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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 17 – “Even Though it Is a Weird German Breakfast.” Hello and welcome back to GermanPod101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn German.
Judith: Hello everyone, [Judith] here.
Chuck: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to make longer sentences using sub-clauses in German.
Judith: This conversation takes place at the Hotel. In the morning, after Joe’s first foreign sightseeing in Berlin.
Chuck: The conversation is between Joe and the hotel receptionist.
Judith: The speakers are in a business setting therefore they will be speaking formal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Hotel: Guten Morgen, Herr Cardigan!
Joe: Guten Morgen. Entschuldigung, wo gibt es das Frühstück?
Hotel: Frühstück gibt es in dem Zimmer gleich hier vorn. Kommen Sie, ich bringe Sie hin.
Hotel: So, hier ist es.
Joe: Ah, schön. Es ist ja ein Buffet.
Hotel: Ja, genau. Hier vorne gibt es Brot. Da sind Wurst und Käse. Und dann gibt es auch noch Müsli.
Joe: Uäh, Müsli! Gibt es auch Toast?
Hotel: Hmm, ich glaube nicht, dass wir Toast haben.
Joe: Oh, okay.
Hotel: Wenn Sie noch Fragen haben … ich komme gleich wieder.
Joe: Okay.
Joe: Entschuldigung.
Hotel: Ja, bitte?
Joe: Wo gibt es denn Kaffee?
Hotel: Oh, tut mir leid, es gibt jetzt nur noch Tee, weil der Kaffee schon alle ist.
Joe: Oh! Der Kaffee ist alle, obwohl es nicht mal neun Uhr ist! Hmm, na dann … Tee ist auch okay!
Hotel: Good morning, Mr Cardigan!
Joe: Good morning. Excuse me, where is breakfast [served]?
Hotel: Breakfast is [served] in the room right here in front. Come, I shall take you there.
Hotel: Alright, this is it.
Joe: Ah, nice. It is a buffet.
Hotel: Yes, exactly. There is bread here in front. Over there there is lunchmeat and cheese. And then there is muesli as well.
Joe: Yuck, Müsli! Is there toast, too?
Hotel: Hmm, I don't believe that we have any toast.
Joe: Oh, okay.
Hotel: If you have any more questions... I am coming back right away.
Joe: Okay.
Joe: Excuse me.
Hotel: Yes, please?
Joe: Where is the coffee?
Hotel: Oh, I'm sorry, there is only tea now, because the coffee has run out already.
Joe: Oh! The coffee has run out, even though it isn't nine o'clock yet! Hmm, well then... tea is also okay!
Judith: Alright. What would you say about German breakfast?
Chuck: Say it’s yummy!
Judith: Yes, I would have to agree. But it’s certainly something you’d need to get used to if you’re coming from America or from Britain.
Chuck: Yeah, most Germans would eat bread or rolls with butter for breakfast and then what they put on that will varies from person to person.
Judith: Yeah. For example, jam or honey or chocolate spread or cheese or lunch meat. Anything that lends into having to be spread.
Chuck: Some people also regularly include yogurt, curds, cereal, fruit or boiled eggs in their breakfast diet. Or they might eat croissants as well as rolls, but that’s not quite as common.
Judith: Yeah and apart from eggs it’s really uncommon to have something that requires heating or cooking even.
Chuck: Yeah, if you’re telling a German that you’ll be cooking breakfast he’ll be looking at you a bit strange.
Judith: Yeah. In exchange, there’s really a big selection of different types of bread and rolls. People typically buy these immediately at the bakery, because they’re much better than the supermarket stuff. Wouldn’t you agree, Chuck?
Chuck: Definitively.
Judith: I think you’ve finally found the difference.
Chuck: Oh yeah, certainly. Now every morning I even slice my own bread.
Judith: It’s an important part, but it doesn’t taste right if it’s pre-sliced.
Chuck: Yeah, because once it’s pre-sliced then doesn’t keep as well.
Judith: And it loses its flavor. Anyway, at a typical bakery, you can find at least six types of rolls and 12 types of bread and lots of delicious cakes and pastries.
Chuck: As a breakfast drink, coffee is very popular with adults. Though Italian coffee variance, like Cappuccino, Café Latte and Espresso are getting more popular.
Judith: Yeah and there’s a minority that drinks tea instead, children are usually given hot cocoa or milk or possibly juice. A specially drink that I can recommend for any of you who might be suffering of a sore throat right now would be hot milk with a spoonful of honey. It’s very good when you’re coughing or when your throat is sore.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word is?
Judith: [hin]
Chuck: “To there”.
Judith: [hin] this can be a verb prefix like those separable prefixes that we noticed, but it can also stand at the end of the sentence, much like an independent word.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [genau]
Chuck: “Exact” or “exactly”.
Judith: [genau, genau]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Brot]
Chuck: “Bread”.
Judith: [Brot, das Brot] and the plural is [Brote]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Wurst]
Chuck: “Lunch meat” or “sausage”.
Judith: [Wurst, die Wurst] and the plural is [Würste]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Käse]
Chuck: “Cheese”.
Judith: [Käse, der Käse] and there’s no plural.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Toast]
Chuck: “Toast”.
Judith: [Toast, der Toasts] and the plural is [Toasts]. But listen very carefully this is a good word to practice the difference between the German vowels and the English vowels. Chuck, could you say the word?
Chuck: “Toast”.
Judith: [Toast] it’s not “toast” it’s [Toast], “o”.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [dass]
Chuck: “That”.
Judith: [dass, dass] formally, written with [daß] and now written with double “s”.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [wenn]
Chuck: “If” or “when”.
Judith: [wenn, wenn]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Frage]
Chuck: “Question”.
Judith: [Frage, die Frage] and the plural is [Fragen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Kaffee]
Chuck: “Coffee”.
Judith: [Kaffee, der Kaffee]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Tee]
Chuck: “Tea”.
Judith: [Tee, der Tee]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [weil]
Chuck: “Because”.
Judith: [weil, weil]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [obwohl]
Chuck: “Or though” or “even though”.
Judith: [obwohl]
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: The first phrase is [Guten Morgen]
Chuck: “Good morning!”
Judith: This greeting can only be used before noon, unless you’re saying it facetiously, for example, if a student is late to a 2PM lecture, the professor might say [Guten Morgen], that would be to draw attention to the fact that the student is late. Then, another word you should pay attention is [Buffet]
Chuck: “Buffet”.
Judith: Both German and English both derive from French and both are spelled the same, well the German is capitalized, but otherwise it’s the same. But, Germans want to pronounce long words as closely to the original as they can manage and that’s why the German pronunciation is quite far from the English pronunciation. It’s a general rule that French derived words should be pronounced much like in French and it’s not considered pedantic at all. Rather, people who mispronounce these words would be considered uneducated, so if you say something like [Buffet] or something then you might be laughed at or people might not even understand, you have to say [Buffet].
Chuck: That also goes for restaurant, right?
Judith: [Restaurant], yeah. I mean, it’s not always perfect the way that Germans will try to pronounce words, for example, there’s a word [Cousin], “cousin”. It’s spelled the same as in English and the both languages boarded from French, but depending on who you’re talking to, the pronunciation might vary from the real French [Cousin] to [Kuseng] for those who had never any French and can’t pronounce it as well, but anybody tries if you try [Kusin] or something, Germans might ask and…meh, no. Okay, and finally I wanted to talk about [alle sein]
Chuck: Literally, “to be all”, but in this case “to have run out”.
Judith: Yes, this is a special German expression that is quite useful. For example, if you hear [Der Kaffee ist alle]
Chuck: “Coffee’s run out” or “We’re out of coffee”.
Judith: Yeah, it’s a bit weird to say “Coffee is all”, but you will understand it soon enough. [Der Kaffee ist alle]

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson are sub-clauses.
Judith: Yes, it’s time to learn about the part of German that Mark Twain hated the most, sub-clauses.
Chuck: Sub-clauses are a part of the sentence that can’t stand alone even though they include a subject, a verb, maybe even an object or other information. The main reason they can’t stand alone is because of the introductory word, the conjunction which begs for further explication.
Judith: Yes, for example in today’s lesson title “Even Though it Is a Weird German Breakfast”. It is just really weird because you’re expecting something to follow. What happens? Even though it’s only a German breakfast and no, it’s not weird. Anyway, in today’s dialogue, we’ve encountered four different conjunctions. The first one is [obwohl]
Chuck: “Although” or “even though”.
Judith: For example [Der Kaffee ist alle, obwohl es nicht mal neun Uhr ist]
Chuck: “Coffee’s run out even though it isn’t even one o’clock yet.”
Judith: Also in English, you can’t say just “even though it isn’t even one o’clock yet”, you have to provide more information in the same sentence and that’s why we call it a sub-clause.
Chuck: The priority with German sub-clauses is that the verb has to be placed at the very end of it, like the second [ist] in [Der Kaffee ist alle, obwohl es nicht mal neun Uhr ist]. As you know, the verb appears in second positions in main-clauses.
Judith: Yes, so that’s something to retain, the verb in second position in main-clauses and last in sub-clauses. Now, the second conjunction we’ve encountered is [weil]
Chuck: “Because”.
Judith: For example, [Es gibt jetzt nur noch Tee, weil der Kaffee alle ist]
Chuck: “Only tea is available now because the coffee has run out already.”
Judith: Here, you can witness the same principle. [gibt] as the verb in the main-clause appears in the second position while [ist] in the sub-clause is placed at the very end. [Es gibt jetzt nur noch Tee, weil der Kaffee schon alle ist] Then, we have the conjunction [wenn].
Chuck: “When” or “if”.
Judith: For example [Wenn Sie noch Fragen haben, ich komme gleich wieder]
Chuck: “If you have any more questions, I’ll be back right away.”
Judith: This just goes to show that you can start the sentence with a sub-clause, just like in English. Also note that [wenn] can it either mean “when” or “if”. Finally, we should talk about [dass], with the double “s”.
Chuck: “That”.
Judith: For example [Ich glaube nicht, dass wir Toast haben]
Chuck: “I don’t believe that we have toast”.
Judith: This conjunction works in the same manner as all the others, note that [dass] is a conjunction that is always spelled with double “s”. This is the same as the [dass] that used to be spelled with an [ß]
Chuck: The spelling form changed, didn’t it?
Judith: Yes, now it always have to be spelled with double “s” to reflect the pronunciation, but only to the [dass] that’s used as a conjunction. If you mean the article for example, you say [das Zimmer], then it will only have one “s”.
Chuck: It then [ß] used in modern German?
Judith: Yes, but not in this word, only in others.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: The rule is that those words where the vowel is short, the [ß] was changed into double “s”.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: Because the double consonants always indicate the short vowel and the when the vowel is long, then you still see the [ß] because it’s the single consonant and typically indicative of a longer vowel.


Chuck: Okay, well that just about does it for today. Testing yourself is one of the most effective ways to learn.
Judith: That’s why we have three types of quizzes.
Chuck: Vocabulary, grammar and content specific.
Judith: Each quiz targets a specific skill.
Chuck: And together, these quizzes will help you master several fundamental skills.
Judith: You can find them in the learning center at?
Chuck: GermanPod101.com So, see you next week!
Judith: [Also bis nächste Woche]