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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 21 – “Writing a Postcard From Germany”.
Judith: Hi, my name is [Judith] and I’m joined here by Chuck.
Chuck: Hello everyone and welcome back to GermanPod101.
Judith: What are we learning today?
Chuck: This lesson, you’ll learn how to write a postcard in German.
Judith: This conversation takes place at a German café.
Chuck: The conversation is between Joe and [Anke]
Judith: The speakers are friends. Therefore, they will be speaking informal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Joe: Okay, also… „Lieber Michael,…“
Anke: Du kannst auch „Hallo Michael“ schreiben…
Joe: Ach so, … aber ich nehme „Lieber Michael“.
Anke: Gut.
Joe: „…wie geht es dir? Mir geht es gut.“….“Ich bin jetzt in Berlin und ich finde die Stadt toll!“
Anke: Mensch, du schreibst doch wirklich gut!
Joe: Oh, danke. Aber ich werde sicher noch Fehler machen.
Anke: Na, wir werden sehen.
Joe: Also weiter… „Ich sitze gerade am Kudamm mit einer Freundin in einem Kaffee und esse Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.“
Anke: Warte! „Kaffee“ ist nicht richtig. „Der Kaffee“ ist das Getränk, aber der Ort heißt „das Café“ mit „C“, einem „f“ und einem „e“. Und du sitzt ja nicht in einem Getränk!
Joe: Haha, ja... also dann „Café“…
Anke: Ja.
Joe: Gut, dann weiter… „Später werden Anke und ich die Gedächtniskirche sehen…“
Anke: Hmm, das heißt „die Gedächtniskirche besichtigen“.
Joe: Oh okay. … „besichtigen“. … Hmm, was kann ich noch schreiben?
Anke: Du kannst erzählen, was du noch in Berlin besichtigen wirst?
Joe: Ja, stimmt. „In den nächsten Tagen werde ich noch zum Potsdamer Platz gehen, auf den Fernsehturm steigen und das Brandenburger Tor besichtigen. Ich hoffe, dass Anke mitkommen wird...“
Anke: Haha, ja. Ich komme gerne mit!
Joe: Haha, schön! „Michael, wenn du Zeit hast, kann ich dich ja in München besuchen. Viele Grüße aus Berlin, Dein Joe“…
Anke: Super. Dann gehen wir jetzt zur Post und werfen die Postkarte ein!
Joe: Ja, dann los!
Joe: Okay, so... "Dear Michael,..."
Anke: You can also write "Hallo Michael,..."
Joe: Ah,... but I'll take "Dear Michael".
Anke: Good.
Joe: "How are you? I'm well." "I am in Berlin now and I find the city is great!"
Anke: Man, you do write really well!
Joe: Oh, thanks. But I will certainly make mistakes.
Anke: Well, we shall see.
Joe: So continuing... "I am sitting on the Kudamm in a coffee with a friend and I'm eating Black Forest Cherry Cake."
Anke: Wait! "Coffee" is not right. The “coffee" is a beverage, but the place is called "the café", with "C", an "F" and an "E". And you’re not sitting on a beverage!
Joe: Haha, yes... so then "Café".
Anke: Yes.
Joe: Good, then further... "Later Anke and I will see the Memorial Church."
Anke: Mmm, that’s called "tour to the Memorial Church".
Joe: Oh okay. ..."to tour". ... Hmm, what else can I write?
Anke: You can tell what else you have visited in Berlin.
Joe: Yes, that's right. "In the next few days, I shall go to the Potsdamer Platz, climb the TV tower and sight-see the Brandenburg Gate. I hope that Anke will come along."
Anke: Haha, yes. I'll gladly come along!
Joe: Haha, nice! "Michael, if you have time, I can visit you in Munich. Greetings from Berlin, Your Joe" .
Anke: Great. Then we'll go to the post office now and throw in the postcard!
Joe: Yes, let's go!
Judith: Now, since this was all about writing a letter or a postcard, still like a letter form, how would you talk about, how to do that in German? For example, I can tell you that Joe started correctly, he said [Lieber] and then the name and that only works for a male friend though. If you’re writing to a female friend, then you have to drop the final “r” and write [Liebe] instead.
Chuck: And also note that [Hallo] is an acceptable way to start a personal letter today, especially if you’re doing it by email.
Judith: However, if you’re writing a formal letter, [Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren] is the way to go. This [Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren] is a standard greeting formula in letters and it literally means “Very honored Ladies and Gentleman”.
Chuck: It sounds much more ordinary than like “Dear sir or ma’am”, which still sounds to me very stilted.
Judith: Mm-mm. But if you know who you’re writing to, then you should start with [Sehr geehrte Frau x or Sehr geehrter Herr y]. You don’t need to address it formally to ladies and gentlemen, just one particular one.
Chuck: After addressing them like this, you should start a new line and make sure your first letter is lowercase if the greeting ended in a coma. Note that this German convention is different from the English one.
Judith: Yes and then obviously, you’ll write your letter, but how to end it? There’s a German word you need to know for this and it is [der Gruß].
Chuck: “The greeting”
Judith: The plural is [Grüße].
Chuck: “Greetings”
Judith: When you end a letter, just before signing your name, this word will invariably come up. If you’re writing to a business acquaintance, then you should end your letter with [Mit freundlichen Grüßen]
Chuck: “With friendly greetings”
Judith: Yeah, it’s equivalent to “Best regards”. [Mit freundlichen Grüßen]
Chuck: If you’re writing to friends or family, you should choose less formal phrases like [Viele Grüße] or [Liebe Grüße].
Judith: Yes. “Many greetings”, “Dear greetings”.
Chuck: A nice thing to think about in this case is that if you’re using [Sie], then you want the formal greeting, and if you’re using [Du] then you want the informal greeting.
Judith: And if you’re writing to a friend or family, then you might also want to sign your name as [dein] or [deine]. Women have to use [deine]. This makes it more personal.
Chuck: It sounds a bit like “Yours” or “Yours truly”.
Judith: No, because “Yours truly” is kind of like [Liebe Grüße]. You put it at that place; whereas, [deine] you put it immediately before your name.
Chuck: Ah, you’re right! I never noticed that before. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word is?
Judith: [Lieb]
Chuck: “Dear” or “cherished”
Judith: [Lieb, Lieb]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Stadt]
Chuck: “Town” or “city”
Judith: [Stadt, die Stadt] and the plural is [Städte].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Fehler]
Chuck: “Mistake” or “error”
Judith: [Fehler, der Fehler] and the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [weiter]
Chuck: “Further, on” or “to continue to”.
Judith: [weiter, weiter]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [sitzen]
Chuck: “To sit”
Judith: [sitzen, sitzen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [gerade]
Chuck: “Straight, just, just now” or “right now”.
Judith: [gerade, gerade]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [essen]
Chuck: “To eat”
Judith: [essen, essen] this is a vowel-changing verb, so the second and third person use an “I” instead [Du isst, Er isst], double “s”.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [richtig]
Chuck: “Correct” or “really”
Judith: [richtig, richtig]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Getränk]
Chuck: “Drink” or “beverage”
Judith: [Getränk, das Getränk] and the plural is [Getränke]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Ort]
Chuck: “Town, place” or “location”.
Judith: [Ort, der Ort] and the plural is [Orte]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [besichtigen]
Chuck: “To tour” or “inspect”.
Judith: [besichtigen, besichtigen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [erzählen]
Chuck: “To tell”
Judith: [erzählen, erzählen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Das ist stimmt]
Chuck: “That’s right!”
Judith: [Das stimmt. Das stimmt]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [nächster]
Chuck: “Next”
Judith: [nächster, nächster]
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: The first word I want to talk about is [der Fernsehturm].
Chuck: “The TV tower”.
Judith: Yes. It’s a well-known Berlin sight. The German literally translates it to “TV tower” because [das Fernsehen] is “the TV” as in TV programing, not the machine, that would be [Fernseher] with an “R” but [das Fernsehen] and [der Turm] is “the tower”.
Chuck: Some Germans like to joke that it’s the far-seeing tower.
Judith: Yes, because [fern] is “far” and [sehen] is “seeing” yeah. That’s what TV translates to in German. And the other thing is [stimmt].
Chuck: It’s a colloquial abbreviation of [Das stimmt]

Lesson focus

Chuck: Today we’re not studying more grammar. We like to give a chance to review what we’ve studied so far. It was a lot. Irregular verbs like [finden], the vowel-changing verb like [essen], separable verbs like [mitkommen or einwerfen], the regular verbs like [sein und haben], modal verbs like [können und müssen]. Do you remember how to conjugate all of those, and can you recall all five types of noun plurals?
Judith: We also looked at word order and this one we should review in depth at this point. The rule is that in basic sentences like [Ich finde die Stadt toll], the verb is always in second position. That is why [Anke] said [Dann gehen wir jetzt zur Post]. She did not say [Dann wir gehen jetzt zur Post]. I can hardly say that. It’s not natural.
Chuck: Yeah, that sounds really strange to people when they hear you. The [dann] is in first position and the verb has to come in second position, leaving the subject in third position. It’s a bit unusual for English speakers, but you’ll get used to it.
Judith: Yes, we also had cases where there´s more than one verb. For example, when using a modal verb or the future tense. Compare [Später werden Anke und ich die Gedächtniskirche sehen]. The rule is that the first verb which is [werden], in this case, is in second position. [später werden] and any other verbs are at the end of the sentence, like in this case we have [sehen] at the end of the sentence.
Chuck: Then there’s the issue of sub-clauses. In sub-clauses all verbs move to the end of the sentence. In today’s dialogue, for example, you can see this in the phrases [Du kannst erzählen, was du noch in Berlin besichtigen wirst] and [Michael, wenn du Zeit hast, kann ich dich ja in München besuchen]. As you see, the sub-clauses will come before the main sentence, just like in English.
Judith: Yes. It should be pretty easy.


Chuck: Well, that does it for today. Premium members, use the review track to perfect your pronunciation.
Judith: Available in the premium section of the website.
Chuck: The learning center.
Judith: And through iTunes, we have the “premium feed”.
Chuck: The review track gives you vocabulary and phrases followed by a short pause so that you can repeat the words aloud.
Judith: The best way to get good fast!
Chuck: Okay, see you next week!
Judith: [Also bis nächste Woche]


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GermanPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Schreibt mir eine Postkarte! (Zumindest in den Kommentaren)

Write me a postcard! (At least in the comments)

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:13 AM
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Hallo neha,

Thank you very much for your like! We hope you enjoy studying with us.😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,


Team GermanPod101.com

Wednesday at 04:14 PM
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GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 02:15 AM
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Hallo robert groulx,

Danke schön for taking the time to leave us a comment. 😇

We are very happy to have you here.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,


Team GermanPod101.com

robert groulx
Thursday at 12:16 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript

favorite phrase is [Mit freundlichen Grüßen]


Wednesday at 12:25 PM
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Hi Jeremy,

Great job!👍

I guess it is in your interest that I correct a few things? Here we go:

Hallo Freund,

Wie geht es dir? Mir geht es gut.

Ich bin jetz in den Philippinen. Ich lerne jetzt Deutsch dan kann ich Deutsch sprechen mit den Deutschen wenn nich im Juni nach Deutschland gehe. Ich hoffe, dass mein Visum genehmigt wird, damit ich mir das tolle Deutschland gut ansehen kann. Ich hoffe wir sehen uns in Deutschland.

Thank you.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

Thursday at 11:40 PM
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I tried to make a postcard below.

Halo Freund,

Wir geht es dir? Mir geht es gut.

Ich bin jetz in Philipinen. Jetz lerne ich Deutsche also ich kann sprehen doch mit der Deutschen, wann ich Deutscheland gehen in Juni. Ich hoffe, dass meine visum wohe gutheissen, also ich konne die tol Deutscheland sehe und besichtige. Ich hoffe du sehe in Deutscheland.

Viele Grusse,


Translation Below

I am in Philippine now. I am now learning German so I can use it to speak with the Germans when I go there in June. I hope that my visa will be approved so I can see and tour aorund the beutiful Germany. I hope to see you in Germany.

P.S. I cannot type the umlaute and the ss.

Tuesday at 07:04 AM
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Hi Zachariah,

Thank you for sending in your homework!😉

Here are my corrections:

Ich habe Spaß Deutsch zu lernen im Internet.

Heute spachen wir darüber wie man eine Postkarte schreibt.

Mein Ziel ist es Serie 1 abzuschließen bis zum Ende dieses Monats.

If you have any further questions, please let us know.

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

Friday at 09:45 AM
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Sehr geehrte GermanPod101,

(Dear GermanPod101,)

Ich habe Spaß Deutsche lernen auf das Internet (I'm having fun learning German on the Internet.)

Heute sprechen wir um wie ein Postkarte schreiben. (Today we talked about how to write a postcard.)

Mein Ziel ist Spielzeit 1 abschließen von Ende diesen Monat (My goal is to finish Season 1 by the end of the month.)

Mit freundlichen Grüßen (With friendly greetings),


Monday at 01:24 PM
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Hi Rodrigo,

Liebes GermanPod101 Team,

wie geht es euch? Mir geht es gut.

Ich möchte euch sehr für eure Arbeit danken.

Ich wohne im Süden Brasiliens, in der Stadt names “Curitiba”.

Diese Postkarte zeigt das Museum Oscar Niemeyer, welches nach seinem großen brasilianischen Architekten benannt wurde.

Viele Grüße,

Rodrigo Bitencourt

As you already used the casual "Du", it´s not necessary to use the formal leave-taking expression "Mit freundlichen Grüßen", rather use "Viele Grüße" or "Herzliche Grüße".

Please let me know if you have any questions!



Friday at 01:42 AM
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Hallo GermanPod101 team

I've traied to write a postcard. Could you please correct it?

Thank you!

Liebe GermanPod101 Team,

wie geht es euch? Mir geht es gut.

Ich möchte euch sehr für eure Arbeite danken.

Ich wohne im Süden Brasiliens, in der Stadt names “Curitiba”.

Diese Postkarte zeigen das Museum Oscar Niemeyer named after the great brasilian architect who has designed the building.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen

Rodrigo Bitencourt.