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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Absolute Beginner Series, Season 1, Lesson 2 – “To Live and Work in Germany, You Have to Start Here!”
Judith: Hello, everyone!. I’m Judith and welcome to GermanPod101.
Chuck: With us, you’ll learn to speak German with fun and effective lessons.
Judith: We also provide you with cultural insights.
Chuck: And tips you won’t find in the textbook. So [Judith], what are we talking about today?
Judith: In this lesson, you will learn how to introduce yourself in German.
Chuck: This conversation takes place in a flight from Washington to Berlin. The conversation is between Joe and Anke. The speakers only just met, therefore they’ll be speaking formal German. Let’s listen to the conversation.
D: Herr Cardigan, Sie sind sicher Amerikaner, oder?
A: Nein, ich komme aus Kanada.
D: Oh, Entschuldigung.
A: Es ist schon okay. Ich wohne in Washington.
D: Und Sie kommen aus Kanada?
A: Ja. Ich komme aus Calgary. Und Sie, Frau Löwen?
D: Ich bin Deutsche.
A: Kommen Sie aus Berlin?
D: Nein, ich komme nicht aus Berlin. Ich wohne und arbeite in Berlin, aber ich komme aus Leipzig.
D: Mr Cardigan, you probably are an American, aren't you?
A: No, I come from Canada.
D: Oh, excuse me.
A: It's okay. I live in Washington.
D: And you come from Canada?
A: Yes. I come from Calgary. And you, Mrs. Löwen?
D: I am German.
A: Do you come from Berlin?
D: No, I don't come from Berlin. I live and work in Berlin, but I come from Leipzig.
Judith: Okay, so how about we give our listener some tips on what they can do when meeting people.
Chuck: Sounds good.
Judith: When meeting somebody new, only the young people hug or exchange kisses on the cheek like French. Most Germans will shake hands while bowing their heads a little. Kind of like a nod.
Chuck: Actually, I don’t think I remember seeing the kiss exchange before in Germany.
Judith: That’s because only girls do it.
Chuck: Ah, okay.
Judith: As a man, you’re more likely to get a hug.
Chuck: Also note that the order of a higher ranking person offers their hand first. If you offer your hand to somebody ranking higher than you, a few will even snob it. But fortunately, that’s a minority.
Judith: Usually, just elder men, or very self-important people. Even though not all Germans are known to observe the rules, please try to observe etiquette when here, as it will definitely help your career in Germany.
Chuck: Also, it’s quite important that you don’t forget to bow your head a little when shaking hands. If you keep looking straight ahead, people will instinctively perceive you as arrogant, but it also says don’t bow as much as you would, say in Japan, because that’s just too much.
Judith: No, it doesn’t involve the body at all. Just your head.
Chuck: Yep. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Judith: First word, [Herr]
Chuck: “Mister” or “lord”
Judith: [Herr], Herr Next, [Amerikaner]
Chuck: “American man”
Judith: [Amerikaner, Amerikaner] Next, [oder]
Chuck: “Or”
Judith: [oder, oder] Next, [kommen]
Chuck: “To come”
Judith: [kommen, kommen] Next, [aus]
Chuck: “From”
Judith: [aus, aus] Next, [wohnen]
Chuck: “To live” or “inhabit”
Judith: [wohnen, wohnen] Next, [in]
Chuck: “In”
Judith: [in, in] Next, [Frau]
Chuck: “Miss” or “woman”
Judith: [Frau, Frau] Next, [Deutsche]
Chuck: “German woman”
Judith: [Deutsche, Deutsche] Next, [nicht]
Chuck: “Not”
Judith: [nicht, nicht] Next, [arbeiten]
Chuck: “To work”
Judith: [arbeiten, arbeiten] Next, [aber]
Chuck: “But”
Judith: [aber, aber]
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: First, you should say that to address somebody by the family name, use [Herr]
Chuck: “Mister”.
Judith: Or [Frau]
Chuck: “Miss”.
Judith: Old courses may also teach you the word [Fräulein]
Chuck: “Miss” or literally “little woman”.
Judith: But, this is no longer acceptable, because modern women don’t necessarily want everybody to know their marital status. Only old spinsters insist on being called [Fräulein].
Chuck: Note how [oder]
Judith: “Or”
Chuck: Is used at the beginning of our dialogue, in order to turn a simple sentence into a “yes or no” question. Other works like the English question tags “Right?” “Aren’t you?” or “Isn’t it?” in such phrases.
Judith: Note also that in German, you’re supposed to say [Ich bin Amerikaner]
Chuck: “I’m an American man.”
Judith: Or [Ich bin ein Amerikaner]
Chuck: “I’m an American woman.”
Judith: We always use the word for the person, not for the adjective of nationality.

Lesson focus

Chuck: What are we talking about for the grammar point today?
Judith: I think we should have a first look at regular verbs.
Chuck: We’ve just encountered [kommen], “to come”, [wohnen], “to live” or “inhabit” and [arbeiten], “to work”. As you can see, the imperative ends in “en” and this form with the “en” ending, is also used when addressing somebody formally with [Sie].
Judith: [Sie kommen, Sie wohnen, Sie arbeiten]
Chuck: “You come, you live, you work.”
Judith: When talking about yourself, the [ich] form of the verb requires you to drop the final “n”. [Ich komme, ich wohne, ich arbeite]
Chuck: “I come, I live, I work.” To make a “yes or no” question, just put the verb at the beginning of the sentence as before.
Judith: [Wohnen Sie in Kanada]?
Chuck: “Do you come from Canada?”
Judith: [Wohnen Sie in Calgary]
Chuck: “Do you live in Calgary?”
Judith: [Arbeiten Sie in Washington]?
Chuck: “Do you work in Washington?”
Judith: To answer in the negative, use the word [nicht].
Chuck: “Not”. Unlike in English, you don’t have to make any other changes to the sentence in German.
Judith: [Ich komme nicht aus Kanada].
Chuck: “I don’t come from Canada.”
Judith: [Ich wohne nicht in Calgary]
Chuck: “I don’t live in Calgary.”
Judith: [Ich arbeite nicht in Washington]
Chuck: “I don’t work in Washington.” One more peculiarity of German, these sentences can just as well mean “I’m not coming from Canada”, “I’m not living in Calgary” or “I’m not working in Washington.” German uses the same tense for what you usually do and what you’re doing right now. Well, that just about just does it for today.


Judith: Wanting to test what you’ve just learned?
Chuck: Make this vocabulary lesson stick by using lesson-specific flashcards in the learning center.
Judith: There’s a reason everyone uses flashcards.
Chuck: Well, yeah, they work.
Judith: They really do help memorization.
Chuck: You can get the flashcards for this lesson at?
Judith: GermanPod101.com
Chuck: All right, see you next week!
Judith: [Bis nächste Woche]