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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Beginner Series, Lesson 17.
Judith: Willkommen zurück.
Chuck: Welcome back! This is the GermanPod101 Beginner Series.
Judith: Here, you will get a solid foundation of German including all basic grammar and vocabulary.
Chuck: Let me rephrase that German style. Here is a solid foundation of German grammar.
Judith: Ha-ha.
Chuck: Well, it’s true. Today, we’ll cover German word order so you know exactly on what convoluted order you have to place your words.
Judith: It’s not convoluted; it’s different. Every language has its own set of rules in word order and you just have to grow accustomed to it.
Chuck: And how do you expect me to get accustomed to it?
Judith: Through a lot of exposure, of course. If you hear a lot of German, and particularly if you hear the same German phrases a lot of times, you will unconsciously find yourself using them. That’s why I love the dialogue the dialogue tracks. They allow me to listen to just the conversations and assimilate the useful expressions from them without too much conscious effort.
Chuck: Maybe I’ll try that too. Going through a couple of the previous lesson’s dialogue tracks, I would on my iPhone before listening to the next lesson. Anyway, without doing that, I seem to remember that there was a package that was making strange noises, and I don’t think he got his iPhone, but we could finally discover what was in that package, anyway.
Judith: Yes, you will. Let’s listen.
Chuck: All right.
Michaela: Was ist denn hier los??
John: Was?
Michaela: Wo kommt denn der Hund her??
John: Ein Hund? Du hast doch keinen Hund.
Michaela: Genau. Hey, sitz! Sitz sage ich!
John: Das ist ein sehr junger Hund, vielleicht...
Michaela: Oh je! Und jetzt pinkelt er auf meinen Teppich!
John: Oh nein! Der war sicher im Paket!
Michaela: Was ist denn hier los??
John: Was?
Michaela: Wo kommt denn der Hund her??
John: Ein Hund? Du hast doch keinen Hund.
Michaela: Genau. Hey, sitz! Sitz sage ich!
John: Das ist ein sehr junger Hund, vielleicht...
Michaela: Oh je! Und jetzt pinkelt er auf meinen Teppich!
John: Oh nein! Der war sicher im Paket!
Judith: Now with the translation.
Michaela: Was ist denn hier los??
Chuck: What’s going on here??
John: Was?
Chuck: What?
Michaela: Wo kommt denn der Hund her??
Chuck: Where did that dog come from??
John: Ein Hund?
Chuck: A dog?
Michaela: Du hast doch keinen Hund.
Chuck: But you don’t have any dog.
Michaela: Genau.
Chuck: Exactly.
Michaela: Hey, sitz!
Chuck: Hey, sit!
Michaela: Sitz sage ich!
Chuck: Sit I say!
John: Das ist ein sehr junger Hund, vielleicht...
Chuck: That is a very young dog, maybe...
Michaela: Oh je!
Chuck: Oh my!
Michaela: Und jetzt pinkelt er auf meinen Teppich!
Chuck: And now it’s peeing on my carpet!
John: Oh nein!
Chuck: Oh no!
Michaela: Der war sicher im Paket!
Chuck: It was surely in the package!
Chuck: Wow! I heard Germans like their dogs, but isn’t this a bit ridiculous? I mean, so in Germany when you buy a dog, you, like, buy it in Amazon or something?
Judith: No. Definitely not! I don’t know what the neighbor does, but it’s completely unimaginable.
Chuck: This is how Germans usually order their stuff, isn’t it?
Judith: Nope. This is how you order your stuff.
Judith: Let’s look at the vocabulary. The first word is
Judith: Denn [natural native speed].
Chuck: This adds emphasis.
Judith: Denn [natural native speed].
Chuck: Adding emphasis.
Judith: For example, the sentence “Wie siehst du denn aus?” “Wie siehst du aus” would be, “oh, how are you looking?” as in an exclamation; but the “denn” just adds emphasis in the sentence. It’s one of those little words that Germans like to put in their sentence as a way of spicing them up. You will have to learn them in order to really sound like a German when speaking. The next word is “los sein” [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To be up or be rid of”.
Judith: Los sein [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To be up” is her way of putting like, “what’s up?” So it’s like “Was ist los?”, “what’s up?”
Judith: Yeah. Or “to be rid of”, like “Ich möchte dich los sein”. “I want to be rid of you”. The next word is Hund [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Dog”.
Judith: Hund [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Dog”.
Judith: Der Hund. It’s masculine, and the plural is Hunde.
Chuck: “Dogs”.
Judith: Next, Her- [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To here”.
Judith: This is not actually a word on its own. It’s a prefix; a prefix used with verbs and it splits off. For example, Her kommen.
Chuck: “To come here”.
Judith: This word resulted in “ich kommen her”.
Chuck: “I come here”.
Judith: There are a lot of other verbs that use this “her” prefix. Next, Doch [natural native speed].
Chuck: This is the affirmative or encouraging.
Judith: It’s another one of those little spices.
Chuck: It’s mostly used if someone asks you a question.
Judith: When somebody asks you a question and he implies a negative answer. For example, “Du magst doch keine Würstchen, oder?”.
Chuck: “Doch!”.
Judith: “You don’t like sausages?” “Yes, I do!” This affirmative “yes”, that’s exactly the “doch”.
Chuck: Because saying “ja” or “nein” there can be a bit confusing.
Judith: Yeah. In another sense, “doch” can be used to encourage. For example, the sentence “Komm doch her!”.
Chuck: “Move over here already.”
Judith: Or, “Please do come here.” The next word is Sitzen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To sit”.
Judith: Sitzen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To sit”.
Judith: Next, Sagen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To say”.
Judith: Sagen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To say”.
Judith: Next, Jung [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Young”.
Judith: Jung [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Young”.
Judith: As you can see, the German word is related to the English. Next, Pinkeln [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To pee”.
Judith: Pinkeln,
Chuck: “To pee”. Actually, before this lesson I only know the word “pissen”, but you only use that drinking buddies.
Judith: Yeah. Don’t use it in polite company.
Chuck: So if you’re going to university here, “pissen” is probably what you’ll hear more often.
Judith: It depends on whether you’re a girl or not.
Chuck: Unless you’ll hangout with Judith friends at university.
Judith: I don’t think any woman would use that word.
Chuck: Okay. Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it actually from a woman.
Judith: Don’t teach our listeners bad words.
Chuck: I’m just teaching them very useful words for their trip in Germany after they’ve drink a lot of beer.
Judith: Pinkeln is just fine.
Chuck: Don’t the Americans come over here for OctoberFest? Judith is shaking her head now. This is why GermanPod needs to be video.
Judith: No, it doesn’t. We might do some video in the future. I don’t know, but not video lessons normally. Podcasts are much more convenient to have around like when you’re jogging or driving.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: Anyway, the next word Teppich [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Carpet or rug”.
Judith: Teppich [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Carpet or rug”.
Judith: This word is masculine, der Teppich and the plural is Teppeche.
Chuck: “Carpets or rugs”.
Judith: Now, today’s lesson was all about a little dog that suddenly, in Michaela’s living room… let’s talk about dogs in Germany.
Chuck: Well, I always say Germans love their dogs. I still remember even the first time I came to Germany, I was quite shocked just finding an older lady in the airport with her dog next to her. I’m like, “what?” And you might go into a store here and just see someone around with their dog in the store.
Judith: Well, it depends on the kind of store. A lot of stores don’t accept dogs and the dogs have to stay outside, especially if the store sells fresh food, then you will see a sign ”Wir müssen draußen warten.” which means we have to wait outside.
Chuck: Yeah. It usually has a cute picture of a dog on it too.
Judith: Also, dogs may not be acceptable in a rented apartment.
Chuck: If you’re going to bring your dog to an apartment over here, you better ask first.
Judith: Yeah. Ask the landlord.
Chuck: But then if you’re bringing a dog over, you’ve got more problems on that; because really, you have to plan, I think at least, three months ahead of time? Maybe even six months for it to go through customs and everything.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: Make sure all the vaccinations are done, everything; or the dog might have to be quarantined.
Judith: It’s possible to travel with a dog, especially since a lot of Germans love their dogs. So even on trains and airplanes, you can usually find an accommodation but you have to ask in advance. Do remember that you’re legally responsible for anything that the dog does, like if it hits a bicyclist and knocks him off, the bicycle, and the bicyclist suffers a concussion or whatever, then you have to pay for that.
Chuck: Does that mean you have to get a doggie lawyer?
Judith: No, but you may want to get insurance. Problems are not normally solved using lawyers in Germany. I mean, it’s not nearly as common as in the States to sue somebody, maybe because it’s expensive.
Chuck: Well, it’s expensive in the States, too.
Judith: Yeah. But in the States, the lawsuit can give you a lot of money, and here it can’t. I’m always amazed when I hear about this million-dollar rewards for suing somebody over some trivial matter that should have been obvious.
Chuck: You mean like the burnt coffee…
Judith: Yeah, for example…
Chuck: …in McDonalds?
Judith: It’s amazing.
Chuck: Yeah. And we always try to teach you the right German so you don’t sue us. Disclaimer: use our German at your own risk.
Judith: One more thing about dogs is that there have been some problems with aggressive dogs in the past few years and now when you have a so-called dangerous dog breed like pit bulls, bull terrier or anything that can called like that, then this kind of dog will be tested for viciousness and may not be imported at all; or you may be required to put on a muzzle or always have it go on leash. So you wanted to check out those rulings if your dog is not the cute type.
Chuck: Could you tell me some typical commands, if you want to, say, talk to all those in Germany.
Judith: Well, most common would be sitz.
Chuck: “Sit”.
Judith: Another commond is “Platz!”.
Chuck: “Lie down”.
Judith: Or “Aus!”.
Chuck: “Get out”.
Judith: No. It’s “spit out”. When your dog has something in its mouth, then you would say “Aus!”.
Chuck: Ah, “spit it out”.
Judith: Since you have different commands in English.
Chuck: It seems that way. I don’t think I already told my dog to spit something out before.
Judith: Are you sure? He must have been chewing on something you would want to keep, at some point.
Chuck: I said, “get it out of there” and just start hitting its head.
Judith: Ey, no violence here.
Chuck: Hey, you’re the one who stick a dog in a package.
Judith: I haven’t. It was that neighbor.
Chuck: Yeah. I’m sure you didn’t write that lesson. The neighbor wrote the lesson, right?
Judith: Stop it. Okay, let’s get back to business, and I mean business, business. I mean grammar.

Lesson focus

Judith: Today, as we already promised, we’re going to talk about word order.
Chuck: As weird as it may sound, just make sure the verb is on the second place no matter where a subject or the other words are around it.
Judith: German word order is a lot less strict, so you just have to make sure that this one thing is true. Okay, let’s have some examples. “Ich habe einen Hund!”
Chuck: “I have a dog”.
Judith: “Habe” is second there. And “Heute habe ich einen Hund.”
Chuck: “Today, I have a dog”.
Judith: Literally, “today have I a dog” because in German, the verb still has to come second and the subject moves behind it, “habe Ich”. So the rule is that after the verb, the subject follows if it hasn’t been mentioned so far; then the remaining sentence parts, if there are any; and then the remaining sentence parts usually come in the following order: first the modifiers, then the adverbials, like things you say about the time, the place, the people that accompany you, whatever; then the object of the sentence. Anything else and any remaining verb parts go at the end of the sentence.
Chuck: Could you give me an example of that? That was quite a lot in the explanation there.
Judith: Okay. I’ll give you an example sentence with a lot of parts.
Chuck: Maybe draw me a diagram.
Judith: For that, you have to go to the PDF.
Chuck: All right. Good thing we’re premium member then.
Judith: Okay, example sentence. “John sieht sich doch mit Michaela huete in Altstadt an.
Chuck: You don’t expect me translate that, do you?
Judith: “John does look at the old town with Michaela today”.
Chuck: Or literally, “John looks himself really with Michaela today the old town on”.
Judith: You should probably see it in writing. Just look at the PDF and you can match the parts, you know. John is the subject and then “sieht” is the verb, and after that the “doch” is the modifier as an affirmative, and “mit Michaela” is an adverbial, who are you doing things with; and “heute”, the time; the “Altstadt” is the object; and “an” is the split of verb part. “ansehen”, to look at.
Chuck: So now is the part where you rewind that podcast back 20 seconds back and hear what she said again.
Judith: If you need to. Well, as I said, you can use a different word order and you’ll be understood, but this is the most natural.
Chuck: Yeah. I mean, most of us end up getting this word order wrong and then we just sound like foreigners.
Judith: Well, eventually you’ll get… another things that you’re going to also learn very well by assimilating. Just hearing it over and over and eventually your mind will know in which place to put things.
Chuck: Even though I haven’t actually really formally studied German, I get the word order right most of the time, except in really complicated sentence like this one.
Judith: Yeah. Well, there’s one easy rule that I can tell you, that in German, the time is usually mentioned before the place. That’s something that goes against the English rules. In English, you would say “I go to the cinema today”, and in German you would say “I go today to the cinema”, “Ich gehe heute ins Kino.”.
Chuck: Yeah, it’s true.
Judith: So that’s something easy you can remember of all of this. And if you’re coming from a romance language background, like if you know French or Spanish or something, then you should also note that the adjectives in German always come before the noun, just like in English.
Chuck: Yeah. Easy for us Americans. Wow. After all that grammar talk, could we get back to something simpler? How about that dialogue? I didn’t seem to get that many long sentences.
Judith: Okay. Let’s listen to the dialogue one last time.
Michaela: Was ist denn hier los??
John: Was?
Michaela: Wo kommt denn der Hund her??
John: Ein Hund? Du hast doch keinen Hund.
Michaela: Genau. Hey, sitz! Sitz sage ich!
John: Das ist ein sehr junger Hund, vielleicht...
Michaela: Oh je! Und jetzt pinkelt er auf meinen Teppich!
John: Oh nein! Der war sicher im Paket!


Judith: Well, I really wonder about this neighbor now. Who would send a dog by mail?
Chuck: Yeah. I wonder about this lesson writer. I mean, or maybe even send a dog by email.
Judith: A dog by email?
Chuck: Yeah. Why not?
Judith: What I want to receive by email is feedback.
Chuck: Oh.
Judith: Do you have any feedback for us?
Chuck: Or maybe you like to send Judith an iPhone because she’s jealous of mine now. She’ll accept either dogs, iPhones, or feedback by email or mail.
Judith: Yeah. Or suggestions. I’d love to hear what you think of these lessons, too, and what kind of series you want to see.
Chuck: And what you want that I would do next.
Judith: I hope it’s causing anymore trouble. Anyway…
Chuck: I guess we’ll find that next week, won’t we?
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: So we’ll see you next week.
Judith: “Bis nächste Woche!”.