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Translation for Ein Elefant Für Dich -- Wir Sind Helden

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Jun. 6th, 2007 | 05:18 pm
posted by: skulblaka in foreign_songs

Hi there!  I have just completed a unique translation of Ein Elefant Für Dich by Wir Sind Helden into English, if anyone is interested in it. 

Wir Sind Helden – Ein Elefant Für Dich (An Elephant For You)

I see us both
You are long since too much
For my little arms but
I will not give you up
I know that your monsters
Are just like my own
And with those you’ll be
Much better not alone
And I know I know I know and I won’t ask
I will carry you, climb on and hold me fast

I’m getting giant-huge for you
An elephant for you
I’ll carry you for miles
O’er the land
and I’ll
take you as far as I can
take you as far as I can
at the end of the way if I could
I’ll carry you
carry you out of the wood

And he that shouldn’t,
he cries on the phone
and she that doesn’t want to
cries, but knows it though.
Your legs aren’t carrying you like they ought to
they go so often, they no longer want to
and I know I know and I won’t stand for that
I will carry you, climb on and hold me fast

I’m getting giant-huge for you
An elephant for you
I’ll carry you for miles
O’er the land
and I’ll
take you as far as I can
take you as far as I can
at the end of the way if I could
I’ll carry you
carry you out of the wood



Note: My translation is not word for word, rather, I’ve translated it preserving the rhythm and rhyme scheme, so that the English words can be sung to the regular tune.  If you would like a word for word translation, you can find it at any number of internet sites.

German lyrics:

Ich seh uns beide, du bist längst zu schwer
Für meine Arme, aber ich geb dich nicht her
Ich weiß, deine Monster sind genau wie meine
und mit denen bleibt man besser nicht alleine
Ich weiß, ich weiß, ich weiß und frage nicht
Halt dich bei mir fest, steig auf, ich trage dich

Ich werde riesengroß für dich
Ein Elefant für dich
Ich trag dich meilenweiter
Übers Land
Und ich
trag dich so weit wie ich kann
Ich trag dich so weit wie ich kann
Und am Ende des Wegs, wenn ich muss
trage ich dich
trag ich dich über den Fluss

Einer der nicht sollte, weint am Telefon
Und eine die nicht wollte,
weint und weiß es schon
Deine Beine tragen dich nicht wie sie sollten
So oft gehen die,
die noch nicht weg gehen wollten
Ich weiß, ich weiß und ich ertrag es nicht
Halt dich bei mir fest, steig auf, ich trage dich

Ich werde riesengroß für dich
Ein Elefant für dich

I would love comments/critiques, especially from all the German speakers out there!  How do you think I've done?

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Comments {9}

[fʏʃ]

(no subject)

from: fueschgast
date: Jun. 7th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
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It's beautiful. I like how it's not a word for word translation, how it's lyric-y.

But either I'm not that good with English as I thought or you got two lines kinda wrong:
they go so often, they no longer want to
and I know I know and I won’t stand for that

It shouldn't be "no longer" but "not yet" and the second line's meaning is more "I can't stand it"

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Katja

(no subject)

from: skulblaka
date: Jun. 7th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
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Thanks so much! Would those lines maybe be better like this:

they go so often, they that don't yet want to
and I know I know and I can not stand that

Thanks again for your feedback!

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[fʏʃ]

(no subject)

from: fueschgast
date: Jun. 7th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I think those are better.

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Good job

from: nurirgendwo
date: Jun. 23rd, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
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There's not alot of idiomatic translations out there for these bands. I hope this community continues to grow.

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Katja

Re: Good job

from: skulblaka
date: Jun. 23rd, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
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I hope so too! I'm planning on doing more once I understand the songs, but I've figured out that I really need to "get" the whole song before I can try to translate it at all.

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Lauren

(no subject)

from: flyingfish06
date: Aug. 2nd, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
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i don't speak german, but a german-speaking friend of mine introduced me to this song, and i really like the style of your translation :)

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Katja

(no subject)

from: skulblaka
date: Aug. 2nd, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I'm a native English speaker, so I wanted to translate it such that I could sing along in my own language.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Jan. 27th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
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I think its offensive to the writers to just rewrite the song in your language - like their language wasn't good enough for you.

It's fine to translate so you can know what is going on. But to just start singing it in a different language...it's like saying that you are too lazy to actually learn the words to the song that you like so much.

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Katja

(no subject)

from: skulblaka
date: Jan. 27th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
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On the contrary, I think it's a sign of admiration. I know the German version by heart, and wanted to be able to perform for my English-speaking friends in such a way that they would be able to understand the lyrics. I also think it is a beautiful song, and wanted to make it more accessible to more people.

Of course my translation pales in comparison to the original German, and anyone who truly wants to appreciate the song should learn it in German. It's much better that way.

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