One of the things I love about how Pratchett writes witches is that none of them are the same. We hear a lot about what witches as a whole are like - noisy, do what's right not what's good, care for people who can't care for themselves etc. - but there are so many ways to be a witch. Granny, Nanny, Ms Tick, Granny Aching, Miss Level, Miss Treason... They are all so different. And now Tiffany, Petulia and Anagramma have to find their own ways. And although Granny is kind of a mentor to Tiffany it's not about Tiffany becoming a second Granny.
(I hope what I've written is comprehensible, my English brain does not want to work today.)
I guess it's more like a cliché by now. My mom told me how back in the day a guy she liked asked her to have a look at his stamp collection in his room. How very disappointed she was when he really pulled out the album!
I know the coffee thing from American movies and so it kind of exists in German because of the dubbing. But I think most people would be really surprised why you would drink coffee in the middle of the night. "Netflix and chill" as a meme is also used by young German people.
More common is "Kommst du noch mit rein?" meaning "You wanna come in(to my place)?" or "Kommst du vorbei?" meaning "You coming over?" (both quite idiomatic so a bit hard to translate).
"(p156)US hardcover: When Moist shows her his stamp designs, Adora says “What’s this? You carry your etchings with you to save time?” – Adora’s referring to the phrase "Want to come up and see my etchings," a romantic cliché in which a man entices a woman to come back to his place with an offer to look at something artistic. "
The German equivalent is "Want to come up and see my stamp collection", as it happens. Does this exist in English, too?
It's just really, really difficult to translate puns. German is quite close to English and still there are situations where it's just not doable. One of my favourite puns is from Nightwatch: "It was gilt by associaton." I just looked up what they did there in the German version. "Er verspürte sozusagen das vergoldete schlechte Gewissen." which is something like "He felt the gilded guilty conscience, so to speak." They tried to keep the gold in there but of course it's not as witty. What else to do if "gilt" is "vergoldet" and "guilt" is "Schuld"?
Where it's possible they tried to keep the puns but the books are even great without them. And for me, and what I've read for other non English native speakers, rereading the books in English added another level of joy.
Fellow Germans, anyone reminded of that old Otto sketch? "Faust an Großhirn!"
Could someone explain the heggler joke to a non-native speaker?
As you know there were so many people after the war who claimed "Wir haben doch nichts gewusst!" (We didn't know!). And I'm angry because... You didn't notice the insults and humiliations your Jewish work colleagues had to indure? You didn't notice the police men visiting the family next door? You didn't notice people disappearing from your community? YOU DIDN'T NOTICE THE CAMPS AND PEOPLE GOING IN AND NEVER COMING OUT AND THE SMOKE RISING FROM THE CREMATORIA?
No, you didn't fucking ask. And when you were told you didn't want to listen. And when after the war the victims dared to speak up you tried to silence them. After all, it was over, wasn't it? No point in bringing it up all the time.
I'm angry and I'm scared because I'm not sure I would have acted any different. But then young Vimes didn't - and Commander Vimes does.
There are two of my favourite Night Watch quotes in this section.
The first one I feel very emotional about:
"Vimes stared at the thing in his hand. It was a cigar case, slim and slightly curved. He fumbled it open and read:
To Sam with love from your Sybil
The world moved. But now Vimes no longer felt like a drifting ship. Now he felt the tug of the anchor, pulling him round to face the rising tide."
And the second one is, for me, the funniest line in the whole book:
"While suspicious, singing the national anthem and waving the flag are not, in themselves, acts of treason."
I have to admit I sometimes wondered why Vimes liked Colon that much because he can be an arsehole. But young Colon is the second one to cross the line! And we know that this enthusiastic young recruit named Sam Vimes ended up a depressed alcoholic. No wonder Colon has also changed.
Have we known before that Vetinari gave the seamstresses their guild? It explains why Rosie is so loyal to him in The Truth. I love that the seamstresses play such a vital role in the revolution, smuggeling weapons, probably making connections...