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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here, intermediate series season three lesson thirteen. All is well in Germany
Judith: Hi my name is Judith and I'm joined here by Chuck.
Chuck: Hello everyone and welcome back to germanpod101.
Judith: What are we learning today?
Chuck: In this lesson, you'll learn how to talk about your work.
Judith: This conversation takes place at a German restaurant.
Chuck: The conversation is between Herr. Mueller and Mr. Jones.
Judith: The speakers are in a business relationship, therefore they will be speaking in formal German.
Chuck: Let's listen to the conversation.
Müller: Herr Jones, lassen Sie uns etwas über die Arbeit sprechen.
Jones: Ja, gerne.
Müller: Wie gefällt es Ihnen bisher?
Jones: Also, ich bin eigentlich zufrieden. Ich habe mich gut eingewöhnt.
Müller: Das freut mich. Und wie finden Sie Ihre Aufgaben?
Jones: Nun, bisher habe ich ja nur allgemeine Aufgaben erledigt.
Müller: Ja, das stimmt, aber nicht mehr lange. Sie werden natürlich in Zukunft von mir mit neuen Tätigkeiten beauftragt.
Jones: Ah, sehr gut.
Müller: Frau Bayer wird ebenfalls mit den neuen Arbeiten beauftragt, sodass sie beide weiterhin zusammenarbeiten.
Jones: Ah, das freut mich. Ich finde, ich werde von Frau Bayer sehr gut betreut und wir verstehen uns super.
Müller: Das ist gut, denn es ist mir sehr wichtig, dass die Stimmung im Team stimmt. Ich habe die Erfahrung gemacht, dass bei einer schlechten Atmosphäre im Büro die Arbeit nicht ordentlich erledigt wird. Aber Sie passen zu uns wie die Faust aufs Auge!
Jones: Ähm, ist das etwas Gutes?
Müller: Oh, ja, das heißt, Sie passen gut zu uns!
Jones: Ah, danke sehr. Es freut mich, dass Sie mit mir zufrieden sind.
Müller: Ja, ich denke, dass wir als Firma durch Sie bereichert werden und dass Sie bereit sind für mehr Verantwortung.
Jones: Ich gebe mein Bestes!
Müller: Mr Jones, let's talk a little about work.
Jones: Yes, gladly.
Müller: How do you like it so far?
Jones: Well, I'm quite content. I have gotten accustomed to things well.
Müller: I'm glad. And how do you like your tasks?
Jones: Well, so far I only did the general tasks.
Müller: Yes, that's right, but not for long anymore. You will of course be charged by me with new tasks in the future.
Jones: Ah, very good.
Müller: Ms Bayer will also be tasked with new work, so that you both will continue to work together.
Jones: Ah, I'm glad. I find that I am coached very well by Ms Bayer and we understand each other super.
Müller: That's good, because it is important to me that the team spirit is good. I have made the experience that the work doesn't get done in an orderly way when there's a bad atmosphere in the office. But you fit to us like a fist on the eye!
Jones: Ehm, is that a good thing?
Müller: Oh, yes, it means that you fit in well.
Jones: Ah, thank you very much. I am glad that you're happy with me.
Müller: Yes, I think that we as a company are enriched by you, and that you're ready to take on more responsibility.
Judith: Okay, now I actually disagree with the way that the boss defined this [Faust aufs Auge] it's an ironic German saying and it used to mean and I still understand it such that something doesn't fit together at all. For example if you're wearing sneakers with a fancy suit or dress, that's the idea that you get [Passt wie die faust aufs Auge] it's a feast on the eye as in it doesn't quite fit or at least it doesn't have a good effect.
Chuck: So then why is it like that. Why do you say that?
Judith: Well there have been more and more Germans that use this incorrectly or let's say with double ironic meaning and now you can use the same saying to mean that something does fit.
Chuck: Wait, don't you have something like [Passt wie der Topf zum Deckel]?
Judith: Yes, if it's like a pot and lid, that's a traditional way to say that it does fit [Passt wie der Topf zum Deckel] yeah. There are also other sayings but some of these [Passt wie die Faust aufs Auge] also acquired this meaning and that's a matter of evolution. All living languages evolve like this.
Chuck: That's just bad.
Judith: Why?
Chuck: Bad as in good.
Judith: Okay. I guess I wasn't aware of that piece of evolution.
Chuck: That's a little thing that Michael Jackson left us.
Judith: Okay.
Chuck: He's do bad, you know?
Judith: Yeah, but let's get back to German and another language change you can currently observe in German is the switch from genitive to dative. Originally there used to be a couple of prepositions like for example [wegen] and these prepositions required a genitive.
Chuck: Thankfully they decided to drop them and use the not dative instead.
Judith: Yes, for example [wegen dem Feuer]
Chuck: Because of the fire.
Judith: Instead of [wegen des Feuers]
Chuck: The change also affected how people express possession.
Judith: Yeah, originally you would say [Das Haus meines Vaters] but this sounds extremely stilted in spoken German now. So people say [Das Haus von meinem Vater] so like 'the house of my father' or in the worst case [Meinem Vater sein Haus].
Chuck: My father, his house? What the heck is up with that?
Judith: Don't ask me to explain it, it's just a modern way to say it, instead of [das Haus meines Vaters] you get [Meinem Vater sein Haus].
Chuck: All right, well the genitive is getting replaced by the dative in all functions. The part of evolution has brought the public attention with a book which I think is pretty cool [Der Genitiv ist sein Dativs Tod] the dative is the genitive's death.
Judith: Yeah, it works like the previous examples, what they're saying is the dative is the death of the genitive. This book also covers other parts of language evolution or funny things about the German language.
Chuck: There's some other evidence of the continuing evolution of the German language.
Judith: Yes, for example nouns lose their case endings. For example we say [Im Hause] and that sounds literary now. If you say it it sounds like it's straight from a book where you would now say [Im Haus] not [Im Hause] but [Im Haus]. The nouns reduce the endings, of course another evidence of evolution is the recent spelling reform, for example you don't spell [das] with a [ß] any more, you spell it with a double s and a little french are spelled according to their pronunciation.
Chuck: Like you would say [Portmonnaie] spelled more the German way than the French way.
Judith: Yes, you used to have to spell it with a double n, a, I , e at the end that's
Chuck: It's so French
Judith: It's so illogical, and now you have this option of spelling it with an n and a double e, it's more like it.
Chuck: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word is
Judith: [sich gewöhnen]
Chuck: To get used to, to adapt to.
Judith: [sich gewöhnen] and use it typically as [sich an etwas gewöhnen]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [allgemein]
Chuck: General, overall.
Judith: [allgemein]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [erledigen]
Chuck: To carry out or handle.
Judith: [erledigen]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Tätigkeit]
Chuck: Occupation or task.
Judith: [Tätigkeit, die] and the plural is [Tätigkeiten]
Chuck: Next,
Judith: [beautragen]
Chuck: To task someone, charge someone with doing something.
Judith: [beauftragen] and you typically say [jemanden mit etwas beauftragen]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [sodass]
Chuck: So that.
Judith: [sodass] and this is spelled as one word.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [weiterhin]
Chuck: Furthermore or still.
Judith: [weiterhin]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [betreuen]
Chuck: To look after, take care of, oversee or coach.
Judith: [betreuen, jemanden betreuen] with the accusative.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Stimmung]
Chuck: Sentiment or mood.
Judith: [Stimmung, die]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Atmosphäre]
Chuck: Atmosphere.
Judith: [Atmosphäre, die] and the plural is [Atmosphären]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [ordentlich]
Chuck: Tidy, neat or orderly.
Judith: [ordentlich]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Faust]
Chuck: Fist.
Judith: [Faust, die] the plural is [Fäuste] and don't confuse this with [Goethe´s] famous work
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [bereichern]
Chuck: To enrich.
Judith: [bereichern]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Verantwortung]
Chuck: Responsibility.
Judith: [Verantwortung, die]
Chuck: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some and the word and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: The first phrase is [sich eingewöhnen] this means [sich daran gewöhnen, gewöhnt darin zu sein] to get used to being in something. For example in this dialogue we had Mr. Jones getting used to being in this German company [sich eingewöhnen] then we have [Tätigkeit], [Tätigkeit] is just a more high level term for [Arbeit] and by the same token [erledigen] is a more high level term for [tun] so if you want to sound very well educated you say [Tätigkeit] and [erledigen] especially if you're the manager of a company.
But if you're not so educated you can just say [Arbeit tun] or [tun]. finally [Passt wie die Faust aufs Auge], this is an expression.
Chuck: Fits like a fist on the eye.
Judith: Yeah, and as we said before it can mean it doesn't go well together or nowadays it can mean it does go well together.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus for this lesson is the passive voice for the present tense.
Judith: The passive is a kind of verb form that's useful when you don't know who did something or when it's irrelevant who did it. Or when you don't want to reveal it.
Chuck: You'll often hear a lot of passive sentences from sightseeing, for example the Brandenburg gate was completed in 1791 and you may want to use the passive a lot yourself when you show friends the sights in your cities and you never bothered to learn the names of the architects.
Judith: Yes, in German the passive is formed using the verb [werden] this verb usually means to become and it's also used for the future tense, but for the future tense it's used with the infinitive and for the passive voice it's used with the past participle so you can distinguish the two. So [Er wird sehen]
Chuck: You will see.
Judith: But [Er wird gesehen]
Chuck: He is seen.
Judith: And that's the passive, [Er wird gesehen] he is seen. You can also say [Er wird gesehen werden]
Chuck: He will be seen.
Judith: But we'll keep that to another lesson that will be the future tense of the passive voice because all the tenses that we had before are possible active and passive just like in English. For now we just look at the present tense.
Chuck: Could you give us an example for the passive from the text?
Judith: Yes, for example [Ich werde von Frau Bayer sehr gut betreut]
Chuck: I am coached very well by Mrs. Bayer.
Judith: As in Mrs. Bayer is coaching me very well but here we have the passive sentence 'I am coached' [Frau Bayer wird ebenfalls mit den neuen Arbeiten beauftragt]
Chuck: Mrs. Bayer will also be tasked with the new work.
Judith: Yes and here we don't know who is doing the tasking, we can assume the boss so we could say 'the boss is tasking Frau. Bayer with new word' but again we have this passive sentence which is all turned around. 'Mrs. Bayer will be tasked with the new word'
Chuck: And now can you find more examples?
Judith: Yes. I would like to invite you to look at the dialogue again or look at it in the transcript and try to spot all the forms of the passive.


Chuck: That just about does it for today, remember you leave us a comment on this lesson.
Judith: So if you have a question or some feedback please leave us a comment.
Chuck: It's very easy to do, just stop by germanpod101.com
Judith: Click on comments.
Chuck: Enter your comment and name.
Judith: And that's it.
Chuck: So no excuses, we're looking forward to hearing from you. See you next time.
Judith: [Also bis nächstes Mal]!