Kopf Schulter Knie und Fuß

    In this video you can watch me teach my daughter the song “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß”, which is the English version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”. It is an excellent children’s song to learn a few basic body parts in any language. While I could have chosen to sing it with the German word “Zehe”, I have found that most other people sing it this way. I also find that the word for foot is more helpful to learn than toe. Below is a transcript of the video along with additional German body vocabulary learning opportunities.

    You can get a worksheet and answer key to go with this lesson here.

    Introduction

    Herr Antrim: Heute singen Sophia und ich ein Lied für euch und zwar “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß”. Du kennst dieses Lied schon auf Englisch, aber heute wirst du es auf Deutsch lernen, ja?
    Herr Antrim: Today Sophia and I are singing a song for you all and it is “Head, Shoulder(s), Knees and Toes (Foot)”. You already know this song in English, but today you will learn it in German, yes?

    If you are looking for a worksheet to help you practice the German body part vocabulary from this video and beyond, click here and download it from my shop.

    Wortschatz – Vocabulary

    der Kopf (plural – die Köpfe)
    head

    die Schulter (die Schultern)
    shoulder

    das Knie (die Knie)
    knee

    der Fuß (die Füße)
    foot

    das Auge (die Augen)
    eye

    das Ohr (die Ohren)
    ear

    die Nase (die Nasen)
    nose

    der Mund (die Münder)
    mouth

    Beginner German with Herr Antrim

    Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß Lyrics: German vs English

    German Version:
    Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß
    Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß
    Augen, Ohren, Nase, Mund
    Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß

    Literal Translation:
    Head, shoulder, knees and foot, knees and foot
    Head, shoulder, knees and foot, knees and foot
    Eyes, ears, nose, mouth
    Head, shoulder, knees and foot, knees and foot

    English Version:
    Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
    Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
    And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
    Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

    Additional German Body Parts Vocabulary

    das Haar (die Haare)
    hair

    die Stirn (die Stirnen)
    forehead

    das Kinn (die Kinne)
    chin

    die Lippe (die Lippen)
    lip

    der Zahn (die Zähne)
    tooth

    die Wange (die Wangen)
    cheek

    der Hals (die Hälse)
    neck, throat

    der Arm (die Arme)
    arm

    der Ellenbogen (die Ellenbogen)
    elbow

    das Handgelenk (die Handgelenke)
    wrist

    die Hand (die Hände)
    hand

    der Finger (die Finger)
    finger

    die Brust (die Brüste)
    chest

    der Bauch (die Bäuche)
    stomach

    die Hüfte (die Hüften)
    hip

    das Po (die Pos)
    butt

    das Bein (die Beine)
    leg

    der Zeh (die Zehen)
    toe

    Obviously there are other body part words to be learned, but I have covered them in the post from a long time ago when I redid the Mr. Potato Head with the German Body Parts video and wrote a blog about it. You can see that here.

    German Body Parts Vocabulary Example Sentences

    I thought it would be good if we also talked about some verbs in this post. Below I have a few example sentences that use German body part vocabulary with some verbs that you might need with each of the body parts.

    Ich nicke mit meinem Kopf.
    I nod with my head.

    nicken
    to nod

    der Kopf, die Köpfe
    head

    Kämmst du dir jeden Morgen die Haare?
    Do you comb your hair every morning?

    sich die Haare kämmen
    to comb one’s hair

    das Haar, die Haare
    hair

    Hans sieht so viele schöne Sachen mit seinen Augen.
    Hans sees so many beautiful things with his eyes.

    sehen
    to see

    das Auge, die Augen
    eye

    Sophia hört mit ihren Ohren.
    Sophia hears with her ears.

    hören
    to hear

    das Ohr, die Ohren
    ear

    FREE A1/A2 Materials

    Der Hund riecht etwas mit seiner Nase.
    The dog smells something with its nose.

    riechen
    to smell

    die Nase, die Nasen
    nose

    Ich stelle den ganzen Keks in meinen Mund.
    I am putting the entire cookie in my mouth.

    der Keks, die Kekse
    cookie

    der Mund, die Münder
    mouth

    stellen
    to place, put

    Ich lege den Keks auf meine Zunge.
    I lay the cookie on my tongue.

    legen
    to lay

    die Zunge, die Zungen
    tongue

    Ich kaue den Keks mit meinen Zähnen.
    I chew the cookie with my teeth.

    kauen
    to chew

    der Zahn, die Zähne
    tooth

    Der Vater runzelt die Stirn
    The father furrows his brow.

    runzeln
    to furrow, frown

    die Stirn, die Stirnen
    forehead

    Ich massiere die Schultern.
    I massage the shoulders.

    massieren
    to massage

    die Schulter, die Schultern
    shoulder

    Mit einem Arm kann man etwas werfen.
    With an arm one can throw something.

    der Arm, die Arme
    arm

    werfen
    to throw

    Ich halte den Apfel in meiner Hand.
    I am holding the apple in my hand.

    der Apfel, die Äpfel
    apple

    die Hand, die Hände
    hand

    Der Lehrer zeigt die Regeln mit dem Finger.
    The teacher shows the rules with the finger.

    der Lehrer, die Lehrer
    teacher (male)

    zeigen
    to show

    die Regel, die Regeln
    rule

    der Finger, die Finger
    finger

    Ich benutze meine Beine um zu laufen.
    I use my legs to run.

    das Bein, die Beine
    leg

    laufen
    to run

    Mit dem Knie kann man sich beugen.
    One can bow with the knee.

    das Knie, die Knie
    knee

    sich beugen
    to bow

    Der Fußballer kickt den Ball mit dem Fuß.
    The soccer player kicks the ball with the foot.

    der Fußballer, die Fußballer
    soccer player

    der Ball, die Bälle
    ball

    kicken
    to kick

    der Fuß, die Füße
    foot

    Die Kinder liegen auf ihren Rücken und beobachten die Sterne.
    The children are lying on their backs and are watching the stars.

    das Kind, die Kinder
    child

    liegen
    to lie

    der Rücken, die Rücken
    back

    beobachten
    to observe

    der Stern, die Sterne
    star

    Why the Lyrics of “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß” are not the same as “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”

    Lyrics usually vary a bit when translated from language to another language in order to fit the syllables or to fit some sort of cultural norm. The movements to this song definitely help. In the German version, there are a few changes, which I have outlined below.

    Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß
    Head, shoulder, knee(s), and foot?

    In the very first line of the song, there are several changes from the English version. The most obvious is that the word “toes” has been replaced by the German equivalent of “foot”. This is a strange choice of wording, since the German word for “toe” (Zeh) would have fit in the song just as well as “Fuß” does.

    The second change that occurs is the change from “shoulders” to the German equivalent of “shoulder” (Schulter). This change is a bit easier to defend, as it would need an “n” in the plural, which might make it a bit more difficult to sing, but in my opinion, there is really no reason for this change either.

    The last change isn’t necessarily a change, but a weird thing that happens because of the German language. The singular form of “knee” is “Knie” and the plural form “knees” translates as “Knie”. This means that we don’t actually know if the “Knie” in the song is singular “knee” or plural “knees”. I would like to make the assumption that it is plural, since the original song is plural, but that assumption doesn’t hold true for the other parts of this line, so why would this part be plural when all of the others are singular?

    Augen, Ohren, Nase, Mund
    Eyes and ears and mouth and nose?

    This line is the most confusing change to English speakers. They are used to doing the motions with the mouth first and nose second, but in the German version “Nase” comes before “Mund”. This means that when I teach this in class, the students almost always do things in the “wrong” order the first time around.

    Again, there isn’t a very good reason behind this change, but there is at least one explanation I can offer. In the English version “nose” and “toes” rhyme, which is why “mouth” has to come before “nose”, but in the German version none of the words rhyme with “Fuß”. The closest thing that the song translator could come up with is to switch “Nase” and “Mund” to have a partial rhyme between “Mund” and “Fuß”. They both have the same vowel sound, but they don’t really rhyme in the traditional sense.

    Older Versions of “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß” with Herr Antrim

    This version of the song “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß” is simply me singing on my own. It is an update to the version of the song that you can see below.

    The next couple of videos are of my children when they were little babies. They teach you the parts of the body in German, too. Luke’s video is first, as it is newer and is the same song as the one in the title of this post. Sophia’s video is second and is a song that I made up on my own. It takes the tune of “Mein Hut der hat drei Ecken” and changes it into a song about body parts vocabulary in German. Enjoy.

    Herr Antrim

    Herr Antrim is a German teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience. In 2011 he started his successful YouTube Channel "Learn German with Herr Antrim". In 2015 he created this website to enhance the German language lessons he was providing on YouTube. He is now the author of his own e-book, "Beginner German with Herr Antrim". He has also been featured on numerous blogs and other sites.