Dialogue

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Vocabulary

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plaudern to chat, gossip
hierhin here
hören to listen
knüpfen to knot, tie
um in order to
wunderschön gorgeous
Konferenz conference
August August
genießen to enjoy
Bescheid legal notice, notification
sich freuen to be happy

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The focus of this lesson is zu and um zu.

Ich werde gleich wieder nach draußen gehen, um die Sonne zu genießen.
"I'm going back outside again soon to enjoy the sun."


A lot of times when English uses the infinitive in a sentence, German uses the preposition „zu“. For example;
Ich habe keine Lust, nach Hause zu gehen. - I am not in the mood to go home.
Ich bin stolz darauf, einer der besten zu sein. - I am proud to be one of the best.

The rule for these cases is to place the „zu“ immediately in front of the verb. This means that when you have two verbs piled up at the end of your subclause, the „zu“ is placed in the middle: „schlafen zu gehen“ (to go to sleep). And when you have a splitting verb, the „zu“ is inserted between the prefix and the verb stem! For example: „mitzukommen“ (to come along), „abzugeben“ (to give away), „wegzugehen“ (to go away) and so on.

„zu“ is essential when making a subclause with „um“. „um“ always requires a „zu“ somewhere later in the phrase. Here are some examples of such phrases;

Ich komme nach Deutschland, um Kontakte zu knüpfen. = I come to Germany in order to socialize.
Es ist zu kalt, um rauszugehen. = It is too cold to go out.

Cultural Insights

Making friends in Germany

  • easy places to meet: clubs, conferences, fairs, crowded cafés where you have to sit at somebody else’s table
  • it takes time; even to switch to “du” can take time (wait for the older or socially superior one to make the move)
  • for the beginning, meet in larger groups and public places, such as restaurants, or do an outing together
  • avoid questions related to money, age, religion
    *questions related to politics may come up!

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Chuck: Chuck here. Intermediate Series, Season 4, Lesson 1 – “Long Time No See in Germany”. Hello and welcome to GermanPod101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn German. My name is Chuck.
Judith: And I’m Judith.
Chuck: You’re listening to the first lesson of Intermediate Season 4.
Judith: This season covers the lower part of Intermediate it’s particularly suitable to all that completed Upper Beginner Season 1.
Chuck: In terms of topics, we’ll focus on business travel here.
Judith: Now, what about this first lesson?
Chuck: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to reconnect with old friends.
Judith: This conversation takes place on the phone.
Chuck: The conversation is between Joe and [Anke]. The protagonists from Upper Beginner Season 1.
Judith: The speakers are friends therefore they will be speaking informal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
A: Anke Löwen.
J: Hallo Anke, hier ist Joe!
A: Joe? Oh, Joe Cardigan aus Kanada?
J: Ja, genau.
A: Schön von dir zu hören, Joe! Wie geht es dir?
J: Gut, danke, und dir?
A: Auch gut.
J: Wie ist das Wetter in Berlin?
A: Es ist ein wunderschöner Tag hier. Nicht zu warm und nicht zu kalt. Ich werde gleich wieder nach draußen gehen, um die Sonne zu genießen.
J: Ahh, sehr gut! Hier regnet es im Moment, aber heute Nachmittag soll es schön werden.
A: Das ist gut. Warum rufst du an? Nur um zu plaudern?
J: Nein. Ich möchte dir auch sagen, dass ich im August wieder in Deutschland bin.
A: Oh, in welche Stadt reist du dieses Mal?
J: Wieder nach Berlin. Es gibt dort eine interessante Konferenz und ich komme, um Kontakte zu knüpfen.
A: Toll! Das freut mich, dass du wieder hierhin kommst. Denkst du, dass du neben der Konferenz auch Zeit haben wirst, dich mit mir zu treffen?
J: Bestimmt. Die Zeit nehme ich mir.
A: Dann gib Bescheid, wenn du weißt, wann du ankommst und wie lange du bleibst.
J: Ja, mache ich.
A: Bis dann!
J: Bis dann!
A: Anke Löwen.
J: Hello Anke, it's Joe!
A: Joe? Oh, Joe Cardigan from Canada?
J: Yes, exactly.
A: Great to hear from you, Joe! How are you?
J: Good, thanks, and you?
A: Also good.
J: How's the weather in Berlin?
A: It's a gorgeous day here. Not too warm, and not too cold. I'm going back outside again soon, to enjoy the sun.
J: Ahh, great! Here it's raining currently, but this afternoon is supposed to be nice.
A: That's good. Why are you calling? Just to chat?
J: No. I'd also like to let you know that I'll be back in Germany in August.
A: Oh, which city are you going to this time?
J: Back to Berlin again. There's an interesting conference there and I'm coming to do some networking.
A: Great! I'm happy that you're coming back here. Do you think that you'll have time outside the conference in which to meet me?
J: Certainly. I'll take the time.
A: Then let me know when you know when you're arriving and how long you're staying.
J: Yes, I'll do that.
A: Until then!
J: Until then!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Judith: For a cultural point today, how about talking about making friends in Germany?
Chuck: Sounds good. Um, how about some easy places to meet other people?
Judith: Well, if you want to meet some Germans and start talking to them, maybe you should go to cafes or ice-cream parlors, especially in summer when they’re crowded and you just have to sit down at somebody else’s table.
Chuck: You could also go to a bar or a club.
Judith: Yes. Bars and clubs, also activity clubs if you like to play chess, then chess might be the best place to find interesting people. But, notice that making friends in Germany takes time, especially if you’re thinking about the switch between [Sie] and [Du], in America it’s so common to just address someone “Tom” and in Germany you would be addressing them by the last name a lot longer.
Chuck: But it also depends on how formal is the place you’re going. A lot of places we’ve mentioned, especially for meeting younger people and you’re a younger person then you might just start with [Du], but you need to be careful.
Judith: Yes. If you’re not sure, then wait for the older or the socially superior person to start offering you the use of [du]. And for the beginning, you should meet in larger groups in public places like restaurants or doing an outing together.
Chuck: Also it’s best to avoid questions related to money, age or religion, but you might notice people like to talk about politics.
Judith: Yeah. No real political discussions more like common complaining about all politicians alike.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
Chuck: The first word we shall look at is?
Judith: [hören].
Chuck: “To hear” or “to listen”.
Judith: [hören].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [wunderschön].
Chuck: “Gorgeous”.
Judith: [wunderschön].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [um zu].
Chuck: “In order to”.
Judith: [um zu].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [genießen].
Chuck: “To enjoy”.
Judith: [genießen].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [plaudern].
Chuck: “To chat” or “gossip”.
Judith: [plaudern].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [August].
Chuck: “August”.
Judith: [August].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Konferenz].
Chuck: “Conference”.
Judith: [Konferenz] and the plural is [Konferenzen].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [knüpfen].
Chuck: “To knot” or “tie”.
Judith: [knüpfen].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [sich freuen].
Chuck: “To be happy”.
Judith: [sich freuen].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [hierhin].
Chuck: “Here” or “to here”.
Judith: [hierhin].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Bescheid].
Chuck: “Legal notice” or “notification”.
Judith: [Bescheid] and the plural is [Bescheide].
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
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’d look at is [Kontakte knüpfen].
Chuck: “To socialize”.
Judith: [knüpfen] is “to knot” or [knit], so you can imagine two strings representing to people and then you make a knot in these strings. This is the image behind [Kontakte knüpfen]. The next phrase is [Das freut mich].
Chuck: “That delights me” or “that gives me pleasure”.
Judith: This is a said expression, because normally [freuen] is used with a real subject, like [Ich freue mich].
Chuck: “I’m happy”.
Judith: Another said expression [Die Zeit nehme ich mir].
Chuck: “I’m taking the time” or “I’ll make time for that”.
Judith: This sentence is perhaps doubly hard to understand because [die Zeit] is the object, yet it has been moved to the beginning of the sentence for emphasis. [Die Zeit nehme ich mir, ich nehme mir die Zeit, ich nehme mir die Zeit]. Finally, the word [Bescheid] can be an official letter from an institution, however there are two unrelated German expressions. [Bescheid geben] and [Bescheid sagen].
Chuck: Both mean “to let someone know”. For example, someone is pouring you a drink he may tell you [Sag Bescheid, wenn du genug hast] “Let me know when you have enough”.
Judith: A common joke is to willfully misunderstand this and say [Bescheid] when you have enough.
LESSON FOCUS
Chuck: The focus of this lesson is [zu] and [um zu]. Lot of times when the English uses the infinitive in a sentence, German uses the preposition [zu].
Judith: For example [Ich habe keine Lust nach Hause zu gehen].
Chuck: “I’m not in the mood to go home”.
Judith: [Ich bin stolz darauf, einer der Besten zu sein].
Chuck: “I’m probably one of the best”. The rule for this cases it to put the [zu] immediately in front of the verb.
Judith: This means that when you have two verbs split up at the end of your sub-clause, the [zu] is placed in the middle.
Chuck: And when you have a splitting verb, the [zu] is sort of in between the prefix and the verb stamp.
Judith: For example: [Es macht Spass auszugehen, auszugehen] one word in German.
Chuck: “It’s fun to go out.” [Zu] is essential when making a sub-clause with [um] always requires a [zu] somewhere later in the phrase. Could you give us examples with such phrases?
Judith: Yeah. [Ich komme nach Deutschland, um Kontakte zu knüpfen].
Chuck: “I came in Germany in order to socialize”.
Judith: [es ist zu kalt, um rauszugehen].
OUTRO
Chuck: “It’s too cold to go out”. Well, that just about does it for today. Like our podcasts?
Judith: Then like our Facebook page, too!
Chuck: Get lesson updates or the German word of the day and news on Facebook.
Judith: Just search for GermanPod101.com and like our fanpage.
Chuck: And if you like our lessons or series in GermanPod101.com
Judith: Let us know!
Chuck: Just click the like button next to our lesson or series. Okay, see you next week!
Judith: Okay. [Dann bis nächste Woche]!