I really hope “Berlin Station” writer Olen Steinhauer will include bits of German into the script.
Richard’s Russian in Spooks sounded pretty good to me, but I was a little less convinced from his French in “The Impressionists” and in the Heyer audiobooks. So if he is to say some lines in German, maybe he should follow Mad’s example “… after a couple of beers I speak it pretty good” 😉
In any event I hope everyone has learned from probably the worst German movie line fail ever: Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in “Die Hard” when he commands “Schiess’ dem Fenster!”
To get this straight: you could say “Schiess dem Fenster in’s Glas” (Shoot into the window’s glass – which nobody would say ever), so the only correct alternatives are “Schiess auf das Fenster” or “Zerschiess’ das Fenster” or “Schiess das Fenster kaputt”. While in English noun articles are a/an or the, in German this is more complicated because the correct article depends on if the noun is male, female or neutral. So in German “a man / the man” would be “ein Mann / der Mann”, but “a woman / the woman” is “eine Frau / die Frau” and to finally return to Gruber’s shitty line “a window / the window” would be “ein Fenster / das Fenster”. To make it still more complicated, you’ll also have to decline the articles in German …
So a sentence in which you could use “dem” (dative) – and which makes sense – would go like this “Schiess’ dem Mann ins Bein” (“Shoot the guy’s leg”) and to completely mess with your brains out there, in case it’s a woman’s leg it would be “Schiess der Frau ins Bein”. 😉
An old German saying is: Mit Musik geht alles besser – Everything goes better with music. People who are stuttering when speaking are “cured” when singing and I found that it is easier to pronounce foreign words when trying to “parrot” singers. I’ve just started to re-new my piano skills from 30 years ago – and it was kind of creepy, that I instantly remembered tunes I’ve last played as a kid of 10 years.
So – for anyone who wants to get into a “German mood” here are samples from various German Bands who all sound very different and although actually nobody speaks like Till Lindemann from Rammstein, Jan Delay or Max Raabe in real life I’ve added them for “flavour” 😉
2Raumwohnung (meaning: 2roomflat) “36 Grad”
A wonderful “summer in the city” song à la “Buena Vista Social Club” – 36 degrees celsius are 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peter Fox “Fieber”
In Peter’s music there are lots of oriental sounds, which are really typical for Berlin Kreuzberg. “Meine Stadt hat Fieber” means “My city has a fever” so this is his take on summer in Berlin 😉
Lisa Bassenge “Nur fort”
Lisa is singing about leaving town together with her love head over heels and drinking tea with crocodiles. Saw her and her great Jazz Combo live 2 years ago – they’re really good.
Annett Louisan “Das Spiel”
This song is from a woman who likes to “put it about” – “ich will doch nur spielen” means “I only want to play” – so in the song she tries to apologize to her latest fling, because she realized too late, that for him their affair was dead serious, while she “only wanted to play”.
Die Ärzte (meaning: The Doctors) “Junge”
Die Ärzte were popular in the 80s and still have a huge following in Germany. This song is from concerned parents giving tips to their boy (“Junge”) how he should lead his live to please them. They are complaining about his friends and the music (referred to as “Lärm” which just means “noise”) he’s listening to and thus reducing him to a “walking dead” in the video 😉
Ideal “Blaue Augen”
A song about someone’s blue eyes “Doch deine blauen Augen machen mich so sentimental, so blaue Augen wenn du mich so anschaust wird mir alles andere egal, total egal.”
“Your blue eyes are making me sentimental, such blue eyes, when you’re looking at me I don’t care for anything else any more.”
Rammstein are explaining here that it’s no fun to be an angel “They have to cling to stars to not fall from the skies … god knows I don’t want to be an angel”. Their live shows are famous for excellent pyrotechnics, this one is a really nice example.
Sportfreunde Stiller “Ein Kompliment”
This song is just a wonderful declaration of love: Ich wollte Dir nur mal eben sagen, dass Du das Grösste für mich bist. “I just wanted to tell you that you are the greatest for me.”
Die fantastischen Vier “MfG”
“Fanta 4” are a very successful german “fun” hip hop act. This is a song about the many abbreviations used in Germany “MfG” is used at the end of a letter meaning something like “Best regards”.
Jan Delay “Sie kann nicht tanzen”
Hilarious vid full of famous dance scenes. Jan is praising his new love’s looks but then there’s one problem: she can’t dance 😉
Rosenstolz (meaning Roses’pride) “Lass’ es Liebe sein”
“Leave everything behind, start from the beginning, because love is everything” … trivia: the couples making love in the video to this wonderful song are real, therefore it is banned in some countries, so you might have to agree that you are aware of “probably offensive content” before watching.
Max Raabe “Für Frauen ist das kein Problem”
In which Max admires women’s multitasking abilities 😉