Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Learning From Music Videos: German Songs, English Subtitles

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about learning German. One method I find fun is to listen to German music with English subtitles. (I also listen to music in German and write translations for myself, and I’ll start sharing those with you at some point). Here are a few of the videos I’ve watched. If you don’t see the subtitles on some of them, make sure to go to the little box to the bottom right that will ask if you want to turn on captions.

Drei wie Brüder (Three Like Brothers)~Die Lunikoff Verschwörung (The Lunikoff Conspiracy)

Just to be clear given that people tend to tag this song with terms of ideals and agendas I don’t support, the reason I share this song is not in support of those things, but because if you remove the country the soldiers come from & the specific war, it could be about any soldier in any war. The narrator sings not for a country or cause but for the brothers he lost and still grieves for.

Himmel auf (Heavens Rip Open)~Silbermond (Silver Moon)

I’ve seen this title translated a few different ways. Himmel can mean sky or heaven/heavens. I went with heavens as it makes the most sense with the rest of the song. “Auf” can mean a few things depending what it’s paired with. In the actual song it’s “Wann reisst der Himmel auf” and aufreißen is to rip open, so I ditched the “Wann” and consider the title “Heavens Rip Open”. Note with this one, Glück can mean luck or happiness. This translator used luck. My choice would have been happiness.

Im meinem Leben (In My Life)~Nena

Most people in America know Nena for 99 Luftballoons (and most of those know the English version), but she’s not a one hit wonder over here. Here’s one of her songs.

Liebe ist (Love Is)~Nena

Here’s another.

Du hast (You Have)~Rammstein

I’m sure most people have heard this song, but it drives me crazy that people know the English version and assume it’s a direct translation. It’s not, and I think the original is a lot better. Of course, in German they had the luxury to play with the sound of words to give a double-meaning that couldn’t come across in the English version such as hast/hasst (have/hate) and Tod, der scheide/Tod der Scheide (until death, which would separate/until the death of the vagina) so maybe that’s why they’re a little more outwardly crude in the English version. Anyhow, here’s the original with someone’s translation to English.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these German songs with English translations. Next time, I’ll take a look back at 2013.

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8 Thoughts on “Learning From Music Videos: German Songs, English Subtitles

  1. When I lived in Austria I did the same thing. I watched German movies with English/Spanish subtitles and emerged myself in German music (I especially liked listening to Xavier Naidoo). I also started watch Germany’s Next Top Model. I’m not a huge fan of reality shows, but my friend was watching it and I started getting into it…kind of like a telenovela.

    • I also watch German movies with the English subtitles. One of these days I need to do a post on some of them 🙂 I’ve only heard a few Xavier Naidoo songs, but I like him also. Maybe one of these days I’ll do a post with some of his songs. We’re on base with like three AFN channels so I don’t see German TV often.

  2. Oh god I hated hearing Du Hast when I was dating a German boy. Gah!

    If you haven’t seen Im Juli, go see it. I thought it was beautiful. 🙂 And for comic relief, Der Schuh des Manitu.

    • Haha it’s a bit overplayed. It’s better that you heard the German version at least lol.

      I haven’t seen those yet. I’ll have to get them. Looks like they’re both available in the version I get most often (the US release that has the German language with English subtitles).

  3. That’s definitely a great way to learn a language! It helped me a lot when I started to learn English!

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