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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Germany series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential information about Germany, German culture and German people. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 8 - Fairy Tales in German.
Few things remind you of your childhood as much as fairy tales! It’s the same in Germany.
In 1812 the Brothers Grimm collected the common people's fairy tales and published them in a book. But even in the Middle Ages, well before the Brothers Grimm got to work on their collection, fairy tales were passed on verbally from generation to generation. The Brothers Grimm or Die Brüder Grimm collected and published these fairy tales during the 19th century. In their book of fairy tale stories, you can find classic popular stories like "Cinderella" or in German Aschenputtel, "Hansel and Gretel," or Hänsel und Gretel, "Snow White," or Schneewittchen, and "Rapunzel," which in German is "Rapunzel".
The first collection had eighty-six stories, and was republished several times until it became a collection of more than 200 stories.
Although characters and stories are different from tale to tale, German fairy tales do share many common traits. For example, they often take place in worlds where animals can speak, and witches and fairies can use magic. And finally at the end, good is rewarded and evil receives its just punishment!
In German fairy tales, the stories end with the phrase [Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind dann leben sie noch heute] which literally means “If they didn't die, then they're living on today. It’s a traditional German phrase that ends fairy tales, equivalent to “they lived happily ever after.” While we’re on the topic of fairy tale closers, “Once upon a time” in German is Es war einmal.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com, and we’ll see you in the next lesson!