I haven't studied German much since high school, but I do enjoy listening to German music and songs that have been translated into German. One of the songs I listened to in a recent youtube binge was "Heffalumps und Wusels," the German version of the "Heffalumps and Woozels" song from Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.

Partway through the song, when the English version says that the creatures in question "tie themselves in horrible knots," the German version says "Sie sind auch gegen Schnupfen immun!"

Still image from the music video with the subtitle 'Sie sind auch gegen Schnupfen immun'

Google translate dictated that it meant that Heffalumps and Woozles were immune to colds, which seems like a bizarre change from the original lyric and completely unrelated to the image. Further research tells me that "Schnupfen" can refer to the symptoms of colds, rather than the cold itself. Certainly tying one's trunk/nose in a knot would make you immune to sniffling, but that would seem to leave the woozle out completely.

So is there some German relation of colds to knots I don't know? Or is this just a fun nonsequitur to make Heffalumps even more uncanny and to fit the meter?

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    Quite often, when American movies were translated into German, the translators decided that the original humour wouldn't work with a German audience, and replaced the text with something completely different.
    – RHa
    Mar 31, 2021 at 8:17
  • English lyrics vs German adaptation Mar 31, 2021 at 8:41
  • The whole verse where the phrase in question appears seems to diverge from the rhyme scheme... Mar 31, 2021 at 8:42
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    I'm tempted to close this question as off-topic: it seems more a pecularity of one specific translation than a generic German issue.
    – guidot
    Mar 31, 2021 at 10:31
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    @guidot The question is about the German language as far as it asks whether gegen Schnupfen immun is a translation of horrible knots or means something else. To explain why something else was chosen if possible would be a bonus feature of an answer. Mar 31, 2021 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


My suggestion would be that it's because the elephant's trunk is tied up. No access for germs!

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