Somebody That I Used To Know / Jemand, den ich mal kannte

I came across this wonderfully shot video last week. It was on ‘Punkt 12’, a German TV show (that I have to admit I watched, although it is rather rubbish). In the beginning I just liked the video and how it was made. That was why I searched YouTube. After watching it several times, though, I started to like the song, as well. The song is about two people who (recently?) broke up. First, he starts to tell the story of their love and how he was hurt (or still is). Then she starts to sing and lets the listener know, that he is not such a ‘Mr Perfect’ after all. The video shows this somewhat emotional moment very well: He closes his eyes as though he could not bare to listen to her when she is telling him the story from her point of view. Thus, this tension between them transfers itself to the screen.

I have never heard of Gotye or Kimbra before, but they seem to have done this piece of art (both the music and the video) quite nicely. The video is simply enjoyable and artistic owing to the (body) painting and the minimalistic acting of the to singers.

Because I like the song and I always take the opportunity to learn some new vocabulary and to train my translation qualities I tried to translate the lyrics into German in case someone would like to read through them who is not that good at English. Enjoy. ;)

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember
Ab und zu denke ich daran zurück, als wir [noch] zusammen waren.
So, wie damals, als du sagtest, du fühltest dich so glücklich, dass du sterben könntest.
Ich sagte mir selbst, dass du richtig für mich seist,
aber ich fühlte mich so einsam in deiner Gegenwart.
Aber es war Liebe und ein Schmerz, an den ich mich immer noch erinnere.
You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end
Always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over
Man kann süchtig nach einer bestimmten Art von Traurigkeit werden,
wie beispielsweise das Aufgeben am Ende.
Immer das Ende.
Als wir dann herausfanden, dass unsere Beziehung keinen Sinn ergeben würde,
nun, da sagtest du, dass wir ja Freunde bleiben könnten.
Aber ich gebe zu, dass ich froh war, dass es vorbei war.
But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Aber du hättest mich nicht gleich abblocken müssen,
hättest nicht so tun müssen, als wäre nie etwas geschehen
und dass wir nichts gewesen wären.
Und ich brauche deine Liebe nicht [einmal/wirklich],
doch du behandelst mich wie einen Fremden
und das ist hart [fühlt sich schwer/grob an].
Du hättest nicht so tief fallen müssen,
dass du deine Freunde deine CDs hohlen lässt
und dann deine Nummer änderst.
Ich glaube aber, dass ich so was nicht brauche,
also bist du [für mich] jetzt einfach jemand, den ich mal kannte.
Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
And I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to  know…
Ab und zu denke ich an alle die Male, die du mich betrogen hast,
mich dann aber denken liessest, es wäre etwas, was ich getan habe.
Ich will nicht so leben,
immer etwas aus jedem Wort, das du sagst, herauslesen zu müssen.
Du sagtest, dass du es bleiben lassen könntest
und ich würde dich dann nicht mehr dabei ertappen, wie du das
Telefongespräch mit jemandem, den du mal kanntest, beendest.
I used to know
That I used to know
Ich einst kannte,
Den ich mal kannte.

Official Webpage of Gotye:
Interesting ‘Making Of’ of Making Mirrors:


About Dana Winvalley

I am an 18-year-old student of English and German at university. I love music, books, dogs, art and other things, as well. In my spare time I write this blog to refine my English skills and to share my learning experiences and tips with other (language) learners.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: