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Austria (Österreich), Austrian German (Österreichisches Deutsch), Folk, German (Deutsch), Singer-songwriter

“Des is mei Frau” (Georg Danzer)

Guitar Chords
Verse: E F#m A B E
Chorus: C#m7 B (G#m7) A
Chorus (part 2): E – A
Bridge: G D A E

“Des is mei Frau”
Georg Danzer
Atemzüge (1999)

Du überraschst mi immer wieder
fallst wie der Regen nieder auf mei Leben
dann geht dei Lächeln wie a Sunn auf
und für den Anblick täte i alles geben

Du kannst da Herbst sein und da Frühling
Du kannst da Winter und da Sommer sein
Du bist wie alle Jahreszeiten
in an moment November und dann mai

Und trotzdem kenn i di genau
i schau di au und denk ma, wau!
Des is mei Frau, des is mei Frau, des is mei Frau

Du bist a wolkenloser Himmel
und dann kommt a Gewitter über di
und könnte i Gedanken lesen
Du warast nie a offens Buach für mi

So viele Widersprüchlichkeiten
so viele verschiedene Seiten san an dir
doch a wann wir uns manchmal streiten
i waß genau, wanns eng wird, stehst zu mir

Und deswegen kenn i di genau
i schau di au und denk ma, wau
Des is mei Frau, des is mei Frau, des is mei Frau

Des is mei Frau, die i im Grunde ned durchschau
die traurig is, a wann sie lacht
die mi beruhigt und unruhig macht
bei der i ans nur sicher fühl
des is mei Frau, die is genau
was i vom Leben brauch und will

“This is my woman” (English translation by ORS, 2010)

You surprise me again and again
You fall like the rain down on my life
Then your smile comes out like the sun
And for the sight I would give everything

You can be the autumn and the spring
You can be the winter and the summer
You are like all the seasons
In a moment, November and then May

And nevertheless I know you exactly
I look at you and think, wow
This is my woman, this is my woman, this is my woman

You are a cloudless sky
And then a thunderstorm comes over you
And I could read thoughts
You were never an open book for me

So much contradiction
So many different sides to you
Yet when we sometimes argue
I know exactly, when it gets tight, you stand by me

And so I know you exactly
I look you and think, wow
This is my woman

This is my woman, who I basically don’t see through
Who is sad when she laughs
Who makes me calm and restless
By whom only I feel safe
This is my woman, she is exactly
What I need and want from life


Vocabulary

Überraschen – to surprise; über (over) + “rasch” (quick, swift) from Proto Germanic *raskuz; über from Proto Germanic *uberi

Immer – always; also in Dutch “immer”

Wieder – again; “immer wieder” (again and again)

Der Regen – the rain (from Proto Germanic *regna); verb regen (to move, stir)

Nieder – lower, minor; down as in “nether”(adverb); from Proto Germanic *nitheraz

Das Leben – the life; from verb leben (to live); from Proto Germanic *liba (life, body); related to der Leib (body)

Das Lächeln – the smile; from verb lächeln (to smile) and verb lachen (to laugh); from Proto Germanic *klakhjanan (laugh)

Die Sonne – the sun; from Proto Germanic *sunnon

Der Anblick – the sight; from anblicken (to look at); also in Swed anblick

Tun – to do; from West Germanic *don

Der Herbst – the autumn; in Swed. Höst, Dan. Høsten, Ice. haust

Der Frühling – the spring

Der Winter – the winter; from Proto Germanic *wentruz

Der Sommer – the summer; from Proto Germanic *sumur

Die Jahreszeit – the season; from das Jahr (year) and die Zeit (time)

Trotzdem – nevertheless; from trotz (in spite of) and related to verb trotzen (to defy); “despite” in Dan. trods

Genau – exact, precise, meticulous (adjective); exactly, precisely, just (adverb)

Die Frau – the woman, wife, madam; in Swed. Fru, fruga;

Die Wolke – the cloud

Der Himmel – sky, heaven; Dan./Nor. Himmel; Ice. himinn

Das Gewitter – thunderstorm

Der Gedanke – the thought, idea; in Swed. Tanke, Dan. Tænkte

Widersprüchlich – contradictory ; from der Widerspruch (the contradiction, opposition);

Verschieden – different, various

Die Seite – side; from Proto Germanic *sithon

Manchmal – sometimes; from manch (many, some) + das Mal (time)

Streiten – to quarrel, argue

Eng – (adjective, adverb) narrow, close

Stehen – to stand, be; Dan. Stå; Ice. standa

Deswegen – “that’s why” (deshalb)

Der Grund – the ground, bottom, reason; “im Grunde” (basically); from Proto Germanic *grundus (deep place)

Traurig – (adjective, adverb) sad

Beruhigen – to calm, pacify; from ruhig (quiet, peaceful); Dan./Nor. rolig

Unruhig – (adjective, adverb) restless, anxious; die Unruhe (unrest)

Sicher – (adjective, adverb)  safe, secure; in Swed. Säker, Dan. sikker

Fühlen – to feel; from Proto Germanic *foljan

Brauchen – to need, use; Dan. brug

Wollen – to want; Ice. vil


Grammar and Other Topics

1.  Germanic Cognates

There are a lot of words in English which can help us tap into the vocabulary of the other Germanic languages, specifically German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Icelandic (listed here):

Over: Swed. Över, Dan./Nor. over

Rain : Du./Ger. Regen, Dan./Swed./Ice. Regn, Nor. regna

Nether (Down/Below) : Du. Neder, Ger. Nieder, Ice. Nidur, Swedish ned-, Dan./Nor. nedenfor

Life (~Body) : Du. Lijf, Ger. Leib, Ice. Líf, Swed./Dan. Liv, Nor. livet

Laugh: Du./Ger. Lachen, Ice. Hläja, Swed./Dan./Nor. le

Sun : Du. Zon, Ger. Sonne, Swed. Sola, Dan./Nor. Sol; Ice. su

Do : Du. Zoen, Ger. Tun

Winter : Du./Ger. Winter, Dan./Swed. Vinter, Ice. Vetur, Nor. vinteren

Summer: Du. Zomer, Ger./Dan./Nor. Sommer, Ice. Sumar, Swed. sommar

Year: Du. Jaar, Ger. Jahr, Dan./Nor./Swed. år, Ice. Ár,

Side: Du. Zij, Ger. Seite, Ice. Sída, Swed. Sida, Dan./Nor. side

Ground: Du. Grond, Ger./Swed. Grund, Ice. Grunnur, Dan. jord

Feel: Du. Voelen, Ger. Fühlen, Dan. Føle, Nor. Følen; Ice. Finnst

2.  Austrian German (Österreichisches Deutsch)

Austrian German is considered one of the mutually intelligible “national standard varieties” of German and is standardized according to the Austrian dictionary (Österreichisches Wörterbuch).  It is spoken by 8.5 million people in Austria and in the Province of South Tyrol in Italy.   There are various spelling, vocabulary, and grammar differences with standard German, as well as dialects and regional accents that have developed over time.  Here is a good list of Austrian German-Standard German vocabulary on about.com

Here are some of the prominent differences in this song.  You will notice that final syllables tend to be dropped and that nouns are not capitalized in the Austrian German.  Standard German is in parantheses.

mi (mich) – me

mei (mein) – my

dei (dein) – your

a (ein ) – a, an

sunn (Sonne) – sun

i (ich) – I (nominative)

di (dich) – you (nominative)

schauen ( gucken) – to see, to look at

des (dieser) – this

warast (warst) – past tense “was”

buach (das Buch) – book

wass (weiss) – I know

ned (niet) – <negation> “not”

3.  The German Subjunctive

Like in Romance languages, the Subjunctive (called Konjunktiv) exists in German for non-indicative moods; in other words, for ideas that are not necessarily real.  There is a conjugation for Present and Past Subjunctive in German.  In English, the word “if” and verb subjunctive words “were” and “would” are often used to convey this idea, but the Subjunctive involves many other situations including reporting statements and commands.

The examples from the song:

“und für den anblick täte i alles geben”

and for that sight (would do) I all give –> and I would give everything for that sight
“und könnte i gedanken lesen”

and (could) I thoughts read –> and I could read thoughts

Formation: The present Subjunctive is formed typically via the stem of the 3rd person singular indicative, replacing the final –t ending with an –e ending.  There are exceptions, of course.

The past subjunctive is much easier to recognize: there is an umlaut ( ¨ ) over the vowel (a, o, or u)  in the imperfect tense.  Also there should be an –e (singular) and an –en (plural) added to the end, unless there is already an –e or –en at the end.

In both examles, täte and könnte are examples of singular Past Subjunctive.  Here is how they are formed:

Tun (infinitive “to do”)
Imperfect tense (for example, past “I did”): ich tat
Singular Past Subjunctive (add umlaut over vowel and add –e to end; “I would do”): ich täte

Können (infinitve “to be able to”, “to can”)
Imperfect tense (for example, past “I was able to”): ich konnte
Singular Past Subjunctive (add umlaut; “I could”): ich könnte

Note that by forming the Past Subjunctive and adding the umlaut on the vowel, the phonetic value of the vowel changes quite dramatically.

a [a, a:] central, open  à ä [ɛ] front, open-mid (unrounded)
o [o, o:] back, close-mid à ö [ø , œ] front, open-mid (rounded)
u [u, u:] back, close  à ü [ʏ] near-front, near-close (rounded)

As the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) systems indicates, these sounds are made by rounding the lips and pushing the “normal” a/o/u to the front part of the mouth.  It takes lots of listening and practice if you’re familiar with these sounds!

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