10

Rammstein's song "Du Hast" apparently means "You Hate", but "You Hate" in German is "Du Hasst". However, "Du Hast" means "You Have" in German. Is "Du Hast" supposed to mean "You Have" or "You Hate"? Is it intentionally spelled incorrectly?

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14

It's an intentional play on words.

When we hear the opening lyrics:

Du
Du hast
Du hast mich

It's unclear if they're saying "Du hast mich" ("You have me") or "Du hasst mich" ("You hate me").

It's not until the later text:

Du hast mich gefragt
Du hast mich gefragt
Du hast mich gefragt und ich hab nichts gesagt

That we actually get the real meaning: "You asked me and I said nothing."

So, actually, it's neither "You have me" nor "You hate me." Instead, it's a part of a past-tense construction. Literally, they are saying "You have asked me and I have said nothing."

  • 3
    You just answered my question on German language meta :-) – Mawg Sep 12 '18 at 11:58
  • 1
    @Mawg I love when the communities overlap like that! – Richard Sep 12 '18 at 11:59
  • Me too. I check Area 51 from time to time, but didn't even know that this one existed. Expect to see me active ;-) – Mawg Sep 12 '18 at 12:06
3

A calqued translation:

Thou

Thou hast

Thou hast me

Thou hast me asked

Thou hast me asked and I have not said

See, English is a lot like German!

1

I plugged this into a German to English translator and it says:

Du
Du hast
Du hast mich
Du hast mich gefragt
Du hast mich gefragt und ich hab nichts gesagt

equates to:

You...
You have...
You got me...
You asked me...
You asked me and I did not say anything...

Seems to me to be a clever play on words. At first it sounds like it's going to be a love song, and then it turns out to be more of a hate song (You're asking me and I'm just ignoring you).

Of course, then the rest of the song:

Willst du bis der tod euch scheidet
Treu ihr sein fьare alle tagen

Nein!  Nein!

translates to:

Will you until death do you part
Be faithful to her?

No!  No!

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