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Lesson Transcript

Gina: Hi everyone! I’m Gina, and welcome back to GermanPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 3, Lesson 6 - How’s Your German Today?
Frank: Hi everyone, wilkommen! My name is Frank.
Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use question words and question tags.
Frank: This conversation takes place at Kate’s host family’s house, after she’s registered for her German classes at the language school.
Gina: The conversation is between Kate and Frau Kirsche.
Frank: Since they don’t know each other very well, they’ll be using formal German.
Frau Kirsch: Hallo Kate! Willkommen!
Kate: Ähmm, hallo! Wie geht es Ihnen, Frau Kirsch?!
Frau Kirsch: Mir geht es gut, danke, und Ihnen?
Kate: ... Auch gut, danke.
Frau Kirsch: Sind Sie müde?
Kate: Nicht sehr müde, nein.
Frau Kirsch: Sehr gut.
Gina: Let's hear the conversation one time slowly.
Frau Kirsch: Hallo Kate! Willkommen!
Kate: Ähmm, hallo! Wie geht es Ihnen, Frau Kirsch?!
Frau Kirsch: Mir geht es gut, danke, und Ihnen?
Kate: ... Auch gut, danke.
Frau Kirsch: Sind Sie müde?
Kate: Nicht sehr müde, nein.
Frau Kirsch: Sehr gut.
Gina: Now, let's hear it with English translation.
Frau Kirsch: Hallo Kate! Willkommen!
Gina: Hello, Kate! Welcome!
Kate: Ähmm, hallo! Wie geht es Ihnen, Frau Kirsch?!
Gina: Ah, hello! How are you, Ms. Kirsch?
Frau Kirsch: Mir geht es gut, danke, und Ihnen?
Gina: I'm well, thank you and you?
Kate: ... Auch gut, danke.
Gina: ... Also good, thank you.
Frau Kirsch: Sind Sie müde?
Gina: Are you tired?
Kate: Nicht sehr müde, nein.
Gina: Not so tired, no.
Frau Kirsch: Sehr gut.
Gina: Very good.
Gina: So, Frank, how are you doing?
Frank: Es geht mir gut, danke und dir?
Gina: I’m good, thank you! The weather’s not too great, but I’m good!
Frank: Hmm...why are you talking about the weather?
Gina: I’m making small talk! It’s typical for us Brits to talk about the weather! However, I noticed that there’s a lot less small talk in Germany, especially in professional situations!
Frank: Yeah, when you’re doing business with someone there’s not that much. Well, unless you’re a businessman or something.
Gina: And even among friends, I think there’s less small talk than in Britain.
Frank: Also, in the dialogue Kate asked “how are you?” and she immediately started talking about something else.
Gina: In Germany, when someone asks “how are you?”, it’s how we find out everything that’s going on in people’s lives.
Frank: And they may carry on, so don’t be surprised if the answer is really long.
Gina: That’s right. It’s a very genuine question - Germans don’t beat about the bush - they mean what they say, and they get straight to the point. Right Frank?
Frank: Yeah, I guess that’s true. We’re known for our directness and efficient ways of doing things!
Gina: Among friends, the news or politics are common topics of discussion. It’s not taboo. And generally, people are expected to keep up with current affairs as a part of common conversation.
Frank: Yeah, but religion is taboo. Generally it's avoided due to the trouble it causes in the world. Religion is therefore considered a private thing.
Gabriella: Ok, now let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Gabriella: The first word we shall see is…
Frank: hallo [natural native speed]
Gina: hello, hello (on the phone)
Frank: hallo [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: hallo [natural native speed]
Frank: sehr [natural native speed]
Gina: very
Frank: sehr [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: sehr [natural native speed]
Frank: müde [natural native speed]
Gina: tired
Frank: müde [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank : müde [natural native speed]
Frank: gut [natural native speed]
Gina: good
Frank: gut [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: gut [natural native speed]
Frank: mir [natural native speed]
Gina: to me
Frank: mir [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: mir [natural native speed]
Frank: Ihnen [natural native speed]
Gina: to you (formal)
Frank: Ihnen [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: Ihnen [natural native speed]
Frank: es [natural native speed]
Gina: it
Frank: es [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: es [natural native speed]
Frank: gehen [natural native speed]
Gina: to go, to walk
Frank: gehen [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: gehen [natural native speed]
Frank: Frau [natural native speed]
Gina: Ms., woman
Frank: Frau [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: Frau [natural native speed]
Frank: Willkommen [natural native speed]
Gina: welcome
Frank: Willkommen [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Frank: Willkommen [natural native speed]
Gina: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Frank: The first word we will look at is hallo.
Gina: Firstly, it is used as a common informal greeting as opposed to more formal greetings like:
Frank: Guten Morgen
Gina: “good morning”
Frank: Guten Tag
Gina: “good day”, and so on.
Frank: But hallo also has another meaning, when someone is trying to get someone’s attention and feels ignored. In this case, they may also say hallo with an optional hint of added sarcasm. hallo (slow)
Gina: In this situation, it is used to get someone’s attention and in other words remind the other person "I am here."
Frank: Okay, our next word is mir.
Gina: “to me”.
Frank: It’s a special form of the word ich or “I”.
Gina: In English, “I” changes to “me” when it’s the object of the sentence as in “I get a present”, and “you give a present to me”. It’s the same idea in German.
Frank: Ihnen is the same thing, but it's used for Sie, which is the formal “you”. And since sie written in lowercase means “they”, Ihnen also means “to them”. Both mir and Ihnen only come up when they're the object of a sentence.
Gina: Oh, and also don’t expect to find any logic behind the phrase...
Frank: Wie geht es Ihnen?
Gina: It means, “How are you?” but literally is, “How goes it to you?”
Frank: Yeah. But that doesn’t explain the “to you” part. This is an German idiom.
Gina: So just remember it as it is. Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Gina: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to form question-word questions and question tags.
Frank: In lesson 3, we already saw how to create yes-no questions in German. Just put the verb in the front, like Lernen Sie Deutsch? instead of the affirmation, Sie lernen Deutsch.
Gina: To make question-word questions, just add a question word in front, then the verb, and then anything else. Can you give us an example?
Frank: Wie lernen Sie Deutsch?
Gina: “How do you study German?”
Frank: Was lernen Sie?
Gina: “What do you study?”
Frank: Wer lernt Deutsch?
Gina: “Who studies German?”
Frank: There are lots of question words in German and most of them start with “w”!
Gina: Okay. Let’s see them! What’s the first one?
Frank: Warum?
Gina: “why”
Frank: Repeat after me, listeners. warum (slow).
Gina: Next up is…
Frank: wohin?
Gina: “where”
Frank: It is a combination of wo and hin meaning “where” and “to”. Try it, listeners - wohin (slow).
Gina: Okay, what do we have next?
Frank: wer
Gina: “who”!
Frank: wer (slow).
Gina: Next is...
Frank: wem.
Gina: It is equivalent to the English “whom”.
Frank: wem (slow).
Gina: Okay, and what’s the word for “what” in German?
Frank: was, was (slow)
Gina: And next up is?
Frank: wieso
Gina: This one means “how come” and is used just like in English, often as a stand-alone question.
Frank: wieso (slow)
Gina: Okay, next we have the German for “where”...
Frank: wo, wo (slow)
Gina: for example?
Frank: Wo ist das?
Gina: “where is it?” Okay, what’s the next question word?
Frank: Welche, Welche (slow)
Gina: This means “which,” and can be used with the noun it's referring to. Can you give us an example?
Frank: welches Buch?
Gina: “Which book?” BUT! When you want to say “which one” in German, you just say...
Frank: “welche” with the correct gender ending for the noun you're referring to. German doesn’t have a separate word for “one” in this construction.
Gina: Okay, and how do we say “when” in German?
Frank: Wann. Wann (slow)
Gina: And the last one is...
Frank: wie, wie (slow)
Gina: Which means “how.”
Frank: Wie spät ist es?
Gina: “What time is it?” Or literally, “how late is it?” Okay, that's all of the question words! What’s next Frank?
Frank: Now we want to talk about question tags. An even more simple way to make a question is to make a statement and then add oder? to ask for confirmation, like in Sie lernen Deutsch, oder?
Gina: “You’re studying German, right?”
Frank: This is called a question tag.
Gina: Finally, another type of question tag is "And you?"
Frank: In German, this will normally be und Sie? In less formal situations, you’d use und du?


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Gina: That’s all for this lesson! We hope you enjoyed it.
Frank: Wir hoffen, euch hat diese Lektion gefallen. We hope you enjoyed it!
Gina: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Frank: Tschüss!