Skip to content

The Lernen to Talk Show: Episode 42 – Die Käfers!

October 8, 2012

One of the best features of Cologne is a long curve of public park space called the Grüngürtel, or “Green Belt”. It is a stretch of lawn that curves from the botanic garden on the Rhine north of the city center, past the iconic TV tower, all the way down to the university. Last week’s episode was filmed near the southern edge of the Grüngürtel, and this week’s brings me back, but this time to Aachener Weiher, a local hotspot for sitting around and doing nothing when the weather is nice.

Photo by Jimmy Lange

On May 14th I got the chance to not only talk with but perform with my former subletter (and forever friend) Kyra, long time supporter of the Lernen to Talk Show! That’s right, it’s the world internet debut of Die Käfers, premiere German-language acoustic Beatles cover duo! Join us in this exclusive inside look at what it takes to faithfully translate classic pop music into a foreign language. You’ll be amazed by how well we preserve the poetry of Lennon/McCartney while staying true to the catchiness of the original. Be sure to stay tuned to the end for a full performance of half of a song!

0:14 – Wrong again!

0:22 – I don’t know how many times I am gonna have to tell myself this, but… the verb (versuchen) needs to always be in the second position in a sentence! Here I say “Heute wir versuchen…”. It should be “Heute versuchen wir…” OR “Wir versuchen heute…”

0:27 – Wrong preposition here. I said “auf Deutsch” instead of “ins Deutsch”, which is sort of counterintuitive. I wanted to say “translate from English to German”, but that “to” should be said as “ins”, which sort of means “in”, but would actually correct for this statement.

0:51 – So weit, so gut.

1:42 – The song’s not in 3, but whatever. I had a lot on my mind.

1:54 – Yikes.

3:02 – I apologize, this is the most English-filled episode yet!

3:42 – Haha! I just noticed that here I say “We need to wiederholen” under what Kyra’s saying. I think it’s so hilarious how correct pronunciation of German words goes out the window as soon as I start mixing with English.

3:48 – Oh dear.

4:42 – And now I’ve forgotten the words.

4:48 – You can’t just make it up, Kyra.

5:42 – This time it’s in 4.

6:31 – They’re riveted.

Complete Lyrics for “Hilfe!”

Hilfe! Ich brauche jemanden.

Hilfe! Nicht nur irgendjemand.

Hilfe! Du weisst, ich brauche jemanden.


Als ich junger war, viel junger als heute

Ich brauche nie irgendwelche Hilfe.

Aber jetzt sind diese Tage vorbei

Ich bin nicht mehr so selbst sicher.

Jetzt ich finde meine Meinung geändert,

Die Tür ist jetzt auf.

Hilf mir, wenn du kannst, ich fühle mich Scheiße

Und ich finde es gut, wenn du bei mir bist.

Hilf mir meine Füße sich finden (?)

Kannst du mir nicht bitte helfen?

Hilf mir! Hilf mir!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Avital permalink
    October 10, 2012 14:03

    In this episode is the first time I have ever heard you swear. Ever.

  2. June 29, 2013 17:25

    It’s actually “ins Deutsche” because in is a preposition that can either demand Dativ or Akkusativ depending on what you’re expressing.

    When you translate INTO German then it’s übersetzen ins Deutsche (in+das, Akkusativ) but if something is IN German already (no motion) then it’s im Deutschen (in+dem, Dativ). Other example:

    Ich gehe in die Schule (Akkusativ)
    Ich sitze in der Schule (Dativ)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: