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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Eric: Hello and welcome to Culture Class: German Superstitions and Beliefs, Lesson 4 - Pointing at Someone and Completely Finishing Your Plate. I'm Eric and I'm joined by Jennifer.
Jennifer: Hallo! I'm Jennifer.
THE TWO SUPERSTITIONS
Eric: In this lesson we’ll talk about two common superstitions in Germany. The first superstition is about bad luck. What’s it called in German?
Jennifer: Mit dem Finger auf jemandem zeigen
Eric: Which literally means "to point a finger at someone." Jennifer, can you repeat the German phrase again?
Jennifer: [slow] Mit dem Finger auf jemandem zeigen [normal] Mit dem Finger auf jemandem zeigen
Eric: So pointing at someone will bring bad luck?
Jennifer: Well, at the very least, it’s considered disrespectful.
Eric: It's because in the Middle Ages, Germans believed that pointing a finger at someone would curse that person.
Jennifer: Right it would drain their energy and spirit.
Eric: So instead of pointing at someone, just describe the person you’re trying to point out.
Jennifer: Right. It’s a good way to practice your German too.
Eric: The second superstition is about good luck. What’s it called in German?
Jennifer: Iss den Teller leer für gutes Wetter
Eric: Which literally means "completely finish your plate for good weather." Let’s hear it in German again.
Jennifer: [slow] Iss den Teller leer für gutes Wetter [normal] Iss den Teller leer für gutes Wetter
Eric: I was babysitting my baby cousin the other weekend and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get her to finish her peas.
Jennifer: Did you tell her that finishing her plate would bring good weather?
Eric: No I didn’t. Is that a German superstition?
Jennifer: Yes. It comes from a Low German idiom that was incorrectly translated into High German.
Eric: And now, it’s used by parents to motivate their children to finish their dish.
Jennifer: So maybe you can try it out on your baby cousin.
Eric: It’s worth a shot!

Outro

Eric: There you have it - two German superstitions! Are they similar to any of your country’s superstitions? Let us know in the comments!
Jennifer: Auf Wiedersehen!

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GermanPod101.com
Wednesday at 6:30 pm
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Have you ever experienced something similar to what was explained in the lesson?

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Donna Kingsbury
Friday at 10:47 pm
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Ich liebe Schweine! Sie sind mein lieblinges Tier.?