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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Beginner Series, Lesson 15.
Judith: Willkommen zurück.
Chuck: Welcome to the fifteenth lesson of the Beginner Series in GermanPod101.com where we cover conversation and comprehension…
Judith: Vocabulary usage, grammar…
Chuck: …and then show you how these actually apply in the German language. So, brush up on that German that you started learning years ago or start learning with us. So Judith, what’s today’s topic?
Judith: You probably remember that John had found some embarrassing objects in Michaela’s house…
Chuck: Oh, yeah.
Judith: …and they were talking about them. Today’s dialogue starts only shortly after last week’s dialogue ended, only now Michaela is saved by the doorbell.
Chuck: I wonder who it’ll be.
Michaela: For this lesson, make sure you come by at GermanPod101.com and check out the formal and informal transcripts and translations in this lesson’s PDF.
Chuck: All right. Let me see. There’s the transcript. I got it. Let’s listen.
Michaela: Hallo?
Postman: Hallo, ein Paket für Sie.
Michaela: Für mich? Ich erwarte gar kein Paket…
Postman: Na ja, es ist für Ihren Nachbarn, Herrn Schröder.
Michaela: Oh, der neue Nachbar.
Postman: Hier ist das Paket, danke. Ich gehe jetzt.
Michaela: Wieso macht das Paket komische Geräusche??
Postman: Auf Wiedersehen!
Judith: Now read slowly.
Michaela: Hallo?
Postman: Hallo, ein Paket für Sie.
Michaela: Für mich? Ich erwarte gar kein Paket…
Postman: Na ja, es ist für Ihren Nachbarn, Herrn Schröder.
Michaela: Oh, der neue Nachbar.
Postman: Hier ist das Paket, danke. Ich gehe jetzt.
Michaela: Wieso macht das Paket komische Geräusche??
Postman: Auf Wiedersehen!
Judith: Now, with the translation.
Judith: Hallo?
Chuck: Hello?
Judith: Hallo, ein Paket für Sie.
Chuck: Hello, a package for you.
Judith: Für mich?
Chuck: For me?
Judith: Ich erwarte gar kein Paket…
Chuck: I’m not waiting for any kind of package.
Judith: Na ja, es ist für Ihren Nachbarn, Herrn Schröder.
Chuck: Well, it’s for your neighbour, Mr. Schröder.
Michaela: Oh, der neue Nachbar.
Chuck: Oh, the new neighbour.
Judith: Hier ist das Paket, danke. Ich gehe jetzt.
Chuck: Here’s the package, thanks. I’m going now.
Michaela: Wieso macht das Paket komische Geräusche??
Chuck: Why is this package making strange noises??
Postman: Auf Wiedersehen!
Chuck: Goodbye!
Judith: Now, what’s your experience with German postman, Chuck?
Chuck: Oh. That can be quite annoying.
Judith: How annoying?
Chuck: I remember the one time you were visiting and you left your power cord for your laptop and so the postman called and by the time I was down there, there he left with the power cord.
Judith: Yeah. That was really annoying. I think usually the German post is almost quite good in delivering things very quickly, but that time… I also remember another time that we had a guest and the postman just never asked us whether we wanted the package addressed to him. He just took it back to the base without asking us about it.
Chuck: I guess you could say it’s a bit of a service Wüste here.
Judith: Well, we’ll get to that in another lesson.
Chuck: What’s a service Wüste mean?
Judith: Service Wüste. Well, it’s a desert or a bad service.
Chuck: Well, that sounds like Germany.
Judith: Yeah. Well, I’m sure that Germany is not the only one.
Chuck: All right.
Judith: We’ll cover it actually in the next newbie lesson.
Chuck: I think Austria is one too. I’ll think about it.
Judith: Be sure to listen to the newbie lesson 16 where we talk about the service Wüste
Deutschland, what some people call it. In this lesson, we’ll just talk some more about the postal service.
Judith: One really important word you need to know when dealing with the postal service is Paket [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Package”.
Judith: Paket [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Package”.
Judith: It’s neuter, and the plural is Pakete.
Chuck: “Packages”. So if you are getting a rocket package, it would be a Rocket Paket?
Judith: “Raketen Paket” probably. The next word is Für [natural native speed].
Chuck: “For”.
Judith: Für [natural native speed].
Chuck: “For”.
Judith: Erwarten [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Expect or await”.
Judith: Erwarten [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Expect or await”. Notice there’s the word “warten” in there which means “to wait.”
Judith: Yeah. Erwarten can be pretty accurately translated as “await”. The next word is Gar kein [natural native speed]
Chuck: “No or absolutely no”.
Judith: It’s stronger than simply Kein. Gar kein.
Chuck: “Absolutely no”. Also, you can use this with gar nicht, “absolutely not”.
Judith: Yup. Gar is just making it stronger for emphasis. The next word is Nachbar [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Neighbor”.
Judith: Nachbar [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Neighbor”.
Judith: Next, Herr [natural native speed]
Chuck: “Mister”.
Judith: Herr [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Mister”. Notice this can be quite important when you have to go to the bathroom and you need to look for Herren or the men’s toilet.
Judith: Yeah. It means gentleman then. Herr can also mean “master or gentle one” in all sense. The next word is Neu [natural native speed].
Chuck: “New”.
Judith: Neu [natural native speed].
Chuck: “New” .
Judith: As all adjectives, this comes in several forms for masculine, feminine, and neuter. For example, you would say ein neuer Nachbar.
Chuck: “A new neighbor”.
Judith: “eine neue Nachbarin”
Chuck: “A new neighbor”, notice –in makes it female.
Judith: “ein neues T-shirt”
Chuck: “A new t-shirt”.
Judith: It behaves just like any adjective in that way. The next word is Wieso [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Why”.
Judith: Wieso [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Why?”
Judith: Next word is komisch [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Strange or weird”.
Judith: Komisch [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Strange or weird” or maybe even “funny”.
Judith: Yeah. In some cases, it can mean “funny”, especially in old usage. For example, here in Berlin, we have “komische Oper”. That’s an opera where they play comedies.
Chuck: But you’ll more likely hear something like “Das ist komisch”. That’s strange.
Judith: Yeah. And the last word for today is Geräusch [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Sound or noise”.
Judith: Geräusch [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Sound or noise”, which you would hear more often if you go to a big city.
Judith: No. Then you would call it “Lärm”. If there’s a lot of it, a lot of noise, it’s “Lärm”. Anyway, so what’s this “komische Geräusch” in the package that Michaela accepted?
Chuck: But people listen all kinds of strange things by mail.
Judith: What do you think of this, Chuck?
Chuck: Maybe it’s one of those German terrorists who send a bomb.
Judith: I don’t know. What do you think it is, listeners? Just you go to GermanPod101.com, click on this lesson, and post your guesses as a comment.
Chuck: It might even influence what could be in the package.
Judith: I don’t think so. I think that has been determined.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: But it would be nice to see your guesses.
Chuck: There might even be some kind of prize if you get it right.
Judith: Send us a nice prize.
Chuck: Would it be your package like that?
Judith: Let’s look into the German postal service for this lesson’s cultural post. First, the most important thing you’ll ever need to know when visiting Germany is how to address a letter or a postcard to or within Germany.
Chuck: Or even if you’re not based in Germany but you need send something abroad.
Judith: That’s right. So here’s the rules. On the first line, you put the first name, followed by the last name. For example, Chuck Smith.
Chuck: Over here, Chuck Smith.
Judith: Yeah. Or simply Herr Smith.
Chuck: Because you need some respect there, Judith.
Judith: Well, I think it’s okay to just put first name, last name.
Chuck: All right. It depends on who you’re sending it too.
Judith: And the next line will contain the street and the number. For example…
Chuck: Oranienburger, Vier. You’ll also see how long the street names can get.
Judith: And note that the number comes after the street name.
Chuck: Oranienburger, Vier.
Judith: That would be the Oranienburger 4. And then on the third line, you put the postal code and the city.
Chuck: With no punctuation.
Judith: The postal code consist of five digits, not even letters; just numbers.
Chuck: You can also tell by the first number in the postal code which area of Germany it’s in.
Judith: It’s very convenient, but you have to put it at exactly this place in front of the city on the third line.
Chuck: Of course, Berlin is number, so we have that one.
Judith: No. Not quite.
Chuck: We are the one.
Judith: No. We have different kinds of ones, like 10115 is part of Berlin and 10118 is Berlin.
Chuck: But if you start with one, then it’s the region of Berlin.
Judith: If it starts with one, yeah.
Chuck: Yeah. As far as I remember, one.
Judith: There’s no postal code that is shorter than five digits. So we can’t have a number one.
Chuck: That’s why in the world, the US is the best because they have the +1 for international telephone numbers.
Judith: I don’t know who invented that system. Anyway…
Chuck: I think the Americans did.
Judith: So let’s summarize this before we get completely off track. First line: first name, last name.
Chuck: Just like Judith.
Judith: Second line: street and number. Third line: postal code and city. And the fourth line is for country, if you’re sending it between different countries. Now the postal code usually only identifies a city, not street or block or anything. Only major cities, like Berlin for example, have several different postal codes that roughly specify the area of town.
Chuck: We live even… you could go up five minutes or down five minutes by foot and you’d be in different postal codes, but you won’t find that many places in Germany.
Judith: No. Usually only in cities that used to be several towns and got united as one city. Now, what’s the procedure if you want to send a postcard from Germany?
Chuck: Well, let’s say you can go to any place that sells postcards and grab one. Well, hopefully you would for it, too. But when you need to send it off, you need to get those attached in the post office. You’ll notice that instead of blue like the States, they are bright yellow.
Judith: Yes, just like the mail boxes. The mail boxes are also bright yellow and you’ll find them anywhere around town. You can put your card in such mail box or you can send it right from the post office. In fact, if you give them your letters or post cards without stamps, they’ll just give them to one of the clerks then, he can send it off immediately.
Chuck: I think they even have some machines where you can get stamps as well, right?
Judith: Yeah, but that’s not necessary if you can just hand it to a clerk and he’ll send it.
Chuck: Yeah. It depends on how long the line is.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: Note the number of mail boxes has been drastically reduced in recent years.
Judith: Yeah. I can remember. I know we were looking for a mail box some time when we were in my hometown at Kamp-Lintfort, and I remember like five locations where I’ve seen mailboxes before I moved to Berlin and we get there, like, every one of them were disappeared. Finally, we found of them but one out of five that still stands is really bad.
Chuck: Also note that people don’t have personal mailboxes like they in the States. You can’t just walk outside your own home a put a letter in your mailbox. You have to go a place in the city. Well, hopefully, there’s one nearby that has a public mailbox.
Judith: Well, it’s easy because we don’t have suburbs like you. Everywhere you are, there’s a mailbox somewhere within walking distance; you just have to know where it is.
Chuck: I know every September 11th in Washington, they even switch to this kind of system where you have to go a public mailboxes instead of having home mailboxes.
Judith: Well, it makes sense. It’s a lot less work the postal service and they don’t have to charge you so many taxes for it. Here are current prices for stamps in Germany. If you’re sending a postcard within Germany, it will be 45 cents and the standard letter is 55 cents. To most places in Europe, for example, if you’re a French tourist coming to visit Germany, then your postcard will be 65 cents and the standard letter is 70 cents.
Chuck: Note that to the USA, it gets much more expensive or to other countries outside the European Union, one euro in the postcard and a euro and seventy to send the letter. With those prices on letters, you can imagine what kind of package prices you could get.
Judith: Yeah. Packages are extremely expensive.
Chuck: Often, you’ll spend more sending the package than you do on the content that’s inside.
Judith: Well, at least, it’s airmail. I don’t think surface mail is readily available from the national or postal service. Maybe from some other service.
Chuck: Yeah. I think…
Judith: Anyway, it can’t get too expensive because it’s still much, much cheaper than UPS or any of these special providers.
Chuck: At least it’s cheaper than flying it there yourself.
Judith: Well, that’s obvious. And it’s nice because in Germany, they’re actually quite fast. I mean if you’ll send a letter within Germany and you handed in today or you put it in the mailbox today, say, the next emptying will be also today, then your letter or postcards would probably be delivered around noon on the next day.
Chuck: Yeah. It’s also really nice when you make online purchases because it usually just comes in the next day.
Judith: And you don’t have to pay extra.
Chuck: Much more confident.
Judith: I mean, Amazon still tries to make you pay extra for next day delivery but usually it comes like that anyway.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: Except for Sundays. On Sundays, there’s no service.
Chuck: And also, be careful of national holidays because when you’re a tourist, you may not know when those national holidays are and you could get quite surprised.
Judith: Yeah. On national holidays, just like Sundays, there’s no service and much anything is closed. I think you’ll notice. Let’s get to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Judith: In this lesson’s dialogue, you can review many of the case rules that we talked about so far. However, now, we would like to also draw your attention to what the cases do to person pronouns. So far, we’ve been covering them one at a time. For example, you already saw “mich, dich, dir”, and the like in the vocabulary list. Now we’re just giving you an overview. I’m going to tell you the nominative first, then the dative, and then the accusative.
Chuck: What’s nominative, dative, and accusative?
Judith: We explained it in previous lessons. You should be really listening to them if you don’t know that by now. Basically, nominative is for subjects. Like in a sentence “Ich bin Programierer.” “Ich” is the subject; and dative and accusative and used for object.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: You’ll notice one case is missing, genitive, that one that we have last. That’s because genitive doesn’t exist for person pronouns.
Chuck: That’s good, at least.
Judith: Yeah. Using possessive pronouns instead like “mein” and “dein”. We already have them to.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: So let’s go for the forms. For “ich”, that is, “ich” is nominative obviously, “mir” for dative, and “mich” for accusative. “Ich, mir, mich”. Similarly, for the informal “you”, “du, dir, dich”. It even rhymes.
Chuck: So that’s where “Ich liebe dich” comes from.
Judith: Exactly. For “he”, it is “er, ihm, ihn” the typical M for dative. For “she”, it is “sie, ihr, sie”; for “it”, it is “es, ihm, es”.
Chuck: Also known as the “sie” without capital.
Judith: Yes. This is the “sie” that means “she” so that’s without a capital. Then we get to the plural. “wir, uns, uns”.
Chuck: That one is easy.
Judith: Yup. The next one, too. “ihr, euch, euch”.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: Easy. That is the plural of “you” when you’re talking to several people. In the southern US, you would “y’all”, I believe. Then for “they” or for the formal “you”, you’d say “Sie, Ihnen, Sie”. And whenever you’re talking about the third person, like “er, sie, es” or “Sie”, then you should use “sich” when you mean one of those self forms, like himself, herself, itself, themselves. It’s always “sich”, so you don’t need to actually use the “ihnen, sie” or whatever.
Chuck: Can you give us some examples?
Judith: Of course.
Chuck: Yeah. I said the “Ich liebe dich” already.
Judith: Yeah. Well, you can also look this whole thing up in the PDF. Of course, we provide the same table there for your reference, but here are some examples: “Sie findet ihn süß.”
Chuck: “She finds him sweet”.
Judith: Cute. “Sie gibt ihm ein Geschenk.”
Chuck: “She gives him a gift”.
Judith: Yeah. “ihm”, him. Note that they only change the order of letters.”Er findet sie süß.”
Chuck: “He finds her nice”.
Judith: “Er gibt ihr ein Geschenk.”
Chuck: “He gives her a gift”.
Judith: “Wir erzählen von uns.”
Chuck: “We tell about ourselves”.
Judith: “Ihr erzählt von euch.”
Chuck: “You all tell about yourselves”. I noticed this is also used in a phrase that’s like “Wir treffen uns”.
Judith: Yeah. That would be reflexive.
Chuck: Literally meaning “we meet ourselves”.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: It’s also quite funny when Germans make this mistake in English.
Judith: Well, be sure to review these forms using the PDF transcript and then do some exercises with them.”Übung macht den Meister “.
Chuck: “Practice makes perfect”.
Judith: Literally, it means “practice makes the master”. Practice makes you a master of things. Let’s practice just a bit more by listening to the dialogue again.
Michaela: Hallo?
Postman: Hallo, ein Paket für Sie.
Michaela: Für mich? Ich erwarte gar kein Paket…
Postman: Na ja, es ist für Ihren Nachbarn, Herrn Schröder.
Michaela: Oh, der neue Nachbar.
Postman: Hier ist das Paket, danke. Ich gehe jetzt.
Michaela: Wieso macht das Paket komische Geräusche??
Postman: Auf Wiedersehen!


Chuck: Okay, Judith, now tell me, what are those strange noises in that package? Come on, this is killing me. Come on, tell me. Tell me.
Judith: I’m not going to tell you. You have to stick around and wait for the next lessons to see the story evolve.
Chuck: Another week?
Judith: Well, at least it makes sure that come to the studio with me every time.
Chuck: Just like having to wait for my iPhone.
Judith: Poor you. I can solve them [*] with you.
Chuck: Okay. See you next week.
Judith: Bis näschte Woche!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Could it be a kitten?

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 11:21 PM
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Hallo robert groulx,

Danke schön for posting. We are very happy to have you here. Let us know if you have any questions.

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

robert groulx
Sunday at 12:40 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript

favorite phrase is Na ja, es ist für Ihren Nachbarn, Herrn Schröder.

it could be a kitten!


robert groulx
Saturday at 02:12 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript

favoite phrase is Wieso macht das Paket komische Geräusche??


GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:17 PM
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Hallo James,

Thank you for posting.

In this Lesson's Lesson Notes > Grammar> there is information on "Nominative – Dative – Accusative".

You can check it online or download it in pdf (go to [Lesson Notes] and click on [Download as PDF]).

Should you need extra help with grammar, check out our grammar banks:


We hope this helps! In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.



Team GermanPod101.com

Saturday at 01:58 AM
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Where can I find the PDF with the table for the Nominative, Accusative, Dative, and Genitive? The PDF that I download only shows the lesson transcript :(

GermanPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:36 PM
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Hello Brian Owens,

Thank you very much for your comment! :smile:

Just a small mistake:

"Es is einen Hund…vieleicht." should be "Es ist vielleicht ein Hund."

Please let us know if you have any question.

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

Brian Owens
Sunday at 02:53 AM
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Es ist nicht Gefährlich. Es is einen Hund...vieleicht.

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:58 PM
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Hi Carla,

Thank you very much for commenting!

"Ich glaube nicht, dass es etwas Gefährliches ist." Let's hope so! :D

Vielen Dank!


Team GermanPod101.com

Wednesday at 03:57 PM
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Ich glaube das Packet ist ein Tier. Ich glaube es ist ein Eichhörnchen. Ich glaube nicht es etwas gefährlich ist.

Danke fur die Unterrichten!

Viele Grüsse!


Team GermanPod101.com
Tuesday at 12:23 PM
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Hi Miranda,

Thank you very much for your comment and question. We are happy you are enjoying our lessons!

It is "Für deinen Nachbarn, Herrn Schröder" because Nachbar and Herr Schröder is the accusative case. ("Whom is it for, your neighbour, Herr Schröder.")

I hope this helps!

Thank you!


Team GermanPod101.com