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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 23 – “Turning Over a New Leaf In Germany!” Hello and welcome to GermanPod101.com, where we study modern German in a fun, educational format.
Judith: So, brush up on the German that you started learning long ago or start learning today!
Chuck: Thanks for being with us for this lesson, Judith. What are we looking at today?
Judith: In this lesson you will learn how to provide extra detail in your phrases.
Chuck: This conversation takes place outside in Berlin [Charlottenburg].
Judith: The conversation is between Joe and Anke. The speakers are friends therefore they’ll be speaking informal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Anke: Da sind wir. Das ist die Gedächtniskirche.
Joe: Wow, die Kirche ist wirklich … kaputt!
Anke: Äh, ja.
Joe: Und was ist das da?
Anke: Was meinst du?
Joe: Na der Turm, der da neben der Kirche steht.
Anke: Ach so. Das ist auch die Gedächtniskirche.
Joe: Hä? Es gibt also zwei Gedächtniskirchen?!
Anke: Ja. Der Turm, der da links steht, ist neu. Und die Kirche, die da ganz rechts steht, ist auch neu.
Joe: Aaah.
Anke: Und die Kirche, die hier vorn steht, ist alt.
Joe: Kann man die alte Kirche auch besichtigen?
Anke: Ja, und es gibt auch Führungen. Möchtest du eine Führung machen?
Joe: Hmm, ich glaube nicht.
Anke: Hmm, die nächste Führung ist auch erst in 30 Minuten. Aber wir können ja auch so hineingehen.
Joe: Ja, und was kostet der Eintritt hier?
Anke: Der Eintritt ist kostenlos.
Joe: Oh, super.
Joe: Wow. Die Kirche ist wirklich schön.
Anke: Ja. Und das Kreuz ist interessant.
Joe: Welches Kreuz?
Anke: Na das Kreuz, das da vorn steht.
Joe: Ach, da. Ja.
Anke: Das Kreuz ist aus Coventry in England. Es ist ein Zeichen für den Frieden.
Joe: Wow, du bist aber schlau!
Anke: Haha, nein. So schlau bin ich nicht! Das steht hier auf dem Schild!
Joe: Haha… ach so.
Anke: Here we are. This is the Memorial Church.
Joe: Wow, the church is really... broken!
Anke: Umm, yes.
Joe: And what’s that over there?
Anke: What do you mean?
Joe: Well the tower, which is standing next to the church.
Anke: Oh. That’s also the Memorial Church.
Joe: What? There are two memorial churches then?!
Anke: Yes. The tower, which is standing on the left, is new. And the church, which is standing on the very right, is also new.
Joe: Aaah.
Anke: And the church, which is standing here in front, is old.
Joe: Can you tour the old church?
Anke: Yes, and there are also guided tours. Would you like to do a guided tour?
Joe: Hmm, I don't think so.
Anke: Hmm, plus the next guided tour is only in 30 minutes. But we can also enter just like that.
Joe: Yes, and how much is the entry here?
Anke: The entry is free.
Joe: Oh, great.
Joe: Wow. The church is really beautiful.
Anke: Yes. And the cross is interesting.
Joe: Which cross?
Anke: Well, the cross that is standing there in front.
Joe: Ah, there. Yes.
Anke: The cross is from Coventry in England. It's a sign for peace.
Joe: Wow, you’re smart!
Anke: Haha, no. I'm not that smart! It’s written on the sign!
Joe: Haha.. ah that's it.
Judith: Alright. What about this church?
Chuck: Well, [Kaiser-Wilhelm] Memorial Church is a large neo-romanesque church in Berlin. It’s originally built in the 1890’s in order to honor Emperor William the First.
Judith: Yeah and it was irreparably damaged during a bomb raid in 1943 and only a part of the tower and the entrance hall survived.
Chuck: After the war, impressive new church buildings were constructed around the tower which are considered by some to be the most important monument of post-war modernism.
Judith: The new [Kaiser-Wilhelm] Memorial Church is now a symbol of post-war reconciliation. The church itself contains a drawing made by a German soldier during the Battle of [Stahlingrad] as well as an icon of the Virgin Mary donated by the city of [Stahlingrad], well [Wolgograd] now.
Chuck: The memorial hall contains a statue of Christ which was damaged during the allied bombing as well as its cross made of nails, taken from the roof timbers of the Coventry Cathedral which was damaged by German bombing.
Judith: The [Kaiser-Wilhelm] Memorial Church’s tower can also be seen as a symbol of post-war reconciliation, because a former British pilot who participated in the bombing now initiated a fund to help pay for the tower’s repair.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word is?
Judith: [kaputt]
Chuck: “Broke, out of order” or “in pieces”.
Judith: [kaputt, kaputt]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Turm]
Chuck: “Tower” or “spire”
Judith: [Turm, der Turm] and the plural is [Türme]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [neben]
Chuck: “Next to”
Judith: [neben]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [stehen]
Chuck: “To stand”
Judith: [stehen, stehen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [neu]
Chuck: “New”
Judith: [neu, neu]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [ganz]
Chuck: “Whole, completely” or “absolutely”
Judith: [ganz, ganz]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [rechts]
Chuck: “Right” or “on the right”
Judith: [rechts, rechts]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [alt]
Chuck: “Old”
Judith: [alt, alt]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Führung]
Chuck: “guided tour, leadership” or “conduct”
Judith: [Führung, die Führung] and the plural is [Führungen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Kreuz]
Chuck: “Cross, across” or “clubs” as in the card suit.
Judith: [Kreuz, das Kreuz] and the plural is [Kreuze]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Zeichen]
Chuck: “Sign” or “signal”
Judith: [Zeichen, das Zeichen] and the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Frieden]
Chuck: “Peace”.
Judith: [Frieden, der Frieden]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [schlau]
Chuck: “Smart” or “clever”
Judith: [schlau, schlau]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Schild]
Chuck: “Sign”
Judith: [Schild, das Schild] and the plural is [Schilder]
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 [Zeichen] as opposed to [Schild].
Chuck: They both can be translated as “sign”, but what’s the difference?
Judith: Well, [Schild] has to be a physical object while [Zeichen] is a gesture, a sound or some action, nothing that you can touch. Another really important thing to notice is the word [stehen].
Chuck: “To stand”
Judith: Yes, as we said the tower is standing next to the church. You’ll notice that Germans like to be specific. For example, we hardly ever say that the book is on the table, but we say that the book is lying on the table.
Chuck: Similar to the cup isn’t on the table, it’s sitting on the table, while the vase is standing on the table. It all depends on the shape that something presents. If something is as wide as it is tall, we say it's sitting. If it’s a lot taller, we say it’s standing. And if the bigger surface is touching the ground, we say it’s lying. Some people call it an engineering language.
Judith: Actually, the sitting doesn’t occur very often, but we almost always have to decide if something is standing or lying. And in English, it’s often an acceptable alternative to say that something is lying, sitting or standing, but in German, it’s the most common thing to do.
Chuck: We also need to think of these categories in order to be able to translate “to put” into German. It’s not the right translation, you have to determine if you’re making this thing lay, sit or stand.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson are simple relative clauses.
Judith: Relative clauses are sub-clauses that describe nouns in a more detailed way, when adjectives don’t cut it anymore.
Chuck: In English, the introductory words for relative clauses are “who” or “which”.
Judith: In German, we don’t have a special word for them, we just use [der, die, das], same as the articles.
Chuck: Just one word of precaution, if the noun is feminine, then the following relative clause must also start with a feminine word. So, [die], some examples from our dialogue, you have some?
Judith: Yeah. [der Turm, der da links steht, ist neu]
Chuck: “The tower which is standing on the left is new.”
Judith: So, here we had the [der Turm] and then we repeated [der] to start the relative clause. [der da links steht] is the relative clause and then we continue with the main sentence [ist neu, der Turm ist neu] And also, in the dialogue, we saw [Und die Kirche, die da ganz rechts steht, ist auch neu].
Chuck: “And the church which…”
Judith: Yeah, and so on. Similarly, we could have said [Das Kreuz, das da vorn steht, ist das Coventry] or to spice things a bit more [Das Kreuz, das ein Zeichen für den Frieden ist, kommt aus England].
Chuck: Anyway, I think you got the idea. Simple relative clauses in German always follow the pattern [der] then a noun, [der, die] a noun [die] or [das] a noun [das]. Always repeating the article.
Judith: Yeah, there were times when the article in the relative sentence will be a different case than the one preceding the noun. Don’t worry about those sentences yet. We’ll explain them in detail in the Intermediate Series along with details on the cases in itself.


Chuck: That just about does it for today. Okay, some of our listeners already know about the most powerful tool on GermanPod101.com
Judith: Line by line audio.
Chuck: The perfect tool for rapidly improving listening comprehension.
Judith: By listening to lines of the conversations again and again.
Chuck: Listen until every word and syllable becomes clear.
Judith: Listen to the dialogue in bite-size sentences.
Chuck: Understand it all!
Judith: Try the line by line audio at GermanPod101.com
Chuck: So, see you next week!
Judith: [Also bis nächste Woche]