“If you don’t like my accent…”

by Translation Guy on June 2, 2010

Lena Meyer-Landrut, a 19-year-old amateur singer, won the Eurovision Song Contest over the weekend.

More than 100 million viewers across Europe watched Lena’s improbable triumph Saturday night as her catchy love song “Satellite” beat out the 24 other finalists in the singing competition.

From the Hollywood Report: “While most of the acts competing were professionals, Lena is an absolute beginner. She was a complete unknown who had never taken a singing lesson before she won Germany’s televised qualifiers for the contest earlier this year. Since then she has become a national celebrity and her rushed-out debut album, ‘My Cassette Player,’ an instant hit. She has had three singles in the German top five at the same time, something not even the Beatles or Michael Jackson have managed here.”

The Hollywood Report points to pop records proving that Lena Meyer-Landrut has swept the airwaves in Germany. Some 15 million Germans tuned in for this Eurovision Cinderella Story, which got 49% viewer share in Germany―the kind of ratings usually only seen during major sports competitions.

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition among national bands of European Broadcasting Union (EBU) member states.  Each country participates via one of their national EBU-member stations, whose job it is to select the talent for the competition and monitor votes. The contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programs in the world. It is also one of the most-watched non-sporting events in the world.

“The celebrations following Lena’s win were also comparable to a World Cup victory.  Tens of thousands of fans celebrated at open-air viewing parties in Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Lena’s hometown of Hanover. Berlin set off fireworks after the results of the Eurovision voting were announced. Political leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, congratulated the teen, praising her warmth and honesty.”

Satellite,” her big hit, is sung in recognizable English featuring Lena’s own creative take on English pronunciation.

Her unpolished English accent is part and parcel of this young entertainer’s charm. The way she mangles the language is an obvious point of pride for Germany’s new pop sensation. This from her German Press conference after her big Eurovision win. Here’s the text for the subtitles needed for this piece:

“No matter what they tell you, no matter what they say!
The germans have good humor and can good music play!
If you don’t like my accent, I try the best I can!
And if you still don’t like it, I sing the song again!”


  1. ebook leser says:

    Ich finde es super, dass wieder jemand aus Deutschland den Wettbewerb gewonnen hat. So wie ich hörte, bekam Lena keine einzige Stimme aus England. Tja was soll ich davon halten. Sie hat doch sogar in englischer Sprache gesungen.

    • Ken says:

      Edited MT translation of ebook’s comment: I think it’s great that someone has again won the competition from Germany. The way I heard Lena got not a single vote from England. Well what to make of it? She even sang in English.

  2. Anne says:

    I love her accent. The kids are obviously getting their English from their favorite songs and shows… so, in fact, England won this competition 😉

  3. She’s sexy!

  4. Kiki says:

    I’ve never heard of this little lady, what kind of hogwash competitors do they have on that award show?

  5. Germanic says:

    I saw the clip and I like her accent – good for her

  6. aQtheR says:

    Those Germans are stubborn, but you have to respect that!

  7. Sam says:

    Love her tattoo

  8. Rebecca says:

    Nice article – thanks

  9. Xtrifor says:

    Cool that you translated the German comment – you really are the translationguy PS you should have won the Lexiophiles competition, oure madness!

  10. Hunter says:

    Of course she wouldn’t get a vote from England LOL

  11. Ricky says:

    Four points from England.

  12. ejaz14357 says:

    you really are the translationguy PS you should have won the Lexiophiles competition, oure madness!

  13. I’ve never heard of this little lady, what kind of hogwash competitors do they have on that award show?

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