German translation please: ''99 Luftballons''

Just looking for a *literal translation of the original German lyrics:

*Or idiomatic, if it’s a phrase that would be meaningless in English.

It starts out, “Hast du etwas Zeit fuer mich/dann singe ich ein Lied fuer dich/von 99 Luftballoons?”

Which translates as, “Have you some time for me/that sing I a song for you/about 99 ballons?”

And, that’s all I can translate off the top of my head. Heh. But, yeah, the German lyrics are kinda different than the English version.

“Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Denkst Du vielleicht grad’ an mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied fuer Dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Und dass sowas von sowas kommt”

On their way to the horizon
Maybe you’re thinking of me right now
Then I’ll sing a song for you
About 99 ballons
And that something like this derives from somewthing like this

“99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Hielt man fuer UFOs aus dem All
Darum schickte ein General
Eine Fliegerstaffel hinterher
Alarm zu geben, wenn es so war
Dabei war da am Horizont
Nur 99 Luftballons”

99 ballons
On their way to the horizon
Were thought to be UFOs from space
That’s why some general
Sent an air squadron after them
To raise alarm, if it were like this
But there at the horizon
Were simply 99 ballons

“99 Duesenjaeger
Jeder war ein grosser Krieger
Hielten sich fuer Captain Kirk
Das gab ein grosses Feuerwerk
Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft
Und fuehlten sich gleich angemacht
Dabei schoss man am Horizont
Auf 99 Luftballons”

99 jetfighters
Every single was a big warrior
Considered themselves Capain Kirk
It was a huge firework
The neighbors didn’t grasp anything
And felt pissed
Although they were simply shooting 99 ballons at the horizon

“99 Kriegsminister
Streichholz und Benzinkanister
Hielten sich fuer schlaue Leute
Witterten schon fette Beute
Riefen: Krieg und wollten Macht
Mann, wer haette das gedacht
Dass es einmal soweit kommt
Wegen 99 Luftballons”

99 war ministers
Like a match and a canister of gasoline
Considered themselves clever people
Were smelling a great prey
They shouting: War, and wanted power
Who would have thought that it could end liek this
Because of 99 ballons

“99 Jahre Krieg
Liessen keinen Platz fuer Sieger
Kriegsminister gibt es nicht mehr
Und auch keine Duesenflieger
Heute zieh ich meine Runden
Seh die Welt in Truemmern liegen
Hab’ nen Luftballon gefunden
Denk’ an Dich und lass’ ihn fliegen”

99 years of war
Didn’t leave space for victors
There are no war ministers any more
And no jetfighters either
Today I’m walking araound
See the world in ruins
I found a ballon
I’m thinking of you and let it fly.

Many thanks. . .

Google “nena 99 literal” :
German version, English version, and literal translation.

You’re welcome. My apologies for that cluster of typos.

[sub]I love that song…it’s just as old as me (1983) ;)[/sub]

Can anyone do Toni Basil’s espanol version of “Mickey” now?

Gee, when you translate it straight from German, it sounds even lamer.

God, I hated that song.

Huh? I’ve always thought the German lyrics were a pretty harsh indictment of the world political situation of the 1980s.

I translated the lyrics way back when, and this is what I came up with:

Do you have some time for me?
Then I will sing a song for you
Of 99 toy balloons
On their way to the horizon
Perhaps you will think well of me
And I will sing a song for you
Of 99 toy balloons
And come from that what may…

99 toy balloons
On their way to the horizon
Were thought UFOs from outer space
So a general sent a a squadron up
To give the alarm if such was the case
But all that was on the horizon
Was 99 toy balloons

99 fighter pilots
Each one was a greater warrior
Saw themselves as Captain Kirk
That’s what caused the fireworks
The neighbours (neighbouring countries) had no idea
And felt they were being screwed over.
And so they shot on a horizon
Of 99 toy balloons

99 War Ministers
Matches and gasoline canisters!
Saw themselves as sly people
Already collecting the fat booty
Shouting, “War!” and wanting power
Man, who would have thought
That when “The Big One” finally came
It would be caused by 99 toy balloons?

99 years of war
left no place for victors
The War Ministers are no more
And there are no fighter pilots
Today trudge in my rounds
I see the world laying in ruins
I’ve found a toy balloon
I think of you and let it fly.

It sounds better in German.

The German version is certainly better than “Worry, worry, super-scurry / Call the troops out in a hurry!” :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve never actually heard the English version, but it looks pretty bad.

Especially since the singer always seemed to me to pronounce that last line: “Caww the twoops out in a huwwy!”

I’ve always wondered if Captain Kirk was a well known character in Germany when this song came out. What was it, 1983? That was before all but one of the Star Trek movies I think, and before all the shows but TOS. Was Star Trek popular in Germany in the early 80s? Or was it more of a cult thing?

Star Trek was (and is) very popular in Germany, with the exception of a single episode that was forbidden by consitutional law.


Forbidden by constitutional law? What kind of episode could cause that?


I believe there was a nazi episode…and, what with that dust-up in the 40s, I don’t think the Germans look to kindly of bringing such topics up for mere sci-fi shows.


(Trekkie or German Constitutional Law Authority)

IIRC Germany has all kinds of restrictions on anything referring or relating to the Nazis. Star Trek had a Nazi related episode.

I’m sure someone can give you details on the episode if you’re interested.

The episode Patterns of Force was full of Nazi paraphenalia; swastikas and salutes and whatnot, displays of which are serious constitional offenses under German law.

I meant constitutional of course.

The episode summary is here.


There is (or was, at any rate) a parody of 99 Red Balloons called “99 Dead Babboons,” which dealt with a guy who found 99 dead babboons in his apartment one morning. Highly recommended for the sheer comic value, with verses like

99 dead babboons
Sitting in my living room
How they got here, I’m not sure
Woke up one day, there they were.
Luckily I’ve got a lease
Allowing pets if they’re deceased
I’m just thankful they’re not apes
'Cause apes would clash with the drapes
No more napkins at my party
Wipe your hands on a dead babboon!

I have it on an audio tape somewhere. Sam Stone would probably enjoy it. :slight_smile: