Disney Songs… In Other Languages!

Hey, everyone! So, over this past weekend, I’ve been listening to a lot of Disney songs in German, kind of just reliving my childhood, you know? And man, it’s been a blast. I was really focusing on trying to think about the lyrics and I discovered some really stunning translations that I thought that I ought to share with y’all today! But in general, I want to encourage you all to give listening to music in another language a chance! I think that it can be a really rewarding experience! So, today, as a German speaker, I thought that I’d do a post about some of the German translations of Disney songs that I have utterly fallen in love with! I’ll link a video that includes the English translation along with it in case you’re interested in listening to these German versions but don’t understand German! Los geht’s? Ja!

· “Gott, Deine Kinder” [God Help the Outcasts] from THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME – Literal translation of the title would be “God, Your Children”. Isn’t that just beautiful? I don’t think that I talk about THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME on this blog nearly enough, but if there is one song that I can gush about all day, it’s “God Help the Outcasts”. And now, I have even more reason to gush about it because the German version is stunning. I didn’t think that the English version could be outdone. But man… I was wrong. Es tut mir leid! There is something about the translation here that I just love even more than the English one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USRARNgzQWU

· “Ich Will Keine Mann” [I Won’t Say I’m in Love] from HERCULES – The literal translation of this title would be “I Don’t Want a Man”. I think I’ve mentioned once or twice that I’m a huge Megara fan. But… if I haven’t… I’m a big Megara fan. So, with that out of the way, let’s talk about this song, shall we? So… “I Won’t Say I’m in Love” was actually the first song from HERCULES I ever came across. And well… I was a little skeptical about this German translation when I first thought about listening to it. But let me tell you this: I do not regret listening to this version. Not only did this version crack me up but I also just had a lot of fun listening to it in general! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0FB9sErV9c

· “In Sekunden auf Hundert” [Zero to Hero] from HERCULES “Sekunden auf Hundert” means “In Seconds to Hundred” and is the German version of the song “Zero to Hero”. Und mann oh mann, es ist sehr toll! (And man oh man, it’s is super great!). It’s a lot of fun and the lyrics just flow super well—better than in the English version, I think! I will admit that some of the lyrics are kind of funny when translated to English but there would have been no way to really make it work. Oh… and well… I love the fact that instead of calling him a “zero” they call him a “leere Flasche” (“empty bottle”). I just had a lot of fun listening to this version. Also, the muses in the German version are just great! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F09q07-cH18

· “Geschichten” [Stories] from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS – “Stories” has long been one of my favorite Disney songs ever. And well… when I found out that Jana Werner voiced Belle in the sequel movie as well, I immediately sought out this video and man… I fell in love with this version. I think that the German version better expresses Belle’s feelings for the Beast than it does her love of literature (the English version is a little better for that side of the coin) but it was a change that I quite liked. I will say that I enjoy Jana Werner’s vocals better but the overall feel and emotion of the song I like better in the English version! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwpK4UWOFKc

· “Belle Reprise” [Belle Reprise] from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Did I mention I love Jana Werner? Well… here we go! More Jana! And honestly guys. If you don’t care much for translation and stuff, I think that practically anyone can enjoy Jana Werner’s stunning vocals as Belle in the German version. Man, I just love Belle’s spirit in this one! She’s super straightforward in saying what she wants and what she dreams and that’s really refreshing. She doesn’t sugarcoat any of it—she wants to get out of that town. And I love that. She’s absolutely perfect in the role and I really think that I like her voice better than Paige O’Hara’s voice but… that’s just personal opinion, I suppose! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvWeZUDmlAM

· “Ganz Nah Dran” [Almost There] from THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG – Have I mentioned yet how much I love Tiana as a character? Her spirit is just so strong and I can’t help but smile whenever she sings. She’s so hopeful and man… I just love how Cassandra Steen sings her songs, especially “Ganz Nah Dran”. If you listen to it, you can practically hear her smiling. And man… that’s awesome! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu6dDEmMljM

· “Ich Lass Los” [Let it Go] from FROZEN – So… the title is pretty faithful to the English title actually. It just means “I’m Letting Go”. There are several things that are just super awesome when it comes to this version. In the English version, original Elphaba in WICKED, Idina Menzel voiced Elsa. In the German version, Willemijn Verkaik, original German Elphaba in WICKED, voiced Elsa. And so… that’s pretty cool. Aside from Willemijn being one of my favorite Elphie’s ever, the translation is pretty amazing. Throughout the song, the chorus is “Ich lass los, lass jetzt los” (“I’m letting go, letting go now”) but the final time the chorus is sung, it changes to “Ich bin frei, endlich frei! Und ich fühl mich wie neugenboren! Ich bin frei, endlich frei!” (“I am free, finally free! And I feel like a newborn! I am free, finally free!”) Isn’t that just awesome? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvZB5cNvQlk

· “Endlich Sehe Ich das Licht” [I See the Light] from TANGLED – I just really love this song in general. I’d say that Rapunzel’s part of the song is nearly exactly like the English version, but when it comes to Eugene’s part, I love how raw and honest he is about how he was and I think it’s really nice. It’s a bit of a shift from the English version but the mood of the song is still completely intact. I think that in this version, Eugene’s feelings for Rapunzel are much more believable in a way but… maybe that’s just me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEnpjaR5V0c

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So, that’s it for me! I’ll probably think of ten more to add to this list when I close this up, but oh, well! Have you listened to Disney songs (or songs in general) in a language other than your native language? What Disney songs should I listen to in another language (doesn’t have to be German!)? Please let me know, as I’d love to try some of them out! Oh, and do you think you’ll give any of these a shot? If you do, what do you think? Haben Sie einen guten Tag! Tschüss!

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6 thoughts on “Disney Songs… In Other Languages!

    1. It’s kinda interesting to listen to those songs I’m so familiar with in other languages–even languages I don’t understand at all–because I like to see how the translations shift and how sometimes, even though they might focus on different aspects of the song, they still hold the same general message!

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  1. Isn’t the German version of Let It Go “Lass Jetzt Los”? And let’s not forget Willemijn also voiced Elsa and sang her songs in the Dutch versions (with Let It Go being “Laat Het Los”)!! ❤ Is it weird that I actually find the Dutch version harsher than the German?

    I also like Reflection in Chinese (because Mulan is Chinese I guess? Lol.) and Dir Gehört Mein Herz from Tarzan is really pretty too! 🙂

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    1. Yeah, in German the chorus goes “Ich lass los, Lass jetzt los”, but I’m actually kinda unsure as to which one is the actual title to be honest! Yes!!! I was so happy when I found out Willemijn also did the Dutch version! I actually would have to agree that the Dutch version sounds harsher! In general, I kind of feel like Dutch is a harsher language but I guess that’s all a matter of opinion! I first kinda started thinking that when I heard the Dutch version of “Der Schleier Fällt”!
      I’ll have to check out the Chinese version, then! (In general, I just need to rewatch Mulan too because it’s been way too long!) Funny thing is, even though Tarzan is pretty popular in Germany, I’ve never actually listened to any of the songs in German! Definitely got to try that out too!

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      1. Ah gotcha, I listened to it on Spotify and it was listed as Lass jetzt los, so I assume that’s the title? 🙂

        I heard an interview with Willemijn somewhere and she said Dutch is actually harder for her to sing even though its her mother tongue because of ‘the harder/harsher’ sounds, so I thought that was pretty interesting. Especially since people generally think German is a really harsh language (and I don’t really agree). I think she also mentioned that Dutch uses the back of the throat more while German tends to use the front of the mouth, but I don’t speak either so I could have remembered that wrongly….

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      2. No, all of that definitely sounds accuarate! In German, while we do have a lot of sort of nasally sounds, when sung, those sounds aren’t generally transferred strongly. But those nasally sounds are generally why people think that German is a harsh language. Even though, in general, we don’t exaggerate those nasally sounds as much as people think that we do! I think that with Dutch though, a lot of the sounds are harder. For example, with “I”, the German “ich” is quite a bit softer than the Dutch “ik”. But I do think that it’s really interesting that Willemijn would find it easier to sing in German than Dutch when Dutch is her native language! I’ve never really tried singing anything in Dutch, but I suppose that maybe the movements of the mouth might be more difficult with Dutch? Not sure though!

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