Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Frank: Frank here! Guten Tag und herzlich wilkommen!
Gina: Hi everyone, and welcome back to GermanPod101.com. I’m Gina, and this is Absolute Beginner Season 3, Lesson 13; Getting Quizzed in Germany. In this lesson, you'll learn to master the construction “either...or” and pronounce the German CH.
Frank: This conversation takes place at a German language school during class.
Gina: The conversation is between two classmates, Kate and Frank. They're playing a game called “Two Lies, One Truth”. Kate starts by making three statements about herself.
Frank: Only one statement is true and the others have to figure out which one that is. The speakers are classmates. So they’ll be using informal German.
DIALOGUE
Frank: Okay... Entweder komme ich aus China oder ich wurde hier geboren oder ich spreche fließend Englisch und Spanisch.
Kate: Schwierig! Ich glaube, du sprichst fließend Englisch und Spanisch.
Frank: Falsch! Du weißt doch, ich spreche nur wenig Englisch!
Kate: Okay, dann vielleicht erstens.
Frank: Richtig! Meine Eltern sind Österreicher, aber sie wohnen schon seit vielen Jahren in China.
Gina: Let's hear the conversation one time slowly.
Frank: Okay... Entweder komme ich aus China oder ich wurde hier geboren oder ich spreche fließend Englisch und Spanisch.
Kate: Schwierig! Ich glaube, du sprichst fließend Englisch und Spanisch.
Frank: Falsch! Du weißt doch, ich spreche nur wenig Englisch!
Kate: Okay, dann vielleicht erstens.
Frank: Richtig! Meine Eltern sind Österreicher, aber sie wohnen schon seit vielen Jahren in China.
Gina: Now, let's hear it with English translation.
Frank: Okay... Entweder komme ich aus China oder ich wurde hier geboren oder ich spreche fließend Englisch und Spanisch.
Gina: Okay...I'm either from China, or I was born here, or I speak fluent English and Spanish.
Kate: Schwierig! Ich glaube, du sprichst fließend Englisch und Spanisch.
Gina: Difficult! I believe you speak English and Spanish fluently.
Frank: Falsch! Du weißt doch, ich spreche nur wenig Englisch!
Gina: Incorrect! You know, I speak only a little English.
Kate: Okay, dann vielleicht erstens.
Gina: Okay, then maybe the first one.
Frank: Richtig! Meine Eltern sind Österreicher, aber sie wohnen schon seit vielen Jahren in China.
Gina: Correct! My parents are Austrian, but they've lived in China for many years.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Gina: Let’s talk a bit about language knowledge in Germany.
Frank: One thing I can tell you is that Germans are a lot less likely to know Spanish than English.
Gina: That's true. But come to think of it, English, on the other hand, is a mandatory subject at school. You have to take it for at least six years, or even nine if you want to go to university.
Frank: Yeah. And it's also increasingly present in primary schools and kindergartens.
Gina: But if people haven't used English for, say, ten years or more, they will pretty much forget all of it.
Frank: Yes. So if you need to ask a German something in English, your best bet is a student or a business man.
Gina: Other than English, French is the most commonly studied foreign language, followed by Latin.
Frank: Also in the former East Germany, Russian used to be the most commonly spoken foreign language. There, you can run across people who’ve actually never learned English. They’ve only ever studied Russian.
Gina: Interesting!
VOCAB LIST
Frank: Mal [natural native speed]
Gina: time
Frank: Mal [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: Mal [natural native speed]
Frank: glauben [natural native speed]
Gina: to believe
Frank: glauben [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: glauben [natural native speed]
Frank: entweder...oder [natural native speed]
Gina: either...or
Frank: entweder...oder [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: entweder...oder [natural native speed]
Frank: vielleicht [natural native speed]
Gina: maybe
Frank: vielleicht [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: vielleicht [natural native speed]
Frank: also [natural native speed]
Gina: so
Frank: also [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: also [natural native speed]
Frank: fließend [natural native speed]
Gina: flowing, fluent, fluently
Frank: fließend [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: fließend [natural native speed]
Frank: was [natural native speed]
Gina: what
Frank: was [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: was [natural native speed]
Frank: viel [natural native speed]
Gina: much, a lot
Frank: viel [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: viel [natural native speed]
Frank: falsch [natural native speed]
Gina: wrong
Frank: falsch [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: falsch [natural native speed]
Frank: Eltern [natural native speed]
Gina: parents
Frank: Eltern [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: Eltern [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Gina: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Frank: The first word we’ll look at is also.
Gina: It’s the German equivalent of “so” when you’re presenting a logical conclusion.
Frank: It's also a nice way to move the conversation on to another topic. For example, Also woher kommst du?
Gina: “So, where are you from?”
Frank: Great. Now let’s look at the word fließend.
Gina: This word acts as an adjective and an adverb in German.
Frank: Its literal meaning is “flowing”, as in Im fließenden Bach.
Gina: “In the flowing river” Or,
Frank: Im fließenden Bach gibt es was?
Gina: “What is there in the flowing river?”
Frank: Yes, that’s the literal meaning.
Gina: However, another common translation of this word is “fluent”, with reference to language.
Frank: Yes, for example, Er spricht fließend Deutsch.
Gina: “He speaks fluent German.”
Frank: Sie spricht vier Sprachen, fließend.
Gina: “She speaks four languages fluently”
Frank: Okay. And the last word we're going to look at is viel.
Gina: It can mean “much”, “many”, and “a lot of”.
Frank: Yes that’s right, And the word with the opposite meaning is wenig .
Gina: Meaning “a little”, “a few,” and “not many.” The uses of these words are very similar. Both of them occur as a determiner, a pronoun, or an adverb.
Frank: And both have alternative uninflected and inflected forms that determiners or adjectives have too. for example, the uninflected forms, like viel and wenig, are more usual, and are used with abstract nouns, like "effort", "pain", or "luck".
Gina: While for other nouns, the inflected form is more common, but the meaning in both cases is the same.
Frank: Adjectives following the inflected forms viele and wenige in plural form usually have strong endings.
Gina: The strong inflection of adjectives also applies when no article is used, when a quantity indicated by a number greater than one is used, or when a non-inflectable phrase is used. The adjective endings are the same as the definite article endings, apart from the adjectival ending "-en" in the masculine and neuter genitive singular. Now let’s move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the phrase “either...or” and the German pronunciation of “ch”
Frank: We’ll focus on the entweder...oder construction first.
Gina: Right, which is “either...or”.
Frank: Typically, the subject of the sentence will follow entweder, but bear in mind that another usage of entweder...oder, is to have the verb directly follow entweder.
Gina: Can you give an example, Frank?
Frank: Entweder er wird entlassen, oder er findet gar keine Anstellung.
Gina: “Either he is dismissed, or he doesn’t get a job at all.”
Frank: The alternative version of this, where the verb follows entweder, would be Entweder wird er entlassen, oder er findet gar keine Anstellung.
Gina: But don’t you worry, there is no change in meaning here.
Frank: Conversely, weder….noch means “neither nor” and is grammatically structured in the same way as entweder...oder.
Gina: That’s right! Let’s see an example.
Frank: Er liest weder Bücher noch Zeitungen.
Gina: “He reads neither books nor newspapers.” However, these constructions have an official edge to them. A more conversational way of saying this is...
Frank: Er liest keine Bücher und auch keine Zeitungen.
Gina: “He doesn’t read books and newspapers.”
Frank: Also, listeners, note that weder...noch must always accompany one another in the sentence. So, noch cannot be used on its own in the sense of “nor” without a preceding weder.
Gina: However, there's a way of using one word in German to express this without first using “neither” or “or” preceded by a negative.
Frank: Right, that’s und auch nicht / kein.
Gina: Great! Now, we have some pronunciation tips for that tricky little “ch” sound in German. Hopefully, you’ve been practicing speaking German.
Frank: Now it’s time to focus on some particular pronunciation challenges.
Gina: And the “ch” sound usually gives people the most trouble.
Frank: The rule is that if the “ch” comes after “a”, “o” or “u”, then it’s pronounced raspily, as in the words noch and brauchen.
Gina: This is because “a”, “o” and “u” are what we call “dark vowels,” as they’re pronounced in the back of the mouth where it’s darker. Also, it’s close to your throat, so the “ch” that comes after those vowels is also pronounced in the back of the mouth.
Frank: In fact, this “ch” is released out of your throat.
Gina: Right. It doesn’t even matter how widely you open your mouth or how you position your teeth and tongue, the sound is formed way before the air even hits those.
Frank: By contrast, the “ch” that comes after all other vowels - E, I, Ä, Ö and Ü are pronounced softly and further in front. To pronounce this correctly, start from the “y” sound as in the word “here”. Can you hear it? “y”
Gina: Then keep your tongue and mouth in the exact same position and try to blow some air through it using the back of the throat and you’re almost there.
Frank: Practice this a lot, because this kind of “ch” comes up in vital words like ich and nicht.
Gina: What about the “ch” that doesn’t follow a vowel?
Frank: If there is a dark vowel or a consonant after the “ch,” then it’s pronounced like “k”. However, when there is an “e” or “i” following, you can choose how you want to pronounce it.
Gina: Take the word “China” for example, which we used in the dialogue.
Frank: Some will pronounce this using a soft “ch” as in ich, and others will pronounce it with a simple “sh” sound. This “sh” sound is typical of Hoch-Deutsch, which is official German. Let’s hear both forms - China(soft ch), China (sh)
Gina: Also, some people may use a “k” sound.
Frank: Yes, something like China (k sound).However, this is a regional variant typical of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, or southern Germany.
Gina: But remember, all of these variations are correct.
Frank: Okay, listeners, so keep practicing “ch” until it becomes natural.

Outro

Gina: And that does it for this lesson! Don’t forget to check the lesson notes for more information and examples.
Frank: Tschüss!
Gina: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!

57 Comments

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GermanPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Hello Listeners! What language do you speak *please, try answering in German?

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GermanPod101.com
Wednesday at 12:33 pm
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Hi Safia,


That's one of the nicest feedbacks I get to answer today!😁


Thank you.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


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safia
Monday at 12:23 am
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❤️️

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GermanPod101.com
Thursday at 6:12 pm
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Hi Ken,


Homework well done!😄


Please allow me to make a few tiny little changes to your sentence:

Hallo, meine Hauptsprache ist Englisch und natuerlich lerne ich Deutsch. Zur selben Zeit versuche ich auch Malaiisch, Mandarin und Japanisch zu lernen. Ich bin Anfaenger.


Thank you.


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


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


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GermanPod101.com
Thursday at 6:08 pm
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Hi Martin,


Thank you for your positive comment.😉

Glad we were able to help.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


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ken
Saturday at 12:28 am
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Hallo, meine hauptsprache ist English und natuelich ich learne Deutsch. Zu zelben zeit versuche ich auch malaiisch, mandarin und japaanisch zu learnen. Ich bin anfanger.

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martin
Friday at 6:47 pm
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great advice on pronounciation

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GermanPod101.com
Thursday at 7:29 am
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Hi Lia,


Welcome to GermanPod101.


I would be a liar if I claimed to know the answer to that

question.😄

It depends on so many factors: the amount of time a day you have

available to practice, what other languages you know, meaning are they

related to German, whether you enjoy the study of German etc.

A guess would be: if you already speak other European languages and

you have 2 - 3 hours a day of study time available + access to native speakers -

two to three years?

But I am sure, GermanPod101 will be a great help. It is very intuitive and

has an amazing variety of topics.


Thank you


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


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


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Lia
Thursday at 5:06 pm
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Hello, what is the approximate amount of time that it will take to learn German if I use this website, Duolingo and read books? I am also quite young and has always been a dream to know another language. :) Thanks.

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GermanPod101.com
Thursday at 8:37 am
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Hi Amanda,


Thank you for your feedback.


I just listened to the start of this lesson and it correctly

states that it is lesson 13. I then went back to lesson 8 and

the recording there says "lesson 8".

Is it possible that you missed some lessons? If you click on the

drop-down arrow next to the lesson number, you can see a list of

all the lessons there are in this series. Could you please have a look

at the titles and see if there are any that don't sound familiar to you?


After doing this, if you still have problems, please get back to us.


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


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com




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Amanda
Sunday at 5:51 pm
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Hello

I'm up to lesson 8 and the audio is saying its lesson 13 which is a bit confusing.


Thanks


Amanda