Tag Archive: video


Vor seinem Löwengarten,
Das Kampfspiel zu erwarten,
Saß König Franz,
Und um ihn die Großen der Krone,
Und rings auf hohem Balkone
Die Damen in schönem Kranz.
Und wie er winkt mit dem Finger,
Auf tut sich der weite Zwinger,
Und hinein mit bedächtigem Schritt
Ein Löwe tritt,
Und sieht sich stumm
Rings um,
Mit langem Gähnen,
Und schüttelt die Mähnen,
Und streckt die Glieder,
Und legt sich nieder.
Und der König winkt wieder,
Da öffnet sich behend
Ein zweites Tor,
Daraus rennt
Mit wildem Sprunge
Ein Tiger hervor,
Wie der den Löwen erschaut,
Brüllt er laut,
Schlägt mit dem Schweif
Einen furchtbaren Reif,
Und recket die Zunge,
Und im Kreise scheu
Umgeht er den Leu
Grimmig schnurrend;
Darauf streckt er sich murrend
Zur Seite nieder.
Und der König winkt wieder,
Da speit das doppelt geöffnete Haus
Zwei Leoparden auf einmal aus,
Die stürzen mit mutiger Kampfbegier
Auf das Tigertier,
Das packt sie mit seinen grimmigen Tatzen,
Und der Leu mit Gebrüll
Richtet sich auf, da wird’s still,
Und herum im Kreis,
Von Mordsucht heiß,
Lagern die greulichen Katzen.
Da fällt von des Altans Rand
Ein Handschuh von schöner Hand
Zwischen den Tiger und den Leun
Mitten hinein.
Und zu Ritter Delorges spottenderweis
Wendet sich Fräulein Kunigund:
„Herr Ritter, ist Eure Lieb so heiß,
Wie Ihr mir’s schwört zu jeder Stund,
Ei, so hebt mir den Handschuh auf.“
Und der Ritter in schnellem Lauf
Steigt hinab in den furchtbarn Zwinger
Mit festem Schritte,
Und aus der Ungeheuer Mitte
Nimmt er den Handschuh mit keckem Finger.
Und mit Erstaunen und mit Grauen
Sehen’s die Ritter und Edelfrauen,
Und gelassen bringt er den Handschuh zurück.
Da schallt ihm sein Lob aus jedem Munde,
Aber mit zärtlichem Liebesblick –
Er verheißt ihm sein nahes Glück –
Empfängt ihn Fräulein Kunigunde.
Und er wirft ihr den Handschuh ins Gesicht:
„Den Dank, Dame, begehr ich nicht“,
Und verlässt sie zur selben Stunde.
In front of his lion garden,
expecting the martial game,
was sitting king Franz,
Around him the high ones of the crown,
Surrounded by balconies
Ladies in a beautiful circle.
And as he waves with a finger,
the wide kennel opens,
with cautious steps
a lion enters,
and looks quietly
around,
with a long yawn,
and shakes its mane,
and stretches its limbs,
and lies down.
And the king waves again,
and quickly opens
a second door,
out of which runs
with wild jumps
a tiger,
as he spots the tiger,
he roars loudly,
hits with his tail
a horrible circle,
and elongates the tongue,
and in the circle, shyly
he surrounds the lion
purring fiercely;
thereupon he stretches, grumbling
to the side.
And the king waves again,
thereupon the double-open house,
spits out two leopards at once,
they rush with courageous lust for fight
onto the tiger,
which grabs them with his grim paws,
and the lion, with roars
stands up, there it gets quiet,
and around the circle,
hot from desire to kill,
the horrid cats wait.
There falls from the edge of the balcony
a glove from beautiful hand
in-between the tiger and the lion
right in the middle.
And to Knight Delorges, scoffingly
turns Miss Kunigund:
“Mister Knight, is your love as hot,
as you always swear at every hours,
well, so pick up the glove.”
And the knight in a quick run
steps down into the horrible kennel
with strong steps,
and out of the horrid middle
he takes the glove with perky finger.
And with astonishment and with dread
the knights and noblewomen watch,
and relaxed he brings back the glove.
There echoes praise from every mouth,
but with a soft look of love –
it promises his near luck –
Miss Kunigunde welcomes him.
And he throws the glove into her face:
“The thanks, lady, I don’t desire”,
and he leaves her at the same hour.
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This is not a German ‘lesson’ but still a video that should teach some lesson(s) (and it does involve German).

Thanks for playing the guitar, Nicholas! Thanks to Nastassja and Goldie for ‘proof-watching’ it (so if there are still any (unintentional) ‘mistakes’ in it, you’re to blame! >P)!

If you don’t want to just watch it and interpret it your own way, but know what my intentions were, check out my notes below!

  • the futuristic woman’s English is ‘different’ (mainly lacking articles), which is supposed to show that language change and language contact (German ‘und’ for ‘and’) may result in drastic changes
  • the ‘fairy tale’ evokes expectations, just as the princess expects everyone to speak English, which fortunately isn’t the case because that would mean that many people would lose their jobs (e.g. translators), many cultures would die out, and the diversity of languages, dialects, accents and writing systems would disappear. Plus, fairy tales are entertaining and informative which allows them to persist. They may be designed for children (who are very important when it comes to language; they manage to acquire it in only a few years and are the ones who will end up being responsible for language change) but can transmit ‘hidden’ messages to adults, who like them just as much.
  • The story brings up many issues in linguistics; miscommunication, ambiguity due to (no) intonation, visual cues, different writing systems, symbolism (how would we communicate if there was no language? With symbols? But how would we agree on their meanings?)… The effects of (the presence or absence of) voice (some voices appear ‘nicer’ to us), the advances in (language) technology (speech synthesis – is ‘standard’ best? Why do some people dislike dialects and accents? Similarly, writing on computers – do people end up making more spelling mistakes when they’re handwriting because they’re used to ‘letting computers correct them’?)
  • I also threw in some ‘different’ issues; the environment (are technological advances really that great?), stereotypes (a black princess, a short prince (does he reflect the German stereotype?), what people think about blondes…)…
  • The princess is found in the Pacific – life ‘began’ with water, which points to the origins and evolution of language
  • The princess’ soul and heart are still ‘intact’, her brain and heart are still present in the skeleton. I made them of bubble wrap: her bubble bursts when her dream doesn’t come true (is anything (in life) ever perfect? I highly doubt it, and neither is language!!), and she commits suicide i.e. dies, which sheds light on the fact that more and more languages are dying out, which is to a great extent our fault – we’re somewhat committing language suicide
  • Before the princess died she had lots of time to write down her ‘not so fairy fairy tale’, and took the book into her ‘grave’ – the evolution of history can mainly be studied through ancient documentation (e.g. Rosetta Stone). The book is in ‘unchronological’ order (from present to past – which you unfortunately can’t see but my tutor, who’s going to assess the assignment, will get as ‘hand in’ the ‘box with the dead princess and her book’ (visible in the very last seen)) – this ought to reflect how we go back in time to unfold stories, it’s not like we know what’s gonna happen in the future. Furthermore, the book has been somewhat destroyed (environmental influences) which evokes the topic of ‘language destruction’ (is the ‘youth’ ruining language, e.g. by abbreviations and so on?) and how environment shapes language
  • The princess’ ‘skeleton’ is made of wire, as anatomically correct (because language is REAL) as I was able to put it together, to represents her cold, dead body that is empty of love as she believed to die that way, and because language is ‘hardwired’ into humans, it’s somewhat innate – at least according to some linguists (big debate – worth googling!)
  • (As (not) visible in the last scene:) The princess is found and put in a coffin-like underwater boat in which the future people transport her to land – the letter ‘L’ is ‘written’ on it, denoting ‘language, love, life’ (or otherwise: language death, unrequited love, death)
  • The ending is unusual and unhappy with the prospect for a happy ending after all; language is pretty much unpredictable, many languages die out, others develop, they all change, and new ones are created!