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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Beginner Series, Lesson 11.
Judith: Willkommen zurück.
Chuck: Welcome back, listeners. Let me ask you one thing today. Have you ever traveled to a country much different from your own?
Judith: Like on another continent? I’ve been to China once. That was an amazing experience.
Chuck: Let me guess, you alienated them with your frankness?
Judith: I hope not. But it’s hard not to make mistakes when you’re in a country where the rules are so different.
Chuck: Yeah. I remember the first time I came to Germany. It was quite interesting to say the least. That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today. Today we’ll discuss several mistakes tourists make when they come to Germany.
Judith: That includes our friend, John. Before we listen to the dialogue though, let me remind you that you can review anything you heard here in the lesson notes at GermanPod101.com.
Chuck: So if you’re going to be in Germany in a couple months from now, I want to make a good impression on your friends and business partners here. You can browse to the lesson notes to review all kinds of important information on German customs and culture.
Judith: Now let’s hear what kind of mistake John made as he was exploring Michaela’s neighborhood. In this dialogue, I will play a random German woman.
Chuck: Oh, that’s cool. I like random German women.
Judith: I don’t think you’ll like this one.

Lesson conversation

Female: Hey, Sie! Gehen Sie zur Seite! Das ist der Fahrradweg!
Chuck: Fahrradweg?
Female: Ja. Haben Sie keine Augen im Kopf?? Der Gehweg ist da! Und das hier ist der Fahrradweg!
Chuck: Oh, Entschuldigung.
Female: Nächstes Mal machen Sie die Augen auf!
Judith: Now read slowly. Though I think reading it slowly distracts a bit from the feel, but I’ll read it slowly anyway.
Female: Hey, Sie! Gehen Sie zur Seite! Das ist der Fahrradweg!
Chuck: Fahrradweg?
Female: Ja. Haben Sie keine Augen im Kopf?? Der Gehweg ist da! Und das hier ist der Fahrradweg!
Chuck: Oh, Entschuldigung.
Female: Nächstes Mal machen Sie die Augen auf!
Judith: Now with the translation.
Judith: Hey, Sie!
Chuck: Hey, you! (formally).
Judith: Gehen Sie zur Seite!
Chuck: Go to the side!
Judith: Das ist der Fahrradweg!
Chuck: That’s the bicycle path!
Judith: Fahrradweg?
Chuck: Bicycle path?
Judith: Ja.
Chuck: Yes.
Judith: Haben Sie keine Augen im Kopf??
Chuck: Don’t you have any eyes [in the head]??
Judith: Der Gehweg ist da! Und das hier ist der Fahrradweg!
Chuck: The pedestrian path is there, and this is the bicycle path.
Judith: Oh, Entschuldigung.
Chuck: Oh, sorry.
Judith: Nächstes Mal machen Sie die Augen auf!
Chuck: Next time, open your eyes!

Lesson focus

Chuck: Well, that woman was sure annoyed! She kept saying something about Fahrradweg. What’s that mean anyway?
Judith: Fahrradweg means “bike path”.
Chuck: Oh. Actually this is based on one of my situations, isn’t it? I remember my first trip to Germany, I was walking along and just heard something go ding-ding and I didn’t know what it was then, some girl was kind of mad at me.
Judith: I can still imagine that. I think it’s a mistake that really a lot of tourists make. We’ll take about it more in the cultural fun actually. This thing, you’ve got Fahrradweg and “Gehweg”. For now, just remember that Fahrradweg means “bike path”, and it’s masculine because “weg” is masculine. “Weg” means “path”.
Chuck: But “Weg” also means “a way”, doesn’t it?
Judith: Yeah, too. Similarly, there is Gehweg [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Sidewalk”.
Judith: Gehweg [natural native speed]
Chuck: “Sidewalk”.
Judith: It’s also masculine because of the “Weg”.
Chuck: Notice this literally means “go way”, not as in “go away” but like a go path.
Judith: Yes. There’s the root “Geh” in there. “gehen” Gehen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To walk or to go”.
Judith: Gehen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To walk or to go”. Note this can’t be used for things like going by train.
Judith: Yes. And you would say “fahren”. But in expressions or when you’re actually walking, you can use Gehen. Next word is Seite [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Side”.
Judith: Seite [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Side”.
Judith: “Die Siete”, so it’s feminine. Next, Haben [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To have”.
Judith: Haben [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To have”.
Judith: This is an irregular verb. We will cover it in the grammar section. Next word is Auge [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Eye”, as in “I have two eyes”.
Judith: That would be Augen, the plural. Augen. Auge [natural native speed], “eye”; Augen, “eyes”. It’s neuter.
Chuck: So it’s das Auge.
Judith: That’s right. Next word, Kopf [natural native speed]
Chuck: “Head”.
Judith: Kopf [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Head”.
Judith: Der Kopf, masculine. Here, we have the expression that this woman used, “Haben Sie keine Augen im Kopf??”
Chuck: “Have you no eyes in the head?”
Judith: It may sound weird to you in English, but in Germany it’s really often used when you are wondering why this person is not behaving like a seeing person, he’s not understanding something, or I don’t know.
Chuck: Like, “Can’t you see?”
Judith: Yeah, “Can’t you see?” That covers it. Okay. The next word is Da [natural native speed].
Chuck: “There”.
Judith: Da [natural native speed].
Chuck: “There”.
Judith: Really easy. One of the first things that little babies learn, “da”.
Chuck: Like in the song “da, da, da”.
Judith: Maybe we’ll cover that song actually in the intermediate series. The next word is actually a phrase. It’s Nächstes Mal [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Next time”.
Judith: Nächstes Mal [natural native speed]
Chuck: “Next time”.
Judith: And one more word, Aufmachen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To open”.
Judith: Aufmachen [natural native speed]. This is a splitting verb, as seen in the last lesson’s grammar. It splits to machen auf.
Chuck: “Open”.
Judith: Auf machen.
Chuck: “To open”. But wait, can you explain a little bit more about this Fahrradweg, Judith?
Judith: Okay. Now is the time. Now is the time when we talk about a bit culture or customs, and this is an important custom to know, is that the bikes in Germany often go on the sidewalk. There’s a blue sign, for example, showing a woman and a child and a horizontal divide and a bike, and this means that the sidewalk is shared and both pedestrians and bikes can use the full width of the path.
Chuck: Oh. Is that why on the sidewalks near us, we see a different brick patterns?
Judith: No. That was actually be a different sign. When the sign shows a woman and child and a vertical line and a bike to divide them, it means that they each have a separate section of the path indicated by a line or maybe by other form of pavement, other kind of bricks. This means that each should stay on its own side. That’s what John did wrong.
Chuck: Okay, and what I did wrong on my first trip to Germany.
Judith: Yes. Now there’s also a simple blue sign showing only a woman and a child and that means that the bikes mustn’t go on the sidewalk. Then the bikes are supposed to go along the very right edge of a street.
Chuck: So that means it’s a safe for foreign tourists.
Judith: Well, these signs are all that you need as a pedestrians or as a cyclist, but if you’re planning to drive in Germany, you should also study street signs more in depth because a lot of the signs look different than they do in the USA.
Chuck: But one thing that’s nice, at least, that in Europe, they all tend to look pretty similar because of standards here.
Judith: Yeah, standardized across Europe. Now, when you’re traveling by car, you also need to take into account one basic rule, that is, right before left.
Chuck: What do you mean by that?
Judith: It means that if you’re arriving at an intersection, let’s say a four intersection, and there’s a street with a car in each to your right, then that car has the right to go first.
Chuck: Oh, you mean like a four-way stop? We have that in the States, too.
Judith: No. Actually, it’s not a four-way stop. There’s no stop signs anywhere to be seen. This applies as a general rule; it applies everywhere.
Chuck: It sounds kind of confusing.
Judith: It’s mostly used in residential areas where people just don’t want to put up so many signs because, like, who cares? Most of time, there’s no cars around there; but if there’s cars, then this rule applies.
Chuck: Also, I know that there are lot of Americans who love to go in the autobahn because it has no speed limit on most of it, but one thing to be very careful there is that you’re never passing the right side.
Judith: Yes. That really scared me when I was going in Canada, one of the local highways there, I was driving between Montreal and Quebec City and…
Chuck: Yes. If you’re passing the right, you’re looking to get into an accident because Germans just don’t expect anyone to be passing on the right. That actually goes to the rest of Europe too, doesn’t it?
Judith: I think so. I’m not quite sure, but I think it’s the same. Anyway, in other European countries, you will find people don’t adhere to the traffic rules as much even if there are some; but in Germany, things are really strict about that. I think you’ve heard enough jokes about Germans always waiting at the intersection with no cars anywhere insight and things like that.
Chuck: And you will actually get fined if a police officer sees you jaywalking.
Judith: And you will also find the pedestrians are really secure, knowing that cars will always stop, they’re very secure passing in front of the car that just turns into their street because they have the right to cross then. If the cars only are turning and they are just crossing, they have the right to go first, unless there’s a traffic light saying otherwise.
Chuck: Also note, when you get into the train in Germany, the seats are reserved. So if you don’t have a reservation, then you should check above the seats. They will always list where they’re going from and to.
Judith: In the first trains anywhere, not in the regional trains.
Chuck: Right. Also, be careful. In many cars, you’ll see a large one or a large two, which will mean first to second class.
Judith: If you have a second class ticket, you must not sit in the first class because the first class tickets are a lot more expensive.
Chuck: Also, are you looking for the bathroom there? You’ll find it under a door that’s labeled WC, which means water closet, which is British for bathroom.
Judith: Also, be sure to buy a ticket in advance, especially when you’re traveling locally. On the fast trains, you can usually buy a ticket as you go, but otherwise you always need your ticket beforehand and you’ll be fined if you don’t have a ticket on you.
Chuck: Those are pretty hefty fines, too, if I’m not mistaken.
Judith: It’s the same in the bus. You have to buy the ticket from the bus driver or before you even get on the bus at some kind of store.
Chuck: Also note that as of last year, there’s no more smoking on trains or buses in Germany.
Judith: Now, I think there that was enough for today, at least, when it comes to the culture section. Now we should look at some grammar. If you’re walking in the wrong place, like John, if you bump into someone or the like, you may hear, “Haben Sie keine Augen im Kopf??”
Chuck: This phrase features an important verb you should learn now, Haben.
Judith: Haben is irregular. It goes, “ich habe”.
Chuck: “I have”.
Judith: “du hast”
Chuck: “You have”…
Judith: “er hat”
Chuck: “He has”…
Judith: “wir haben”
Chuck: “We have”.
Judith: “ihr habt”
Chuck: “You all have”.
Judith: “sie haben”
Chuck: “They have”.
Judith: You can see the complete forms in the PDF as well. In the future tense, it behaves just like a regular verb; for example, “Ich werde haben, du wirst haben”, and so on. It’s just the infinitive.
Chuck: But wait, could you give me some examples of that?
Judith: Okay. A couple of phrases with haben. “Ich habe ein Auto.”
Chuck: “I have a car”.
Judith: “Du hast ein Haus.”
Chuck: “You have a house”.
Judith: “Er hat keine Arbeit.”
Chuck: “He has no work”.
Judith: Note that we don’t say “er hat nicht Arbeit”, he has no, “er hat keine Arbeit”. Maybe you want to see future tense. “Wir werden schönes Wetter haben.” .
Chuck: “We will have beautiful weather.”
Judith: Haben is a very versatile verb. For example, if Michaela didn’t provide enough food or drink for John, he could say, “Ich habe Hunger.”.
Chuck: “I’m hungry”, or literally, “I have hunger”.
Judith: Or he could say “Ich habe durst.”.
Chuck: “I’m thirsty”, or literally again, “I have thirst”.
Judith: And if Michaela doesn’t want to go outside with John, she can say “Ich habe keine Zeit.”.
Chuck: “I have no time”.
Judith: So study this word really well, review the conjugation, and use the exercises in the learning center. It will come in very, very handy.
Chuck: So can we go over the dialogue once again? I think I finally get this whole Fahrradweg.
Judith: Okay.
Female: Hey, Sie! Gehen Sie zur Seite! Das ist der Fahrradweg!
Chuck: Fahrradweg?
Female: Ja. Haben Sie keine Augen im Kopf?? Der Gehweg ist da! Und das hier ist der Fahrradweg!
Chuck: Oh, Entschuldigung.
Female: Nächstes Mal machen Sie die Augen auf!
Judith: “Nächstes Mal hören Sie uns wieder zu.”


Chuck: Next time, listen to us again. Don’t forget to comment on this lesson. It’s really great to hear your feedback.
Judith: I love feedback. So, bis Nächstes Mal!
Chuck: Till next time!