Lakaien English

feather

I am a Darkstar
Lakaien English.... or "What the heck are they talking about?!?"

NOTE: the viewpoints expressed in this "essay"are not necessarily those of the management, band, fans, or any other person on this planet except for me - please don't get offended and send me nasty e-mails!! :)

We have all experienced it - that feeling of total perplexity, or just plain confusion, when we're listening to one of our favorite Lakaien songs, and all of a sudden there comes a line that we just can't decode. I think you all know what I mean, don't you? I suppose I have it a bit easier, being a native English speaker, but even I have had some moments, wherein I just hit my head against the wall, and think, "What is he talking about???"

This subject came up in the chat last night, and I got to thinking more deeply about it today, whilst walking around Berlin, listening to The Sweet Life. Just what is behind this, what we have affectionately dubbed, "Lakaien English." Where does it come from, and why does it persist in confusing us, the fans?

My brain came up with several reasons. The first, and most obvious, being that Misters Horn and Veljanov, while their English is better than most Americans I know, are not native English speakers. They do make the occasional grammatical error, and I don't know about you, but I have certainly forgiven them for this. I can't imagine writing songs in another language, not my mother tongue, let alone such damned GOOD ones! To create the imagery and invoke the feelings that their songs do, I'm sure, takes much time and thought, as well as mental energy, and you really can't expect them to do it perfectly every time.

Another reason is, at least in my mind, that they need a little bit more punctuation in their lyric sheets. Steve gave an example of what I am talking about last night in the chat, with the quotation and question, " 'He will let you watch undress' but watch WHO undress?" In my mind, a well-placed comma would alleviate the confusion, at least for that phrase. Looking over the Lakaien booklets, I do see commas and quotation marks here and there, but the songs that contain them seem to be random. For instance, I can't just look at them and say, "All of Ernst's songs have punctuation, and Alexander's don't." At first, I thought that might be the case, for none of Alexander's solo cds' booklets have punctuation, but I was wrong. It's not as easy as that.. and there are no punctuation marks at all in the White Lies booklet! I never thought I would be lusting so much after simple commas and semi-colons! :)

Now, I move on to my next reason, which sort of cancels out the last one. In comparing the texts which I know were written by Ernst, to those written by Alexander, I tend to find that Ernst's texts are more concrete in their meaning, more clearly cut and well-defined. You can listen to his texts, and know exactly what he wants you to know, and feel exactly the feelings he put into them. Alexander's texts are more fantastical, and you must hear them with your heart and imagination, not just your ears. That isn'tto say that Ernst's texts aren't imaginative! Both men do a wonderful job of relaying whatever feeling it is that they set out to relay to us, both are great conjurors of images. But I personally find that with Alexander's songs, I have to lie back, close my eyes, and simply ignore the words. That being said, I have to admit that punctuation does not make a great amount of difference, if one is ignoring the words of a song, and just feeling the feelings within it!

The downside of this fantastical conjuring, is that sometimes songs appear, that really no one can decipher. I myself have no idea what Kiss the Future, Venus Man, Town by the River (though I have my own ideas), and Fish are about - maybe someone can help me with this? And I won't even mention Song for a mad choir singer, or Fashion, Passion and Pigaches (both of which I totally love, by the way)! :)

So in conclusion... well, I don't really know what kind of conclusions I could draw from all of this, except that Lakaien were, are, and always will be tremendous, despite their occasional weirdness of language. I suspect that you all will agree with me on this point, at least :)
 

yvonne

I am a Darkstar
Oh well, why did I leave the chat so early?

Thank you feather for letting all of us here know what the chat-discussion was about as I think the "Lakaien-English" is a very interesting topic.

You ’re lucky as a native english-speaker! :)
I see the first problem in the language itself. Okay, more or less we are all able to communicate but there are always words and expressions missing. One of the first things I always do (and have to do) is take my dictionary while reading or just listening to the songs. Well, this is a really nice way to learn new vocabulary :) !!!
You already mentioned the second problem: punctuation! As it is confusing for you you can imagine how hard it is for us sometimes to get the point!
But doesn ’t that all make the "Lakaien-English" so interesting? We would not have this discussion otherwise, would we? Ernst and Alexander give us enough space to let our imagination spin around! Everybody has his/her own story of the songs, without understanding them all. I once compared it to painters as I tried to explain exactly this to a friend: We are all painters. We all have the same paper, the same colours, the same brushs and the same topic. And as we all love and know Deine Lakaien for quite a while we also have a similar painting-style. But when you take a look at the masterpieces they all look different!
And I think this is what Ernst and Alexander want. They want their lyrics paint different pictures - otherwise they would have changed their style of writing!

Besides the music I think this is the most exciting thing about every Lakaien album (or any side-project)!

many greetings
yvonne
 

Carl

Administrator
Teammitglied
Feather ....who said that life is always easy? :)

For some years, most Lakaien-lyrics are checked by an American native translator.
She is living here in Berlin.

But not all songs... and there might be some mistakes, sometimes even not by the band but the people who put the cover together. You read over things a dozen times, and find arrows (aaah.. errors) not before the covers are actually printed.

So these rare case - ask your heart,
it will tell you the answer what they are talking about... :)

Greetings
 

feather

I am a Darkstar
@ Carl: well... i wasn't really complaining about it! :)
i was just getting my thoughts out, on a topic that has been brought up many times by various people. many people have asked me about lyrics' meanings, and sometimes i have no answer for them, for even I don't know the exact meaning of the words.. . it is just like you said, just search your heart, and don't worry about the exact meaning! i know full well, that whenever there are humans involved in anything, there will inevitably be mistakes :) :)

@ Yvonne: YES! EXACTLY!!

@ Liu: no problem, buddy!
 

Raven

I am a Darkstar
Feather, I absolutely loved the phrase 'a serious case of Lakaien-English' :) that you came up with last night! It stayed with me all day long. I just couldn't get it out of my head...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
You should really get the copyright on this sentence! Wanna consult a lawyer? I'm your man! :)
 

feather

I am a Darkstar
can't i just write it like this: "a serious case of Lakaien English (copyright Feather Rogers-Dayton)" ? :)

good idea though... :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
No, absolutly impossible! Under no circumstances!!! It would have to look like that: "A serious case of Lakaien English� ’TM"! :) :)
 

feather

I am a Darkstar
just an afterthought... my "essay" was meant in fun, and not to criticize the Lakaien in any way. i know there are many people that take lots of things seriously (and some OVERLY-seriously), so i just wanted to clarify my motivation in writing it. usually, when i have talked to people about "Lakaien-English", it has been in a "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" kind of way, with lots of :) 's involved, and i just wanted to continue in that vein. The Lakaien are very dear to me, and while i may occasionally emphasize their funny side, with stories, etc., i would never do/write/create anything meant to hurt or criticize them... thanks again for listening :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
hi fether, I enjoyed to read what you wrote about *lakaien-english* very much :) :)
by the way, I know, what he means by saying: he will let you watch undress :)
cheerio
snails
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
well, I guess, we should do that in a private- chat session :)

snails
 

Fan

I am a Darkstar
Was ist denn bloß der Grund?

What is then naked the bottom?
(automatic translation)


Fan.

Föhn.
(automatic translation)
 

Fly

I am a Darkstar
*brüll* *lach* *kicher* fööööhn, pppppuuaahhhh.

feather: i think, it's a joke for german-speaking people...

the FLY
 
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