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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Beginner Series, Lesson 7.
Judith: Willkommen zurück.
Chuck: Welcome back, listeners. This is already the seventh Beginner lesson brought to you by GermanPod101.com.
Judith: Really? We’re really up to seven lesson in this series alone?
Chuck: It’s starting to get hard and I keep track as I’m missing that but I’ve subscribed to the news feed so I always know when one of lessons go live.
Judith: Speaking of lessons going live, soon we will start a whole new series for intermediate students.
Chuck: It’s not about some romantic story with a guy and a girl, isn’t it?
Judith: No. Actually, the new series will be non-linear, so there’s no story line to follow and you can jump in anytime.
Chuck: Really? So what’s it going to be about them?
Judith: It will be about German music. You’re going to learn German folk songs.
Chuck: Cool. So you’d to learn all the latest Rammstein songs?
Judith: Well, not just Rammstein. I want to introduce you to other great German bands as well.
Chuck: There’s other ones?
Judith: Of course! There’s really a lot of good music here that never gets played in the American radio stations.
Chuck: Well, I guess not because the Americans wouldn’t understand the lyrics.
Judith: But you are going to understand the lyrics. We’ll go through them together and learn a lot of German from them.
Chuck: All right. You might convince me to listen to these series.
Judith: Now listeners, if you have any favorite German song that you would like to see featured in this series, mention it on the forum and you might just get your wish, but for now let’s get back to the lesson at hand.
Chuck: So, what are we going to learn today?
Judith: You are going to learn German.
Chuck: Really? That’s surprising to me. So what exactly are we going to learn then?
Judith: Oh. You’re going to learn a lot of useful vocabulary related to breakfast.
Chuck: Cool! I like food. So let’s see what you’re going to teach us. So are we going to start with the last lesson left off?
Judith: Yes. It’s the first morning in Germany for John and John just asked Michaela what’s her breakfast.

Lesson conversation

John: Was gibt es zum Frühstück?
Michaela: Es gibt Brötchen, Butter, Marmelade...
John: Gibt es keine Eier? Oder Pfannkuchen?
Michaela: Pfannkuchen zum Frühstück???
John: Oder Würstchen? In Deutschland isst man viele Würstchen, oder?
Michaela: Ich mache Ihnen ein Ei und Würstchen.
Judith: Now read slowly.
John: Was gibt es zum Frühstück?
Michaela: Es gibt Brötchen, Butter, Marmelade...
John: Gibt es keine Eier? Oder Pfannkuchen?
Michaela: Pfannkuchen zum Frühstück???
John: Oder Würstchen? In Deutschland isst man viele Würstchen, oder?
Michaela: Ich mache Ihnen ein Ei und Würstchen.
Judith: Now, I will read the whole and Chuck will translate.
Judith: Was gibt es zum Frühstück?
Chuck: What’s for breakfast?
Judith: Es gibt Brötchen, Butter, Marmelade...
Chuck: There are rolls, butter, jam…
Judith: Gibt es keine Eier?
Chuck: Aren’t there any eggs?
Judith: Oder Pfannkuchen?
Chuck: Or pancakes?
Judith: Pfannkuchen zum Frühstück???
Chuck: Pancakes for breakfast???
Judith: Oder Würstchen?
Chuck: Or sausages?
Judith: In Deutschland isst man viele Würstchen, oder?
Chuck: In Germany you eat a lot of sausages, don’t you?
Judith: Ich mache Ihnen ein Ei und Würstchen.
Chuck: I’ll make you an egg and sausage.
Chuck: Wow! That alone include a lot of useful new words. How would we go through them?
Judith: Okay. The first new word is essen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To eat”
Judith: Essen.
Chuck: “To eat.”
Judith: Note that this verb changes its vowel just like sprechen, that is the E changes to I, for the second and third person singular, that is the du and the er, sie, es form.
Chuck: Could you conjugate that? I was a bit confused to that.
Judith: Okay. It is “ich esse”, “du isst” , note the change, “du isst”; then “er, sie, es isst”, “wir essen” back to normal; “ihr esst, sie essen”. You think you got that?
Chuck: I think so.
Judith: Okay. Now, the next word is brötchen [natural native speed], das brötchen.
Chuck: “Roll”.
Judith: Brötchen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Roll”.
Judith: Literally, this means “little bread.” Whenever you add “chen” to the end of a word, it means “little”. Now the next word is die butter [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Butter”.
Judith: Butter [natural native speed]
Chuck: “Butter”.
Judith: This word is actually spelled the same in German and in English, except for the capitalization. As you know, in German, all nouns have to be capitalized. Next word is Marmelade [natural native speed], die Marmelade.
Chuck: Jam.
Judith: I’ll break it down for you. Mar-me-la-de. Marmelade.
Chuck: “Jam”.
Judith: Now, in English, I believe there’s a word marmalade which would mean a jar made of oranges or lemons or something like that, at least in British English. Note that Marmelade in German can be made of any fruit. The next word is Ei [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Egg.”
Judith: Das Ei.
Chuck: “The egg”.
Judith: Next, oder [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Or”.
Judith: Oder.
Chuck: “Or”.
Judith: Using the word oder, you can ask somebody, for example, “Spreche ich mit Chuck oder mit Judith?” “Do I speak with Chuck or with Judith?”
Chuck: So you would wonder is that “ja or nein”?
Judith: No. You’d have to answer with a complete sentence. But it’s useful when you’re talking on the phone. Now, the next word is Pfannkuchen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Pancake”.
Judith: Der Pfannkuchen.
Chuck: “The pancake”.
Judith: Pfannkuchen. Pfannkuchen. Another long word, würstchen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Sausage”.
Judith: Würstchen [natural native speed].
Chuck: “Sausage”.
Judith: Next word, dir [natural native speed].
Chuck: “To you”.
Judith: Dir.
Chuck: “To you”.
Judith: And finally, one really important word, man [natural native speed].
Chuck: That means “one” or like you would say “you”. “Man isst viel Eier” means “one eats a lot of eggs”.
Judith: Yeah. Or “people eat a lot of eggs”. It refers to people in general.
Chuck: Or “You eat a lot of eggs”.
Judith: It’s the equivalent of the French "O"
Chuck: Don’t confuse our listeners now for those who haven’t learned French, but you can also mention this, the Esperanto word Oni. Also note that this has only N at the end, where as mann as in “a man” has two N’s.
Judith: And also, since this is not a noun, it is not capitalized. Now let’s talk about breakfast some more. Chuck, what do you know when you have a breakfast? For example, do you drink coffee?
Chuck: Well, yeah. I drink coffee or juice or milk.
Judith: How about tea? Do you like tea?
Chuck: I personally do, but when I live in the States, I didn’t really drink it that much.
Judith: Well, here in Germany, most people also drink coffee, regular coffee though the Italian coffee has become more and more popular. A lot of people order café latte now or cappuccino or even espresso in the morning. The German coffee, I mean regular coffee, is just so very, very common and the kids, of course, don’t drink coffee. They drink milk instead of cocoa.
Chuck: But you also drink juice for breakfast?
Judith: Really rarely. I haven’t seen it much. Maybe other families regularly drink juice but normally it’s coffee or milk or the like. As for food, what kind of food do you have for breakfast in the USA normally?
Chuck: Like I might have scrambled eggs with sausage or maybe egg sandwich or pancakes.
Judith: That’s what I find so amazing. Pancakes in Germany is definitely a lunch food.
Chuck: Yeah. I remember the first time I went to a little waffle party in Germany and they’re having waffles for lunch and I’m like, “Okay, that’s different. They’re deciding to be different and have it for lunch. That’s nice.
Judith: Well, waffles are normally a lunch food. Waffles are for tea.
Chuck: Plus, what I also found funny at that time we had waffles is we also had waffles with ham in them, which you would never find in the states.
Judith: Well, sounds weird. Anyway, getting back to breakfast, for breakfast, in Germany it’s really like what Michaela said there, most people eat bread or rolls, of course. With that, they have butter, jam, Nutella. Do you know Nutella? It’s a kind of a chocolate-hazelnut spread.
Chuck: I hear sometimes kids would come with their families over to Germany and they have Nutella and they go home and friends, “So what do you think of the food over there?” And they’re like, “It’s great! We get to eat chocolate for breakfast!”
Judith: It’s not quite chocolate but it tastes really yummy. Maybe you can find it at your local Aldi even now that they expanded to America.
Chuck: Well, in the States, you’ll be able to find it. You’ll just have to look for it. It should be near the peanut butter.
Judith: Yeah. Oh, which brings me to the next topic, peanut butter is not all that common here.
Chuck: Yeah. You especially won’t find it in combination with chocolate like you would in the States. So I really miss my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for example.
Judith: Now, I’m not saying that during breakfast, it always has to be sweet. People could also eat like cheese or ham on their bread or they could go for yogurt or cereal or the like; but really, bread and rolls are the general stock of German breakfast food and they’re also quite common for dinner.
Now, I’ll only tell you a bit about German plurals. Normally, they’re hard to predict, and we’ll come back to the topic later, but today we’ll deal with two categories that are not quite as hard. The first category is the one that end in –chen or maybe these nouns can also end in –er, -en, or –el, and they don’t change at all for plural.
Chuck: But how do I know what the plural is then?
Judith: You mean to tell the difference between somebody giving you one cookie or several?
Chuck: Yeah. That could be quite important, actually.
Judith: Well, you can tell by the article. You know that for singular, you have to decide it’s a der, die, or das Plätzchen. With words ending in –chen, it’s actually easy; they’re always neuter. So it’s das Plätzchen for singular; and for plural, it will always be die. Die Plätzchen. Die is the only possible article for plural.
Chuck: So finally something with article is easy in German.
Judith: Yeah. It’s really easy because this is true for any noun independent of the category.
Chuck: Well, unless you have cases, that is.
Judith: Well, even with that, it’s usually still a die. We’ll get to that later. Now I’ll give you some examples of how to form a plural for this first category of nouns that don’t change at all. For example, the word that we already learned was der Freiberufler.
Chuck: “The freelancer.”
Judith: The plural is die Freiberufler.
Chuck: “The freelancers.”
Judith: “Der” changes to “die” and nothing else changes because this is the word that ends in –er. An example for a noun ending –en is“das Brötchen”.
Chuck: “The role”. Can you guess what that is?
Judith: No. It’s easy “die Brötchen”.
Chuck: “The rolls”.
Judith: And finally, I don’t think we encountered any noun ending in –el yet, but since it’s the same rule, I’ll just give you an example. “der Zettel”.
Chuck: “The note”.
Judith: And the plural is “die Zettel”.
Chuck: “The notes”.
Judith: Really easy so far, isn’t it? Now there’s a lot of words in this category because –er is a very common ending for professions or nationalities or the like. Die engländer for example, “the Englishman”, they always have an –er ending. Also, -chen is a very common ending, which puts more nouns into this category. Note that the word das Gebäude, the building, which you already learned, is also part of this category despite not having any of the characteristic endings. Now, I was talking of two categories of nouns that we’re going to cover today. The first one was a real easy one that doesn’t change at all, and the other category are ones that end in some other consonant and they will add –er for plural. For example, das Lied.
Chuck: “The song”.
Judith: “die Lieder”
Chuck: “The songs”.
Judith: “das Ei”
Chuck: “The egg”.
Judith: “die Eier”
Chuck: “The eggs”.
Judith: I’m sure adding –er is not so bad. You can remember it, but there’s an additional compilation, that is, this category of nouns likes to change their vowel whenever they are given the change. Basically, when there’s only a single vowel in the word, that vowel turns into an umlaut.
Chuck: Evil umlauts.
Judith: Umlauts are those two dots on top of the vowel.
Chuck: The ones that are almost impossible to pronounce.
Judith: They’re easy enough to pronounce. Just practice a bit more, you know. If you really have trouble with them, go to the learning center and listen to the vocabulary pronounced a couple of times, and I’m sure you’ll get into it. Anyway, so examples of these nouns that add –er and change their vowel are “der Mann”…
Chuck: “The man”.
Judith: “Die Männer”
Chuck: “The men”.
Judith: “Mann, Männer.”
Chuck: What’s another example?
Judith: “das Buch”
Chuck: “The book”.
Judith: “die Bücher”
Chuck: “The books”.
Judith: “Buch, Bücher”
Chuck: I figured you would use that as an example just because you love bookstores.
Judith: Oh, I love them, yes.
Chuck: So, from the dialogue, we saw that John expected Pfannkuchen, Eier, oder Würstchen, and Michaela had a completely different idea of what breakfast should look like.
Judith: Let’s listen to the dialogue again.
John: Was gibt es zum Frühstück?
Michaela: Es gibt Brötchen, Butter, Marmelade...
John: Gibt es keine Eier? Oder Pfannkuchen?
Michaela: Pfannkuchen zum Frühstück???
John: Oder Würstchen? In Deutschland isst man viele Würstchen, oder?
Michaela: Ich mache Ihnen ein Ei und Würstchen.


Chuck: Oh, isn’t that sweet of her?
Judith: If you’re staying in Germany, be sure to also try German food, though. You may even like it.
Chuck: In the forum, there’s currently a thread in good restaurants in Berlin, though I don’t think there are many recommendations with German restaurants yet.
Judith: It’s a crime to come to Germany and not try any of the local specialties.
Chuck: But it’s definitely a crime to come to Germany and not try the German beer. It’s so good. Have you listened to the audio blog on German beer yet?
Judith: I think the language may be too difficult for you, but you can always just read the English translation of the text in the PDF accompanying the audio blog just like you can find the English translations of all our lesson dialogues in the PDFs.
Chuck: But with the premium subscription, you’ll find the paragraph-by-paragraph or line-by-line translation in the learning center.
Judith: All right! Thanks for listening!
Chuck: Hope to see you all next week!
Judith: Bis bald!