is expected . . . but my own copy is a gift from a friend who had to read it in his high school German class and who had in turn inherited it from an aunt who had also studied Deutsch. Moreover, it is the only book that my local bookstore stocks in multiple languages--including Latin!

UPDATE: And now it occurs to me that I should have made Le Petit Prince, in whatever language you want to read it, the next "Two or Three" Book Club pick. =P What do you think? Is it still doable?

Image Source: Der Kleine Prinz


MrsDarwin said...

Oh, let's do it in various languages! I think that I have a copy in French around the house. Maybe I'll make the kids suffer by reading that one to them.

Belfry Bat said...

_ Beg _ pardon? ... just when did I use that verb last? I can't remember... to be sure I would like using it, but mostly it recalls to me Daniel Mitsui's frequent reference to Voraigne's take on Catena Aurea... "Goldene Kette", if you will.

Belfry Bat said...

maybe I mean Caxton, instead of Voraigne? and it might have been a Sage instead of a Kette... it's been a funny day.

Brandon said...

I'm game! I only have an English version on my shelves, but I could certainly dig up a French translation and perhaps another translation somewhere.

Enbrethiliel said...


Mrs. Darwin -- Well, it'll be better than the time you made them listen to Westlife! ;-) And if I may: how long have your children been taking French? And why did you pick French over all the other possible foreign languages to study?

Bat -- THIS is when you used that verb last! #soproudsheremembered

Brandon -- You're reminding me that the Filipino translation should get an honourable mention, too!

MrsDarwin said...

They don't know French; that's why it will be such torment to them. I took a French class when I was high school age because I thought French was romantic and I didn't want to learn Spanish or German, and I stuck with it in college although I wish I'd learned Latin. (And Brendan was a Classics major, so he could have helped me with my homework, too, though I maybe I would have felt stupid making baby steps in a language he was already proficient with. It's good not to have the pride of 18 anymore.)

I have been trying to have the kids learn Latin, but we get so far and then always all down at the point where there's no help for it but serious gritty memorization work, because I don't know it either. Probably we'd do better actually reading easy selections and looking up the grammar every time until it started to become instinctive.

And I'm thanking you again for adding the name/URL sign-in.

Enbrethiliel said...


They don't know French; that's why it will be such torment to them.

LOL!!! And now I want to do something similar to my brother!

I know what you mean about the pride of 18 . . . and also the pride of 21 . . . and the pride of 25 . . . I like to think I have my head screwed on straight these days, but one day I may look back at the pride of [Age redacted! =P]. One thing I'm glad I've finally learned is that we should never make age an excuse not to take up something new!

That strategy of beginning with texts rather than grammar is exactly how I'm learning Italian--except that I'm listening to music and watching cartoons instead of just reading. I also do a kind of "grammar course" on the side, using YouTube videos. And for what I want to do, it is fantastic; though I admit that my proficiency is as limited as my objectives. For instance, having looked up the simple future tense, I can understand it when I hear it in a song, but I can't (yet?!?!) form a sentence in it without first pausing "to pull up" the grammar rule.

Good luck with Latin! =D