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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 5 – “Is that 007’s German Phone Number?” Hello and welcome to GermanPod101.com, where we study modern German in a fun educational format.
Judith: So, brush up on the German 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, we’ll learn how to exchange phone numbers in German. This also means you’ll learn the numbers from zero to nine.
Chuck: This conversation takes place on a commercial airplane, landing in Berlin. The conversation is between Joe Cardigan and Anke Löwen, our two protagonists.
Judith: The speakers have agreed to use informal German in one of our previous lessons.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
D: Wir sind bald in Berlin.
A: Ahh, gut! Berlin, Berlin, wir kommen nach Berlin!
D: Hier ist meine Telefonnummer.
D: Null-drei-null, sieben-fünf-sechs-acht vier-vier-neun-zwei.
A: Null-zwei-null...
D: Nein, nicht null-zwei-null! Null-drei-null! Das ist Berlin.
A: Oh, Entschuldigung. Null-drei-null, sieben-fünf-sechs-acht vier-vier-neun-zwei.
D: Ja, das ist meine Telefonnummer.
A: Danke. Meine Telefonnummer ist null-eins-drei-sieben, sechs-fünf-zwei-eins neun-null-null-sieben.
D: Null-null-sieben?
A: Yep! Null-null-sieben. Ich arbeite als Agent.
D: Wirklich???
A: Nein.
D: We will be in Berlin soon.
A: Ahh, good! Berlin, Berlin, we're coming to Berlin!
D: Here's my phone number.
D: Zero-three-zero, seven-five-six-eight four-four-nine-two.
A: Oh-two-oh...
D: No, not zero-two-zero! Zero-three-zero! That's Berlin.
A: Oh, excuse me. Oh-three-oh, seven-five-six-eight four-four-nine-two.
D: Yes, that is my phone number.
A: Thanks. My phone number is oh-one-three-seven, six-five-two-one nine-double oh-seven.
D: Double oh-seven?
A: Yep! Double oh-seven. I work as an agent.
D: Really???
A: No.
Judith: Oh, you might have noticed German phone numbers do not follow the same pattern as American ones.
Chuck: I did notice that. Actually, I noticed that quite a long time ago.
Judith: German phone numbers will consists of an area code, and this area code can be anywhere from three to five digits, for the city. For example, Berlin is 030 and then there’s a slash or dash and then the phone number that identifies with the phone within the area.
Chuck: Yeah, I knew one guy, he lived in this town of like thinner than a thousand people and he had the first number, I think, was five digits long, but then his actual number was only three digits.
Judith: Yes, that’s the idea. The bigger cities have shorter area codes and the smaller cities have longer ones, but then in the small cities your actual phone number is much shorter and in the bigger cities is longer.
Chuck: Is true. My own number has actually eight digits on it, besides the 030.
Judith: Yeah, and where I came from in my home city of 60,000 people, the area code is five digits and the actual people living there – well, it depends when moving to the city, there are some people that have only three digits for the phone number and others have seven.
Chuck: Also, when you call someone from the same city, you don’t dial the area code.
Judith: Yeah, in order to distinguish local calls from nationwide calls, the area codes always start with a zero. So, once you dialed that, the phone knows you’re not dialing a local number. If you want to dial a local number, you don’t need it.
Chuck: And when you dial international you put two zeros before the country code.
Judith: And then, after the country code you leave out the zero for the area code, because it’s already clear that you’re not making a local call.
Chuck: So for example, to call the United States, you will dial 001 because one is the country code, and then you’ll dial the rest of the number.
Judith: Yes, and if you’re calling your friends in Germany, then you should not use the zero in the area code, because you would be dialing it internationally.
Chuck: Yeah. Notice that when you call in Germany, for example for another European country, you’ll often be given a number from someone as plus four-nine and then imprints with zero and then put the rest of the number. What that means is a reminder for you that if you’re in Germany, you will dial the zero and if you’re not in Germany then you just leave it out.
Judith: Also, the German area codes can be used to identify what part of the country and what city somebody’s from. The first digit after the zero is indicative of the general region, for example, 02 for cities in Western Germany, 03 are in Eastern Germany and 04 are in Northern Germany.
Chuck: Those are not really an area code per-say, because it’s not based on an area, but it’s –well, each one is for a different cellphone company.
Judith: Yes, cellphone numbers in Germany are not linked with regular numbers. It’s also much more expensive to call them, not matter if the person is in the same city or not.
Chuck: One thing that’s nice about it though is that when you see someone’s phone number you can tell if it’s the same company as you because then you if you call them, if your special cell phone plan has special in network calling, then you know you’re getting a discount.
Judith: Yes and also don’t forget that in Germany you’re not paying for receiving cell phone calls.
Chuck: And that also includes text messages or SMS. Those are also free to receive.
Judith: Finally, I should mention that 0190 is not another cellphone network, it’s rather a whole network of paid numbers. Their fees are usually very high and you shouldn’t call such a number unless you absolutely have to and are not convinced it’s not a scam.
Chuck: And also, don’t forget the most important number of emergency is called 911.
Judith: No, in Germany it’s not 911.
Chuck: You can’t use that here?
Judith: No.
Chuck: What is it then?
Judith: It’s 112.
Chuck: Okay, forget what I said.
Judith: Yeah. It’s 112 for the ambulance and firefighters, I mean generally the locally emergency response and in Germany, the police has a special number, that’s 110. But, if you go to Austria or Switzerland the police, firefighters and the ambulance can be reached at 112.
Chuck: And it’s often nice to know what the number is because different countries have often different numbers for this.
Judith: Definitively something to look up before you go.
Chuck: Yep. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word we shall see is?
Judith: [wir]
Chuck: “We”.
Judith: [wir, wir]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [ihr]
Chuck: “You” – plural or “Y’all”.
Judith: [ihr, ihr]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [bald]
Chuck: “Soon”.
Judith: [bald, bald]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [nach]
Chuck: “Too”.
Judith: [nach, nach]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [hier]
Chuck: “Here”.
Judith: [hier, hier]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [mein]
Chuck: “My”.
Judith: [mein, mein]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Telefonnummer]
Chuck: “Telephone number.”
Judith: [Telefonnummer, Telefonnummer] This one is feminine and the plural is [Telefonnummern, null].
Chuck: “Zero”.
Judith: [null, null]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [eins]
Chuck: “One”.
Judith: [eins, eins]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [drei]
Chuck: “Three”.
Judith: [drei, drei]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [vier]
Chuck: “Four”.
Judith: [vier, vier]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [fünf]
Chuck: “Five”.
Judith: [fünf, fünf]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [sechs]
Chuck: “Six”.
Judith: [sechs, sechs]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [sieben]
Chuck: “Seven”.
Judith: [sieben, sieben]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [acht]
Chuck: “Eight”.
Judith: [acht, acht]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [neun]
Chuck: “Nine”.
Judith: [neun, neun]
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 [Wir sind bald in Berlin].
Chuck: This is literally “We’re in Berlin soon.”
Judith: But, actually the meaning is “We will be in Berlin soon.” It’s possible to talk about the future in German, without using the future tense.
Chuck: Yes, it means also to learn the future tense.
Judith: Yeah, you do?
Chuck: Really? All right. Well you should stay tuned for later lessons where you learn the future tense.
Judith: Indeed. Then, in the last lesson we explained that German nouns are each assigned a gender. And, this gender influences whether “the” is translated as [der, die, das]. Unfortunately that’s not all that it does, it also means that adjectives and possessive pronouns, so words like “good” or “nice” or “my” or “your”, they will also sometimes add an ending that reflects the gender. In today’s lesson, this means that we say [meine Telefonnummer] even though the word for “my” is [mein]. The extra “e” indicates that the [Telefonnummer] is feminine.
Chuck: Don’t worry about these changes yet, just know that they occur. Well, even if you get them wrong, Germans will still understand you without any problem.
Judith: Okay, and one more thing, note that the in the case of phone numbers, the number “two” is sometimes pronounced [zwo] instead of [zwei]. This is to avoid confusing [zwei] and [drei], how not everybody does it and it does not prevent all confusion.
Chuck: Remember when I first learned that?
Judith: No?
Chuck: On a train track. Because my train changed stations and I had to ask on which track it’s on and Ian said it was four. I was like “Uh, what’s that?” Not best time to learn it, I’d say.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The grammar focus of this lesson is the complete conjugation of regular verbs.
Judith: In this lesson, we’ve seen the first person plural of verbs that is the form used with “we”. “We come” is [wir kommen], “we work” is [wir arbeiten]. As you can see, there’s no difference between this form and the one used when you formally addressing someone.
Chuck: This is not a truthfully a regular verb [sein], “to be” as well. “We are” is [wir sind]. Since there’s one more form missing in our collection for regular verbs, let’s cover that one too, shall we?
Judith: Okay. We shall. When you’re addressing several people, the German pronoun is [ihr].
Chuck: “You” – plural.
Judith: “You all work” is [ihr arbeitet]. “You all stay” is [ihr bleibt].
Chuck: Could you summarize all the forms of the verb [bleiben], “to stay”?
Judith: [Ich bleibe]
Chuck: “I stay”.
Judith: [Du bleibst]
Chuck: “You stay” – informally.
Judith: [Er bleibt]
Chuck: “He stays”.
Judith: [Wir bleiben]
Chuck: “We stay”.
Judith: [Ihr bleibt]
Chuck: “You all stay”.
Judith: [sie bleiben]
Chuck: “They stay”.
Judith: This last form [sie bleiben] can be either “You, formal, stay” or “They stay”.
Chuck: I just has the advantage that I can read it and I saw there’s a lowercase “s”, that makes it “they”.
Judith: Yes. If the polite form of “you” is meant, then we capitalize the German word [Sie], as a show of respect.
Chuck: But is – you unfortunately just heard, you can’t tell if it is capitalized as just you’re hearing in a podcast.
Judith: Yeah, but the context makes it pretty clear.
Chuck: For you.
Judith: And the form for “they” and the polite “you” is always the same.
Chuck: Only distinction in writing, right?
Judith: Yes.
Chuck: So, that just about 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 via the premium feed.
Chuck: The review track, use your vocabulary and phrases followed by a short pause, so you can repeat the words aloud.
Judith: The best way to get good, fast. I particularly recommend this for this lesson, because you have to memorize the German words for the numbers zero to nine.


Chuck: Okay, see you in one week or [ein week]
Judith: [Eine Woche]
Chuck: Ah, she caught me that time.
Judith: [Bis nächste Woche]