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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Intermediate Series Lesson elf.
Judith: 11.
Chuck: Lesson 11.
Judith: Willkommen zurück. Hier sind wir wieder mit einer neuen Lektion für Fortgeschrittene.
Chuck: Welcome back. Another intermediate lesson coming right up. So, let me guess, we’re discussing another Rammstein song today?
Judith: Nein, heute nicht. We need some diversity, you know. Besides, it’s October 1st today.
Chuck: Yeah, diversity. So we pick a different Rammstein song.
Judith: No.
Chuck: Then anyway what’s October 1st have to do with anything?
Judith: Well, übermorgen, the day after tomorrow will be dritter Oktober.
Chuck: October 3rd?
Judith: Ok, ok, I'm going to spell it out for you. It’s the Tag der deutschen Einheit.
Chuck: Ah, the German National holiday where we all get off work. I mean the time when we celebrate East and West Germany being reunited in 1990, was it?
Judith: You did pay attention in class. I'm impressed. The national holiday is coming up and I think it’s high time to teach you the German national anthem and what it means.
Chuck: Alright, if you want to.
Judith: Alright, so a lot of foreigners think that the German national anthem starts with the words Deutschland Deutschland über alles. That knowledge is slightly outdated. It used to be the anthem until the end of the Second World War.
Chuck: Wait, so it’s 60 years outdated, isn’t it? I guess as our British friend would say, blimey.
Judith: The current German national anthem is taken from the same song, the Deutschlandlied but we now use only the third stanza or sometimes even just the melody is played. So the current German anthem starts with the words Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit.
Chuck: I think our listeners would like to hear you sing it.
Judith: No, sorry, but I found a recording for you.
Chuck: Write in the comments that you want to hear her sing it on the next one.
Judith: I'm not singing on the show. I can’t sing.
Chuck: I can’t either but this is… I mean…
Judith: Yes.
Chuck: Alright, let’s listen to it.
[Music playing]
Judith: Ok, what do you think?
Chuck: Sounds quite, well, old, I guess.
Judith: It’s an anthem, what do you expect?
Chuck: It’s just something more hip like hip-hop anthem…
Judith: Yeah, right. Let’s go through it. Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit.
Chuck: “Unity and justice and liberty.”
Judith: Für das deutsche Vaterland.
Chuck: “For the German fatherland”. Isn’t “fatherland” like a bad term?
Judith: No, Vaterland in German does not necessarily have a negative connotation.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: Danach lasst uns alle streben.
Chuck: “Then let’s all strive.”
Judith: “For this”, danach.
Chuck: Ah, “for this”, ok.
Judith: Brüderlich mit Herz und Hand.
Chuck: “Brotherly with heart and hand.” Hey, this is a song that I can actually get. This is cool.
Judith: I'm glad. Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit sind des Glückes Unterpfand.
Chuck: “Unity and justice and freedom are the lucky pledge”?
Judith: No, Unterpfand is “pledge”. It’s a very old word. So either “pledge of luck” or “of happiness” because Glück can be both. And des Glückes is genitive there.
Chuck: Uh.
Judith: Ok, now there’s a line, two lines that are repeated. Blüh im Glanze dieses Glückes, blühe deutsches Vaterland.
Chuck: Did I say that it was easy earlier? “German fatherland”, I got that much.
Judith: Yeah, blühen if you’re talking about a flower it would be “to bloom”, but it’s in the figurative sense, it’s “to flourish”, like a country would flourish or prosper.
Chuck: Sounds like something worth doing.
Judith: Yeah, so it’s a command, imperative form, to the German fatherland to flourish and in a particular way, im Glanze dieses Glückes. Glanz is “glamour” or “brilliance” or “shine”. So “in the brilliance of this luck” or “this happiness”.
Chuck: “Bloom, German fatherland!”
Judith: Yes. So that’s the German national anthem.
Chuck: Wait, you said that was the third stanza. Where are the first two? What happened to them? Why aren’t you covering them? Are you trying to rip off our listeners here?
Judith: No. It’s just that the first two stanzas are not considered the national anthem. They used to be until of the Second World War but they’re no longer consider the stanzas. We’ll get to the reasons for that in the cultural point, but I can give you the first two stanzas to translate if you want.
Chuck: Can you sing it?
Judith: No. Please…
Chuck: Alright.
Judith: Ok, so the first one is what probably most people have heard of, Deutschland Deutschland über alles.
Chuck: “Germany, Germany over everything.”
Judith: Über alles in der Welt.
Chuck: “Over everything in the world.”
Judith: Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze brüderlich zusammenhält.
Chuck: “If it is standing”? No…
Judith: Zusammenhalten is “to stick together”, “present a united front”, “work together”.
Chuck: Ok. “If the protection and trust”? No…
Judith: “If it sticks together”, you have to go wenn es, and then you go to the end of the sentence to get the verb, zusammenhält, “If it sticks together”, stets – it’s another word for immer, “always”. Zu Schutz und Trutze “for protection and for resistance” or “defense”. And brüderlich, “brotherly”.
Chuck: Yeah, that much I got.
Judith: Can you summarize?
Chuck: If it sticks together not very nicely”.
Judith: Well, we have a complete translation, the official complete translation in this lesson’s PDF so you can see how they phrase that in English. It’s hard to say in English words, but in German it doesn’t sound too bad. Von der Maas bis an die Memel, von der Etsch bis an den Belt.
Chuck: Well, I know Maas is like a liter of beer at Oktoberfest, but the rest I don’t…
Judith: No, it’s spelled differently. M-A-A-S, Maas is a river in what’s today Belgium or the Netherlands, except it’s the German or Dutch name for it. I believe in English or in French you would say the River. And bis an die Memel, Memel is the River in today Lithuania. Von der Etsch, the River in Italy, up to the Belt. Belt is not a river, it’s a between Denmark and one of the Danish .
Chuck: Is it talking about all the countries that Germany wants to conquer?
Judith: No, but we’ll get to that in the cultural point. It’s just mentioning potential borders. As a chorus, Deutschland Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt.
Chuck: “Germany, Germany over everything, over everything in the world.”
Judith: And the second stanza… Well, the first stanza use to be the national anthem, now the third stanza is the national anthem. The second stanza that has never been an anthem but it has been a drinking song and you’ll figure out why…
Chuck: Nice.
Judith: Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue.
Chuck: “German women, German trust”? No…
Judith: “Loyalty”.
Chuck: “Loyalty”.
Judith: Treue.
Chuck: I was close.
Judith: Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang.
Chuck: “German wine and German song.”
Judith: Yes, it’s an old word.
Chuck: It looked old.
Judith: Singing song. Sollen in der Welt behalten ihren alten schönen Klang.
Chuck: “Should be held in the world for its beautiful noise”?
Judith: No. “Beautiful old sound”, but “it should keep”. Behalten is “to keep”.
Chuck: Ah, right.
Judith: So “The wine, the women, the loyalty should keep the nice old sound to it”, “these words should keep the nice old song to it in the world”, meaning that the whole world should appreciate these things.
Chuck: I think the noise was cooler though.
Judith: Please. Uns zu edler Tat begeistern, unser ganzes Leben lang.
Chuck: “Excite something”.
Judith: You know, begeistert probably. Begeistert is “enthusiastic” and begeistern is “to enthuse” if you know that word. It’s to excite, in a way.
Chuck: Ich bin begeistert davon.
Judith: “Should enthuse us for noble deeds”. Edel, “noble” and Tat is “deed”.
Chuck: Ah, that’s what that is.
Judith: Plural is Taten, may be more familiar “deeds”. Unser ganzes Leben lang. So “for a whole life”. And then as a chorus again, the first two lines, Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue, deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang.
Chuck: “German women, German loyalty, German wine and German song”. It doesn’t sound bad actually. So I guess I get it now, the Deutschland Deutschland über alles is no longer sung because it’s a Nazi idea.
Judith: Not quite. The song was written in 1841, long before the Nazis and their ideas.
Chuck: So, wait, you’re saying that Germany believed in this Arian supremacy even then?
Judith: No, of course not. When the Deutschlandlied was originally written there simply was no Germany. The German empire was only founded in 1871, that’s 30 years afterwards. And even then the Deutschlandlied was not the national anthem, it was only chosen as the national anthem in 1922.
Chuck: So what was it before?
Judith: It was a drinking song.
Chuck: Cool.
Judith: The second stanza lends itself well to drinking and the chorus of the third stanza will suggest it a bit, so that it was actually something like “Let’s toast to Germany” and well… I'm lying a bit here, it was not always a drinking song, it was also just a political song.
Chuck: Now you ruined it for me. Well, anyway, so if it’s not about supremacy then how do you explain that whole Deutschland Deutschland über alles part? I think you’re just trying to pull one over us, to make us forget about things and make us like Germany more.
Judith: No, it’s actually quite understandable. You know I said Germany did not exist, so instead of Germany you had and kingdoms just against each other, so this Deutschland Deutschland über alles is a call for unity, a call to rise above those quibbles and petty rivalry between the German states. So the writer is, he was exiled actually on one of the German islands and he was saying, “Let’s forget about the fights that we have with each other and create Germany, put Germany first in our agenda list, create a German state, united.”
Chuck: That still doesn’t explain that whole thing about the rivers in other countries and… I still don’t quite get that.
Judith: Yeah, those unlikely borders. Well, at that time in the day we’re not as unlikely as they are today. For example this Maas River in what is today Belgium or Netherlands, it used to be the border of Germany until 1648 so… Ok, so the song was written in 1841 and it would be out of date, but remember the singer is aspiring to define Germany when Germany didn’t exist as an idea, so he was going through all the areas that had been German or that were still speaking German as a majority language. And that’s also why he’s mentioning the Memel River in what’s today Lithuania. At that time, it was the very edge of the kingdom of Prussia.
Chuck: Wow.
Judith: The kingdom of Prussia covered most of Poland and the Eastern Europe, at least the coastline, not so far further down.
Chuck: Yeah, you might also find it interesting to try to find old maps on the internet of the Europe at that point in time, just see how different everything is.
Judith: Yeah, and of course the Adige River in Italy was the Southernmost point where German was still spoken. At that time it wasn’t clear that there would be an Austria and a Switzerland in between. At some point people had been debating whether to make a big German nation that included the areas that are now covered by Austria and Switzerland. And of course Adige in this part of Italy still speaks German sometimes, it’s Tirol. You really have to see that Germany lost a lot, a lot of area over the time, especially in this past century after the World Wars because Europe was redistributed after every one of them. Anyway, that’s history and that’s how we went up these rivers in the national anthem. And it’s probably one of the reasons also why we now have a different anthem, because the Deutschland Deutschland über alles you can explain. I mean, the British, the American, especially the French anthem are so bloodthirsty that you could probably make a case for having a historic anthem that this kind of thing would constantly remind the people that were expelled that they were losing their homes and everything, and we’d probably don’t want that to cause any resentment.
Chuck: It doesn’t sound like a wise thing to do as a country, yeah.
Judith: Anyway, so initially West Germany didn’t even have an anthem but in 1952 it was decided that needed one, so the third stanza of the Deutschlandlied was chosen for this purpose. East Germany had its own anthem. It’s called, Auferstanden aus Ruinen, that means “Resurrected From Ruins”. It’s an anthem just written for this purpose and it was sung until the 70s and then only used without the singing, instrumentally, because the East German government didn’t agree with what the anthem said anymore. And then with the reunification, of course all of Germany adopted the Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit. So that’s the history of our national anthem in short.
Chuck: And they all lived happily ever after.
Judith: In this song, especially in the second stanza, we had so many deutsch deutsch deutsch so I was thinking we could look at the nationality adjectives and how they’re formed. Well, of course you saw Deutschland and the adjective deutsch, and a person living here is called Deutscher or “a female”, Deutsche. And for Russland, the adjective is russisch and the person is called Russe. Now can you guess what we do for Irland?
Chuck: Irland it’s like English, it’s like irisch.
Judith: And the person living there is Ire.
Chuck: Oh, that’s a bit weird.
Judith: Just like Russe. Russisch, Russe, irisch, Ire. It’s a regularity, but then we have other countries that go a bit differently, especially those ending in IEN, like Italien, italienisch is the adjective or it’s also the language and Italiener is the person or Italienerin.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: For this group you always add IN for the feminine. And then similarly Indien, indisch, Inder.
Chuck: Why wouldn’t that be Indianer?
Judith: Because that would be a Native American. But we don’t put the ANER, it’s only italienisch and Italiener. We also didn’t put the ANER, that’s an English thing to put the A in there.
Chuck: Like Amerikaner?
Judith: That’s because the base is Amerika. Ends in A.
Chuck: Ok, it’s always confused me before.
Judith: Amerika, amerikanisch, Amerikaner. Same for Japan. Japan, japanisch, Japaner.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: But, as I said, most of the countries in this group end in IEN, for example Spanien, spanisch, Spanier or Australien, australisch, Australier. It’s very regular. So this covers a lot of countries. For other countries, there’s the second scheme. That’s the one of China. China, chinesisch, Chinese. It’s about the same countries where you have the ESE ending. For example, Nepal. Nepal, nepalesisch, Nepalese.
Chuck: The German Nepalese is written the same as Nepalese in English.
Judith: Well, in German you need to pay attention because the adjective ends in ISCH all the time. No matter what other change there is, it’s always ISCH. We actually have two things. We don’t have Nepal, nepalese as an adjective and Nepalese as the person. We have nepalesisch if it’s an adjective and Nepalese if it’s a person only.
Chuck: So that’s true also for languages, right?
Judith: Yes, the language name is always the same as the adjective except they have a capital letter. And there are two irregular forms, one is Frankreich. Frankreich, Französisch and Franzose if you’re French, and England is Englisch and Engländer.
Chuck: Blindly.
Judith: This is just irregular, but I'm sure you learned those already because they’re so important to yourself. Alright. Do you have anything to add?
Chuck: I think you already added a lot already. A bit too much, isn’t it?


Judith: Well, if it’s too much then I suggest you read the PDF where we have the same explanation that you can read at your own pace.
Chuck: That would work better.
Judith: But I also wanted to mention our new Beginner Series, which is starting on Tuesday after next. You may have heard of it already, if not I’d like to invite you to listen to it too. I know you’ll say you’re an intermediate already but this will be a series looking at common situations for a foreigner in Germany, so if you’re planning to travel to Germany sometime this will be a very valuable refresher course.
Chuck: It could also help if you end up moving here.
Judith: Yes. And then it’s a basic way to learn.