Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Judith: Hello, ich heiße Judith.
Chuck: Hi, I’m Chuck. This is Beginner series Lesson 1.
Judith: Sie hören GermanPod101.com.
Chuck: You are listening to GermanPod101.com.
Judith: Willkommen.
Chuck: Welcome.
Judith: This is the very first lesson of our new beginner series.
Chuck: The beginner series is for you if you have little prior knowledge of German. If you just want to brush up on what you’ve learned or if you’re looking for a comprehensive introduction to the German language.
Judith: If you don’t know any German and haven’t studied any other foreign language before, you may want to start with the newbie series instead, because we’re going to take a closer look at grammar here.
Chuck: Grammar? We’re going to do grammar. I think I got to get out of here.
Judith: Don’t run away. This is not going to be a high school class. It’s all going to be interesting and fun.
Chuck: GermanPod101.com’s programs are based on the latest scientific findings in order to make learning as effortless as possible.
Judith: Apart from the free podcasts, there’s also a wealth of materials at GermanPod101.com that can help you with your studies. For example, transcripts, summaries, different types of exercises and reference materials. Check it out.
Chuck: Now, let’s get started with our first dialog. This dialog takes place at Dusseldorf Airport, one of the largest German international airports. I will play the role of John Williams, an American man who has just arrived with the plane from New York.
Judith: And I will play his German pen friend, Michaela Wucher, who came to pick him up at the airport.

Lesson conversation

John: Entschuldigung! Sind Sie “Michaela Wucher”?
Michaela: Nein, ich bin nicht “Michaela Wucher”. Wer sind Sie?
John: Ich bin John Williams. Ich bin aus Pennsylvania.
Michaela: Ahhh! Sie sind John Williams! Ich bin “Michaela Wucher”, but it is pronounced Michaela Wucher.
John: Oh, Entschuldigung!
English Host: Now, the dialect will be read slowly.
John: Entschuldigung! Sind Sie “Michaela Wucher”?
Michaela: Nein, ich bin nicht “Michaela Wucher”. Wer sind Sie?
John: Ich bin John Williams. Ich bin aus Pennsylvania.
Michaela: Ahhh! Sie sind John Williams! Ich bin “Michaela Wucher”, but it is pronounced Michaela Wucher.
John: Oh, Entschuldigung!
English Host: Now I’m going to read the dialog alone and Chuck is going to give you the translations.
John: Entschuldigung! Sind Sie “Michaela Wucher”?
Chuck: Excuse me! Are you Michaela Wucher?
Michaela: Nein, ich bin nicht “Michaela Wucher”. Wer sind Sie?
Chuck: No, I am not “Michaela Wucher”. Who are you?
John: Ich bin John Williams. Ich bin aus Pennsylvania...
Chuck: I am John Williams. I am from Pennsylvania...
Michaela: Ahhh! Sie sind John Williams! Ich bin “Michaela Wucher”, but it is pronounced Michaela Wucher.
Chuck: Ahhh! You are John Williams! I am “Michaela Wucher”, but it is pronounced Michaela Wucher.
John: Oh, Entschuldigung!
Chuck: Oh, sorry!
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Chuck: We have heard the word “Entschuldigung” twice in this dialog. Judith, could you summarize when it is appropriate to say?
Judith: Well, “Entschuldigung” is the equivalent of either “excuse me” or “I’m sorry”. For example, when you want to get somebody’s attention, as John did in this dialog. He said, “Entschuldigung” to get the person’s attention when he was trying to talk to her to find out if she was his pen friend. And of course, you can also use “Entschuldigung” when you’re trying to move through a crowd. And then if you use “Entschuldigung” in the sense of I’m sorry, you could use it when you’re stepping on somebody’s foot or even when you’re really screwing up. Well, when you’re really screwing up, you’d probably use further expressions in addition to just “Entschuldigung”, you could say “es tut mir leid” or other words.
Chuck: But you shouldn’t say it when someone just tells you bad news. German’s don’t apologize for things that aren’t their fault, such as a friend not getting a job. Rather, you’d express encouragement there. In severe cases however, such as a death in the family, you can say, “es tut mir leid” which means, “It pains me.” as a way of commiserating.
Judith: That’s exactly right. So be sure not to use “Entschuldigung” when somebody tells you a sad news, a main point you need to remember.

Lesson focus

Now the main grammar point in this lesson is the irregular verb “sein” “to be”.
Chuck: The most important forms, the ones spread all over today’s dialogs are “ich bin” “I am” and “Sie sind” “You are” formal.
Judith: For example, “Ich bin Judith” or “Sie sind aus New York.”
Chuck: Here are the complete present tense forms of this verb.
Judith: ich bin
Chuck: I am.
Judith: du bist
Chuck: You are. But informal.
Judith: er ist
Chuck: He is.
Judith: And there’s also the forms “sie ist” and “es ist” that work just the same way.
Chuck: She is; it is.
Judith: wir sind
Chuck: We are.
Judith: ihr seid
Chuck: You are. But notice the “ihr” in this case is the plural “you”, as in you might in here in the south US “y’all”.
Judith: Yes. When you’re talking to several people, that’s when you use “ihr” in German. And lastly there is “sie sind”.
Chuck: “They are” or “You are” formal.
Judith: Yes. You will use “Sie” when referring to somebody and you want to be polite to him. About the same time as when you would address him by the last name. And it’s a little more common in Germany than in the US. So, you can say that the polite forms are exactly the same ones as the ones for third person plural for “they”, “they are” is the same as the polite “you are”. “Sie sind” in both cases.
Chuck: Use the transcript or the grammar bank to see a neat table with these forms. In fact, you can press the center button on your iPod right now in order to look at the transcript.
Judith: Let’s have some example sentences with these forms right now.
Judith: Ich bin Michael.
Chuck: I am Michael.
Judith: Du bist schön.
Chuck: You are pretty.
Judith: Er ist student.
Chuck: He is a student.
Judith: Sie ist aus England.
Chuck: She is from England.
Judith: Es ist nicht gut.
Chuck: It is not good.
Judith: Wir sind Freunde.
Chuck: We are friends.
Judith: Seid ihr bereit?
Chuck: “Are you ready?” Note that that the verb, most at the beginning of the sentence when you make a question, just like in English.
Judith: Seid ihr bereit?
Chuck: Are you ready?
Judith: Wer sind Sie?
Chuck: This can be either “who are they?” or “who are you” formally. Notice that in written German, you could tell which it is by whether the “S” and “Z” is capitalized or not.
Judith: “Z” with a capital “S” is the formal address for “you”. Make it capital to be polite. In letters, you might even find a “du” capitalized.
Chuck: Now, what’s up with this formality stuff? I heard John call Michaela Sie even though they were pen pals.
Judith: Yes, this is right. He did address her formally. John, wasn’t’ absolutely sure he was talking to Michaela. And so he had to make sure he was being polite to the stranger. Using impolite language on this occasion already would have been like saying, “Hey you, are you Michaela?” and would probably have provoked an annoyed reaction, especially older people who are very sensitive about this. Using “Z” is like saying I respect you. That is why sometimes, even people who have known each other for a long time use formal language with each other.
Chuck: Generally, you should only use informal language with a new acquaintance if; you were talking to someone under 18, you and the person, you’re talking with are both around student age, or you and the person you’re talking with are family members.
Judith: In all other cases, you should wait ‘til you are asked to switch to informal language. It is up to the older person or the one higher in rank to do so or not.
Chuck: Your teacher or boss probably won’t ever do so as it would diminish his authority. But even regular acquaintances don’t switch to using first names nearly as quickly in Germany as they do in the USA.
Judith: Good observation. But we talk informally to each other in German, don’t we?
Chuck: Yes.”Wir sind Freunde.” “We are friends.” And you listeners can right to us informally, because you’re our friends too.
Judith: We would love to hear feedback from you. Please leave us a quick comment right under this lesson. Write us an email or use the forms.
Chuck: That would be nice. Now, however, let’s have a quick look at the words used in this dialog.
Judith: We have already talked about the use of “Entschuldigung”, literally meaning “apology”. The next word is: Sie.
Chuck: “You” formal, also notice that when this is written, “Sie” is always capitalized.
Judith: Exactly. To distinguish it from the word for “they” which is also “sie”.
Chuck: Of course, if this is the first word of the sentence, then you’re just out of luck.
Judith: Usually, it’s obvious. Now, the next word is “nein”.
Chuck: No.
Judith: “nein”.
Chuck: No.
Judith: Then we have “ich “.
Chuck: I.
Judith: Be careful with the “ch” sound which you will have to practice a lot. It’s a sound special to German. “ich”
Chuck: I.
Judith: The next word also contains the sound. It is “nicht “
Chuck: Not.
Judith: Nicht.
Chuck: Not.
Judith: Say that after me, “nicht”, “nicht”. Now we have “wer”.
Chuck: Who.
Judith: “wer”
Chuck: Who. “Wer sind Sie?” “who are you?”
Judith: Or “Wer ist Michaela?” “who is Michaela?” “aus” is the next word. “aus“
Chuck: From.
Judith: “aus“
Chuck: From.
Judith: For example, Ich bin aus Deutschland” “I am from Germany.”
Chuck: “Ich bin aus England.”
Judith: You’re not actually from England are you?
Chuck: No. “Ich bin aus America.”
Judith: Where exactly?
Chuck: “Ich bin aus Pennsylvania.”
Judith: Yet, more exactly?
Chuck: “Ich bin aus Harrisburg.”
Judith: Finally. Took me a long while to get that out of you. “Ich bin aus Kamp-Lintfort.” Kamp-Lintfort is a small city. If you want to learn about it, well, you better learn some German because I’m going to present it in the Advanced Audio blog. The first Advance Audio blog will be about my home town, Kamp-Lintfort. So I can say, “Ich bin aus Kamp-Lintfort.”
Chuck: “Sind Sie aus Kamp-Lintfort?”
Judith: Ja, ich bin aus Kamp-Lintfort.
Chuck: “Bin ich aus Kamp-Lintfort?”
Judith: “Nein, du bist nicht aus Kamp-Lintfort.”
Chuck: Now, listen to the dialog again. You now know everything you need to understand it or to take part in a similar conversation yourself somewhere in Germany.
John: Entschuldigung! Sind Sie “Michaela Wucher”?
Michaela: Nein, ich bin nicht “Michaela Wucher”. Wer sind Sie?
John: Ich bin John Williams. Ich bin aus Pennsylvania.
Michaela: Ahhh! Sie sind John Williams! Ich bin “Michaela Wucher”, but it is pronounced Michaela Wucher.
John: Oh, Entschuldigung!

Outro

Judith: That was a fun, a very fun, first lesson.
Chuck: In the next lesson, we will continue to follow John and Michaela, Michaela I mean, of course.
Judith: Thank you for listening. Be sure to check out all the learning tools at GermanPod101.com
Chuck: See you soon.

Grammar

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454 Comments

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GermanPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Have you ever been in an embarrassing situation like this?

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GermanPod101.com
Tuesday at 7:51 am
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Hello Mariana,


Thank you for your feedback!😄


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


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com




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Mariana
Tuesday at 10:24 pm
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Hallo, Ich bin Mariana. Ich bin aus Brasilien!


The checklist recommended commenting on the lesson with what I`d learned... so there it is LOL


Danke!

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GermanPod101.com
Tuesday at 8:24 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Irene,


Thank you for your question.

Chuck is American and although his German is amazing,

he does speak with a slight accent.

By the way, if you would like to know more about anyone in our team,

just go to "Meet the Team" at the bottom of the page.😉


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


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


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Irene
Friday at 5:35 pm
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Hello, Ich habe eine Frage. :) Ist Chuck ein deutscher Mann? Also, can ich seine Aussprache nachmachen, um meine deutsche Aussprache zu üben?

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GermanPod101.com
Tuesday at 9:32 pm
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Hallo Jamaal,


Thank you for posting 😄! Well done!


Sincerely,

Anne

Team GermanPod101.com

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Jamaal
Tuesday at 3:42 am
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Ich bin glücklich, dass wir Freunde sind 😅

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GermanPod101.com
Thursday at 8:23 pm
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Hello Heri,


Thank you for posting 😄!


Sincerely,


Anne

Team GermanPod101.com

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Heri
Thursday at 9:17 pm
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Guten danke

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GermanPod101.com
Thursday at 6:16 pm
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Hello Steve,


Thank you for your question.

On the Dashboard you can select a level. Then you'll see that the content of the 'My Pathway' section changes as well.

You can check those options or I could also recommend our Learning Paths: https://www.germanpod101.com/learning-paths/

These are lesson collections based on specific topics and levels.


We hope it helps.

Sincerely,

Lena

Team GermanPod101.com

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Steve Russell
Thursday at 2:42 pm
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I think that I am more advanced than the beginner level. How can I start at a level better suited for me?