I'm huge and/or hated in Germany

Today I opened my mail and found my book translated into German, along with a German magazine filled with pictures of my grandparents for some reason.

It was weird.  And awesome.

I'm huge and/or reviled in Germany

At first I thought the title translated to “What’s With The Night War, Stinky?” but according to people on twitter it’s more like “Is This Actually Happening, Or What?”  Which makes slightly more sense, but I kind of like my interpretation better. Also, Hamlet Von Schnitzel is now a Dracula for some reason, and I thought my cat was checking out the German magazine article about me, but apparently he just wanted to hide his face because he’d rather not be associated with this whole debacle.  Fair enough.

Also, I asked Victor what “Psycho” translated to in English and turns out it just means “Psycho”.  So I guess there wasn’t a lot lost in translation after all.  And now we can all speak a word of German, so technically I think this means that my blog is now considered educational.  And world-renowned.  And a little psycho.

Just as it should be.

196 thoughts on “I'm huge and/or hated in Germany

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  1. German is good, because it can sometimes just mirror translated into other languages. The closest English translation might be. “That’s not true, is it?”

  2. My blog is big in the former Soviet Union. I don’t have relatives there, so I am guessing the fact that many of the referring websites have some form of “sex” or “erotic” in the title means that even people who don’t speak English keep hoping my talk of Japanese housewives and school girls will lead to something slightly more interesting than a misguided cross-cultural mom blog. I guess titles like this don’t help.

    http://www.momintwocultures.com/2013/01/so-are-you-new-here-or-do-you-come-here.html

    Then again, maybe they really do…

  3. The closest English translation is “Railcars over the briny” so I would suppose that the boys and girls in Whitechapel are scrambling Spitfires right now. Actually algi nailed it. The good thing is there’s no noun in your title. Germans tend to aggregate adjectives in front of nouns like a car pile up on ice.

  4. If this version of Hamlet Von Schnitzel doesn’t launch a comic book, the world will have missed a wonderful opportunity.

    This MUST happen!

  5. One of my favorite things to do is to run into the house, look at my 7 year old and should “I love you so much!” in German. It sounds utterly terrifying. Sadly, she’s getting used to it now and just rolls her eyes.

    Related (or not) for some reason my blog is huge in western Japan. Especially my posts about spiders, and my cat, Geronimo. Seriously. I can not, for the life of me figure it out. But I’m not complaining.

  6. Yes, I’d translate it to: This can’t be right, or?

    Congratulations on your book being translated to so many languages. Whee! 🙂

  7. Your blog has been educational and world-renown WAY before the German translation…come to think of it, it’s been psycho too. The blogging hat-trick!

  8. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about animated Hamlet. Part of my loves it and part of me is making him count things like the Count from Sesame Street and now I think I love it!

  9. The cat is clearly trying to learn German, the first step in his conquest to take over the world.

  10. My book title translates to Mädchen Gespenst Jagdführer in German. I think it has something to do with cranky hairballs.

  11. I’m living in Germany right now and my favorite phrase is Was Ist Das Shiza! It’s all I knew when we moved here so that’s what I’d say to everybody. They don’t like it. I also called my husband a shoe Nazi in a store too. I was asked to leave. If only they knew how hard it is to live with someone who doesn’t appreciate shoes!

  12. It’s a good thing they didn’t translate ‘the’ in “The Bloggess”. Because I’m pretty sure that would be “Die Bloggess” and that would really sound hateful.

  13. I feel like they forgot an exclamation point after the ‘oder’. I always feel like I need to shout in German… my German teacher FRAULEIN VANDERBEECK probably still remembers my oral exam of 1995.

  14. when I took French in high school, we read Le Petit Prince & I learned that in French, my last name means, “huh?”

    Sometimes the foreign kids aren’t being mean, they’re just evaluating sh*t straight up. You kinda gotta just sit back & respect the honesty of that. 😉

  15. This just made my day and made me realize I haven’t taken your book off the shelf to read in a few weeks. Time for some Jenny!

  16. “Psycho” is pronounced “pseeko” in German. And yes, they pronounce the P. Silly Germans.

  17. Congrats on international publishing! And on being bilingual! I, for one, always leave this blog more informed than when I came to it.

  18. I get loads of hits from people in France searching for crutches. In French, but slightly misspelling the French for crutches.

  19. Remember this about Germans (and I have first hand knowledge): Clean on the outside, dirty on the inside. Thus, psycho is a term of endearment.

    And I have to say that (in perfect ironic symmetry) “Eden Fantasys” advertising 70% off their “products” in the right column under the banner only adds the whole fascinating user experience that is your blog. 🙂

  20. Wohooo, finally. I purchased your book in Austin and kept people here telling about it (maybe I should add that I am German..) but since they wouldn´t be able to read it in English, I can now go ahead and tell them about the book and that they can buy it in German. I do hope though that since American TV-shows lose a lot of wit and charm once they are dubbed German, the same won´t happen to your book because it´s AWESOME. 😀 Schöne Grüße aus Deutschland!

  21. Now I kind of want to relearn German
    1. So I can read your book to blind German orphan kinder folk
    2. So I can sound terrifying when I yell at my children. I don’t think they take me very seriously.

  22. i’m sure it will be a hit! you know how much Germans LOVE well structured things, like chapters that incorherently ramble on about vaginas, unicorms, and questionable taxidermy with little to no thought resolution. on second thought….. good luck with your book sales over there jenny. 🙂

  23. Congratulations on the German love. My favorite word in German is backpfeifengesicht which means “a face in need of a punch.” It is so much more compelling than just calling someone an asshole, don’t you think?

  24. Please try to get Mike Meyers as Dieter on Sprokets to read the audio version of this. That would make me HAPPY AS A LITTLE GIIIRRL, my lieben!!

  25. Awesome 🙂 Yay for randomly translated into German!
    I’m like Mom in two cultures – my blog seems to be big in Soviet Russia (apart from here in NZ), and when I have big Russia days, the post that gets the most views is about a house guest we had who was a rude boor. Odd.
    Anyway, still need to get around to buying the kindle version of your book for reading once the baby arrives. Cant wait to get some entertainment in those middle of the night feeds!

  26. So are all the pictures in the German book in color? Those Germans are classy. I can’t wait to get my audiobook translated into German. You’ll be doing the reading right?

  27. Not just “psycho,” but “psycho UND pop.” That’s a winning combination, right there.

    Is it just a coincidence that the publisher Metrolit looks like it breaks up into Me Trol It?

  28. Here is my question… why is the background cover art Chewbaca’s fur? Not that I am judging (as I love Chewbaca), however is that trendy in Germany? Something I am missing?

  29. I would translate is as “Is this for real?!?” with the combination of exclamation and questions marks, which Germans never use. Probably because they’re all stoic and shit.

    Though, my favorite German title translation I’ve found was for Curb Your Enthusiasm – “Lass es, Larry” (Leave it alone, Larry).

  30. Ausgezeichnet (outstanding)!! Bless the poor soul that had to try to translate your awesomeness into Deutsch. I will be happy to come help you do the audiobook in German. 🙂

  31. VERY excited to see this is available here now! I have multiple German friends who speak perfect English but read better and process better in German. I can now purchase your laugh fest for my fave friends over here. I see a rash of early birthday present splurging in my future.

  32. LOL! Congrats! I have yet to become international and multi-language-like … but I can only IMAGINE (and dream, and hope) what that feeling must really FEEL like.

    Absolutely hilarious. 🙂 May the Germans now indulge in your nuttiness.

  33. As an Expat American living in Germany, I can tell you that you are huge with my friends both here and back in the States- but only the cool, loony ones… which, come to think of it, pretty much describes them all.

  34. Do you know what magazine this is? I might be compelled to buy it and read the article, being German and living here, too, and stuff.

  35. As a German, let me just say that translating funny english books to german should be punishable by public lashing (I was going to suggest death, but that seemed a little drastic when you can just order the English version on amazon like I always do. That way you also don’t have to wait forever). The title alone makes me cringe. It’s actually “This is not true, right?”. In the poor translators defence, German is just not that funny.

    Also, I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t tell us the title of that magazine. So, what exactly did they uncover that you wouldn’t want us to know about? Printing Psycho in huge letters on red background does look like a warning, but the little starts throw me off. (Psycho und Pop? What the fuck does that even mean?)

  36. Checked out the German version of Amazon.com only to find that a. your book isn’t out yet (but you can order it in advance, of course) and 2. they are calling it a novel! (Roman in German). I started a discussion forum there in which I try to set them straight. We’ll see what happens!

  37. My older sister took German in high school…it always sounded like she was yelling at us. Pretty much like when she spoke English. Wait…what were we talking about?

  38. Perfect title for your third book! I predict great things for the American version of What’s With The Night War, Stinky?

  39. I lived in Munich for three years, and I can honestly say…if anyone needs a good laugh, it’s the Germans. Gods, are they ever intense. In fact, there was a news item that happened whilst we lived there about someone who called the Polizei because she could hear someone making horrible noises in the woods behind her house…turns out a guy was sitting in the woods reading a book and laughing out loud.

    “It’s not a sound we usually hear” the Polzei told the press.

    Can’t make it up.

  40. I wonder what your book looks like when it’s translated into Icelandic. Their language doesn’t use very many vowels.

  41. Jason never reads for fun (and with your book I have told him 85789 times he should read it), but if I get your book in German, he just might. The last time we went to Mexico, he was able to use his German more than his Spanish…

    I think these Germans are quite smart – they just know what caped animal needs to be added to your collection next!

  42. I was disappointed they dropped German the year I started high school so I went with French instead and now I am disappointed all over again. I haven’t even gotten to read the English version of your book yet, Jenny. Maybe I should start with the German version first and then see how the English translates! = P

  43. I actually guffawed at your version of the translation. If I ask why they didn’t use the word “Fahrvegnugen” am I dating myself? If so, at least I’m a cheap date.

    “…say the word…”

  44. “This isn’t so, is it?” my parents spoke German to each other while we were growing up, of course we learned to understand it. “oder” is a fabulous word that we use (and my children use) with a shake of the hand movement. It’s fabulous.: “I am not going to have that second piece of Sacher Torte….Oder?” ( or am I?) My kids college friends now use it too. Join us sometime, we have a language all our own. love, Laurie F.

  45. and we unleash Jenny Lawson upon the world- I wonder how your humor translates?- your book made me laugh so hard at times- and then I would run into my daughter’s room to read that section to her, and would barely be able to read it aloud before I would be laughing again.
    My favorite German word is Frikadellen- it means meatballs ( or meat pattties) but it sounds like I’m cussing when I say it.

  46. Did you get the article translated? Because all I can see is “Jenny Lawson aus Texas ist die Königin der Internet” which means “Jenny Lawson of Texas is the queen of the internet” and that’s pretty much exactly right 😀

  47. Yeah! I tormented all my German friends (and my family for that matter) with your book but they refused to read it in English. Now there’s no excuse for them NOT to read it! But the German title is boring! Not an accurate translation either… And nice to see HST hide behind Psycho! Good to know he is just as lovable as before. And as psycho – ninja cat! 🙂
    Now you’ve got to follow the German bestseller list online (I reccommend spiegel.de or diezeit.de) to see when your book hits the number 1 spot! I’ve already told my friends who work at libraries that they definitely need to buy it (and tell readers to read/buy it) – and they in turn need to tell their friends to go and buy it! Hehehe This is fun!

  48. The only thing I remember from German class is that the word ‘gift’ in German means ‘poison.’ So you might want to be on the lookout for that too.

  49. I saw this link of people posing with dead animals and immediately thought of you. Also running out to buy your book in German. I’d translate it more as “That’s not true, is it?”

  50. This is fabelhaft. (German for fabulous) I’ve lived here for over three years now and honestly, these people have no idea how to handle someone like you. In fact, I imagine anyone from here that reads your book will do so with a puzzled look on their face the entire time, or more likely, their head will explode. Goddamned Germans. Writing about the Germans is one of my most favorite hobbies, these people that have a law against showering after 6 on Sundays, mowing your lawn at noon and smiling. Congrats on the translation! 🙂

  51. I can recommend the ‘Waldhaus’ on the Heerstrasse in Berlin for an authentic Taste of Germany when you go there for your book signing and it’s close to the Berlin Olympic Stadium where Jesse Owens upset the Riechs Fuhrer xx

  52. At the local high school, if you try to access this blog, a message pops up saying “SITE BLOCKED DUE TO GERMAN, PORTUGUESE, AND MALAYSIAN PORNOGRAPHY.”
    So, you know, I guess your book’s like German porn? That’s probably why it’s so popular.

  53. I am in love with Dracula Hamlet Von Schnitzel. I love how he’s throwing his hands up in the air like he’s attending an invisible party in his head. OR maybe it’s a mirror and we just cant see the party because they’re all vampires. Think about that one!

  54. I clicked on this from your Twitter link. Because of the title I was expecting it to be your Les Miz review.

  55. Why not use the literal translation..Lassen Sie sich vor, dies nie passiert Weird, but congratulations anyway!

  56. and it *almost* looks like the bottom could say “und porn”? which loosely translated *i think* is AND PORN!!! so – win/win, bloggess!

  57. The first thing I noticed about the picture was Hamlet dancing. I was all, is he doing the hip hop hooray ho?!

  58. Dammit! I already sent in my bloggie nominations! If I had just read this like 2 days ago, I could have given you a nomination in the educational category!

  59. Sie lieben dich! Sie lieben dich! Und das ist erstaunlich, da die Deutschen fast alle mit Ausnahme von anderen Deutschen zu hassen. Eine Sekunde warten ….. bist du deutsch?

  60. I feel like Hamlet is mocking Juanita on the cover a bit. He’s really trying to steal her thunder. Germans also really love National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, so they know their funny business. Congratulations are in order.

  61. Ich habe keine kase.

    That’s pretty much the extent of my German. I think it means I don’t have any cheese. I can imagine how odd it must feel to see a book you wrote printed in a language you don’t understand. They could really be fucking with you. But they probably aren’t. Yeah, it’s probably all on the up and up. Probably.

  62. I’ve always wanted to learn a little German. Thanks for teaching me ya PSYCHO! 🙂 🙂 Aren’t you supposed to hawk a loogie while speaking in German? LOLOL

  63. “What’s With the Night War, Stinky?” is one of the funniest things you’ve written – and that’s saying a lot because you’re a funny m-f-er.

  64. Ich habe ein problem : ( I have a problem)
    Mich und meine freunde verloren : (Me and my friends are lost)
    Schweinehund! : (pig dog!)

    All you need to know when travelling in Germania.

    P.S. Debby @ comment 31 you made me gafaw;
    Reminded me of my Swedish oral examination – I *was* the Muppet’s Swedish Chef!

  65. *sigh* I hate myself for this but please please please, world-renownED.

    (I always get those confused. Fixed. Unless you’re wrong. Then we’re both wrong. Together. ~ Jenny)

  66. First of all, congrats on the translation. That’s kind of an honor, I think.
    But I don’t like the cover – looks kind of childish to me.
    And for my part, I don’t understand why they have to translate it in the first place.
    I mean people who will buy your book, are reading the blog already … and well, this one IS in english.
    Me chose the original version. Most times I find it rather stupid to consume translated stuff – some things realy get lost in translation.

    And for the David Hasselhoff thing … we Germans DO NOT love him at all! But we do love to make fun of him, that he thinks we do. There’s a difference, you know 😛

  67. To me you’re huge! 😀
    I loved your book.
    I just hope they didn’t ruin it by translating it into German, they tend to do that here.

    Greeting from good old Germany
    Jo

  68. If you look into it more technically it is more like, “that is not true or not”, “nicht”means not and “wahr”means true.

  69. Actually, I think Hamlet Von Whatsit looks like he’s waving with both arms at some concert. Singin’ he ho, I’m Galileo!

  70. jenny- you never fail me. everytime i come here, no matter my mood, i am lifted again. i use you for this, i hope you dont mind. bi-polar difficulties, lowest of the low right now. but you are right- depression lies. thank you for that. i say it to myself regularly.

    you are angel in curlers… ?

  71. What’s with the Night War, Stinky ? is better than what my non german translating mind jumped too – “That’s the Night Whore, isn’t it ?” Although I think mine seems to fit the weird illustration somehow…….

  72. Psy-cho. Got it. Yay! I love learning a new language. Also, is that, like, a big ol’ pile of fur in the background cover of the German edition???

  73. Love reading the comments almost as much as the post. And I agree that you have found the title for your next book! Though I wonder how it will actually translate into German…

  74. german speaker here. “psycho” can also be an abbreviation of the german word for “psychology.” which adds a slightly more scholarly bent to your website 😉

  75. It takes a while for Germans to come around, but it’s good to have them on your side!
    Das ist sehr gut! (I wanted to say “cogratulations” but that is like 50 strange letters long!

  76. Congrats on your new partial invasion of Russia.

    I never imagined that the way to make a taxidermy mouse more intimidating was to take away his tiny mouse skull. Shows what I know.

  77. Excellent. Prior to this, I knew only foods, swear words, “Achtung Baby!” (thank you U2), “Schadenfreude” (obvvy), and “Ich bin sehr warm” which apparently means, “I am very gay.” You’re welcome.

  78. @Lady Penelope 121,

    those are helpful phrases to know.

    now that I think of it, i’m pretty sure “swedish oral examination” was the title of the first VHS tape i rented back in the 80s.

  79. I just finished your book and LOVED IT! I presented my review of it to my book club where some were thoroughly entertained while some were perhaps a bit frightened. Having moved to a tiny Texas town on the edge of Hill Country a few years ago, some of your observations and experiences were even funnier to me than they might have been otherwise. I love the view of the world through the filter of your brain!

  80. “What’s With The Night War, Stinky?” made me laugh so hard I got tears all over the insides of my reading glasses and had to take them off and clean them before I could write this.

    It also perfectly expresses my feelings regarding my gassy husband who farts in his sleep. Sometimes it’s so bad, I have to get up in the middle of the night and let the gas cloud dissipate for an hour or so.

  81. I speak German fluently and It actually says “This is not true, or is it” in German”. They aren’t very good at translating lol

  82. I lived in Germany back in the cold war days, yes, I’m old…. bought a puppy and named her schnitzel…..that lasted one day, the natives were horrified that I would call her “pork chop”, they offered Schatzie (every dog in West Germany was named Schatzie) I changed it to Smidgen which they changed to Smidgechen, Detente

  83. The Germans must like odd items. The only other language my book was translated into was German.

    Congrats on your global reach.

  84. ok, I’m outing myself as a German female regular reader on this blog 🙂

    And possibly the only one who thinks that the translation of the title is actually pretty good – the very accurate translation would be something like “Lass uns so tun, als sei das nie passiert” oder “Wir tun so, als sei das nie passiert.” I think that sound pretty formal and boring, whereas “Das ist nicht wahr, oder?” is much closer to a real, everyday exclamation. I guess we don’t have a short, catchy word for “pretend”…
    So, perhaps it’s a relief to read that at least for one native German speaker here the German title sounds good 😉

    P.S. I read you autocorrect story today and nearly pissed myself laughing 😀

  85. My new typical people greeting is now officially “What’s with the night war, Stinky?”. I hope you don’t mind.

  86. From Belgium here, but I grew up with a German stepmother – who was all thing considered far worse than the wicked witch of the west. Sorry Germans, my view on you might be prejudiced.
    Either way, I translate it as:

    That is not true

    (dramatic pause)
    ….
    or is it?

    And dayum, yes it is. Or at least, mostly.
    Or so you say.

  87. @34 yeah uhm.. No. Psycho actually isnt pronounced “pseecho”.

    The y is pronounced the same way we pronounce “ü”. The same way the French pronounce both “u” in “Tutu”. Prioblem is that you guys in the US pronounce it “Tootoo” because you hate the Fench so whatever 😉

    At least US English isnt’t defiling foreign words like The Japanese do. They have their own set of signs just for phonetically spelling goreign languages. Example?

    This is “love letter” in Japanese.
    ????

    It reads “rabureta” and they speak it, of course, labuleta. Because of the r/l thing.

    First time I read that I couldn’t stop laughing for 30 minutes straight. I had to read something sad because My stomach started hurting 🙂

    But I digress. Greetings from Germany , somewhere north of the Weißwurstäquator 🙂

  88. I recently saw mention of your book in the comments on a tumblr post about cow fisting. Okay, technically it was about checking them to see if they’re pregnant, but the post preceding it was a guy with an octopus stuck to his junk (hentai—don’t ask me to explain how I know that because I’m just now able to reduce my meds), and all I could think of was WHAT A MORNING! Cow fisting AND Hentai AND now Jenny’s book gets mentioned because why wouldn’t it? Btw, miss yer face.

  89. Congratulations! You should know that German magazines are generally much less conservative than American magazines. You get nudes and cuss words in ‘regular’ magazines and the main teen magazines all have sex q&a columns. The US is considered pretty puritanical, so actually your book fits right in there 😉

  90. I just ran “Let’s pretend this never happened” through Bad Translator. After 15 translations it gave me “If the owner is absent, it is in their words”. The Bad Translator website, incidentally, is cracking my shit up tonight.

  91. I chose a bad time to take a mouthful of dinner and that is when I read “What’s With The Night War, Stinky?”

    Said food is now not in my mouth anymore.

  92. Every time I read your blog I cry. From laughing so hard. It annoys both my wife and 9 year old daughter, so I do it as often as possible.

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