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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Intermediate Series Lesson 4.
Judith: Willkommen.
Chuck: Welcome. It’s already the fourth intermediate lesson, teaching you German through songs.
Judith: I hope that you’re enjoying this series as much as we do. I, for one, love introducing German songs to you.
Chuck: So what song should we discuss today?
Judith: Dieser Weg by Xavier Naidoo. Xavier Naidoo is special among German singer for two reasons. One is because many of his songs could be classified as soul but there’s very little such music in German. And the second reason will be revealed in today’s cultural section.
Chuck: Wow, they play the song on the radio so much.
Judith: Yeah, it’s very common.
Chuck: We teach you what Germans actually hear. I bet you don’t get that in your German class at school.
Judith: Anyway, now we’re going to listen to this song and you can too if you follow the link in the lesson description. On GermanPod101.com, just look at this lesson and you’ll find a link.
Chuck: Alright, let’s look at the lyrics.
Judith: First I’ll read the text alone so that you can get an impression, and then we’ll go through it line by line or every couple lines. Also ging ich diese Straße lang und diese Straße führte zu mir. Das Lied das du am letzten Abend sangst, spielte nun in mir. Noch ein paar Schritte und dann war ich da, mit dem Schlüssel zu dieser Tür. Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein, dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer. Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr. Es war nur ein kleiner Augenblick, einen Moment war ich nicht da. Danach ging ich einen kleinen Schritt und dann wurde es mir klar. Manche treten dich, manche lieben dich, manche geben sich für dich auf. Manche segnen dich, setz dein Segel nicht, wenn der Wind das Meer aufbraust. Dieser Weg, dieser Weg ist steinig und schwer. Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr. Dieser Weg.
Chuck: Dieser Weg.
Judith: That’s the title of the song. Dieser Weg. And now we go through it part by part.
Chuck: So manche treten dich, manche lieben dich. Ok, maybe…
Judith: I don’t think you should sing it.
Chuck: Alright. Due to copyright issues, I'm not allowed to sing this song. At least that what Judith tells me.
Judith: Also ging ich diese Straße lang und diese Straße führte zu mir.
Chuck: So “I went along the street and the street followed me”? No…
Judith: Led to me.
Chuck: Led to me.
Judith: Führen is “to lead”.
Chuck: That’s right.
Judith: Das Lied das du am letzten Abend sangst, spielte nun in mir.
Chuck: “The song that you sang last night plays now in me”.
Judith: Noch ein paar Schritte und dann war ich da, mit dem Schlüssel zu dieser Tür.
Chuck: “In a few steps I was there with the key to this door”.
Judith: It’s amazingly easy, isn’t it?
Chuck: Yeah, so far.
Judith: Now the chorus. Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein.
Chuck: “This way won’t become easier”.
Judith: No, “won’t be an easy one”. Dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer.
Chuck: “This way is stony and hard.”
Judith: “Will be stony and hard.” Pay attention to your tenses. Wird it says.
Chuck: Yeah, we can tell how good my German grammar is.
Judith: In this sentence they’re actually leaving out the verb because they only say wird, wird steinig und schwer. They don’t say, wird steinig und schwer sein, it’s implied.
Chuck: That’s why I'm misunderstanding this. That’s it.
Judith: It’s ok. We’re learning after all.
Chuck: I'm not only a co-host, I'm also a client.
Judith: Yes. And even I learn something about German sometime. Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein.
Chuck: “Not with many will you become alone.”
Judith: No. Einig sein is “to be agreed”.
Chuck: Oh yeah, alone is allein.
Judith: Etre d’accord. Yeah, I know, and studying French doesn’t help but that’s exactly what this verb is. Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein.
Chuck: “You won’t come to an understanding with many people.”
Judith: Doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr.
Chuck: “But this life offers so much more.”
Judith: Yeah. Es war nur ein kleiner Augenblick.
Chuck: “It was only a small instant.”
Judith: Einen Moment war ich nicht da.
Chuck: “One moment I wasn’t there.”
Judith: Danach ging ich einen kleinen Schritt.
Chuck: “Then I went a small step.”
Judith: “I took a small step.” Und dann wurde es mir klar.
Chuck: “And then it was all clear to me.”
Judith: Yes, and then the chorus again.
Chuck: Then the cool part of the song.
Judith: Yeah, it sounds kind of nice. Manche treten dich.
Chuck: So “some kick you”.
Judith: Manche lieben dich.
Chuck: “Some love you”.
Judith: Manche geben sich für dich auf.
Chuck: “Some give themselves for you”?
Judith: “Sacrifice themselves”.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: Manche segnen dich.
Chuck: “Some saw you as an…”
Judith: No. Segnen is “to bless”.
Chuck: Ah, the word sägen is “to saw”, right?
Judith: Sägen, yeah.
Chuck: Sägen, ok.
Judith: Segen is “the blessing”.
Chuck: Segen is “blessing”. Ok.
Judith: Segnen is “to bless”.
Chuck: Aha, yeah.
Judith: It’s kind of like Regen and regnen.
Chuck: Right.
Judith: So, Manche segnen dich.
Chuck: “Some bless you”.
Judith: Setz dein Segel nicht.
Chuck: “Set your…”
Judith: Segel, “sail”.
Chuck: “Sail”, ok. Segnen, Segen, sägen. Yeah, it’s all easy. “Don’t set your sail…”
Judith: Wenn der Wind das Meer aufbraust.
Chuck: “When the wind blows the sea.”
Judith: And this is actually repeated twice. The same as the chorus which follows, it’s also repeated twice. And then a short variation. Dieser Weg, dieser Weg ist steinig und schwer.
Chuck: “This way is stony and hard.”
Judith: This is now present tense, earlier on it was future. Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein.
Chuck: “You won’t come to an understanding with many.”
Judith: Doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr.
Chuck: “But this life offers so much more.”
Judith: Dieser Weg. Dieser Weg.
Chuck: “This way. This way.”
Judith: And that’s the song. I guess you realized that it is a religious song even if nothing’s said explicitly and...
Chuck: And the video’s cool too.
Judith: Yeah. That is the other way that Xavier Naidoo is special among German singers because Germany doesn’t have much of a Christian music scene. I mean outside of the old, boring church songs. Christian rock, for example, is unheard of.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: And the very idea that rock music could be non-Christian is also unheard of. Some main stream singers, however, have added a religious song to their portfolio. Like Pur has recently done so and Die Prinzen have a song called “Backstage Pass ins Himmelreich”. “Backstage ticket to the kingdom of heaven”. I think it’s a very cool song, quite apart from the message.
Chuck: Even some American rock bands will have an occasional religious song.
Judith: Yeah. Here it’s very different because they’re not that many religious songs to go around and Xavier Naidoo is specializing. I think all of his songs are about religion. Some sound like love songs at first hearing. The thing that he’s always talking about God, so let’s talk about religion in Germany.
Chuck: So 64 percent of Germans are registered Christians, but in reality the number of baptized Christians is probably a lot higher, but being registered means paying the church tax.
Judith: Yeah. It is really bad because the churches take a part of your income if you’re registered.
Chuck: And one thing that they don’t tell you when you come over here to work is, well, they ask you what religion you are but they don’t tell you why they ask you that. Cause if you say that you’re from a certain religion then part of your salary actually goes to pay the church tax.
Judith: So that’s the reason why a lot of Germans would not be registered Christians, but also it’s just that in Germany there are not as many Christians as there are in the States.
Chuck: Because they don’t want to pay the church tax.
Judith: No. I think in the States you have 84 percent Christian population. I think it’s not that much in Germany mostly because of Eastern Germany. Eastern Germany, the communist government promoted an atheist world view, having their own little ceremonies for coming of age and things like that. And it’s just that a lot of people there are not very religious.
Chuck: Yeah, it’s like what you find in Russia as well.
Judith: Yeah. Unlike in the States, also, in Germany there’s approximately as many Catholics as there are Protestants. Of course there are some regions where there’s mostly Catholics, like in the South, especially Bavaria, or also in the West. But a lot of areas are very well mixed.
Chuck: You’ll also notice there’s a lot of immigrants from Turkey and Balkan region, so you’ll find a sizeable Muslim minority here.
Judith: Or also Orthodox Christians from the Balkans but they are not that many. And of course there’s also some Hindus and Buddhists in Germany but they are also not very common at all, it’s mostly first generation immigrants, very recent immigrants.
Chuck: There also aren’t many people who are very religious. For example, ten percent go to church on Sundays.
Judith: Less than ten percent even. It’s bad if you consider the 64 percent of registered Christians, those that are paying their taxes to the Church, then only ten percent going to church on Sundays it’s…
Chuck: Yeah, and you won’t find, like, people talking about Sunday night services or Wednesday night services.
Judith: Any day other than Sunday? Are you crazy? I'm not sure the churches even offer services other than on Sunday.
Chuck: The one thing interesting here is that they play their bells really loud to get you to come to church.
Judith: Yeah, well, that’s a tradition.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: I think they’ve always done so.
Chuck: So, of course, other people that are hungover after the Saturday night partying are like, “Why don’t they let me sleep?!”
Judith: And you know that even among those that are going to church, a lot of them are not really convicted from what I’ve seen. There’s a lot of mingling going on, you know, you want to be seen, you want to see who goes and exchange gossip or whatever. And that’s the major reason also for people to go to church.
Chuck: Yeah, that doesn’t exist at all in the States.
Judith: Oh, actually it does but what I mean to say is that really religion has a very low role here, in Germany, and it definitely has no role in politics, for example. I read that in America the majority of the population would not elect an atheist president. Well, guess what? In Germany nobody knows what our president’s religious beliefs are.
Chuck: Yeah. It’s a bit different over here.
Judith: Or a chancellor for that matter. President is only for show anyway. And of course there are a couple of religious subgroups or sects such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Kabbala, but they’re not as many as in the States either because the sects can be forbidden if they just want to acquire member’s money. Some intelligence agency is watching over that to make sure that somebody doesn’t use religion to defraud people. One thing is really interesting here is religion in schools because it’s quite different from the States or any other country that I know of. The thing is that the schools are not allowed to influence the students’ religious beliefs, even by displaying crosses in the classrooms or teachers wearing head scarfs…
Chuck: Yeah, not in the States either.
Judith: Well, the States you do have a lot of religious mentions in the classroom though, like in your pledge of allegiance and in…
Chuck: No, I mean you say “Under God” in the pledge of allegiance. I mean… most people don’t even hear the words.
Judith: Or “God bless America” or… Is it not very religious?
Chuck: Yeah, but you keep it strictly separate, the religious and the…
Judith: How is saying “God bless America” not an expression of religious faith”?
Chuck: An individual teacher could say something like “God bless America”, but I mean it’s not something that… you don’t really have religion coming into public schools.
Judith: Ok.
Chuck: Like that’s why I thought it was crazy. I mean you have your own religious schools if you want to go to your own private school.
Judith: Those don’t exist in Germany, well very, very few private schools.
Chuck: I was quite surprised in Germany to hear that you have the religious classes here.
Judith: Yeah. Ok, so those religious education classes are a mandatory subject at public schools even but since there are different religions we have two flavors typically. The catholic-flavored or protestant-flavored religious education classes.
Chuck: Yummy.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: Please.
Judith: Or, otherwise, if you can’t identify with either, you can possibly choose philosophy. But it’s not an obvious choice. It’s not like they offer you catholic or protestant or philosophy, they offer you catholic or protestant, and then if you say, “Oh, I can’t attend those because I have reasons of conscience”, then they say, “Ok, then you have to attend philosophy classes instead. But even attending religious education classes is not too bad if you’re not a believer or if you have a different faith. For example, I know a few Muslims who attended our religious education classes. And the classes are not that very indoctrinating, they are mostly supposed to get the pupil to think about deep subjects like what’s right and what’s wrong, they offer some advice on problematic issues like sexuality or drugs, abortion, suicide, things like that. So they’re more like a discussion of values.
Chuck: They’re more like an ethic’s class then.
Judith: Well, not quite because they do have a very strong predisposed opinion on these subjects, but you can discuss to some point. The discussions were definitely nicer in the philosophy classes.
Chuck: Alles klar.

Lesson focus

Judith: More open. Ok. Well, let’s talk about some grammar, went off talking about the German school system. If you listened to last week’s intermediate lesson then this is a great chance to review some past tense forms.
Chuck: And we’re sure you did because if you didn’t you can go back and listen to it now.
Judith: Not now, after this lesson.
Chuck: Alright.
Judith: It doesn’t matter that much. So not past tense but actually preterite it is called in German, Präteritum, this is the common past tense and there are a couple more irregular preterite forms in this song, such as ging, which comes from gehen.
Chuck: To go.
Judith: Sang, coming from singen.
Chuck: To sing.
Judith: This is actually like in English because in English it’s also “sing/sang/sung”. So “sang” corresponds to sang and “sing” corresponds to singen and…
Chuck: It’s gesungen, isn’t it?
Judith: Yeah, even the third form corresponds as much as possible. Same vowel harmony because both English and German are Germanic languages.
Chuck: Nice.
Judith: And, of course, there’s also war, which we already had last time. War derives from sein.
Chuck: To be.
Judith: And wurde deriving from werden.
Chuck: “To become”. Alright, so what’s new in this lesson anyway? Didn’t we cover this one before?
Judith: Yeah, so far we did but today we also going to have a quick look at the future tense, which you may have heard of before because it’s quite easy. And this tense is formed using the auxiliary werden and then the infinitive of the verb that you mean to use. Werden is conjugated similarly to a vowel changing verb. It’s ich werde.
Chuck: I become.
Judith: No, “I will”.
Chuck: Oh yeah.
Judith: This is the auxiliary. As a main verb it means “to become” and as an auxiliary it means “will”.
Chuck: I should learn these sometime.
Judith: Ich werde.
Chuck: I will.
Judith: Du wirst.
Chuck: You will.
Judith: Er wird.
Chuck: He will.
Judith: Wir werden.
Chuck: We will.
Judith: Ihr werdet.
Chuck: You all will.
Judith: Sie werden.
Chuck: They will.
Judith: Note that all the verbs are regular in the future tense and splitting verbs are never split for this, so it’s an really easy tense.
Chuck: So what are some examples used in the future tense?
Judith: For example, Nächstes Jahr wird Martin als Austauschschüler in die USA gehen.
Chuck: “Next year Martin will go to the USA as an exchange student.”
Judith: Note that the verb comes at the end of the sentence, as always when you have more than one verb.
Chuck: So literally it’s “next year will Martin as exchange student in the USA go”.
Judith: Yes.
Chuck: So when you put the “will” make sure the “will” is in the front and the verb is all the way at the end.
Judith: Yes. A shorter sentence. Wirst du endlich glücklich sein?
Chuck: “Will you finally be happy?”
Judith: Or… Wann werden sie es einsehen?


Chuck: “When will they realize it?” Wann wird diese Lektion zuende sein? Or in other words “When will this lesson be over?”
Judith: Why? It was interesting, wasn’t it?
Chuck: Yeah, actually it was. I enjoy it.
Judith: I would like to hear if our listeners enjoyed it as much.
Chuck: Yeah, so send us your feedback. Also, if you have any German songs that you’d like to have explained, let us know.
Judith: Yeah. We already have quite a few suggestions accumulated in the forum, but I’d like to hear your additions. And, of course, remember that you can see the complete song lyrics and the translation in the PDF for this lesson.
Chuck: So if you’re not a Premium Member yet, this is the time to do it.
Judith: Yeah. Or at least a basic membership so you can see the PDF.
Chuck: Yeah. They are really cool. Just puts everything in one place for you. Anyway, enough of the advertising. See you next week.
Judith: Bis nächste Woche!