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  5. "Die Gedanken sind frei."

"Die Gedanken sind frei."

Translation:Thoughts are free.

April 29, 2013

76 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chthonic

Wer kann sie erraten! Sie fleigen vorbei wie nachlichte Schatten Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger erschießen mit Pulver und Blei: Die Gedanken sind frei!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shareezy

loveeee that song! :)


[deactivated user]

    [deactivated user]

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margusoja

      Here's a more modern version, very refreshing :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StGvRa2zgbw


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/borQhuester

      Leider spielt es nicht in Amerika...


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tontonzark

      the video is unfortunatly not (more) avalable.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michisjourdi

      Danke! Now I remember where I recalled this phrase from. There is a book called From Anna about a little German girl and her family. They move to Canada to get away from Hitler. At some point, I think before they moved, her father sings this.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/as2907

      Und sperrt man mich ein in finsteren Kerker

      Das alles sind rein vergebliche Werke

      Denn meine Gedanken zerreißen die Schranken

      Und Mauern entzwei: Die Gedanken sind frei


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

      The version I learned of it did not have "mit Pulver und Blei" - but that certainly fits! If I remember right, instead, it was something like "Es stehe vorbei."


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

      I think "Es bleibet dabei" (it stays like that), with "bleibet" being a poetical version of "bleibt".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

      »fliegen«, not «fleigen«
      »nächtliche«, not »nachtlicht


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GauthierMcL

      Ich brauche ein Fliegenklatsche. Ayeee!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wintermote

      We usually charge a penny around here.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaspercat

      Does this mean free as in costing nothing, or as in, for example, "free as a bird"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levi
      • 2866

      @jaspercat: As far as I know free as in "free as a bird".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/youngturks

      Free as in no cost is kostenlos


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Copies

      In this context "free" means "unconstrained".

      Looking up "frei" (on for instance Wiktionary or Duden.de) does yield "kostenlos" and "gratis" as synonyms but the usage is constrained to specific cases like Freibier, freie Krankenversorgung, freier Eintritt etc. The meaning in the sense of "kostenlos" is perhaps more because you would usually associate these things with a cost (which you are now free of).

      I updated this response as the old was erroneous (did some digging and asked some Germans after reading mizinamo's response). The old was: "It can mean both. Both the German and the English sentence are (somewhat) ambiguous." (kept to stand by my mistakes)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

      Eh?

      "frei" meaning "no charge" is fairly rare, in my opinion.

      It's valid in some context (e.g. "Eintritt frei", "Freikarten") but unusual in general.

      I think most Germans would interpret "die Gedanken sind frei" only as "free, unrestricted, at liberty".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XoooOverdose

      Do you have to add "die"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

      For the rhythm of the melody, yes.
      For the meaning, no.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tuckerlawton

      Enjoyed reading the lyrics! Here is a million-dollar thought that has lasting value, especially today when it "costs" people plenty to be a true free-thinker.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LindaB_Duolingo

      Le Lingot c'est pour toi, Charlie. :)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tixor

      Anyone else dissatisfied with the English translation? "Thoughts are free" just sounds cheap to me.

      The problem being, of course, the ambiguity of the word free in English.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.P.Niers

      I think the English ambiguous word ‘free’ is one of the best examples of how ones native language can shape ones thoughts and mindset.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaveatEmptor

      "'Thoughts are free' just sounds cheap to me."

      Pun intended? :P

      Also, to answer your question, no I'm not dissatisfied. The translation is about as literal as it gets. It's not a translation problem, it's a context problem. Stated on its own, "Die Gedanken sind frei" "Thoughts are free" isn't really a complete thought or argument in itself, but merely an assertion, one that's slightly vague. Ambiguity is a problem inherent to philosophical fragments like this. But it's not the translator's problem.


      [deactivated user]

        And before you know it you'll be committing thoughtcrime. Don't feel tempted, kiddos!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GalvanTivadar

        That was my first thought also. These fellas have never heard of thinkpol, for sure.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rimplot

        Orwell: Keeping an Eye On You


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zygro

        I thought exactly that!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/banjoben

        Is "Frei" any different from "Kostenlos"?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levi
        • 2866

        @banjoben: Frei (free) could be interpreted in the sense that one is not in jail ;)) and kostenlos (without cost) is more related to price, money and so on.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philipralph84

        So "frei" means free as in "free speech" and not free pizza? Thanks!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.P.Niers

        ‘Kostenlos’ = ‘gratis’ = ‘umsonst’ = free as in beer, free of charge

        ‘Frei’ = free as in speech or liberty

        But ‘Freibier’ = free beer!

        And ‘kostenfrei’ = free of charges (usually said of services).


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jswr1974

        Thanks, that was my question too


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spotcheck

        I always translate "kostenlos" in my head as "cost-less" to keep them straight


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tor_Heyerdal

        lol. I do the same thing, except for me, it's more like "costin'-lows." lol.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Strobro3

        Is the meaning of this that; in the opposite case thoughts would be restricted?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1.21_gigawatts

        And here I was, paying $5.99 for my thoughts.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gesevillar

        Goood... Because i do not have my wallet on me


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thao_Bi

        Is "thought" a countable noun in English?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hiccup

        Sure, I mean, you can have one thought or many thoughts. Perhaps there was once you had two thoughts at a time. And later you had no thoughts.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KenHagan1

        Yes and no. You can give more thought to a question or you can have more thoughts on it. We use the same word for the process of thinking and the products of that process.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanne.j

        Has "Gedanken" any link to "danken" ? I like to cut words in German to remember their meaning, but I don't manage to do so here :-/


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaspercat

        I would say it comes from "denken", to think.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanne.j

        Danke sehr ! :)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GauthierMcL

        The vowel often changes for past tense, from whence comes this noun. I always thought that we ought to think good thoughts.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

        »der Gedanke« “the thought” comes from
        »denken« “to think”, both of which come from Proto-Germanic
        *þankijaną, whose root *þank- comes from Proto-Indoeuropean
        *teng- “to feel, perceive, think, know”.

        »danken« “to thank” both come from Proto-Germanic
        *þankōną, with the same root *þank- from Proto-Indoeuropean
        *teng- “to feel, perceive, think, know”.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaleGAbersold

        Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit! (Schiller)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jukaverdugo

        Was nützt die Liebe in Gedanken, an interesting movie


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ngsihiu

        I had watched it but sad thing was it didn't come with subtitle so I had no clue what the German lines meant...


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gennuisance

        Doesn't 'Gedanken' also mean memorial? I wrote 'the memories are free' and was marked wrong


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaspercat

        'Das Gedenken' means memorial or commemoration.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/e_mortal

        The previous example to this for me was "Die Katzen hassen Wasser." to which I gave "Cats are free." as my answer but it was tagged incorrect. In the comments section someone said that German works like English in this respect, that you say "Katzen hassen Wasser" to mean cats in general, and use the article to refer to specific cats.

        So why then is it tagged correct when I answer here "Thoughts are free."?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Minervas37

        I also expected only "the thoughts are free." to be the correct solution.

        Maybe it is because "Die Gedanken sind frei." is a German idiom that is commonly used for thoughts in general and not only for specific ones.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adria_and_Blork

        Do i have to put "Die" in this sentence or is it optional?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IchliebemeinHund

        Is there any way of knowing, when you need the definate article, as in this example. " 'Die' Gedanken" given that thoughts are not tangible objects. Which incidently is why you do not use "the" before thoughts in English.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NissouTsai

        Does this phrase mean that the thoughts can be expressed freely?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tom-g

        This reminds me of the Guardian's "Comment is free".


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moz627

        why is it "die" and not "der" when the hint says the word is masculine?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.S.Beg

        Does this mean die is used for plural and der for singular?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaspercat

        In the nominative, die is used for feminine and plural, der for masculine and das for neuter.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tor_Heyerdal

        Gedanke is a masculine noun, so it takes "der" in singular nominative, and "den" in singular accusative. But all nouns change into feminine when they become pluralized, no matter what their original gender was, so it becomes "die Gedanken".


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hussein241312

        What about thought crime


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tontonzark

        If you search of the lyrics of german song oder you want listen to other german songs. You will find it here: http://www.ingeb.org


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tontonzark

        if you are searching the lyrics of other german songs or listen to them, here is the site you need: http://www.ingeb.org/VolksonE.html


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daniele_de_vecc_

        Ich denke was ich will, und was mich beglücktet


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerhard341061

        Thinking is the process of having thoughts. why is thinking is free not acceptable.

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