I just learned from an answer to this question that one should not use a construction like "beide zusammen" in normal conversation because it is awkward.

But some years ago, I attempted a German translation of the French song, Les Feuilles Mortes,. with a refrain that begins:

Es ist ein Lied,
Dem wir ähneln.
Ich der dich Liebe,
Du die mich liebt.

Wir lebten dann,
Beide zusammen.

Is it ok to use "beide zusammen" in a context such as this?

  • I have no idea, what verahnen could mean; was erahnen intended?
    – guidot
    Nov 24, 2017 at 11:11
  • resemble is usually "ähneln" but I am not sure what that would mean in this context, "Wir ähnelm dem Lied." would translate that line into "Dem wir ähneln."
    – abbabab
    Nov 24, 2017 at 11:17
  • @guidot. It is supposed to mean "resemble." Could the word be verähnen (with an umlaut over the a)? Or some variation of ähnlich such as verähneln? (with an umlaut over the a)? Maybe I confused the pattern with ändern-verändern. What do you suggest? See edit.
    – Tom Au
    Nov 24, 2017 at 11:30
  • 1
    Ähneln means to be similar, and it has no composites I'm aware of. I'm not sure, wether the context is to be similar to a constant degree or to become more and more similar. In the first I would propose gleichen, which has a more poetic touch than ähneln, in the second a phrase dem wir immer mehr gleichen, dem wir uns annähern or even more freely translated in dem wir uns finden, which would already point towards the direction of the second verse. (Somewhat off topic, because this seems to be individual text translation.)
    – guidot
    Nov 24, 2017 at 13:35
  • 1
    In poetry everything is allowed. You may breach even fundamental rules of grammar. The thing is, you need to know what you do, and do it purposefully. And you need to know how your audience will interpret your alterations. Or let's say it so: the decision if something is good or bad in poetry is on a higher level. Nov 26, 2017 at 10:03

2 Answers 2


This seems passable to me. But in my experience the words "beide zusammen" is not all that awkward in general speech.

in your previous example, the words "beide zusammen" have a shorter replacement "gemeinsam", here it applies somewhat less.

  • +1 for the shorter replacement, "gemeinsam" in the other example.
    – Tom Au
    Nov 24, 2017 at 11:11
  • Accepted for the rest of your answer, and for helping me fix line two of the poem.
    – Tom Au
    Nov 25, 2017 at 7:19

"Beide zusammen" is perfectly good German, whether in poetry or in what you call normal conversation. The main problem with your translation is that the tenses of the verbs are wrong and that consequently the whole sentence does not make sense.

> C'est une chanson qui nous ressemble.
> Toi, tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
> Et nous vivions tous les deux ensemble.

You need to translate the French imperfect with the German preterite.

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