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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Beginner series, lesson 3.
Judith: [Willkommen zurück]
Chuck: Welcome back. This is the 150th lesson that GermanPod101 has published.
Judith: Wow! 150 lessons. If you listened to all of them or even just most of them, your German must have improved a lot.
Chuck: And if you haven’t listened to all of them yet, go back to GermanPod101.com and check them out www.GermanPod101.com is the only place you can find all of our lessons.
Judith: While you are there, leave us a comment on this lesson. Maybe you’d like to congratulate GermanPod101 for reaching lesson #150.
Chuck: Or maybe you have a serious question that you want a native speaker to answer. Post your questions in the forum or as a comment underneath the lesson that they relate to.
Judith: We will see you there.
Chuck: Now let’s listen to the conversation. Today’s conversation is again a continuation of the last lessons.
Judith: So it’s still between Maria Muller and the policeman. Both are speaking formal German.
P: Warum gehen Sie an die Spree?
Chuck: Ich gehe an die Spree, weil ich Inspiration für meine Bücher suche.
P: Was für Bücher schreiben Sie?
Chuck: Kennen Sie meine Bücher nicht??
P: Nein.
Chuck: Hmpf. Ich schreibe Krimis.
P: Denken Sie, dass an der Spree Verbrechen passieren?
Judith: Now it’s slowly.
P: Warum gehen Sie an die Spree?
Chuck: Ich gehe an die Spree, weil ich Inspiration für meine Bücher suche.
P: Was für Bücher schreiben Sie?
Chuck: Kennen Sie meine Bücher nicht??
P: Nein.
Chuck: Hmpf. Ich schreibe Krimis.
P: Denken Sie, dass an der Spree Verbrechen passieren?
Judith: Now with the translation.
P: Warum gehen Sie an die Spree?
P: Why do you go to the Spree River?
Chuck: Ich gehe an die Spree, weil ich Inspiration für meine Bücher suche.
Chuck: I go to the Spree, because I search for inspiration for my books.
P: Was für Bücher schreiben Sie?
P: What kind of books do you write?
Chuck: Kennen Sie meine Bücher nicht??
Chuck: You do not know my books ??
P: Nein.
P: No.
Chuck: Hmpf. Ich schreibe Krimis.
Chuck: Hmpf. I write mystery novels.
P: Denken Sie, dass an der Spree Verbrechen passieren?
P: Do you think that crimes happen at the Spree?
Chuck: Do you think that crimes happen in the spree?
Judith: Do you already know what might have happened?
Chuck: No I don’t know. What about you?
Judith: Well I wrote the story. So I know of course but I’d really like to hear our listeners’ speculations.
Chuck: So go to GermanPod101.com, click in this lesson and tell us your speculations in the comments.
Judith: It will be fun to hear what you can come up with.
Chuck: So you think you can come up with some vocabulary for this lesson?
Judith: You bet I do. First word [warum]
Chuck: Why?
Judith: [Warum]
Chuck: Why?
Judith: [Warum, Warum]
Chuck: Why
Judith: Next [Weil]
Chuck: Because
Judith: [Weil]
Chuck: Because
Judith: Next [Suchen]
Chuck: To search for
Judith: [Suchen, Suchen]
Chuck: To search for
Judith: Next [Für]
Chuck: For
Judith: [Für]
Chuck: For
Judith: Next [Mein]
Chuck: My
Judith: [Mein]
Chuck: My
Judith: Next [Buch]
Chuck: Book
Judith: [Buch]
Chuck: Book
Judith: This word is neutral and the plural is [Bücher]
Chuck: Books
Judith: In German, you often have to learn the pleural with the noun because there are several different ways of forming a plural. We will cover that later. Just remember that [Bücher] is the plural of [Buch]. Next [Was für]
Chuck: What kind of
Judith: [Was für]
Chuck: What kind of
Judith: Next [Schreiben]
Chuck: To write
Judith: [Schreiben, Schreiben]
Chuck: To write
Judith: Next [Kennen]
Chuck: To know or be familiar with
Judith: [Kennen, Kennen]
Chuck: To know or be familiar with. Note this [Kennen] means to know as in to know a person or a place rather than to know a fact.
Judith: Yes next [Krimi]
Chuck: Mystery novel.
Judith: [Krimi]
Chuck: Mystery novel.
Judith: I believe that this originally meant [Kriminalroman] but [Krimi] is so common now that nobody thinks of it as an abbreviation any more.
Chuck: Yeah so you will often also hear Germans say, do you like to read crime?
Judith: It’s just hard to translate. A mystery doesn’t sound the same because in German, we have another form of books. They are called Mystery books and they are still a bit different.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: They are not necessarily about a crime. Just mysterious things happening you know X-Files or something. You call them a mystery and before I forget, [Krimi] is masculine and plural is [Krimis]
Chuck: Mystery novels.
Judith: Next [Denken]
Chuck: To think.
Judith: [Denken, Denken]
Chuck: To think.
Judith: Next [Dass]
Chuck: That
Judith: [Dass]
Chuck: That. Notice this was two S’s at the end and it’s used to separate the main clause from the sub clause.
Judith: For example, [ich denke, dass] and then something.
Chuck: Exactly.
Judith: Next [Verbrechen]
Chuck: Crime
Judith: [Verbrechen, Verbrechen]
Chuck: Crime
Judith: This word is neutral and the plural is the same. [Verbrechen]
Chuck: Crimes.
Judith: Next [passieren]
Chuck: To happen.
Judith: [passieren]
Chuck: To happen.
Judith: And that’s all for today. So now let’s talk about the topic that I really love.
Chuck: What’s that?
Judith: Book stories.
Chuck: Oh! Oh oh!
Judith: And books.
Chuck: Oh it’s going to be a while. Judith is in the bookstore.
Judith: I am not in the bookstore. Otherwise you would really take it away.
Chuck: I thought that this is going to be our longest podcast ever.
Judith: Let’s just compare between Germany and USA.
Chuck: All right. Sounds good.
Judith: What have you noticed here?
Chuck: What have I noticed, well I have noticed that there is generally it’s not as common that you will find a place to sit down but I have also noticed that in recent years, that has been changing in Germany at least in bookstores I have seen.
Judith: I think it also depends on how large the bookstore is. If it’s a very big one, then they are more likely to have a little corner with nice couches or something.
Chuck: Yeah although actually I have been seeing it generally in the middle, the very center of the bookstore, they seem to have seats.
Judith: I think it does not matter as long as there are some because I like to browse my books before buying.
Chuck: Yeah, what have you noticed?
Judith: Well, I haven’t seen that many American bookstores. Maybe I can tell you that German bookstores will mostly have German books and maybe a little – a few English ones and there will be books about general knowledge. That’s something that I think is not so common in the States, you have books about – that say like, read this book and you will have good general knowledge. Generally Self-help books or books on how to behave.
Chuck: I think they are quite common in the States as well.
Judith: How to Behave?
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: I haven’t seen also. I was thinking because in Germany, it’s so common for people to you know, one to improve their standing by appearing more sophisticated.
Chuck: You would also see tons and tons of self help books in the States.
Judith: Yeah self help German books. I don’t know. I have to go back again. One thing I really liked in the States is that you can sometimes get free water you know when you are in a bookstore or waiting somewhere or…
Chuck: I have noticed that lately, pretty much all bookstores except for the really small ones in the States have a café attached to them but I think you pretty rarely find that in Germany.
Judith: Uhoo definitely.
Chuck: So I can’t think of any.
Judith: Also audio books have become a lot more popular here. Not sure over there but here you can find a lot of literature now available as an audiobook. I mean from the classics to really, really cheap stuff you know. Cheap novels, you can also find as an audiobook or there are also audio books used for foreign language learning. If you want to learn Spanish or French or whatever based in German, then they give you these CDs that have a booklet in it and you get the booklet that contains the book.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: Particularly with some vocabulary explanations. I think it is neat idea.
Chuck: I think you typically don’t have that in the states because most people can’t understand the foreign language well enough to understand them unfortunately.
Judith: I think that’s all it I can think of right now about books and bookstores.
Chuck: Well you are done with books. That’s like the fastest time.
Judith: I am not done with books. I just haven’t been to the states recently enough to say more about the subject. Maybe in a later lesson.
Chuck: All right. Sounds good.

Lesson focus

Judith: So we will do some grammar.
Chuck: Do we have to?
Judith: Yes we have to.
Chuck: All right. And I guess, we will do some grammar then.
Judith: Come on, this is the easy stuff.
Chuck: So what are you going to teach us today?
Judith: I was going to teach you how to make your sentence negative but I think you can teach that you. Don’t you?
Chuck: Ah okay, you just add [nicht]
Judith: Yes as simple as that. For example, [Ich wohne in Berlin] as the first sentence and…
Chuck: Let me try this. [Ich wohne nicht] in Berlin.
Judith: Exactly.
Chuck: That was tough.
Judith: That would be I don’t live in Berlin and [Sie schreiben gut] You write well?
Chuck: [Sie schreiben nicht gut]
Judith: Exactly. You don’t write well or you write not well. That’s no different actually in German.
Chuck: Yeah and notice that the first one is literally I live not in Berlin because if you ever talk with Germans, you will often hear this mistake in their English, I live not in Berlin.
Judith: Additionally in this dialogue, we have seen some subclauses. For example, we have the sentence [Ich gehe an die Spree, weil ich Inspiration für meine Bücher suche] and in this sentence, [Weil ich Inspiration für meine Bücher suche] is a subclause.
Chuck: Because I inspiration for my book search for.
Judith: Books pleural.
Chuck: Books yeah, that’s true.
Judith: And similarly [Das an der Spree Verbrechen passieren] is a subclause to [denken Sie] So [denken Sie] do you think and [das an der Spree Verbrechen passieren]
Chuck: Do you think that on the spree, crimes happen?
Judith: Yes.
Chuck: Actually that one almost works.
Judith: Almost. All subclauses in German have one thing in common. The verbs move to the very end and they pile up there if necessary.
Chuck: Yeah it’d be pretty crazy when you see a couple of verbs at the end. I think Mark Twain wrote quite a bit on that.
Judith: Yeah but he hadn’t researched his stuff well. He wrote some sentences that we wouldn’t say like this.
Chuck: Yeah Euro-Journalism hah!
Judith: Just remember. Normally in the normal sentence, the verb comes in second position and if you have a subclause then the verb will come last. It’s as easy as that. I think the most difficult part to realize is that when you have a subclause that comes first in the sentence, then that will count as the first item and the verb will come next to it after the subclause. For example, if you invert this thing [Weil ich Inspiration für meine Bücher suche, gehe ich an die Spree]
Chuck: All right.
Judith: See it’s not [Weil ich Inspiration für meine Bücher suche ich gehe an die Spree but gehe ich] because this whole subclause counts as the first item of the sentence.
Chuck: Yeah. So to summarize, the verb comes last in the subclauses. It will come in the first in a yes or no question and it will come second in the other sentence or a question. If you can memorize the simple rule, you have mastered most of German word order.
Judith: Yeah I think it’s easy enough. I already mastered it.
Chuck: Umm you are a native speaker.
Judith: Well yes.
Chuck: It’s kind of cheating, isn’t it?
Judith: I think you are doing well too though.
Chuck: All right.
Judith: You are not forgetting that rule too often. So that’s it for today.


Chuck: Now don’t forget to stop by GermanPod101.com and pick up the lesson notes.
Judith: It has the conversation transcript.
Chuck: Vocabulary, sample sentences and grammar explanation
Judith: And a cultural insights section.
Chuck: Seeing the German really helps you remember faster. Try it for yourself.
Judith: I am looking forward to communicating with you in German.
Chuck: Yeah. And you will get there if you just study your lessons and keep at it. So see you next week.
Judith: In German, that is [bis nächste Woche]

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