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Chuck: This is Intermediate Series Lesson 13.
Judith: Willkommen.
Chuck: Welcome to the 13th GermanPod101 Intermediate Lesson.
Judith: This lesson will introduce another interesting German song to you as learning German from songs is fun.
Chuck: Alright, so what song is it this time?
Judith: Der Himmel brennt by Wolfgang Petry. It’s a Schlager, a hit song. Not one of my favorites but you will hear it at many German barbeque party.
Chuck: I thought you hated Schlager. I thought you said you would never ever listen to Schlager.
Judith: Well, I won’t listen to it. We’ll just discuss it.
Chuck: Aha. This is when you’re happy for those copyright laws, aren’t you? Ok, so since Judith doesn’t listen to it, let’s see what the average German to then, since we know that Judith isn’t average. As usual, the lesson description on GermanPod101.com contains a link to a song where you can listen to part of the song or buy it as a legal MP3 because buying it as an illegal MP3 wouldn’t be a good idea. So let’s look at the text now.
Judith: Alright. Das Bier vor mir das schmeckt genauso mies wie ich mich fühl.
Chuck: “The beer in front of me tastes exactly…” mies is like?
Judith: “Awful”.
Chuck: “Awful”, ok. “Tastes exactly awful like I feel myself”, a bit too literal I think.
Judith: “It tastes as awful as I feel.” Can you say it like that? I think you can.
Chuck: Yes.
Judith: Mein Hemd von Schweiß verklebt.
Chuck: “My Swiss shirt”?
Judith: “My sweatshirt”?
Chuck: Ah, right. Schweiß not Schweiz.
Judith: Yeah, careful. This one has an SZ at the end, and that means “sweat”.
Chuck: So “My sweaty shirt is clinging”.
Judith: Yes. Or literally “My shirt clinging with sweat”. Verklebt is one of those participles that we discussed a couple of lessons ago. Die Luft im Zimmer feucht und schwül.
Chuck: “The room in the air…”
Judith: No, “The air in the room”.
Chuck: Yeah, I guess that does make more sense. “The air in the room…” feucht is?
Judith: Feucht is “wet”.
Chuck: “Wet”. “Wet and gay”?
Judith: No. “Humid”. Don’t confuse schwül and schwul.
Chuck: Yeah, cause those sound so different from each other.
Judith: They do actually. Besides, the context - the air is humid, obviously.
Chuck: Ok. But it’d be kind of funny if it was gay. I was actually thinking it might be the - do you also have in German where you have the word “gay” for an old sense of “happy” or not at all?
Judith: No. No.
Chuck: You can’t say schwul meaning “happy”?
Judith: No.
Chuck: Ok, that’s useful to know.
Judith: Du hast es geschafft.
Chuck: “You’ve done it.”
Judith: Ich heule um dich.
Chuck: “I'm proud of you”?
Judith: No. “I'm weeping about you.” Heulen is like really loud kind of weeping, crying.
Chuck: Ok. I was close at least.
Judith: Like in Harry Potter. In Harry Potter those annoyed parents’ letters, they’re called Heuler.
Chuck: You mean the people complaining about Harry Potter?
Judith: No. You have to be a Harry Potter fan. It’s those letters when you’re parents are dissatisfied with you and you get them and they start opening and screaming at you.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: It’s obvious you haven’t read Harry Potter yet. Shame on you.
Chuck: No, I’ve watched a few of the movies.
Judith: It’s a good way to learn German too. If you have read the English Harry Potter then you could get the German one and read and compare it. It will be easier to read because you already know what’s happening approximately.
Chuck: Or I could watch the movies dubbed into German.
Judith: I hate that way. Ok, on with the song text. Du bist abgehauen.
Chuck: Abhauen is…?
Judith: It’s “to go away”, “to run away” actually. And it’s colloquial.
Chuck: “You’ve been sent away” or?
Judith: No.
Chuck: “You’ve run away”?
Judith: “You’ve run away”, yes.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: Abhauen.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: Colloquial. Du siehst es ja nicht.
Chuck: “You don’t see it.”
Judith: Don’t you love it? It’s oh like one line sentences and very easy language too, especially the next part of the song, it’s all really easy. I’ve hardly had to write out any vocabulary for you. That’s one of the characteristics of Schlager, it’s very easy, very repetitive, same kind of beat and…
Chuck: At least like a lot of the words that the people would use, say, in fiction, that if you’re just speaking German you may not have come across.
Judith: Really? I don’t see any fiction words there, literary words.
Chuck: Like heulen.
Judith: No, heulen it’s… it’s common.
Chuck: I’ve never heard it before. Guess I’ve never had anyone weeping about me before.
Judith: Ok. Chorus. Der Himmel brennt, die Engel fliehen.
Chuck: “The sky burns, the…” I was thinking that’s “angel”.
Judith: Yes, Engel, der Engel, “the angel”.
Chuck: Ok. “The angel flies”?
Judith: No, “are fleeing”.
Chuck: Ah ok. Thought that was slang for fliegen.
Judith: No, fliehen with just an H is “to flee”.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: Wir sind durch Rauch und Feuer getrennt.
Chuck: “We’re separated by smoke and fire”?
Judith: Yes. Ich sitze hier und schau dir nach.
Chuck: “I'm sitting here and looking at you”?
Judith: “Looking after you” as in watching you.
Chuck: Ah ok.
Judith: Nachsehen or nachschauen. Und werde warten bis ich verbrenn.
Chuck: “And will wait until I finish burning” or “burn up”?
Judith: Yeah, verbrennen, “burn up”. Der Himmel brennt, die Engel fliehen.
Chuck: “The sky burns…”
Judith: or is burning.
Chuck: “As is Heaven.”
Judith: Yes, I think in this case it’ll be Heaven because we’re talking of angels.
Chuck: Yeah. I thought Engel was first a bird, that’s why I translated that way. Ok. What is “eagle” anyway?
Judith: Adler.
Chuck: Adler? Ok. So “The Heaven burns, the angels flee…”
Judith: Und ich erstick in schwarzen Wolken.
Chuck: “And I get stuck in black clouds”?
Judith: No, ersticken is “to choke”, “to suffocate”.
Chuck: Ok, it doesn’t sound pleasant.
Judith: It can be both either you yourself suffocating or choking somebody else.
Chuck: Can you pick a happier song? Keep bringing my day down. And all of our listeners may I add.
Judith: This is just figurative, you know?
Chuck: So that just makes it ok.
Judith: Mein Fehler war, ich hab geglaubt, du wirst mir ins Feuer folgen.
Chuck: “My air was… you had believed, you want to follow me into the fire.”
Judith: “You will”.
Chuck: Ah, “you will”.
Judith: Or in this case in English you would have to say “you would”. Doch der Himmel, den wir wollten, der Himmel brennt.
Chuck: “Indeed the heaven…”
Judith: Doch is not “indeed”. It’s usually used to indicate an opposition like a “but” or “however”, but it’s used much more often than “however” and “but” are used in English.
Chuck: Ok. I guess it means, but it means more “indeed” when you’re speaking, right?
Judith: In some sentences, yeah. Komm doch her. Something like that. I guess you could translate it like that.
Chuck: Doch.
Judith: But at the beginning of a sentence or at the beginning of a sub clause it’s opposition, you’re opposing two parts that are not alike.
Chuck: Ok, so it’s sort of like…
Judith: But, however.
Chuck: Sonst? No.
Judith: Aber.
Chuck: Alright. Where were we anyway?
Judith: Doch der Himmel, den wir wollten, der Himmel brennt.
Chuck: “However the Heaven that we wanted, the Heaven burns.”
Judith: Ich liebe dich.
Chuck: Oh I know this one. “I love you.”
Judith: Ich schrei die Worte an die Wand vor mir.
Chuck: “I scream the words on the wall…”
Judith: “At”, “scream it at the wall”.
Chuck: Ah. “I scream the words at, at the wall in front of me.” Schrei is a cool Tokyo Hotel song, isn’t it?
Judith: I don't know it. And I don’t think I want to know it.
Chuck: We should have a Tokyo Hotel song in here sometime.
Judith: Oh there will be one soon enough.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: Dort hängt dein Bild.
Chuck: “There your picture hangs”.
Judith: Yeah, he’s talking about the wall. He’s screaming “I love you” and he screams it at a picture hanging at the wall.
Chuck: Aha.
Judith: Ich dreh es um, ich will dich nicht mehr hier.
Chuck: “I turn it around…”
Judith: The picture.
Chuck: Yeah. I guessed that. “I don’t want you anymore.”
Judith: “Here anymore”.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: Auf dein Wohl!
Chuck: “On your will”?
Judith: “Here’s to you”, it’s like a…
Chuck: Like a toast.
Judith: Cheers.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: Du weißt doch, dass ich dich brauch.
Chuck: “You know however that I need you.”
Judith: “Indeed you know”, in this case it’s “indeed”.
Chuck: Hey, you tricked me. This is the doch.
Judith: I told you, when it’s at the beginning of a sentence it’s “however”.
Chuck: You’re still tricking me. Ok, go on.
Judith: Warum lässt du mich hier, in Asche und Rauch.
Chuck: “Why do you leave me here in ashes and smoke?”
Judith: Then the chorus again and then a slightly modified version of the chorus. Der Himmel brennt, die Engel fliehen.
Chuck: “The Heaven burns, the angels flee.”
Judith: Wir sind durch Rauch und Feuer getrennt.
Chuck: “We’re separated by smoke and fire.”
Judith: Der Himmel brennt, die Engel fliehen.
Chuck: “The Heaven burns, the angels flee.”
Judith: Und auch uns zwei hat man vertrieben.
Chuck: Let’s see… vertrieben
Judith: It’s past tense of vertreiben, “to expel”.
Chuck: But what is… isn’t in Vertrieb something you would hear?
Judith: Vertrieb is yeah, “logistics” or, yeah, getting your product out.
Chuck: Ah ok. In this case, this is vertreiben which is…
Judith: Vertreiben, “to expel”.
Chuck: “To expel”, ok. “And expels us both…” What?
Judith: “And we both have been expelled too.”
Chuck: Ah ok. That really changes “and to us”.
Judith: And also us two, one has expelled.
Chuck: “Had one expelled.”
Judith: No, “has one”.
Chuck: “Has one”, yeah. “And also us too has…”
Judith: “One…” so you have to rearrange it. “One has expelled also us too.”
Chuck: Yeah. This is like a fun puzzle.
Judith: Well, that’s poetic usage. You can rearrange the words and put whatever is important at the beginning. Von alldem, was wichtig war, ist jetzt am Ende nichts geblieben.
Chuck: “From everything that was important is now at the end, nothing left.”
Judith: Yeah. Von der Hoffnung und der Liebe.
Chuck: “From the hope and the love”.
Judith: And then the chorus again. So at the end of this song you have like three times the chorus, one is not quite this chorus but this is just another example of how repetitive these Schlager songs are usually.
Chuck: Yeah, and it’s really depressing. Well, except for that part about the beer but that didn’t even taste good.
Judith: I think people don’t get too depressed by it. It doesn’t sound really sad, it doesn’t have a sad melody. It’s just… I don't know. People like listening to it for a barbeque or maybe in a pub or drinking beer or…
Chuck: Ok. So can we focus on the happy part of the song, namely the beer? Maybe you can find some cultural point around that.
Judith: Yeah, sure. Let’s talk about…
Chuck: Really?
Judith: Let’s talk about something that in German we call Kneipenkultur.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: That’s “pub culture”.
Chuck: Nice.
Judith: What are pubs in Germany? Well, one thing is that they are particularly popular with students, as you can imagine, university students going to the pub. It helps of course that you can already get alcohol when you’re younger than you have to be in the States. You can get alcohol at 18, 16 even.
Chuck: In Bavaria 5, right?
Judith: Not officially. I don’t think they would have a kid in pubs either, so usually you have to be 18.
Chuck: I think of the Biergarten, they’re probably… Oktoberfest I think is an exception.
Judith: And these pubs can be the meeting pubs for the entire village if you’re in a rural area where there’s nothing to do, no disco, no café or whatever, then everybody meets in the pubs.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: Of course if you have a very big city, then you probably have a whole alley full of pubs, one next to the other or a whole area.
Chuck: Yeah, I think…
Judith: Would be for example Kneipenviertel, it’s a part of the city where there’s lots of pubs.
Chuck: I think even below my apartment there’s two pubs right there. But those are frequented by older people. So you typically notice that pubs will tend, well, at least in bigger cities they tend to either be a younger crowd or an older crowd, I don’t see too much mixing of the two.
Judith: Yeah, it’s different types of pubs and it’s something to be said about them. But also you have to look closely if it’s a smoking or a non-smoking pub because in most parts of Germany it is now illegal to have a smoking pub when some of the customers might be non-smoking or vice-versa. So people have to declare themselves like a smoking club, say this pub is actually not a pub, it’s a smoking club. Then they can keep it smoking. Otherwise they have to do non-smoking or they have to provide separate rooms with separate ventilation systems so that the smoke won’t bother the non-smoking customers.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: I'm really happy, I know that in the States it’s already much more common to have non-smoking everything but over here it’s new and I like it.
Chuck: Even here, in some places in Holland, you’re allowed to smoke marijuana but not cigarettes.
Judith: That’s Holland for you.
Chuck: Yeah. Funny. One thing that also surprised me over here is you…. At least from what I’ve seen in pubs, people tend to play board games more often.
Judith: In pubs?
Chuck: Or those kind of games. Yeah.
Judith: I wouldn’t know.
Chuck: people playing, dice games in one club.
Judith: Very bad dice games or card games, but it’s not that common, I don’t think.
Chuck: Yeah. And when I came home once I saw through the window people playing chess in the pub.
Judith: Really? It must’ve been some pub.
Chuck: Oh well.
Judith: The pub you can usually also eat a little bit. You know, you get your usual array of beer and maybe cocktails, but you can eat. They would usually have something like sandwiches or ready-made baguettes or a cheese plate or something. If you’re lucky…
Chuck: Pretty much everyone has French fries and maybe Schnitzel.
Judith: Yeah, if you’re lucky you can get that. I wouldn’t count on it being any good though.
Chuck: And pretty much no one would have that after, say, 10 o’clock, right? Cause they close the kitchen at that point. Is that nine here?
Judith: I don’t know what time it is usually, but no, you can’t get it at every time of the day. And there are different styles of pubs. Well there’s student pubs with special prices for university students, they’re usually rather cheap, then there’s coffee houses for those who would rather drink coffee or tea, special teas.
Chuck: Which is a bit of a difference than the Dutch meaning of coffee house, but this isn’t DutchPod101, so I don’t need to elaborate. You can figure out what a coffee house would mean…
Judith: Coffee shop they call it there.
Chuck: Coffee shop, that’s right.
Judith: And then there’s… Stop distracting me.
Chuck: Why? It’s fun.
Judith: I was going to say the rustic traditional pubs, really nice furniture, old style and... Typically for older customers too. And then very new, for example the Spanish or Mexican pubs because we don’t have all that many Mexicans around here but it’s like a fashion now. They’ve come over and people will eat tapas there, so this kind of themed pub exists. Also with the Turkish crowd here we have Turkish Arabic pubs where you can smoke those shishas, those water pipes.
Chuck: Yes.
Judith: And there’s gothic pubs, of course, for the gothic crowd and all these clubs that are particularly popular with a particular part of German subculture.
Chuck: And you can’t forget the Irish pubs.
Judith: Irish?
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: Ah yeah, there’s some that call themselves Irish pubs, would be the ones that have Guinness beer. But that’s not like… they’re not really themed.
Chuck: Yeah, I don’t think Judith’s the one best teacher about this kind of thing.
Judith: Yeah, I don’t go to pubs that often. Generally you’ll find more men there than women.
Chuck: Yeah, and also in the pubs you’ll also find a pool table or a Fußballtable as well.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: And if you go to an older pub you may even find a Fußballtable that takes marks and you have to change them at the counter.
Judith: Alright, I think that’s enough about pubs and beer.
Chuck: We were trying, trying session?
Judith: No, now we have grammar.
Chuck: Ok, so if you want to try German beer go to your local supermarket.

Lesson focus

Judith: If they have it. Ok, grammar now.
Chuck: Alright.
Judith: Last lesson we already talked about the perfect tense and we said that you didn’t learn everything in that lesson, so let’s continue our studies. So far we heard that the perfect tense is formed by haben and a form of the participle. And now the thing is it’s not always formed with haben. Sometimes, instead of haben you use a form of sein instead, you know ich bin, du bist, er ist and so on and this would apply mostly to the verbs from the movement, for example gehen, fahren, kommen and so on or also for verbs that are about a changing condition, for example einschlafen, “to fall asleep”, or werden.
Chuck: We noticed that most of the time it is with haben.
Judith: Yes.
Chuck: But occasionally it’s… So if you’re not sure which one to use, just use haben.
Judith: Yes. Or think if it’s a movement or a change of condition. Or there’s two verbs additionally, sein and bleiben, that also use it. So, some examples of this new perfect tense with sein. One example that we saw in the song is Du bist abgehauen.
Chuck: You’ve run away.
Judith: So this would be a verb of movement. And Wir sind geblieben.
Chuck: We stayed.
Judith: That’s a special case.
Chuck: Or “we have stayed”.
Judith: Yes. You know that the rules are different between when we use have stayed and when you use stayed in other language.
Chuck: I thought that was more of what was written and spoken.
Judith: Yes, in German it’s what’s written and spoken. In English there are rules about which situations you’re supposed to use or not.
Chuck: So at least, in that way, German’s easier.
Judith: Yeah. And Was ist passiert?
Chuck: What’s happened?
Judith: And keep in mind that when there’s a very short and very common preterite form, then the perfect is not generally used. So I said, for example, that sein also uses this perfect tense with sein. It’s ich bin gewesen, for example, “I have been”, ich bin gewesen. Not ich habe gewesen, but the thing is you hardly say ich bin gewesen because ich war is shorter and more precise, even in spoken language.
Chuck: Yeah, I didn’t even recognize the ich bin gewesen cause I hear it so incredibly rarely.
Judith: Yeah. Now that’s everything that you need to know about the perfect tense. Just practice it a lot and if you still run into problems you can review this lesson’s and the last lesson’s PDF.
Chuck: And be happy they’re not so irregular as other languages.


Judith: Ok. And next week we’re moving on to a different grammar topic, so if you’re not comfortable with it yet, better review it before next week.
Chuck: So what are we doing this week?
Judith: I'm not going to tell you.
Chuck: Ok, then tell me what song it is?
Judith: Why would I do that? That ruins the excitement, the surprise.
Chuck: You can tell me. Just say it really lightly so they can’t hear.
Judith: If you’re lucky I'm going to let you look at it before we do the recording.
Chuck: Uh, and then I might post it on Twitter so everyone misses out on the surprise. So if you want to see what next week’s song is when I leak the information to you, maybe, then be sure to…