Wednesday, March 22, 2017

German song dump

So, I've been trying to learn some German using Duolingo, but I also decided maybe I need to listen to bigger "bits" of it to help my comprehension. (I'm not QUITE to the point of trying to find movies or tv shows on YouTube or elsewhere that are in German. Hm....I wonder if there are dubbed versions of Ponies out there)

Anyway, I started looking at songs. I find the easiest ones are the more "old style" ones.

I've already expressed my love for Mein Kleiner Gruener Kaktus:

(Though Raabe leaves out an entire verse, about women resembling the flowers they like, so "what would people say about me then" because presumably the singer is fond of her (?) cactus):

Also fun fact: "Bösewicht" translates literally as "villain" but I don't think that's really what's meant here....böse can mean evil, but it can also mean naughty. Or it can mean angry. And I guess "wicht" is kind of like a it's sort of an insult but perhaps here doesn't really mean villain in the sense of a truly evil person. (essentially: when a mean person says something naughty, I go get my cactus and it sticks them)

I dunno. It's just a silly song. (At the end: Herr Krause, "vom Nachtbarhause" comes over at 4 am to tell the singer her (again: ?) cactus fell on his face and it pricked him)

But I also looked around for other things. And I found there seems to be a cottage industry in translating American pop songs into German for fun.
Well, this isn't a translation, because it's in English, but it's done slightly polka style, and partway through, the horn section does Shunkeln (that's where people either link arms or put their arms around each other's shoulders and sway in time with the music) and I find it deeply amusing given that this song is generally considered a bad, mad, and dangerous-to-know song:
(And yes, the first time I watched it, I burst out laughing at about 51 seconds in)
That group does some other songs, some in German:
Yeah, my German is NOT THAT GOOD - I can only catch a few words here and there from that. (I mean, I know the song it's based on, but I'm sure the words aren't a strict translation, because translations of songs don't work that way).
I also find myself thinking: the woman in those videos looks to me like the person you'd get if you mixed up Rhea Perlman's and Cyndi Lauper's DNA and made a person out of it. 
And I also find myself thinking: if they didn't look so danged costumey in our culture, I could totally rock a dirndl. 
And then I found this, watched it, and felt my brain break a little:
I can get about five words out of that whole thing, and one of those is "Skinny-jeans." (I'm also guessing Osch is a slang term for the backside.... rather like Arsch or in British-English, arse)
Turns out the video is in a strong southern-German dialect called Bayerisch and wow, is it DIFFERENT from the standard German I am trying to learn. (They list the lyrics and I can't even get much out of the printed lyrics, though now I do know that in Bayerisch you can say "diarra Hakl" to describe a very thin person)
I'm even trying to think of a dialect of English that would be that different from the Midwestern American English I speak - maybe extreme Highland Scots, or something like "Geordie" in the UK. 
I knew southern German and standard German were different, but I didn't realize HOW different. (I presume most people, at least in cities, know standard German and can tone down the dialect for non-Bayerisch, kind of like how some speakers of rural American English can code-switch into something that sounds more "standard" when they need to)

1 comment:

purlewe said...

if I remember right there is High German and then everything else is a dialect. So you might be speaking German but your town speaks it in a certain dialect that is hard to understand 2 towns over. but everyone learns High German and can use it in formal situations, or if travelling to other parts of the same country.