Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Chuck: This is Beginner Series, Lesson 21.
Judith: Willkommen zurück.
Chuck: Welcome back! I’m sure you’ve been wondering what will happen with the dog now. If you’re wondering what dog now, you should really go back to Lesson 15 or 17 and see how it all started.
Judith: If you already know some German, you could still listen to the earlier lessons in order to strengthen your knowledge of German grammar and to pick up on German vocabulary and cultural tidbits that you may have missed.
Chuck: It never hurt to practice.
Judith: You’re the one to say that.
Chuck: Hey…
Judith: However, at least listen to the dialogue tracks of the previous few lessons so that you know what the story is.
Chuck: Yeah. Otherwise, I think this next dialogue will make very little sense to you. Well, anyway, since you’re still listening, we’ll assume you know what’s going because you, of course, never miss a lesson. And we’ll dig right in. The neighbor has left now, and that leaves John and Michaela.
DIALOGUE
John: Ist der Schaden wirklich so hoch?
Michaela: Nein. Der Teppich war schon alt…
John: Und die Möbel?
Michaela: Der Hund meiner Freundin war hier vor ein paar Wochen und er fand die Möbel lecker…
John: Ah, so ist das! Und was passiert jetzt mit dem Hund des Nachbarn?
Michaela: Vielleicht will eine Freundin ihn… Hauptsache er kommt in gute Hände. Ich traue dem Nachbarn nicht.
Judith: Now read slowly.
John: Ist der Schaden wirklich so hoch?
Michaela: Nein. Der Teppich war schon alt…
John: Und die Möbel?
Michaela: Der Hund meiner Freundin war hier vor ein paar Wochen und er fand die Möbel lecker…
John: Ah, so ist das! Und was passiert jetzt mit dem Hund des Nachbarn?
Michaela: Vielleicht will eine Freundin ihn… Hauptsache er kommt in gute Hände. Ich traue dem Nachbarn nicht.
Judith: Now with the translation.
Judith: Ist der Schaden wirklich so hoch?
Chuck: Was the damages really so high?
Judith: Nein. Der Teppich war schon alt…
Chuck: No. The rug was already old…
Judith: Und die Möbel?
Chuck: And the furniture?
Judith: Der Hund meiner Freundin war hier vor ein paar Wochen und er fand die Möbel lecker…
Chuck: My friend’s dog was here a couple weeks ago and he found the furniture delicious.
John: Ah, so ist das!
Chuck: Ah, so that’s it!
Judith: Und was passiert jetzt mit dem Hund des Nachbarn?
Chuck: And what’ll happen now with the neighbor’s dog?
Michaela: Vielleicht will eine Freundin ihn… Hauptsache er kommt in gute Hände. I
Chuck: Maybe a friend would want him. The main thing is he’ll be in good hands.
Judith: ch traue dem Nachbarn nicht.
Chuck: I don’t trust the neighbor.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Chuck: Well, you can trust us to give you the vocabulary.
Judith: Of course! I would love to.
VOCAB LIST
Judith: The first word is alt [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Old”.
Judith: Alt [slowly - broken down by syllable].
Chuck: “Old”.
Judith: This can be an adjective or it can be used in the phrase like “Ich bin 24 jahre alt.”.
Chuck: “I’m 24 years old”.
Judith: This really shows you that German is related to English. The next word is ein paar [natural native speed].
Chuck: “A few”, or literally “a couple”.
Judith: Paar alone means “couple”. Ein paar [natural native speed].
Chuck: “A few”. Next, Woche [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Week”.
Judith: Woche [slowly - broken down by syllable].
Chuck: “Week”.
Judith: This word is feminine, and the plural is Wochen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Weeks”.
Judith: Next, Vor [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Before or ago”.
Judith: Vor [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Before or ago”.
Judith: Note that this is a full preposition in German, so it comes before the actually noun or a noun phrase. For example, “Vor ein paar Wochen.”
Chuck: “A few weeks ago”.
Judith: We don’t do this crazy thing about the ago actually afterwards.
Chuck: Yeah, because Germans never put the thing that’s the most important at the end, do they?
Judith: The next word is finden [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To find”.
Judith: Finden [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To find”. And notice that the first four letters in this word actually spell out “find”.
Judith: Yes. And the –en ending is very, very typical of German verbs. The past tense of finden is “fand”.
Chuck: “Found”.
Judith: “fand”
Chuck: “Found”.
Judith: I’m mentioning this because it occurred briefly in the dialogue. Next, Lecker [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Yummy or delicious”, as in “lecker feedback”.
Judith: It doesn’t quite sound right in German. Yummy feedback. It sounds… I don’t know. Anyway, we want feedback no matter whether in English or German.
Chuck: And whether it’s yummy or not, we’ll still take it.
Judith: But we’re not done with vocabulary. The next word is Passieren [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To happen”.
Judith: Passieren [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To happen”.
Judith: Next, Hauptsache [natural native speed].
Chuck: “The main thing or main issue.”
Judith: Hauptsache [slowly - broken down by syllable]. It’s literally spelled out “main thing or head thing”.
Chuck: Yeah. Like you might know the word “Hauptbahnhof”, that’s “main station”.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: Using the same word here.
Judith: And this word is feminine because “Sache”, “thing”, is feminine. Next, a really tough one, hand [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Hand”.
Judith: Hand [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Hand”, spelled exactly the same way.
Judith: With the capital letter.
Chuck: Yeah. Don’t forget your capital letter.
Judith: This word is feminine, die Hand. And the plural is Hände.
Chuck: “Hands”.
Judith: And last word for today, Trauen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To trust”.
Judith: Trauen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To trust”.
Judith: And by the way, “Ich traue dir.” “I trust you”. But if you have two objects, like two people afterwards as an object, that means “to marry”. Like the priest would “trauen” the couple.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: I just thought I’d mention for later.
Chuck: Maybe you trust the couple.
Judith: Anyway, you will need the meaning trust more often.
Chuck: I don’t know if I trust you. I think you’re working me too hard. I might just sue you for that.
Judith: Sue me? Good luck!
Chuck: Yeah.

Lesson focus

Judith: Here in Germany…
Chuck: What’s that have to do with it?
Judith: Here in Germany, suing is not nearly as common or as successful as in the States. And very likely, you will be the one paying for the cost of suing, not to mention that there’s a lot of best reasons that the law would support cases in which you may sue.
Chuck: That’s probably why the lawyers have a better reputation over here.
Judith: Yeah. Definitely. I mean, we don’t have lawyer jokes that I know. Well, maybe a couple, but it’s definitely not that common. The thing is that lawyers also don’t make that much money because the amount that they receive is not depending on much you will in a case, how much you win. This, in turn, affects the kind of demands that you would hear in a case. It’s very, very unlikely for somebody to sue for a millions of dollars or the equivalent in Euros. People don’t get that much money if they’re hurt because of some reason and maybe a thousand, ten thousand, something less than a hundred thousand. In most cases, you can’t get rich by suing.
Chuck: That sounds fair, actually.
Judith: Well, it works differently. It just means that a lot people sue and lawyers don’t get rich that fast. They’re still among the better earners, still making good more money; a bit more like doctors or architects. The thing is, in Germany, you won’t find as many really stupid cases where somebody sues a company just because they didn’t write that things might be dangerous when common sense would tell you that they’re dangerous.
Chuck: You mean like the one spilling hot coffee on themselves at McDonalds?
Judith: Yeah. For example… I mean, come on, that something we learn as a kid, that some beverages are just hot and you don’t want them on your skin or whatever. That’s not McDonald’s fault, right, or anybody else’s. This kind of stupidity sues, they always are very diverting for Germans to read about. I don’t know how you see them in the States. If you read about somebody suing because of hot coffee, do you think that’s stupid or do you think, “Hmm, what could I do to myself that I could sue them?”
Chuck: If you usually think it’s stupid but you’re glad that somebody got the big company, that’s amazing.
Judith: Yeah, suing big companies. I heard that over there, suing the tobacco company is just also very popular.
Chuck: It could be. Yeah.
Judith: Over here, people tried to but not with that much success because they will take a lot more evidence before they declare that the tobacco company did anything. You have to literally prove that for three years or however long you have smoked or lived that you didn’t have exposure to anything else that might be giving you cancer. And that’s kind of hard to do.
Chuck: I think also, smoking is looked down more favorably here.
Judith: No.
Chuck: A lot more people smoke, that’s for sure.
Judith: Yeah. They smoke more but I don’t think it’s seen as something positive or even less bad. In the case, we definitely hope that people who have cancer will now get money from the companies but it’s just not going to happen with this system.
Chuck: Well, it’s kind of their own fault for smoking, too.
Judith: Definitely, but still moving on. Anyway, let’s talk about some grammar today.

Lesson focus

Judith: Today, we are covering the past tense of sein.
Chuck: “To be”.
Judith: In German, there are actually several past tenses, just like in English and other European languages. And today we’re talking about the preterite. The preterite is a very short past tense that you would see mostly in writing and it’s comparable to the simple past in English.
The forms of sein in the (inaudible) are “Ich war”
Chuck: “I was”.
Judith: “du warst”
Chuck: “You were”.
Judith: “er war”
Chuck: “He was”.
Judith: “wir waren”
Chuck: “We were”.
Judith: “ihr wart”
Chuck: “You all were”.
Judith: “sie waren”
Chuck: “They were”.
Judith: So you see, it’s completely irregular. Sein and “war” don’t have anything to do with each other, but the endings that you go find attached at the end of “war” are actually the same as for some other words, mainly the modal verbs. So you just have to remember that the stem is “war” and then you can add those endings. In German, it’s often the case that you have to learn the preterite stem for a verb. A lot of verbs have irregular stems, just like in English. But we’ll cover other verbs and the regular verbs for this tense later.
Chuck: So if you want to get in the past, just declare war and you’ve got it.
Judith: Yeah. Maybe this little story will help you remember.
Chuck: But could you give me an example of this?
Judith: Actually, I’m planning to give you a couple. For example, “Das Essen war sehr gut.”
Chuck: “The food was very good”.
Judith: That’s something that you could say to your German host family, for example, if you’re staying with somebody else and they cook for you.
Chuck: Or using our vocabulary, you could say “Das Essen war lecker.”
Judith: Yeah, or “Das Essen war sehr lecker.”. Another example, “Du warst sehr jung.”.
Chuck: “You were very young”.
Judith: And another, “Ich war in der Altstadt.”
Chuck: “I was in the old town”.
Judith: So let’s compare. “Das Essen war”, this is a third person singular (he, she, or it) so it’s a “war”, and same for “Ich war”, first person. But for “du”, it suddenly becomes “warst, du warst”. This corresponds to “Können”, for example, “Ich kann” and “er, sie, es kann” but “du kannst”.
Chuck: Yeah. It’s not that hard.
Judith: Okay. Let’s listen to the dialogue one more time and try to spot the past tense in this one.
DIALOGUE
John: Ist der Schaden wirklich so hoch?
Michaela: Nein. Der Teppich war schon alt…
John: Und die Möbel?
Michaela: Der Hund meiner Freundin war hier vor ein paar Wochen und er fand die Möbel lecker…
John: Ah, so ist das! Und was passiert jetzt mit dem Hund des Nachbarn?
Michaela: Vielleicht will eine Freundin ihn… Hauptsache er kommt in gute Hände. Ich traue dem Nachbarn nicht.

Outro

Chuck: At least I think our listeners are in good hands with us for learning German.
Judith: Definitely. And if you really want to improve your German, you should also have a look at the learning center for this lesson and do the exercises and use the Word Bank to practice your vocabulary and make sure that you still remember all of them.
Chuck: All right. Sounds good. Well, I’m going to be doing that all through next week. So see you next week.
Judith: Bis nächste Woche!

22 Comments

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GermanPod101.comVerified
Thursday at 6:30 pm
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Have you ever sued somebody?

GermanPod101.comVerified
Friday at 11:40 pm
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Hallo robert groulx,


Danke schön for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know.😄


Kind regards,

Levente

Team GermanPod101.com

robert groulx
Monday at 9:08 am
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thank you for the lesson transcript


robert

GermanPod101.com
Tuesday at 8:47 am
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Hi Elizabeth,


I think most people feel like you.😄


Thank you.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


Elizabeth
Thursday at 8:36 pm
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Ich habe es nicht gewollt. 😎

GermanPod101.com
Friday at 9:28 pm
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Hallo Aakash,


Thank you for your message.


Please check out the [Take quiz] in the [Vocabulary] tab. There are review and writing questions so you can check out your progress on each lesson.👍


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team GermanPod101.com

Aakash
Friday at 5:07 am
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In the audio, they talked about exercises long with the word bank? Where can I find these exercises ? Thank you

GermanPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 10:49 am
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Hello Suasan and WalterO,


Thanks for making the discussions here more lively and more diverse! :smile:


Have a great day!

Erica

Team GermanPod101.com

Susan
Saturday at 10:43 am
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Well, since we're giving opinions regarding the legal system in the States, yes, it is the system we live with and I often comment on the stupidity of decisions made. Can't take it too seriously or there would be endless frustration!!! Thanks for the website!

WalterO
Wednesday at 4:22 am
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First, a couple of points about English usage:


It is not correct to say "less people." I believe the rule is that "fewer" is used for what can be counted or numbered, and "less" is used otherwise. So, one might say: fewer people, fewer grains of sand, and fewer hours of work. But one would say: less populated, less sand and less work. Also, "less bad" should be "not so bad" or "not as bad." Even native English speakers make these mistakes.


I regard it as unnecessarily harsh to refer to an action undertaken within the provisions of the legal system as "stupid." From the dialogue, I infer that the legal system in the United States allows for actions where the German legal system does not. In the US, many of these cases are decided by a jury, not by a judge, and juries (composed of ordinary citizens) often are overly sympathetic to what they perceive as someone's being the "victim" of corporate misbehavior. Yes, the example of someone's suing as a result of "mishandling" a cup of hot coffee may seem extreme, but within the context of the US legal system filing suit to recover damages is allowable. Knowing the potential for these suits to succeed, manufacturers post warnings of various sorts that repeat what most of us would regard as common sense. I believe the US has the highest ratio of lawyers to population of any developed country so we have a situation in which many attorneys are looking for remunerative work and because of the potential for a high level of compensation many young people want to become lawyers! Yes, this is not the system some of us would prefer, but it is the system within which we must function. Let's tone down the "name calling."

GermanPod101.comVerified
Sunday at 7:14 am
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Hi Julian,


Hm. Sounds strange!


Regards,

Katrin

Team GermanPod101.com