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Lesson Transcript


Widar: Welcome back to Basic Bootcamp. I'm Widar.
Rebecca: Hallo. Ich bin Rebecca.
Widar: And this is Basic Bootcamp #4. It's part four in a five-part series that will help you ease your way into German.
Rebecca: We'll go over all the basics that will really help you understand German more quickly, and less painfully!
Widar: Yeah, it'll be fun! We promise.
Rebecca: In this lesson, you will learn one of the essentials in German—or in any language, for that matter!—the numbers.
Widar: In this lesson, we'll teach you the numbers from one to one hundred.
Rebecca: Numbers always sound scary because there's just so many of them! How do you remember a different word for every number?!
Widar: But you don't need to worry! German numbers are easy to learn. It's basically about patterns!
Rebecca: That's right—but you need to know numbers one to twenty and the multiples of ten up to one hundred;
Widar: Then you can count all the way up to ninety-nine!
Rebecca: That will be easy to learn, won't it?
Widar: Very. And we'll teach you how to do it. Let's start with the basics. In this lesson, we will tell you how to count from one to twenty.
Rebecca: And we'll teach you how to count on from twenty…But before we do that…we're going to listen to the conversation. This time, it'll be easy.
Widar: Yeah. Where does our conversation take place?
Rebecca: At the gym! It's quite Bootcamp-like, isn't it? It looks like Paul is working out at the gym and is counting to keep track of his progress.
Widar: Sounds great. Let's give it a listen!
Paul: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
Widar: Noch einmal was langsamer.
Rebecca: One more time, a little slower.
Paul: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
Widar: Noch einmal mit Englisch.
Rebecca: One more time, with English.
Paul: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
Rebecca: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
Post Conversation Banter
Widar: That sounded pretty tough!
Rebecca: It did, didn't it! Okay, so we mentioned patterns earlier. As you were listening, you might have caught on to some of them.
Widar: And if not, don't worry, we'll explain them all to you here.
Rebecca: You'll have them down in no time. But first, I'm curious to know more about the currency in Germany. What about the bills…and what numbers will you need to use this currency?
Widar: In Deutschland, the currency is euro, as in many other European countries.
Rebecca: Right. I think they changed to the euro back in 2002, together with France, Spain, Italy…
Widar: …The Netherlands, Belgium, and a bunch of other countries of the European Union. Okay, about the bills… You have 5 euro, 10 euro, 50 euro, 100 euro, 200 euro bills, and finally 500 euro bills.
Rebecca: No 1,000 Euro bills?
Widar: No. Euro is a strong currency. Imagine, if you had 1,000 euro in your pocket, that's about 1,400 US dollars or 132,000 Japanese yen!
Rebecca: Wow, that's quite a lot. Okay, now let's get back to counting. Maybe later I should count the money in my wallet…
Widar: Yeah. Sure. Do it in German!!!
Vocabulary and Phrases
Rebecca: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Widar: I’ll say the words in German.
Rebecca: And I’ll give you the English.
Widar: eins
Rebecca: one (1)
Widar: zwei
Rebecca: two (2)
Widar: drei
Rebecca: three (3)
Widar: vier
Rebecca: four (4)
Widar: fünf
Rebecca: five (5)
Widar: sechs
Rebecca: six (6)
Widar: sieben
Rebecca: seven (7)
Widar: acht
Rebecca: eight (8)
Widar: neun
Rebecca: nine (9)
Widar: zehn
Rebecca: ten (10)
Vocabulary and Phrase Usage
Rebecca: So here is what we want you to do. No matter where you are, no matter if you're at home, on the subway, in your car, wherever…we want you to talk to yourself. You might get some weird looks, but don't worry. It's for a good cause! You're going to repeat after the numbers that Rebecca will say. That's going to be the quickest way for you to learn.
Widar: Okay, here we go. I'll read the numbers aloud, and give you time to repeat each one after me. Ready?
Widar: eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf, sechs, sieben, acht, neun, zehn.
Rebecca: Okay, those weren't so bad! Can you say from one to ten again?
Widar and Rebecca: "eins, zwei, drei" ("one, two, three")...
Widar and Rebecca: "vier, fünf, sechs" ("four, five, six")...
Widar and Rebecca: "sieben, acht, neun" ("seven, eight, nine")...
Widar and Rebecca: and "zehn" ("ten").

Lesson focus

Rebecca: Okay, now let's take a look at how to put together these numbers.
Widar: So one to ten are something that you just have to memorize. As we get past ten, you will notice a pattern developing.
Rebecca: That's right. Everything between ten and one hundred is basically just a multiplication equation in words.
Widar: But there are some exceptions between eleven and twenty.
Rebecca: Okay. We'll explain the pattern in a moment. For now, let's hear eleven to twenty. Remember, Paul was doing his workout and he counted all the way up to twenty…
Widar: To say "eleven," you say "elf," not "ten-one." And "twelve" is "zwölf."
Rebecca and Rebecca: "Elf—elf—elf." ("Eleven.") "Zwölf—zwölf—zwölf." ("Twelve.")
Rebecca: So, these are special numbers that you can't build using one to ten. This follows the English system, where eleven and twelve are exceptions, too. Nobody would say "ten-one" for eleven or "ten-two" for "twelve."
Widar: Yes. It's best to memorize "elf" while thinking of soccer. A soccer team consists of "elf" ("eleven") players.
Rebecca: That's why they call the German national soccer team the "National-Elf," the "National Eleven."
Widar: And "twelve" is also simple to memorize. Lunchtime in German offices usually starts at "zwölf" ("twelve").
Rebecca: So, "elf" and "zwölf" are huge exceptions. Now let's try "thirteen" and beyond.
Widar: "Dreizehn."
Rebecca: "Dreizehn." Here we see a pattern starting for the first time. "Dreizehn" consists of "drei" ("three") + "zehn" ("ten"). So "fourteen" is?
Widar: "Vierzehn."
Rebecca: "Vierzehn." "Vier" ("four") + "zehn" ("ten"). "Vierzehn." Nice. How about "fifteen?"
Widar: "Fünfzehn."
Rebecca: "Fünfzehn." "Sixteen" is?
Widar: "Sechzehn."
Rebecca: "Sechzehn." Okay, it's "sechs" + "zehn." But we erase the small "-s" at the end of "sechs" and say "sechzehn." "Seventeen" is?
Widar: "Siebzehn." Here we take "sieben" ("seven"), minus its suffix "-en," and get "sieb" + "zehn" ("ten"). "Siebzehn."
Rebecca: "Eighteen."
Widar: "Achtzehn."
Rebecca: "Nineteen."
Widar: "Neunzehn." You see, except for eleven and twelve, the pattern is number + ten.
Rebecca: But "twenty" is not "ten-ten," it's "zwanzig."
Widar: Right. It's an old German word, and we can translate its meaning as "two of ten," but in really old German.
Rebecca: "Zwanzig." ("Twenty.")
Widar: To get "thirty," you say "dreißig." It's "three" plus "-ßig." "Dreißig." The suffix "-ßig" is just an exception that has to be memorized.
Rebecca: So, instead of saying "dreizig," we say "dreißig" ("thirty").
Widar: Exactly. To create other multiples of ten, you say the number (four to nine) + "zig." It's the same suffix "-zig" that we just heard in "zwanzig."
Widar and Widar: Forty is? "Vier-zig" "Fifty?" - "Fünf-zig." "Sixty?" - "Sech-zig." "Seventy?" - "Sieb-zig." "Eighty?" - "Acht-zig." And "ninety" is? "Neun-zig."
Rebecca: So remember—the word for "ten" is "zehn." The word for "twenty" is "zwanzig." To create other multiples of ten, say numbers three to nine and add "-ßig" for "dreißig" ("thirty") and "-zig" for "vierzig" ("forty") up to "neunzig" ("ninety"). That's it! With few exceptions, all they do is repeat, so it's a good way to practice your one to ten numbers as well! Can we hear tens again? "Noch einmal bitte." ("One more time, please?")
Widar: "10, 20, 30" ("ten, twenty, thirty"), "40, 50, 60" ("forty, fifty, sixty"), "70, 80, 90" ("seventy, eighty," and "ninety").
Rebecca: Okay, so let's take a number that's somewhere in the middle…what should we use?
Widar: How about shoe size? Talking about shoe size, we get to use all sorts of numbers. Especially since the sizing system is different in America and Germany.
Rebecca: Okay, so Widar, what's your shoe size, in American sizes?
Widar: About a ten. "Zehn." That's about size forty-five in German.
Rebecca: "Forty-five." Okay. Germans sometimes count from right to left. This is the case between numbers thirteen and nineteen. So we start out with "five," which in German is "fünf," then we put "and" in between. "And" in German is "und." ["Und"] [slowly] "Und." Finally, we add "vierzig" ("forty"). So, "forty-five in German is "fünf-und-vierzig." Literally, this means "five and forty."
Widar: And Rebecca, how about you? What size are you?
Rebecca: I'm a size thirty-nine.
Widar: "Thirty-nine"…so…"neun-und-dreißig?"
Rebecca: Exactly. We're starting with "neun" ("nine"), then put "und" ("and") in between, and add "dreißig" ("thirty"). "Neun-und-dreißig."
Rebecca: Okay. Let's summarize this. It's important to memorize numbers one to twenty and the multiples of ten. Now there's a pattern for twenty-one to ninety-nine, isn't there?
Widar: Yes, there is. It's number + "and" + multiple of 10.
Rebecca: "Twenty-one," for example, is "ein-und-zwanzig" ("one-and-twenty").
Widar: And "ninety-nine" is "neun-und-neunzig" ("nine-and-ninety").
Rebecca: All right, I think we're starting to get the hang of it! Now, how about the big one - "one hundred." It's not "ten times ten," is it?
Widar: Haha! No, It's not 10,10 or "zehn-zehn." "One hundred" is "einhundert."
Rebecca: "Langsam bitte." "Slowly, please?"
Widar: (slowly) "Einhundert."
Rebecca: "Ein-hundert." ("One hundred.")
Widar: But you don't necessarily need to say "one" in "one hundred." It's okay if you just say "hundert" ("hundred").
Rebecca: "Hundert." So there you have it! Now you can say all of the numbers from one to one hundred!
Widar: Yeah, like we mentioned before, once you know the numbers one to twenty, and the pattern for twenty-one to ninety-nine, it's easy to be able to say all of the numbers up to ninety-nine.
Rebecca: Now that you've learned some numbers—practice them! Practice saying any number you see around you in German and watch how quickly you catch on to them.
Widar: That's a great exercise. The more you use them, the more comfortable you'll be with them!
Rebecca: Especially since there are exceptions. Say them over and over, and they'll start to come naturally to you!
Widar: Why not give it a try!


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: See you next time for more Bootcamp German. Thanks for listening! Bye!
Rebecca: "Bis bald." ("See you!")