Mudcat Café message #730639 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #48582   Message #730639
Posted By: Susanne (skw)
15-Jun-02 - 05:22 PM
Thread Name: Help: singing in German
Subject: RE: Help: singing in German
Don and Alex - thanks very much for your complimentary words about my native language! Actually, you are right, German is not a language that lends itself readily to being sung. But it can be sung, and we've got some very nice songs. However, dialects often work much better because their sounds are often softer than standard German. The language of the first song above is not 'bad German'. It must have derived from a South German dialect ('Alemannisch' or 'Fraenkisch', I'd guess) and certainly hasn't got much to do with Yiddish. The song still exists in Germany, and the translation given is correct. I would spell it

Zwaa Ochsen, zwaa Esel un a bucklige Kuh
Des gibt mir mei Vader wann i heirade du.
Paar Hühnche un e Hahn, des dutt er dazu.
Des gibt mir mei Vader wann i heirade du.

It's difficult to convey the soft sounds of the dialect adequately, but Jeanie is right in thinking 'du' here stands for 'tu' - 'when I do marry'. By the same token, 'dutt' means 'tut' - an untranslatable construction. See Ebbie's translation.