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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 3 – “German In-Formalities”.
Judith: Hello everyone, I’m [Judith] and welcome to GermanPod101.
Chuck: With use, 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 a textbook. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to switch to informal language.
Judith: This conversation takes place on a commercial airplane [bound for Berlin]
Chuck: This conversation is between [Anke Löwen] and Joe Cardigan. Joe will request to be addressed informally, therefore the speakers will be speaking informal German. Let’s listen to the conversation.
D: Herr Cardigan...
A: Bitte nennen Sie mich nur Joe.
D: Also gut. Ich bin Anke.
D: Joe, kommst du als Tourist nach Berlin oder beruflich?
A: Als Tourist.
D: Und wie lange bleibst du?
A: Ich bleibe zwei Wochen.
D: Mr Cardigan...
A: Please just call me Joe.
D: Alright. I am Anke.
D: Joe, are you coming to Berlin as a tourist or for business reasons?
A: As a tourist.
D: And how long are you staying?
A: I am staying two weeks.
Judith: Seems like Joe’s going with the majority. I mean, Germany is used having lots of foreigner visitors every year. Have you visited yet?
Chuck: Yep, I have.
Judith: Obviously.
Chuck: Oh, you’re talking to our listeners.
Judith: Yes.
Chuck: That makes more sense.
Judith: If you haven’t visited yet, here’re some reasons for you to visit. First, which I particularly enjoy, Germany features many different historic sites. Raging from the Neanderthal valley to Roman ruins, to medieval castles and of course, more recent history.
Chuck: There’re also a lot of beautiful spots, which is the German islands and North Sea, the black forest and beautiful traditional houses, the Alps, well there you can do winter sports.
Judith: Business or conferences might also bring you here. Germany’s economy is ranked the 4th in the world and its number one in exporting goods. If you’re lucky, your company will want somebody to explore new markets in Germany and you will be chosen because you’ve learned some German.
Chuck: Many GermanPod101 listeners also have friends or family in Germany and should visit at some point.
Judith: Finally, if you’re into practice German, what better place to do that than Germany?
Chuck: But yeah, you miss the best part of visiting Germany?
Judith: What?
Chuck: Germany has the best beer in the world!
Judith: Sure, make that a reason.
Chuck: Why not? For some of our listeners that will be a very good reason. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Judith: First word, [bitte]
Chuck: “Please” or “Your welcome”.
Judith: [bitte, bitte] Next, [nennen]
Chuck: “To call somebody something”.
Judith: [nennen, nennen] Next, [mich]
Chuck: “Me”.
Judith: [mich, mich] Next, [gut]
Chuck: “Good” or “well”.
Judith: [gut, gut] Next, [Du]
Chuck: “You” – informally.
Judith: [Du, Du] Next, [als]
Chuck: “As”.
Judith: [als, als] Next, [Tourist]
Chuck: “Tourist”.
Judith: [Tourist, der Tourist] Next, [beruflich]
Chuck: “By profession”, “professionally” or, in this case, “for business reasons”.
Judith: [beruflich, beruflich] Next, [wie]
Chuck: “How”.
Judith: [wie, wie] Next, [lange]
Chuck: “Long”, “a long time”.
Judith: [lange, lange] Next, [bleiben]
Chuck: “To stay”.
Judith: [bleiben, bleiben] Next, [zwei]
Chuck: “Two”.
Judith: [zwei, zwei] Next, [Woche]
Chuck: “Week”.
Judith: [Woche, die Woche] And, in this case we’ve seen the plural [Wochen]
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: The first phrase we’ll look at is [Bitte nennen Sie mich]
Chuck: “Please call me something.”
Judith: You can use this phrase to request the people to use a nickname for you, but in today’s dialogue, Joe uses it in order to request a switch to informal language. [Bitte nennen Sie mich Joe]
Chuck: You never use this for someone to call you on the phone.
Judith: Yes. That’s a different word, it’s not [nennen]. Okay, the other phrase we’re going to look at is [Also gut, ich bin Anke] agrees with that switch and [Ich bin Anke], well, Joe knows that the woman next to him is called [Anke Löwen], but she tells him “I’m [Anke]” anyway, in order to confirm that he has the right to address her informally from now on, because there are times when one person addresses another one informally, but the other one addressed the person formally. For example, when you’re talking to kids.
Chuck: That would also be with the boss?
Judith: No, that will be a degradation.
Chuck: Okay, it’s important to know as well.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson are regular verbs, part two. Today we’ve encountered two more forms of regular verbs.
Judith: First, there’s the informal second person of verbs. Whenever you address somebody as [Du], you also need to take of the “en” verb ending and replace it with “st”.
Chuck: “St” is the marker of the informal second person. Whenever we talk to a friend of family member, we use the “st” verb ending.
Judith: For example, formally you would say [Bleiben Sie in Deutschland]
Chuck: “Do you remain in Germany?” “Will you remain in Germany?”
Judith: Yes, there’s no difference in the tenses, German sometimes uses the present tense with a future meaning.
Chuck: That was a formal form, like to a stranger.
Judith: And the informal would be [Bleibst du in Deutschland]
Chuck: “Do you remain in Germany?” “Will you remain in Germany?”
Judith: And you’d use this informally speaking to a family member, a friend, a good acquaintance or a young person.
Chuck: We’ve also seen how to make a request. Mister Cardigan requested that Misses [Löwen] just called him by his first name.
Judith: [Bitte nennen Sie mich nur Joe]
Chuck: “Please just call me Joe.” To make a polite request, start with [bitte], “please” and then put the formal form of the verb and the word [Sie]. The whatever else is left in the sentence.
Judith: For example [Bitte bleiben Sie]
Chuck: “Please stay.”
Judith: [Bitte kommen Sie]
Chuck: “Please come.”
Judith: [Bitte arbeiten Sie nicht]


Chuck: “Please don’t work.” Well, if I can’t work, I guess just about does it for today. Testing yourself is one of the most efficient 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 See you next week!
Judith: [Bis nächste Woche]