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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Beginner series, Season 2, Lesson #16. Article Changes, The News From The Spree! Hello and welcome to the Beginner series, Season 2 at germanpod101.com where we study modern German in a fun, educational format.
Judith: So brush up on the German that you started learning long ago or start learning today.
Chuck: Thanks for being here with us for this lesson. Judith, what are we looking at in this lesson?
Judith: In this lesson, you will learn how to recognize typical changes in adjectives and articles.
Chuck: This conversation takes place at home in front of the TV.
Judith: The conversation is between Maria and her boyfriend who are watching the news.
Chuck: The speakers are friends. Therefore they will be speaking informal German. If you don’t already have one
Judith: Stop by germanpod101.com
Chuck: And sign up for your free lifetime account.
Judith: You can sign up in less than 30 seconds.
Chuck: All right. Let’s listen to the conversation.
M: Ah, die Nachrichten!
B: Lass uns mal reinhören.
N: Die Polizei warnt vor der Sonnensekte. Diese Sekte soll einen Massenselbstmord planen.
N: Heute war die Polizei im Haus der Sekte am Spreeufer in Berlin und stellte Gift sicher.
N: Und jetzt das Wetter für die nächsten Tage…
Judith: Now it’s slowly.
M: Ah, die Nachrichten!
B: Lass uns mal reinhören.
N: Die Polizei warnt vor der Sonnensekte. Diese Sekte soll einen Massenselbstmord planen.
N: Heute war die Polizei im Haus der Sekte am Spreeufer in Berlin und stellte Gift sicher.
N: Und jetzt das Wetter für die nächsten Tage…
Judith: Now with the translation.
M: Ah, die Nachrichten!
M: Ah, the news!
B: Lass uns mal reinhören.
B: Let's listen in.
N: Die Polizei warnt vor der Sonnensekte. Diese Sekte soll einen Massenselbstmord planen.
N: The police warns of the sun sect. This sect is said to be planning a mass suicide.
N: Heute war die Polizei im Haus der Sekte am Spreeufer in Berlin und stellte Gift sicher.
N: Today the police was in the sect's house on the shore of the Spree in Berlin and seized poison.
N: Und jetzt das Wetter für die nächsten Tage…
N: And now the weather for the next days…
Chuck: So what cultural point can come up with that? Can you talk about poison?
Judith: No I thought I would talk about religion in Germany. As in all Western European democracies, Freedom of Religion is of course guaranteed by our constitution. You can practice any faith openly or in private and you also may not be prejudiced or favored because of your religious beliefs.
Chuck: In fact, the majority of Germans are non-practicing Christians. Officially, there are 32.3% protestants and 31.9% Catholics. Well they are actually higher because of the Church tax. Actually could you go into more detail about the Church tax?
Judith: If you are officially registered as a protestant or as a catholic, then you will have to pay a Church tax and the state will collect money, but it will go straight to your church to support them to be able to pay for the churches and the priests and stuff.
Chuck: And also don’t be surprised if you get a job here in Germany and you will find that they ask you when you sign up. They will say, what religion are you and it shocked me at first and only later did I find out that it is because of this church tax.
Judith: Yeah but you don’t have to be too worried because they are not allowed to say not employ you because of your religious beliefs.
Chuck: But it’s just used because of the church tax.
Judith: Yeah and apart from Christians, the second largest religion is Islam. 4% of Germans are Muslim and then there is Buddhism and Judaism which claim 0,25% each. That’s really going down. The majority is really protestant or catholic. Germany is not so much a country of immigrants and that’s why we don’t have much religious diversity.
Chuck: This maybe due to Germany’s stricter laws and such organizations. The German government doesn’t easily recognize new face and what’s more, It will actively pursue organizations who use religious indoctrination to defraud people with their money.
Judith: Yeah like small sects or independent churches or basically anybody who is trying to make money of the followers or really brainwashes them.
Chuck: But one way in which Germany is more Christian than the USA is that religious education classes are in most states.
Judith: Yes it is part of public school. If you go to public school, then you either have to take religious education classes or philosophy classes that is Ethics.
Chuck: But now I think it’d be very ethical of us to teach the vocabulary and phrases. So let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Judith: First word [Nachricht]
Chuck: Message or news.
Judith: [Nachricht, Nachricht, die Nachricht] This is feminine and the plural [Nachrichten]. In fact you always hear the plural [Nachrichten] when you are talking about the news. [Reinhören]
Chuck: To listen in.
Judith: [Reinhören, reinhören] The [Rein] splits off. [Warnen]
Chuck: To warn.
Judith: [Warnen, warnen]. Sekte.
Chuck: Sect.
Judith: [Sekte, Sekte, die Sekte] This is feminine. [Sollen]
Chuck: Shall or be supposed to.
Judith: [Sollen, sollen]. Masse.
Chuck: Mass.
Judith: [Masse, die Masse] This is feminine. [Selbstmord].
Chuck: Suicide.
Judith: [Selbstmord, Selbstmord, der Selbstmord] This is masculine. [Planen].
Chuck: To plan.
Judith: [Planen, planen]. Haus.
Chuck: House.
Judith: [Haus, Haus, das Haus] This is neuter and the plural is [Häuser]. Sicherstellen.
Chuck: To insure or seize.
Judith: [Sicherstellen, sicherstellen] the [Sicher] splits off. [Gift]
Chuck: Poison.
Judith: [Gift, Gift, das Gift] This is neuter. [Nächster, nächste, nächstes]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Nächster, nächste, nächstes]
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: Today we should look at the various forms of the past tense here. We had [War]
Chuck: Was
Judith: This is the past tense of [Sein] to be and similarly we had [Stellte]
Chuck: Put.
Judith: Which is the past tense of [Stellen]
Chuck: To put.
Judith: Most German verbs actually work this way. They form the past tense by adding [Te] like [Stellte] but you don’t need to know all this right now. We will look at this in detail in the intermediate series. For now, it’s good if you remember [War] and you remember the [Te] ending. You will already be able to understand a lot more German text. Okay how about some grammar?

Lesson focus

Chuck: So you might be thinking that it’s a bit daunting that the article sometimes [Der] and sometimes [Dem] or [Den] or [Die] for the same word. And that the adjective sometimes require endings and sometimes don’t, but as a beginner you shouldn’t worry too much about these changes. It’s all part of the Declension System which allows you to identify the role of the word in the sentence just based on its form.
Judith: If you use incorrect forms, it won’t impede your understanding. That’s why you shouldn’t worry too much until you are at a higher level but at this stage, we will give you some general rules you can try.
Chuck: First note that the definite article is always D and plural and that there is no indefinite article in plural.
Judith: As we’ve seen in lesson #10, there are different ways of forming the plurals. So there is no one thing to look out for nouns but nouns really change if not for the plurals. So when you see a modified noun form, it’s most likely plural.
Chuck: Adjectives are most likely to have the ending en but if they come after the form of to be, they don’t change at all.
Judith: This is special in German because in Spanish and French, you would have to change the adjective when it follows after to be.


Chuck: That just about does it for today. Before we go, we want to tell you about a way to drastically improve your pronunciation.
Judith: The voice recording tool.
Chuck: Yes the voice recording tool in the premium learning center.
Judith: Record your voice with a click of a button
Chuck: And then play it back just as easily.
Judith: So you record your voice and then you listen to it.
Chuck: Compare it to the native speakers.
Judith: And adjust your pronunciation.
Chuck: This will help improve your pronunciation fast. So see you next week.
Judith: [Bis nächste Woche].