Hokey Pokey

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by martyhalpern, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. martyhalpern Member

    San Jose, California
    English - USA

    I'm an editor for a small independent publisher in the US (I'm actually located in Northern California) -- and I'm editing a story that uses some German, none of which I am familiar with. However, I want the German text to be as correct/accurate as possible.

    The person in the story is singing part of the lyrics to the children's song "Hokey-Pokey" in German. I'll include below the German text from the story and would be most grateful if you would let me know if it makes sense, and if not, what the correct wording should be.

    Man tut den Hokey-Pokey und man schuttelt ihn heraus....

    Even if the text were correct, I suspect there are some missing diacritical marks, etc.

    Thanks again for your time and assistance.
    Marty Halpern

  2. MrMagoo

    MrMagoo Senior Member

    Westphalia, Germany
    Westphalia, Germany; German

    Hello Marty,

    I don't have any clue what a "Hokey-Pokey" is... ;)
    The missing diacritical sign is the two dots above "u" in "schüttelt".

    "Man tut den Hokey-Pokey und man schüttelt ihn heraus" means:

    "One does the Hokey-Pokey and one shakes it out (of something)" OR: "...and one shakes him out (of something)" ---> This depends on the context:

    "ihn" is the personal pronoun (accusative case) for a masculine noun. "Hokey-Pokey" seems to be a dance or something equal; if so, it is certainly masculine (= "der" Tanz => the dance; "der" = masc. definite article)- in this case.

    "ihn" can refer back to "Hokey-Pokey", so it would mean something like "If you do the Hokey-Pokey, you shake the Hokey-Pokey out (of something)".

    Also, "ihn" can refer back to another masculine noun or a male person that had been mentioned earlier in the text; then it would mean "You do the Hokey-Pokey and you shake "him (or: it)" out (of something).". ("ihn" would translate as either "him" or "it", depending on the gender, the earlier mentioned noun has).

    I hope this is understandable, just ask when there are more questions.

    All the best
  3. martyhalpern Member

    San Jose, California
    English - USA

    Hi, and thanks for your response. I made an assumption that most folks would know about this children's song, and my apologies for that assumption. It's kind of a dance to teach children body parts: The children form a circle and then they each put their left hand in toward the center of the circle, then they bring their left hand out, then they put their left hand back in toward the circle, and then they shake it [their hand] all about; the song then goes "You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around; that's what it's all about."

    You would then do this with the other hand, each foot, and so on. You could even go so far as to use the elbow, knee, head, etc. Lastly, the children themselves jump in toward the center of the circle, so they are placing their whole body in, then they would jump back out, then jump back in again, and shake their body about . . .

    Hope that all makes sense now and may help explain the context of the German words.
    - marty
  4. Kajjo

    Kajjo Senior Member

    Deutschland (Hamburg)
    Maybe you should give us the English lyrics you prefer. I did a quick search and came up with several versions, most of which have a different order than the German translation you gave us.

    You put your right foot in,
    You put your right foot out;
    You put your right foot in,
    And you shake it all about. Und Du schüttelst ihn aus
    You do the Hokey-Pokey, Du machst den Hokey-Pokey
    And you turn yourself around. und Du drehst Dich um Dich selbst
    That's what it's all about! Das ist's, worum es geht.

    Here it appears that "shake" refers to the foot?


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