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Lesson Transcript

Rebecca: Hey everybody, welcome back to ‘All about German,’ the German lessons where you get to learn about the real Germany.
Widar: In this lesson, we have something special.
Rebecca: A quiz! Which may have some of you thinking, "Oh no," but don’t worry. This will be a fun one.
Widar: We’re not going to test out your German skills or anything like that yet.
Rebecca: Nope, these questions are all about Germany itself, such as society, geography, and pop culture, so you can see how much you know about Germany!
Widar: Yes, because learning German is much more than just learning a language.
Rebecca: You learn about people, life, society, all the good stuff.
Widar: If you pass, you can go on to the next lesson!
Rebecca: And if you don’t pass, you can still go on to the next lesson! So no pressure.
Widar: So everyone, are you ready?
Rebecca: All right, let’s get started!
Widar: Rebecca, you’ll be the one taking the test!
Rebecca: Me? Okay, well, I’ll do my best! "Auf geht’s!"
Widar: "Let’s start!" Okay, so here’s the first question, which is about geography.
First question
Widar: How many federal states does Germany have?
A. thirty-two
B. eight
C. sixteen
Rebecca: Okay, I know this one. Sixteen!
Widar: Correct! Germany has sixteen federal states! So, do you know which one has the most people?
Rebecca: Well, that’s got to be Nordrhein Westfalen, right?
Widar: Correct, Nordrhein, Westfalen has the largest population with eighteen million people. The most prominent is the Ruhr area, Germany’s largest industrial area. Now, how about the biggest federal state in terms of size?
Rebecca: Maybe Bavaria?
Widar: Yeah. The answer is by far Bavaria, or Bayern (how we say it in German), the southernmost federal state. It’s almost twice as big as the next biggest state, Niedersachsen, and eighty times as big as Berlin.
There’s one more thing that I find intriguing. Three German cities also serve as federal states. Do you know which ones?
Rebecca: Well, I know about Berlin. It’s a city and a federal state. I'm not sure about Hamburg, though.
Widar: You’re right. Both are considered federal states, but the smallest one is the third, Bremen, an old Hanseatic city, one hour south of Hamburg. Here’s a bonus question. What percentage of Germany’s eighty-two million people live in urban areas?
A. twenty-two percent
B. fifty-four percent
C. eighty-eight percent
Rebecca: I know this one. It’s eighty-eight percent.
Widar: Yeah, you’re right. Though Germany doesn’t have that many cities with a population above one million, there are just a lot of cities everywhere with a population of three hundred thousand to eight hundred thousand people. Furthermore, the biggest urban areas are in the western and southern parts of the country, except for Hamburg and Berlin. The three northernmost provinces, together, amount to just thirteen percent of the overall population.
Rebecca: Okay, now let’s move onto a pop culture question.
Second question
Widar: I’m going to name three people. One is a famous singer, the next is a politician, and finally, a sports star. Match the person with their profession.
1. Michael Schumacher
2. Herbert Grönemeyer
3. Angela Merkel
Rebecca: That should be easy. Let’s see. The famous singer should be Herbert Grönemeyer. He’s been part of the German music business for over two decades, and is still as popular as back then.
Widar: I guess it’s because his lyrics are meaningful and his pop rock songs appeal to everybody. Who’s the politician?
Rebecca: It’s Angela Merkel of course. She’s been Germany’s chancellor since 2005 and is the most powerful woman in the world.
Widar: Indeed. Who’s the athlete?
Rebecca: Michael Schumacher. Everyone who’s into motorsports knows him. He’s the only Formula One pilot that holds the world record of winning the Formula One World Cup six times between 1994 and 2003.
Widar: Okay, let’s move onto the next question.
Third question
Widar: This question is about travel. We will give the names of three popular sightseeing places. Please choose the one that is NOT in Berlin!
A. Brandenburg Gate
B. Deutscher Reichstag
C. Zugspitze
Rebecca: Does everyone know the answer? Let’s see. The Brandenburg Gate, a famous monument and one of Germany’s main symbols, is located west of Berlin's city center. The Reichstag building was constructed to house the parliament of the German Empire. This is where the German legislature met from 1894 to 1933 and again since 1999. It’s located in Germany’s capital, Berlin. So the answer must be Zugspitze.
Widar: Correct! The Zugspitze is not in Berlin. It’s the highest mountain in Germany. So do you know where Zugspitze actually is?
Rebecca: Located in Bavaria, close to the Austrian border in the Alps Mountains.
Widar: That’s right! It’s located seven hundred kilometers, or four hundred and thirty miles away from Berlin. Have you ever been to the Zugspitze or have you ever climbed other regions of the Alps?
Rebecca: Yup. I climbed the Alps quite a few times in my youth, but I’ve never been to the Zugspitze. There are many mountain peaks to climb there. How about you?
Widar: I’ve been to the Alps many times but actually never been to Zugspitze. Okay, now we move on to the Economic question.
Fourth question
Widar: Germany’s economy ranks what number in the world?
Rebecca: Hmm…well, I’m guessing it’s in the top five somewhere. Maybe the second? Third? Fourth? Fifth?
Widar: It’s actually fourth. Germany has developed a social market economy that ranks the fourth largest in the world, only after the United States, Japan, and China.
Rebecca: And if you look at Europe, Germany has the largest economy. Germany’s economy is heavily export oriented.
Widar: We’re the world's leading exporter of merchandise.
Rebecca: Well, finally! There we rank first! "Laughing."
Widar: Yeah. Well, even though Germany’s economy looks bright, there are some serious issues if you look at the labor market. In 2008, the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent, which is considered quite high for one of the world's leading nations.
Rebecca: I know, but the welfare plans are working. So, there’s hope.
Widar: Okay, now the next one is a true or false question! This time we are going to debunk a myth about Japan.
Rebecca: Sounds fun!
Fifth question
Widar: True or False. The world-famous Turkish fast food Döner Kebab was actually created in a backyard in Berlin.
Rebecca: This has to be false. Sorry to disappoint.
Widar: It’s false indeed, but it’s not far from the truth. Even though Döner Kebab was created in eighteenth century Turkey, a German variation was created in Berlin by Turkish immigrants to suit German tastes. The German kebab became one of Germany’s most popular fast food dishes and started a victory parade around the world. It is said that Turkish emigrants export German kebab back into their home country.
Rebecca: I’m curious, what does "Döner Kebab" actually mean and what is it made of?
Widar: "Döner Kebab" is Turkish and can be translated as "rotating roast." This refers to a Turkish dish made of lamb or chicken meat cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off to order. The filling, which is meat plus salad and different sauces, is served in thick flatbread that is usually toasted or warmed.
Rebecca: Döner Kebab is really tasty. And it’s cheap. In Germany, you pay between €2 or €3, and in most cases the huge portion will fill you.
Widar: So, you see, kebabs were not invented in Berlin, but the German version is the most popular around the world.
Widar: All right, that’s all for our quiz!
Rebecca: We hope you had fun and that you learned something!! You should try asking your friends and family these questions, and see how they do!
Widar: That sounds like a fun idea! You can teach other people what you’ve just learned about Germany!
Rebecca: And this is only the beginning of all of the interesting things about Germany that you will find out as you learn the language and experience the culture firsthand.
Widar: Everyone, come and share with us any interesting facts you know about Germany in the comments section on the website!
Rebecca: At GermanPod101.com! See you there!


Widar: Ready to test what you just learned?
Rebecca: Make this lesson's vocabulary stick by using lesson specific flashcards in the learning center.
Widar: There is a reason everyone uses flashcards...
Rebecca: They work...
Widar: They really do help memorization.
Rebecca: You can get the flashcards for this lesson at...
Widar: GermanPod101.com.
Rebecca: Ok. Thank you for listening!
Widar: Bis bald!
Rebecca: See you soon!