Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here, intermediate series season three lesson eight. Are German office copiers conspiring against you?
Judith: Hello everyone I'm Judith and welcome to germanpod101.
Chuck: With us you'll learn to speak German with fun and effective lessons.
Judith: We also provide you with cultural insights.
Chuck: And tips you won't find in a textbook. In this lesson you'll learn how to do more office work in Germany.
Judith: This conversation takes place at a big German company's office.
Chuck: The conversation is between Mr. Jones and Mrs. Bayer.
Judith: The speakers are in a business relationship; therefore they will be speaking formal German.
Chuck: Let's listen to the conversation.
Bayer: Herr Jones, wie kommen Sie mit den Telefonaten voran?
Jones: Ja, sehr gut. Ich muss noch zwei Anrufe machen.
Bayer: Okay, super. Sagen Sie Bescheid, wenn Sie fertig sind, dann erkläre ich Ihnen Ihre neue Aufgabe.
Jones: Okay.
Jones: So, ich bin dann so weit.
Bayer: Gut. Ihre nächste Aufgabe wird nicht so anstrengend. Ich benötige mehr Kopien von diesen Informationsunterlagen. Gehen Sie bitte in den Kopierraum am Ende des Ganges und kopieren Sie jedes Blatt fünfzig Mal.
Jones: Okay. Mit Kopierern kenne ich mich eigentlich aus.
Jones: Ähm, Frau Bayer. Können Sie mir bitte kurz helfen. Irgendetwas stimmt nicht mit dem Kopierer!
Bayer: Oh, natürlich.
Jones: Also, ich denke, dass alles richtig eingestellt ist. Aber irgendwie passiert nichts. Es gibt nur dieses rote Licht...
Bayer: Ach, da haben Sie aber auch ein Pech! Das ist ein Papierstau. Das kann mal passieren. Drücken Sie einfach diesen Knopf. Meistens geht es dann wieder.
Jones: Aah, ein Papierstau. Die Technik in diesem Büro mag mich anscheinend wirklich nicht!
Bayer: Mr Jones, how are you coming along with your phone calls?
Jones: Yes, very well. I just have to make two more calls.
Bayer: Okay, super. Let me know when you're done, then I'll explain your new task to you.
Jones: Okay.
Jones: So, I'm ready now.
Bayer: Good. Your next task will not be as taxing. I need more copies of these information materials. Please go into the copying room at the end of the corridor and copy each of these sheets fifty times.
Jones: Okay. I'm actually knowledgeable about copiers.
Jones: Ehm, Mrs Bayer. Can you please help me quickly. Something isn't right about the copier!
Bayer: Oh, of course.
Jones: So I think that everything is set up correctly. But somehow nothing is happening. There is just this red light...
Bayer: Ah, you're so unlucky! That's a paper jam. It can happen. Just press this button. Most of the time it will work again then.
Jones: Aah, a paper jam. It seems the technology in this office really doesn't like me!
Judith: And I believe you just told us the key word, offices here. What are the differences?
Chuck: ______ (0:00:46) technology?
Judith: No.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: What are the differences between German and American offices?
Chuck: Well, I'd say usually in Germany you don't typically have the cubicles like you do in the states.
Judith: I've never seen an office with cubicles. Another thing maybe is that we tend to close the office doors so people have more quiet.
Chuck: Another thing is that you address your coworkers much more formally, like people would call me Mr. Smith
Judith: yes, that's the default unless you've really worked together for a long time or maybe you're all the same age. If all of you are around forty, fifty years old, then you probably wouldn't switch to informal language ever.
Chuck: Yeah but the only exception I would see to this are, say universities or high tech start ups.
Judith: Yes, and of course this applies even more strictly to the boss. You should never at any cost address your boss informally.
Chuck: I heard you can even get fired for that is that true?
Judith: It has happened.
Chuck: Wow.
Judith: I mean it's a sign of disrespect.
Chuck: I usually call my boss by their first name, but then I didn't work in Germany. Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is ...
Judith: [vorankommen]
Chuck: To come along, move ahead, progress.
Judith: [vorankommen] the forms are [Er kommt voran, Er kam voran, Er ist voran gekommen].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Anruf].
Chuck: Call, as in a phone call.
Judith: [Anruf, der] and the plural is [Anrufe].
Chuck: Next,
Judith: [Bescheid]
Chuck: Legal notice or notification.
Judith: [Bescheid] and the plural is [Bescheide].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [erklären]
Chuck: To explain.
Judith: [erklären]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [antrengend]
Chuck: Taxing or tiring.
Judith: [anstrengend]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [benötigen]
Chuck: To need.
Judith: [benötigen] this is more formal than [brauchen].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Kopie]
Chuck: Copy.
Judith: [Kopie, die] and the plural is [Kopien].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [kopieren].
Chuck: To copy.
Judith: [kopieren].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Kopierer].
Chuck: Copier.
Judith: [Kopierer, der] and the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Gang]
Chuck: Isle, corridor, walk or a gear as in a gear shift in a car.
Judith: [Gang] masculine and the plural is [Gänge].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [einstellen].
Chuck: To set up, adjust settings, higher or stop.
Judith: [einstellen] the [ein] splits off.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Pech].
Chuck: Bad luck or misfortune.
Judith: [Pech, das] neutral.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Stau]
Chuck: Jam as in traffic or paper.
Judith: [Stau, der] and the plural is [Staus]
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Knopf]
Chuck: Button as in on a computer or on a shirt.
Judith: [Knopf, der] and the plural is [Knöpfe].
Chuck: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: The first phrase we'll look at is [Bescheid sagen].
Chuck: Let somebody know.
Judith: In German you can use either [Bescheid sagen] or [Bescheid geben] Germans also make the joke [Sag Bescheid, wenn du genug hast] and then somebody will say [Bescheid].
Chuck: There's another joke' say when you have enough', 'when'
Judith: The second thing we should talk about is [irgend], [irgend] is a German prefix much like the English 'some'. For example in this dialogue we had [irgendetwas].
Chuck: Something.
Judith: And [irgendwie]
Chuck: Somehow.
Judith: There are also [irgendjemand].
Chuck: Somebody.
Judith: [irgendwann]
Chuck: Sometime.
Judith: [irgendwo]
Chuck: Somewhere.
Judith: And [irgendein].
Chuck: Some.
Judith: [irgendein] is used as an adjective.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus for this lesson are the German plurals, there are several ways of forming the plural in German and unfortunately it's not up to you but it's the German nouns that choose the way they want to perform the plural.
We've covered this issue in several lessons before in the beginner’s series but let's have a complete overview now to put it all together. Plurals are a tricky part of German grammar so a refresher would be great.
Judith: Okay, the first type of noun adds an e for the plural such as [der Anruf, die Anrufe] and [der Bescheid, die Bescheide].
Chuck: Most of these nouns are masculine and did not already end with an E obviously. The special case for those that end with an E and also change the vowel.
Judith: For example [der Gang, die Gänge] or [der Knopf, die Knöpfe].
Chuck: Unfortunately it's not possible to predict which word will change the vowel. This largely depends on a vague sense of vowel harmony.
Judith: The second type of noun adds an en or if there's already an e, right there then they simply add an en. Examples of this type of noun are [die Kopie, die Kopien] and [das Ende, die Enden, die Aufgabe, die Aufgaben, die Zeit, die Zeiten] most of these nouns are feminine.
Chuck: Nouns that don't add an ending and which may or may not change their ending. There's a huge group of these covering all nouns ending in er such as the nationalities and professions.
Judith: Words ending in el and em are also part of this group. In today's lesson [der Kopierer, die Kopierer] is an example of this type of noun, then there are the nouns that add er for example [das Kind die Kinder] this is the most common example but in this dialogue we also had [das Blatt, die Blätter] which additionally changes it's vowel [Blatt-Blätter] letter. This type really is the least common way of forming your plural among German nouns, not counting the foreign plurals of course.
Chuck: Foreign plurals, there are a whole lot of foreign based words in German abbreviations adding s for plural such as [das Büro].
Judith: [das Büro, die Büros] or [der Stau, die Staus] however if you have a word that's derived from Greek or from Latin then these usually still use the original Greek or Latin plural. For example the plural of the German word [Komma].
Chuck: Comma.
Judith: Is [Kommata] as in Greek.


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GermanPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

GermanPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 04:02 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hallo Mariana,

Danke schön for your comment. Please note that for our Voice Recording tool, there is a time limit which is roughly the same as the time it takes for the native speaker to pronounce the word/expression/sentence(s). The reason behind this is that it only makes sense to do the comparison if the pronunciation speed is roughly identical.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,


Team GermanPod101.com

Saturday at 11:30 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hallo, guten Abend

I was wondering if it was possible to make the recording time a bit longer. Sometimes, when the line is long, I can't finish recording myself before the time is up! 😅

Sorry if I'm the only slow one here LOL

Danke schön 😄

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:37 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Sophie,

Thank you so much for your comment!👍

I say it again and again here: we need your

honest feedback to be able to make GermanPod101

an even better resource for your study.

I will forward your thoughts to our team for future


If you have any questions, please let us know.

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

Sunday at 04:31 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi, GermanPod101,

I read your answer to John.

Yes, I can unterstand what you mean. But, we want to learn german not watch a netflix series or listen to audio book.

Sure there are an accent when a foreigner speaks a second language and it's not bad at all.

However, when we learn a second language, i think we should learn the native accent and pronunciation at first.

I really like this course, but i'm not sure it's okay to try to make same pronunciation and accent to Chuck.

Wednesday at 07:51 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi John,

Thank you for your feedback.

I agree with you that there is a bit of a conflict. This series

goes back a bit and the idea is partly to highlight the difference

in pronunciation between a native speaker and a foreigner, and partly

to make the story a little more realistic. Not so much in this particular lesson,

but there are several stories where Chuck is a foreigner being explained

by a native German how things work in Germany. It is obviously a lot more

realistic if the "foreigner" does actually have an accent.

If you have any further questions, please let us know.

Kind regards,


Team GermanPod101.com

Friday at 05:34 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

So dissapointing, the man cannot pronounce German words

Friday at 04:59 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Thank you, Vanessa, you're faster than me.

Carl, you should listen to beginner series season 2 lesson 15; it's all about that verb. We discussed it in the previous beginner & newbie series as well but I don't recall the exact lesson.

Thursday at 10:16 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Ah, Ich mag Ihre antwort! Danke! :grin:

Thursday at 11:19 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

The root is mögen (to like). möchten is "would like". It goes

Ich mag (I like)

Du magst (you like)

Er mag (he likes)

Wir mögen (we like)

Ihr mögt (you all like)

Sie mögen (they like)

Thursday at 10:16 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I'm posting this on the latest lesson, so you will see it and respond. And my question is: can you please explain the use if the the German word "magst" What is it derived from, what does it mean and how is it used? It seams to be a form of mochte (to like) but I can't quite figure it out. Vielen Dank!