Tonbandgerät - Ozean (English translation)

Proofreading requested
English translation

Ocean

You say you'll change
always just change change
instead of simply being
And then that mixed tape,
as if it were needed.
I'd have been happy, just the same
if you simply came
 
And maybe it's not about you
or about me or about us
I mean, we all fear
the great and true art*
We'll never leave this boat
it would be stupid to be seen
standing on the open sea without a boat.
 
You say nothing lasts forever, not even "forever" forever
It doesn't need to,
Since we won't either
And then the many eyes,
you can't trust them all.
You believe they understand you, what destroys you.
 
And maybe it's not about you
or about me or about us
I mean, we all fear
the great and true art*
We'll never leave this boat
it would be stupid to be seen
standing on the open sea without a boat.
Standing in the middle of the sea without a boat.
 
We should have stayed there,
we should have stayed there
Even though our boat is not a ship,
it's still better than...
We should have stayed there,
we should have stayed there
Even though our boat is not a ship,
it's still better than nothing.
 
And maybe it's not about you
or about me or about us
I mean, we all fear
the great and true art*
We'll never leave this boat
it would be stupid to be seen
standing on the open sea without a boat.
Standing in the middle of the sea without a boat.
 
Submitted by Magimay on Sat, 09/09/2017 - 11:14
Added in reply to request by imyingXUANyay
Author's comments:

* I have absolutely no idea what these lines are even doing there. Found the song rather...confusing, still not even sure what it's about.

The author of translation requested proofreading.
It means that he/she will be happy to receive corrections, suggestions etc about the translation.
If you are proficient in both languages of the language pair, you are welcome to leave your comments.
Comments
jemflower    Sat, 09/09/2017 - 11:25

Hi!
" Und dann die Mixkassette, als ob du es nötig hättest Ich würd mich doch auch so freuen, wenn du mal kommst "

It means that somebody came for a visit and brought the tape as a present. But the host doesn't want any present from the person. The visit of that special person ist so precious to him that a present isn't necessary at all.

Magimay    Sat, 09/09/2017 - 12:45

Ohhh, I see. I was staring at it for so long but it never occurred to me that "Ich" was just randomly capitalised so I was reading it as two sentences when it's meant to be one. What do you think about:
"And then that mixed tape,
as if it were needed.
I'd have been happy, just the same
if you simply came"
for that verse?

little_miss_nomad    Sat, 09/09/2017 - 16:03

Hi, your translation for the verse above looks good. I'd suggest a couple of changes for the lines below:

Du sagst nichts hält ewig, nicht mal "ewig" ewig
Das muss auch gar nicht so sein,
denn wir auch nicht

You say nothing lasts forever, not even "forever" forever
It doesn't need to,
Since we won't either

Magimay    Sat, 09/09/2017 - 16:24

I'm starting to think I really misunderstood the song. It seemed like regret for being dumped to me but if that line goes the way you suggest, it'd be more of an accepting song. *bangs head on desk* It's maddening, I understand every word but just can't seem to figure out how they fit together... Got anything on the art part?

PS: I took your correction, it is definitely the correct version. Guess I was trying too hard to make sense of it to the point where I was taking too many liberties with German phrases...

little_miss_nomad    Sat, 09/09/2017 - 16:45

I understood it as regret, but not so much for being dumped as "we tried to make this more than it was meant to be, and instead we broke it" - maybe friends who tried being lovers?

Don't bang your head too hard - I don't understand the "art" part either! "Schiss haben" is a bit stronger than you've translated it (and less polite - the most literal translation there would be "We're all shitscared of great, true art") but I can't imagine what kind of art would be so scary...

Magimay    Sat, 09/09/2017 - 19:24

I saw it more as "Our shitty relationship(the boat that's not a ship) is still better than nothing".

I wanted to go with "we are scared shitless" but that just sounded way too...rude and out of place in what appears to be a decent attempt at a metaphor for...something. "We are in awe of" sounds a lot better(and could kinda fit in if love is seen as an art) but I couldn't find any possible way of making that phrase convey admiration. Hmmm, if we take your interpretation of the lyrics and assume the great, true art is love..yeah, that could actually work. They tried to make it work but it broke so/because they are afraid of love. *blinks*

Hold on. There's the line that says they can never leave the boat so...they didn't actually break up? *sigh*

jemflower    Fri, 15/09/2017 - 15:18

Your new translation of the "mixed tape verse" seems perfect to me.

The "great art" is a miracle, even to native Germans.
It could mean that they are afraid of being compared to the well established art. They fear the critics who will appear as soon as they are successful. Or it means they're afraid of success and what goes with it.

If you interpret it the way miss_nomad does they are afraid of the love of their lives.

little_miss_nomad    Fri, 15/09/2017 - 05:27

I hadn't thought of love as "the great art" - I like that idea!. That they're afraid of succeeding, as opposed to afraid of not measuring up, is an interesting interpretation too.

 

I read Unser Boot ist zwar kein Schiff, doch es ist besser als "Wir sollten da bleiben, wir sollten da bleiben" as one sentence, meaning something like "this isn't great, but it's better than not trying at all" (i.e. staying on the shore).  Following on from that, maybe Aus diesem Boot kommen wir nicht mehr raus means "we're too far in now, it's too late to back out" ?  In which case, if Magimay is right, they're now trapped in a failing relationship making each other miserable - what a cheerful thought!

Magimay    Fri, 15/09/2017 - 11:13

Well, the whole thing is kind of a mess. There's the grand metaphor(which is pretty good actually) about the boat we all get on when we start a relationship, it rarely turns into a ship(which would be the really good, strong and stable relationship few people end up in) and the fear of ending the obviously bad relationship(standing on the sea without a boat). The mix tape is still out of place...what, he's complaining she brought music to the relationship? Or just needed a couple more lines to fill the verse and had nothing better than "I don't need stuff, just need you". Then there's the art line, which even if interpreted as "love" or whatever, still doesn't bloody fit. The only way it fits is if it's about fear of admitting they failed to turn their boat into a ship and that's why they can't leave. But that's really stretching the meaning.

And those two lines are connected but in reverse. They should have stayed there(the shore, I presume) but since they are on the boat already, a boat is still better than nothing. The couplet repeats twice in the verse and the first time it breaks off before the last word but that word is added at the end of it("nichts"), completing that sentence.