Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

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andykelp
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Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von andykelp »

Hello.  I've recently become a big fan of Udo, his music is simply terrific and I very much regret not knowing of him much earlier as I'd have gone to see him in concert.  Unfortunately, I don't speak German and have to rely on the internet to find translations of his songs.  Sometimes, though, I can't decide on the best English translation of a word or phrase and I'm hoping that some help might be available here.  To begin with, this is from 'Die Welt braucht Liede' the first song on 'Das Letzte Konzert':

Lachen gegen den Ernst;                                       Laughing against sobriety
Wehe, wenn du verlernst,                                     You better not unlearn
Kontra zu geben!                                                 How to hit back
Leben gegen den Tod,                                          Life against the death
Trotz als tägliches Brot                                         Defiance as a daily bread
Zum Überleben.                                                   To survive

The translation doesn't read very well in a couple of places.  Can anyone improve upon it?  My thanks to anyone willing to take the time to help.




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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von Duckduck »

andykelp hat geschrieben:Hello.  I've recently become a big fan of Udo, his music is simply terrific and I very much regret not knowing of him much earlier as I'd have gone to see him in concert.  Unfortunately, I don't speak German and have to rely on the internet to find translations of his songs.  Sometimes, though, I can't decide on the best English translation of a word or phrase and I'm hoping that some help might be available here.  To begin with, this is from 'Die Welt braucht Lieder' the first song on 'Das Letzte Konzert':

Lachen gegen den Ernst;                                      Laughter against solemnity         
Wehe, wenn du verlernst,                                     May you never forget
Kontra zu geben!                                                 How to fight back
Leben gegen den Tod,                                          Life against the death
Trotz als tägliches Brot                                         Defiance as a daily bread
Zum Überleben.                                                   To survive

The translation doesn't read very well in a couple of places.  Can anyone improve upon it?  My thanks to anyone willing to take the time to help.
Hi andykelp and welcome to the forum! :)
I must admit I'm not a fan myself, but I tried to "improve" the translation  :roll:   ... :prost: 
Cheers!
Duckduck
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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von andykelp »

Hi Duckduck and thank you so much for the welcome and the translation. Yours makes a lot more sense. I had thought that DIY translation would be fairly easy with the help of t'internet but, alas, not so.

Here's the rest of that song if you, or anyone else, would like to tidy it up. Thanks again!

Deine Stimme erheben und singen,                                    Lifting your voice and singing
Ehe uns Hören und Sehen vergeht;                                   Until you don't know what hit you
Gegensätze in Einklang zu bringen,                                   Harmonies contrasts
In einer Sprache, die jeder versteht;                                 Into a language everyone understands
Immer, immer wieder - immer, immer wieder -                 Again and again, again and again
Die Welt braucht Lieder.                                                  The world needs songs


Schwimmen gegen den Strom,                                         Swimming against the stream
Der Gewalt autonom                                                       Making headway against
Widerstand leisten;                                                          Violence autonomically(??)
Mutterseelenallein                                                            All alone
Mehrheitsfähig zu sein -                                                  You have majority appeal
Das zählt am meisten.                                                      That's what counts the most


Deine Stimme erheben und singen,                                  Lifting your voice and singing
Ehe das Meer in der Wüste ertrinkt,                                Before the sea drowns in the desert
Um die Gleichgültigkeit zu bezwingen,                              To overcome indifference
In einer Sprache, die glaubwürdig klingt;                          In a language that sounds believable
Immer, immer wieder - immer, immer wieder -                 Again and again, again and again
Die Welt braucht Lieder.                                                 The world needs songs

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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von Duckduck »

andykelp hat geschrieben:Hi Duckduck and thank you so much for the welcome and the translation. Yours makes a lot more sense. I had thought that DIY translation would be fairly easy with the help of t'internet but, alas, not so.

Here's the rest of that song if you, or anyone else, would like to tidy it up. Thanks again!

Deine Stimme erheben und singen,                                   Raise your voice and sing,
Ehe uns Hören und Sehen vergeht;                                   before everything blows up in our faces
Gegensätze in Einklang zu bringen,                                   in order to reconcile opposites
In einer Sprache, die jeder versteht;                                 in a language everyone understands
Immer, immer wieder - immer, immer wieder -                 Again and again, again and again and again
Die Welt braucht Lieder.                                                  The world needs songs


Schwimmen gegen den Strom,                                         Swimming against the tide,
Der Gewalt autonom                                                       fighting violence -
Widerstand leisten;                                                          independently;
Mutterseelenallein                                                            All by yourself -
Mehrheitsfähig zu sein -                                                   but gaining a majority
Das zählt am meisten.                                                      That's what matters most


Deine Stimme erheben und singen,                                  Raise your voice and sing,
Ehe das Meer in der Wüste ertrinkt,                                before the sea drowns in the desert
Um die Gleichgültigkeit zu bezwingen,                              To overcome indifference
In einer Sprache, die glaubwürdig klingt;                          In a language that sounds authentic
Immer, immer wieder - immer, immer wieder -                 Again and again, again and again and again
Die Welt braucht Lieder.                                                 The world needs songs
That was fun!
Where are you from - thenosyfowlcouldn'tresistasking... :redface:
Cheers
Duckduck
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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von andykelp »

Hi and thanks again. I'm glad it's fun – I've 5 concert DVDs all waiting to be subtitled! Well, I might, I might not. I'll see how long it takes to do the first one. Out of curiosity, how is the line 'Immer, immer wieder - immer, immer wieder' constructed? I was happy to go with 'again and again – again and again' but you've confused me with that additional 'and again'.

You'll find me in Scotland.

All the best.
Andy

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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von Duckduck »

andykelp hat geschrieben:Hi and thanks again. I'm glad it's fun – I've 5 concert DVDs all waiting to be subtitled! Well, I might, I might not. I'll see how long it takes to do the first one. Out of curiosity, how is the line 'Immer, immer wieder - immer, immer wieder' constructed? I was happy to go with 'again and again – again and again' but you've confused me with that additional 'and again'.

Ooops, sorry, I didn't want to confuse you. The translation wasn't wrong at all. :chief:
I just wanted to include the repetition of "immer" before the "wieder", so I added another "and again".
"immer wieder" would be "again and again"
"immer, immer wieder" is stronger and would be more like  "over and over again". Maybe you like that phrase even better?



You'll find me in Scotland.
Oooooooh! I stayed near Glasgow for a little while when I was young. Loved what I saw and heard in your country!  :prost:


All the best.
Andy
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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von andykelp »

Yes, 'over and over again' is good. Although I also think that, if written by a British songwriter, the line could well be 'Time and again the world needs song'.

I was in Glasgow for 20 years. Both it and Scotland has a lot of good things. And bad. Same as everywhere, I suppose. It would benefit from being a bit warmer!

Here are the first two verses of the next song from that concert. The translation was done on a 'song translation' website and I've used google to change bits that I didn't think were quite right. How does it look to you?

Thanks and have a nice day!

Lass dem Träumer den Traum                                                   Leave the dreamer his dream
Lass der Zuversicht trau'n                                                         Let's trust in faith
Lass uns Leidenschaft leben, Gefühl                                          Let's live with passion, feeling
Lass Gewalt aus dem Spiel                                                       Leave violence out of (the game???)
Lass die Herzen regier'n                                                           Let the hearts reign
Und die Fäuste verlier'n                                                           And drop the fists
Lass den Menschen die Freiheit,                                              Leave people the freedom
Zu irren und zu versteh'n                                                          To make mistakes and to understand
Und lass alles aus Liebe gescheh'!                                            And let everything be done out of love!
 
Lass den Kindern ihr Recht                                                     Leave the children their right (right to what??)
Lass sie wild sein und echt                                                       Let them be wild and true
Lass der Blume das Licht, zu dem sie strebt                             Leave the flowers the light they crave
Lass gedeihen, was lebt                                                          Let prosper what lives
Lass dem Schwärmer die Nacht                                              Leave the night to the dreamers
Und dem Guten die Macht                                                      And the power to the good
Lass die Mächtigen wissen,                                                     Let the mighty know
Dass sie niemals hinter uns steh'n,                                           That they never control us
Und dass alles aus Liebe geschieht!                                        And that everything is done out of love!

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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von Duckduck »

andykelp hat geschrieben:Yes, 'over and over again' is good. Although I also think that, if written by a British songwriter, the line could well be 'Time and again the world needs song'.

I was in Glasgow for 20 years. Both it and Scotland has a lot of good things. And bad. Same as everywhere, I suppose. It would benefit from being a bit warmer!

Here are the first two verses of the next song from that concert. The translation was done on a 'song translation' website and I've used google to change bits that I didn't think were quite right. How does it look to you?

Thanks and have a nice day!

Hi Andy,
I had a feeling there was something strange in the German lyrics, so I checked them here:

http://www.udojuergens.de/lied/alles-aus-liebe
and corrected them. Obviously, that changes the translation a bit...
Btw, my translation is not always exactly literal... but that's only to get the meaning across :chief:


Lass dem Träumer den Traum                                                   Allow the dreamer the dream,
Lass der Zuversicht Raum                                                         give confidence room
Lass uns Leidenschaft leben und Gefühl                                     Let's live passion and feeling
Lass Gewalt aus dem Spiel                                                       Leave violence aside
Lass die Herzen regier'n                                                           Let the hearts win
Und die Fäuste verlier'n                                                           and let the fists lose
Lass den Menschen die Freiheit,                                              Allow people the freedom
Zu irren und zu versteh'n                                                          to make mistakes and to understand
Und lass alles aus Liebe gescheh'!                                            And let everything be done out of love!
 
Lass den Kindern ihr Recht                                                     Allow the children their right (right to what?? -> to be children )
Lass sie wild sein und echt                                                       Let them be wild and open
Lass der Blume das Licht, zu dem sie strebt                             Allow the flower the light it craves
Lass gedeihen, was lebt                                                          Let prosper what's alive
Lass dem Schwärmer die Nacht                                              Leave the night to the dreamer
Und dem Guten die Macht                                                      And the power to the good
Lass die Mächtigen wissen,                                                     Let the mighty know
Dass sie niemals über uns steh'n,                                           That they are not our superiors
Und lass alles aus Liebe gescheh'n!                                        And let everything be done out of love!
Cheers
Duckduck
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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von andykelp »

Hi and thank you once again.  I agree, literal translations are not always the best ones.  I didn't realise my German lyrics were wrong so well done on finding the correct ones.  Here's another verse using the lyrics from the 'official' source.  Your revisions would be most welcome, especially regarding "Hetzer und Krieger".

Laß' die Erde in Frieden sich dreh'n                                                       Let the earth spin in peace
Und nicht in Streit                                                                                 And not in argument
Mach' alle - Hetzer und Krieger - Nie mehr zum Sieger                         make sure Hetzer & Krieger never win??
                                                                                                            (who are H&K? Nothing on google...)
Laß' der Jugend den Spaß                                                                    Let the youth have their fun
Und den Hunger nach Glück                                                                And their appetite for happiness
Laß' den Alten die Würde                                                                    Leave the old ones their dignity
Oder gib sie ihnen zurück                                                                     Or give it back to them
Laß' den Zweiflern die Fragen,                                                             Let the sceptics have their questions
Gib den Klugen das Sagen,                                                                  And give the power to the wise
Laß' dem Spinner das Chaos der Ideen                                                Leave the oddball his chaotic ideas
Und laß' ALLES AUS LIEBE - gescheh'n!                                          And let everything be done for love!

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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von Duckduck »

andykelp hat geschrieben:Hi and thank you once again.  I agree, literal translations are not always the best ones.  I didn't realise my German lyrics were wrong so well done on finding the correct ones.  Here's another verse using the lyrics from the 'official' source.  Your revisions would be most welcome, especially regarding "Hetzer und Krieger". Hi Andy! You're welcome! :big_thumb:
"Hetzer" are "agitators", in this context possibly "warmongers" and "Krieger" are "warriors" or here "fighters/soldiers".


Laß' die Erde in Frieden sich dreh'n                                                       Let the earth spin in peace
Und nicht in Streit                                                                                 and not in argument.
Mach' alle - Hetzer und Krieger - Nie mehr zum Sieger                         Make sure (all those) warmongers and fighters never win
                                                                                                          
Laß' der Jugend den Spaß                                                                    Let the young have their fun
Und den Hunger nach Glück                                                                and their hunger for happiness.
Laß' den Alten die Würde                                                                    Let the old ones keep their dignity
Oder gib sie ihnen zurück                                                                     or give it back to them.
Laß' den Zweiflern die Fragen,                                                             Let the sceptics have their questions
Gib den Klugen das Sagen,                                                                  and give the power to the wise.
Laß' dem Spinner das Chaos der Ideen                                                Allow the oddball his chaotic ideas
Und laß' ALLES AUS LIEBE - gescheh'n!                                          And let everything be done for/out of?? love!
:prost: 
Duckduck
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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von andykelp »

Vielen Dank noch mal, Duckduck.  Here's the final verse if you wouldn't mind.  "Lass uns aufrecht in neue Zeiten geh'n" was a bit tricky - I've tried to make it as 'English' as possible but maybe you can do something better with 'upright'...

Lass dem Adler den Wind,                                                 Leave the eagle the wind
Der ihn himmelwärts trägt                                                   which carries him to the sky
Und lass uns respektieren,                                                  And let us respect
Was die Ander'n bewegt                                                    What moves others
Lass den Traumtänzer schweben                                         Let the dreamers have their head in the clouds
Lass die Hoffnung am Leben                                              Keep hope alive
Lass uns aufrecht in neue Zeiten geh'n                                Let's go confidently into new beginnings
Und das alles aus Liebe                                                     And all for love
Lass alles aus Liebe gescheh'n!                                          Let everything be done for love!

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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von Duckduck »

andykelp hat geschrieben:Vielen Dank noch mal, Duckduck.  Here's the final verse if you wouldn't mind.  "Lass uns aufrecht in neue Zeiten geh'n" was a bit tricky - I've tried to make it as 'English' as possible but maybe you can do something better with 'upright'...

Sorry for keeping you waiting. Here goes: :chief:

Lass dem Adler den Wind,                                                Allow the eagle the wind
Der ihn himmelwärts trägt                                                   which carries it to the sky.
Und lass uns respektieren,                                                  And let us respect
Was die Ander'n bewegt                                                    what moves others.
Lass den Traumtänzer schweben                                         Let the dreamer have their head in the clouds.
Lass die Hoffnung am Leben                                              Keep hope alive.
Lass uns aufrecht in neue Zeiten geh'n                                Let's go confidently into new beginnings :jo: :freu:
Und das alles aus Liebe                                                     And all for love,
Lass alles aus Liebe gescheh'n!                                          let everything be done for love!
Very well done. As in English ("aufrecht" = "upright") it can also be used figuratively, meaning "honest". But it can also mean "walk tall" and "confident(ly)".
Cheers,
Duckduck
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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von andykelp »

Thank you very much indeed.  Here's another song, most of which I found quite easy to translate although one or two lines were a bit tricky.  If you could tidy it up for me, that would be great.  There's no rush whatsoever as I have to go away for a few days.  Thanks again, Duckduck.


Für dich möcht' ich Poet sein, am Klavier Gedichte malen,
I would like to be a poet for you, to paint poems on the piano
Deine Seele streicheln wie ein sanfter Sommerwind.
Caressing your soul like a gentle summer wind
Ich möchte Worte finden wie gewebt aus Sonnenstrahlen,
I want to find words as if woven from sunrays
Die deinen Tag erhellen, wenn die Zeiten düster sind.
To brighten your day when times are gloomy
Für dich möcht' ich Chagall sein und die Welt in Farben tauchen,
For you I would like to be Chagall and immerse the world in colour
Die dieses Glück beschreiben, wenn ich deine Nähe fühl'.
The ones which describe this happiness when I feel your nearness
Doch würd' ich jedes Feuerrot und Himmelsblau verbrauchen,
Yet should I use every fiery red and sky blue
Es würde nicht genügen, um zu sagen, was ich will:
It would not be enough to say what I want.

Alles Illusion,                                              Everything, an illusion
Alles Träume lediglich,                                All just dreams
Doch du sollst einfach wissen,                     But you should only know
WAS ICH GERNE WÄR' FÜR DICH.     What I would like to be for you

Für dich möcht' ich ein Licht sein, das brennt nur deinetwegen,
For you, I want to be a light that burns only for you (2x 'for you'???)
Dein Leuchtturm, wenn das Hoffen sinnlos scheint und schwer.
Your lighthouse when hope seems pointless and difficult (difficult?).
Möcht' alles, was dir Angst macht, in Schutt und Asche legen
I want to put everything that scares you into rubble and ashes
Die traurigen Gedanken versenken tief im Meer!
Sad thoughts I would sink deep into the sea!

Für dich möcht' ich allmächtig sein, möcht' mit bloßen Händen
For you, I want to be almighty and, with my bare hands
Mich dem Bösen stellen, jedem Sturm auf seiner Bahn.
To confront evil, every storm on its course. (No, struggling with this...)
Ich möchte jeden Zweifel, Tod und Teufel von dir wenden,
I want to turn every doubt, death and demon from you
Möchte alles können, was ich leider doch nicht kann...
I wish to be able to do everything I unfortunately can not do...


Doch du bist kein Traum,                                         But you are not a dream
Du bist Wirklichkeit für mich.                                   You are my reality
D'rum sollst du einfach wissen,                                 So you should only know
Was ich gerne wär' für dich                                      What I'd like to be for you

Deine Insel aus Gefühl                                             Your island of emotion
Dein Weg zu jedem Ziel,                                          Your road to every destination
Das Ja bei jedem Nein                                             A Yes for every No
Möcht' ich für dich sein!                                          I'd like to be for you!

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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von Duckduck »

andykelp hat geschrieben:Thank you very much indeed.  Here's another song, most of which I found quite easy to translate although one or two lines were a bit tricky.  If you could tidy it up for me, that would be great.  There's no rush whatsoever as I have to go away for a few days.  Thanks again, Duckduck.


Für dich möcht' ich Poet sein, am Klavier Gedichte malen,
I would like to be a poet for you, to paint poems on the piano
Deine Seele streicheln wie ein sanfter Sommerwind.
Caressing your soul like a gentle summer wind.
Ich möchte Worte finden wie gewebt aus Sonnenstrahlen,
I want to find words as if woven from sunrays
Die deinen Tag erhellen, wenn die Zeiten düster sind.
to brighten your day when times are gloomy.
Für dich möcht' ich Chagall sein und die Welt in Farben tauchen,
For you I would like to be Chagall and immerse the world in colour
Die dieses Glück beschreiben, wenn ich deine Nähe fühl'.
The ones which describe the happiness of feeling your nearness.
Doch würd' ich jedes Feuerrot und Himmelsblau verbrauchen,
Yet, even if I used every fiery red and sky blue
Es würde nicht genügen, um zu sagen, was ich will:
it would not be enough to express what I want.

Alles Illusion,                                              Everything, an illusion
Alles Träume lediglich,                               All just dreams
Doch du sollst einfach wissen,                   so - just for you to know
WAS ICH GERNE WÄR' FÜR DICH.     what I would like to be for you

Für dich möcht' ich ein Licht sein, das brennt nur deinetwegen,
For you, I want to be a light that burns just because of you / just for your sake.
Dein Leuchtturm, wenn das Hoffen sinnlos scheint und schwer.
Your lighthouse when hoping seems pointless and difficult. :jo:
Möcht' alles, was dir Angst macht, in Schutt und Asche legen,
I want to put everything that scares you into rubble and ashes
die traurigen Gedanken versenken tief im Meer!
and sink the sad thoughts deep into the sea!

Für dich möcht' ich allmächtig sein, möcht' mit bloßen Händen
For you, I want to be almighty, would like to
Mich dem Bösen stellen, jedem Sturm auf seiner Bahn.
confront evil and soothe every storm on its course, with my bare hands. somewhat freely translated... :mrgreen:
Ich möchte jeden Zweifel, Tod und Teufel von dir wenden,
I want to protect you from every doubt, death and demon,
Möchte alles können, was ich leider doch nicht kann...
would like to be able to do everything I unfortunately can not do...


Doch du bist kein Traum,                                         But you are not a dream
Du bist Wirklichkeit für mich.                                   You are my reality
D'rum sollst du einfach wissen,                                 So, just for you to know
Was ich gerne wär' für dich                                      what I'd like to be for you

Deine Insel aus Gefühl                                             Your island of emotion
Dein Weg zu jedem Ziel,                                          Your road to every destination
Das Ja bei jedem Nein                                             A Yes for every No
Möcht' ich für dich sein!                                          I'd like to be for you!
Very well done!
Cheers, :prost:
Duckduck
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Re: Translating the songs of Udo Jürgens

Beitrag von andykelp »

Duckduck hat geschrieben:
andykelp hat geschrieben: confront evil and soothe every storm on its course, with my bare hands. somewhat freely translated... :mrgreen:
Good to know you had trouble with that line, too!

Care for another?

Das Leben bist du                                                                Life - that's you / Life is you

Achte auf deine Gedanken, denn sie werden Worte!              Mind your thoughts lest they become words!
Achte auf deine Worte, denn sie werden zur Tat!                   Mind your words lest they become actions!
Achte auf deine Taten, denn sie werden dein Schicksal!        Mind your actions lest they be your destiny!
Was in Zukunft wächst, ist deine Saat.                                   What may grow in the future is your harvest
achte auf deine Lieder, andere werden sie singen!                 Take care of your songs for others will sing them
Achte auf deine Fehler, andere machen sie nach!                   Learn from your mistakes for others will copy them!
Achte auf deine Stärken, denn sie werden dich leiten,             Know your strengths for they will guide you
Und auf deinen Geist, er hält dich wach!                             And your spirit for it keeps you alert / helps you grow!
 
Du bist dein Krieg, du bist dein Frieden,                              You are your war, you are your peace
Du bist dein Schatten und dein Licht.                                    You are your shadow and your light
Du bist alles, was gescheh'n wird,                                        You are everything that will happen
Einen Ausweg gibt es nicht.                                                  There is no way out
Du drehst dir deine Welt zur Hölle                                        You turn your world to hell
Oder auch der Sonne zu.                                                     or towards the sun as well
Du bist das Leben -                                                            You are Life
Das Leben bist du!                                                             Life - that's you! / life is you
 
D'rum achte auf deine Liebe, lass sie nie erkalten!                So mind your love, never let it grow cold
Achte auf deine Würde, eh' die Dummheit sie dir nimmt!        Mind your dignity befor foolishness takes it from you
Achte auf deine Ehre, bevor die Lügner siegen!                    Mind your honour before the liars triumph
Nimm jeden Tag in Schutz, der neu beginnt!                        Protect every day that starts anew (Hmmm, not sure...)
 
Achte auf deine Wünsche, vielleicht werden sie Träume!        Mind your wishes, they may become dreams!
Achte auf deine Träume, vielleicht werden sie wahr!               Mind your dreams, they may come true!
Achte auf deine Wahrheit, denn mit ihr musst du leben,        Mind your truth for you have to live with it
Als Weiser oder Zweifler oder Narr.                                    As a Wise man, a Doubter or a Fool.

Dank!

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