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Lesson Transcript

Rebecca: Hi everyone!
Widar: Welcome back to GermanPod101.com.
Rebecca: I’m telling you right now, today’s lesson is really fun.
Widar: That’s right. Today, we will go over some phrases that your teacher might not teach you!
Rebecca: Now, we don’t want you to get the wrong idea, you won’t find any swear words or anything here!
Widar: No, just some German phrases that are just a little too slangy to be introduced in the classroom.
Rebecca: These are words, though, that you’ll encounter a LOT in German.
Widar: In Germany, you’d probably hear them every day.
Rebecca: Yeah, they’re that common.
Widar: So if you’re ready to learn some fun German, let’s get started!
Rebecca: The first phrase we’ll go over is…
Widar: "Cool!"
Rebecca: "Cool" means "awesome" or "great," but I think one of the best translations is just "wow!" You will hear this word all the time when listening to younger people.
Widar: Yeah, when young people hear or see something interesting or unusual, usually their first reaction will be "cool!"
Rebecca: Like, we’re shopping together, and I find a nice jacket in a clothing store. Then I would say "Oh, hey Widar, die blaue Jacke ist so cool." ("This blue jacket is so cool.")
Widar: "Cool!"
Rebecca: Just like that!
Widar: Sometimes, though, people will use it even if there’s nothing really amazing about what they just heard. It’s just become a habit to say it.
Rebecca: You can usually tell by their tone of voice.
Widar: Like cool. [ sounding disinterested ]
Rebecca: If they don’t sound impressed, they probably aren’t.
Widar: Right. For example, when you’re telling me that you’ve been to the latest model railway show, I could answer "Cool." [ disinterested ]
Rebecca: But you mean, "Whatever." Okay. Cool. Next, we have…
Widar: "Idiot"
Rebecca: Now, be careful who you say this to. In fact, it might be better to just not use it at all. But it’s a good one to know anyway.
Widar: "Idiot" means "idiot" or "fool."
Rebecca: Depending on the situation and how it’s used, this word can come off as a strong insult or just a playful joke.
Widar: That’s right, it all depends on how the person uses it I think.
Rebecca: If you’re really angry and you call someone idiot, that’s pretty harsh. But if you’re just joking around with your friends and you use it, it just comes off as playful.
Widar: "Idiot" is also used towards things a lot.
Rebecca: Yeah, it can be used as an adjective to describe something, which is probably safer than using it towards someone.
Widar: If we want to use it as an adjective, we just have to add the suffix "-isch" at the end of the word. This will change it to "idiotisch."
Rebecca: "Idiotisch." Okay, next we have.
Widar: "Nee, ne?!"
Rebecca: Please say it again!
Widar: "Nee, ne?!"
Rebecca: "Nee" (with two "-e" vowels) is slang for "nein" ("no"), and "ne" (one "-e") is an abbreviation for "nicht" ("wirklich"), meaning "not (really)." When used as an exclamation, it’s close to something like "No way!" or "You’re kidding!"
Widar: Basically, "nee, ne" is used when you’re really surprised or shocked by something.
Rebecca: Like you just can’t believe it.
Widar: Right. But in most cases you don’t actually think that what the person is saying is a lie, you’re just saying it to show your surprise.
Rebecca: Yeah, so if someone responds to something you say with "nee, ne?!" - don’t worry; they’re not actually calling you a liar or anything.
Widar: They’re just surprised!
Rebecca: Right. Okay, now onto some slang used by young people!
Widar: Young people always come up with interesting slang, don’t they?
Rebecca: Just note that all of these phrases are very informal, so you want to be a little careful when using them.
Widar: The first one is "voll."
Rebecca: This one works like a prefix. You attach it to an adjective when you really want to emphasize it.
Widar: Like "voll schwer." "Schwer" means "difficult," so "voll schwer" means something like "really difficult" or "so difficult."
Rebecca: It’s used in kind of the same way that we use "so" in English, except maybe even slang-ier.
Widar: Another slangy word is "krass."
Rebecca: The literal meaning of "krass" is "gross" or "rad," but I think now it has strayed away from its original meaning. "Krass" is interesting because it can be both good or bad.
Widar: Yeah! It all depends on the context. So for example if you say, "That movie was krass!" it could mean that it was "krass" in a good way, like it was really cool or something. Or it could be "krass" in a bad way like maybe the acting was bad or something.
Rebecca: It’s hard to know unless the person expands on it more.
Widar: Yeah. And if the person says "Voll krass!" they emphasize it even more.
Rebecca: "Krass" is also used as an exclamation, kind of like, "Oh no!" or "Oh shoot!"
Widar: Yeah, if you’ve just realized something bad.
Rebecca: "Krass! I overslept!" Or something like that.
Widar: Yeah, that’s a "krass" situation.
Rebecca: But that is really slangy. What’s more common to say when you suddenly wake up realizing that you’ve overslept?
Widar: Are you teasing me? I’m not going to say any swear word hear [ laughing ]. But many people might say "Mist," which literally means "dung," but in this case "Damn!"
Rebecca: Okay, thanks. Next is…
Widar: "Auf keinsten!"
Rebecca: "Auf keinsten" is a slang phrase and an abbreviation of "auf keinen Fall," meaning "under no circumstances" or "no way."
Widar: So, if your friends ask you if you would like to go fishing with them, but you want to go to that quirky beach bar, you can say "Auf keinsten!"
Rebecca: Yes. If you say that, it will be crystal-clear to them that you don’t want to do that.
Widar: And we have one more word in the slang set. "Geil."
Rebecca: "Geil" is very colloquial and is a synonym of the very first word we learned in this lesson, "cool."
Widar: In young people’s speech, if something is "geil," it’s "amazing" or "great."
Rebecca: But be careful not to use this word in front of elderly people. They might be annoyed if someone says "geil" because when they were young, "geil" meant "to be sexually aroused."
Widar: Now we’re going to go over some words that are called interjections. Those are words that you say in response to someone who is talking to show that you are listening and understand what the person is saying.
Rebecca: Interjections in German are interesting because they are used really frequently. English equivalents include words such as "uh-huh," "mm hmm," and "okay," but we don’t use them nearly as much.
Widar: Some people might use them after almost every sentence.
Rebecca: Right, saying nothing and just listening instead would be considered strange. So what are some common interjections?
Widar: If you agree with the person, you can say a short "ja," which means "yes." Or you can say "aha," which means "I understand."
Rebecca: "Ja. Aha." So, "ja" doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re agreeing, it just means that you’re listening.
Widar: Yes, but it can also mean that you’re agreeing. That depends on the situation.
Rebecca: Got it!
Widar: Some people even nod with their heads all the time while saying "aha."
Rebecca: What about some other interjections? What if you want to show you are surprised?
Widar: Then, it’s best to say "Wow," which is similar to the English "Wow" or "Whoa."
Rebecca: Yeah, I know that one. "Wow" is very common. You will hear a lot of people using it when they are surprised.
Widar: Another one is "Oh!" It also shows that you are surprised, but depending on the intonation, it can be a positive or a negative surprise.
Rebecca: So, if I say "Oh?" [ sound surprised ]
Widar: Then it’s a positive surprise.
Rebecca: And, "Oh!" [ sound disappointed ]
Widar: That would indicate a negative surprise, like if you want to go out with a friend to watch a movie, but then your friend calls you and cancels movie night, you can say "Oh!"
Rebecca: Okay. Do we have another one?
Widar: "Hmm."
Rebecca: Yeah, that’s another one. "Hmm" expresses thinking, right?
Widar: Exactly. If you’re thinking about something you might say, "Hmm."
Rebecca: And last but not least we have a funny one.
Widar: It’s the interjection "Hä?" which means "I don’t understand" or "I don’t get it."
Rebecca: "Hä?" This sounds so silly, but it’s a good one to remember.
Widar: If your German friends are talking too fast, you can say "Hä?" and hopefully they will slow down and explain everything to you.
Rebecca: Okay. I think this will do it for today. All of these phrases are good to know, even if you don’t use them. Just knowing them for when you come across them is good enough. Because, believe us, you’ll come across them at some point!
Widar: We hope you had fun learning these phrases that your teacher might not teach you!
Rebecca: Feel free to share more interesting phrases with us at GermanPod101.com.
Widar: Premium members, use the review track to perfect your pronunciation.
Rebecca: Available in the premium section of the website,
Widar: the learning center
Rebecca: and through iTunes via the premium feed,
Widar: the Review Track gives you vocabulary and phrases followed by a short pause so you can repeat the words aloud.
Rebecca: The best way to get good fast!
Widar: Ok.
Rebecca: See you next time!
Widar: Tschüss!
Rebecca: Bye!