Probier’s mal mit Gemütlichkeit! Learning German with Disney

When I first moved to Germany, I was shocked to learn that no one had ever heard of "The Sound of Music". Nobody got my references to "Edelweiss" or "The Hills are Alive". To be fair, the von Trapps did live in Austria, but it was one of the main German-related cultural touchstones of my childhood in America, and I was surprised to find my German friends didn't share my appreciation for Rogers and Hammerstein.  Even more surprising was when I learned that all of my favorite Disney songs were translated in the German (and other international) versions. This, of course, also makes sense, but it seemed hard to imagine a song like "The Bear Necessities" in German.

Probier's mal mit Gemütlichkeit, mit Ruhe und Gemütlichkeit
jagst du den Alltag und die Sorgen weg.
Und wenn du stets gemütlich bist
und etwas appetitlich ist,
dann nimm es dir egal von welchem Fleck.

One thing that I've learned, though, is that while dubbing can have some strange results, these movies (and the shorter videos on YouTube) can also be great tools for learners of German. Although the lyrics do change, they generally hew fairly closely to the language used in the original. The pun in "Bear Necessities" doesn't translate into German, so they use a version that conveys the meaning without being literal. 

Because most of us are familiar with these songs already, it's also easy to follow the language, because you know the general message. In German, "Be Our Guest" becomes "Sei Hier Gast".

Sei hier Gast, sei hier Gast,
wir bedienen ohne Hast.
Die Serviette um den Hals, Chérie,
daß du hier nichts verpaßt.
Soupe du jour in teriene,
wir sind hier um dir zu dienen
versuch mal das da schmeckt vorzüglich!

For those of you interested in checking out some additional videos, check out this post for some of the best Disney songs in German.