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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Intermediate Season 4, Lesson 10 – “Use Your German to Help Tourists Find Their Way”. Hello and welcome to GermanPod101.com where we study German in a fun educational format.
Judith: So, brush up on the German that you started learning long ago or start learning today.
Chuck: Thanks for being with us for this lesson, Judith. What are we looking at today?
Judith: In this lesson you will revise how to explain the way.
Chuck: This conversation takes place on a street in Berlin.
Judith: The conversation is between Joe, Anke, and a tourist. The speakers are strangers, therefore they will be speaking formal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Tourist: Entschuldigen Sie, können Sie uns helfen? Wo geht es denn zu den Hackeschen Höfen?
(Anke geht weiter)
Joe: Anke, willst du den Touristen nicht helfen und ihnen antworten?
Anke: Oh, Entschuldigung! Was war die Frage?
Tourist: Wir suchen die Hackeschen Höfe. Können Sie uns sagen, wie wir von hier aus dahin kommen?
Anke: Hmm, einen Moment... Ja, gehen Sie einfach weiter geradeaus, und biegen Sie dann links in die Rosenthaler Straße ab. Auf der Rosenthaler Straße befindet sich ein Eingang, um in die Hackeschen Höfe zu kommen, er ist aber etwas versteckt.
Joe: Am besten zeigst du diesen Menschen, wo der Eingang ist. Sie scheinen Ausländer zu sein.
Tourist: Nicht nötig, wir finden ihn schon.
Anke: Besuchen Sie auf jeden Fall den Ampelmann-Shop in den Hackeschen Höfen.
Tourist: Ampelmann? Okay, danke für den Tipp.
Anke: Nichts zu danken. Schönen Tag noch!
Tourist: Danke, gleichfalls!
Joe: Was sind die Hackeschen Höfe?
Anke: Hmm, das ist schwer zu erklären. Es sind Häuser, die alle durch Höfe verbunden sind, ohne Straßen.
Joe: Wie?
Anke: Am besten gucken wir uns auch die Hackeschen Höfe an. Das sollte man gesehen haben.
Joe: Klingt gut, dann mal los!
Tourist: Excuse me, could you help us? Which way to the Hackesche courtyards?
(Anke keeps walking)
Joe: Anke, don't you want to help the tourists and answer them?
Anke: Oh, sorry! What was the question?
Tourist: We're looking for the Hackesche courtyards. Could you tell us how we get there from here?
Anke: Hmm, one moment... Yes, simply walk straight ahead, and then turn left onto Rosenthaler street. On Rosenthaler street there's an entrance into the Hackeschen courtyards, but it's a bit hidden.
Joe: It'd be best if you showed these people where the entrance is. They seem to be foreigners.
Tourist: Not necessary, we'll find them.
Anke: Make sure to visit the traffic-light-man shop in the Hackeschen courtyards.
Tourist: Traffic-light man? Okay, thanks for the tip.
Anke: It was nothing. Have a nice day!
Tourist: Thanks anyway!
Joe: What are the Hackeschen courtyards?
Anke: Hmm, it's difficult to explain. It's houses that are all connected through courtyards instead of streets.
Joe: How?
Anke: It's best to go look at the Hackeschen courtyards ourselves. It's something you should see.
Joe: Sounds good, let's go!
Chuck: So, there’s a shop dedicated exclusively to the design of traffic light men. They have t-shirts, postcards, towels, bathrobes, cutting boards, ice trays and even gummy bears in the shape of traffic light men. What’s so special about that, actually?
Judith: Yeah, it’s a [myth] let’s say for Berlin because at one point, Germany wanted to get rid of the East German type of traffic light men and replace them with the West German type to standardize the appearance. However, the East German designs are a lot cuter and some might say less ambiguous. So, there was a protest with a lot of people urging the government to leave the East German traffic lights in place.
Chuck: So I guess, during this protest there was an artist that had the idea to come up with the design for lots of items?
Judith: Yes, he used the traffic light men, I mean the East Germany type of traffic light men as a design and the government eventually relented, so only a part of the traffic lights have been sorted out.
Chuck: Oh, so that’s why in Berlin you see a mix of designs, some of them you see in the East German designs some of them you see in West German designs, right?
Judith: Yeah, it depends a bit on the way around the city, but they’re pretty well mixed.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word we shall look at is?
Judith: [antworten]
Chuck: “To answer” or “reply”.
Judith: [antworten, antworten]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [abbiegen]
Chuck: “To turn”.
Judith: [abbiegen, abbiegen] and [ab] splits off.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [verstecken]
Chuck: “To hide”.
Judith: [*verstecken, verstecken]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [bester]
Chuck: “Best”.
Judith: [bester, bester]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [am besten]
Chuck: “The best” or “it would be best if”.
Judith: [am besten, am besten]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Ausländer]
Chuck: “Foreigner”.
Judith: [Ausländer, der Ausländer] and the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [nötig]
Chuck: “Necessary” or “required”.
Judith: [nötig, nötig]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [schwer]
Chuck: “Heavy” or “difficult”.
Judith: [schwer, schwer]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [erklären]
Chuck: “To explain” or “declare”.
Judith: [erklären, erklären]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [verbinden]
Chuck: “To connect” or “bandage”.
Judith: [verbinden, verbinden]
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 [von hier aus dahin]
Chuck: “From here to there”.
Judith: The [aus] is important. [von hier aus] meaning “here” as a starting point. Next, [etwas versteckt].
Chuck: [versteckt] is the past participle of [verstecken] as in “hidden”.
Judith: Yes, and [etwas] is used like “a bit”, here. [etwas versteckt] “It’s a bit hidden”. Then we can notice that you can say [Schönen Tag] or [Guten Tag] at the end of a conversation and it’s understood as “Have a nice day”. And the last thing [Das sollte man gesehen haben].
Chuck: Literally “that should one seen have”, well that means “one should’ve seen that” a sight you don’t want to miss.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson is dative plural and usage. Let’s look at the last remaining chapter of German declinations, the dative plural endings. The dialogue contained quite a few of them.
Judith: As with all plural forms, there’s no distinction between the genders, so [Männer] and [Frauen und Kinder] will all receive the same articles and adjectives.
Chuck: The key ending for the plural is “en”.
Judith: This means that the definite article is [den] as in [den Frauen] and those nouns that decline, receive an additional end as well as in [den Männern] and [den Kindern].
Chuck: Finally, the adjectives also get the ending “en” no matter if they stand alone or preceded by an article, because in this case, the key ending matches the bland ending.
Judith: So, what does that mean in practice? We have [bei den netten Männern, bei netten Männern, bei den netten Frauen, bei netten Frauen, bei den netten Kindern, bei netten Kindern], it’s all the same.
Chuck: So wait. We talked a lot about this but when do you actually use the dative?
Judith: Well, mostly the dative is used for the indirect object, for example [Ich gebe meinem Freund den Hund].
Chuck: “I gave the dog to my friend.”
Judith: [meinem Freund] is the indirect object and its dative while [den Hund] is a direct object and its accusative instead.
Chuck: Besides, you can usually see the people are dative and animals or objects are accusative. When you have more than one object in a sentence.
Judith: This makes it easy to decide which one should be dative and which one should be accusative. We also use the dative prepositions but not for directions. For example, [Ich sitze in der Kirche].
Chuck: “I’m sitting in church”.
Judith: Or [Das Buch ist auf dem Tisch].
Chuck: “The book is on the table.” And we also use the dative after certain prepositions.
Judith: The prepositions being [aus, bei, mit, nach, von, zu] and [seit] you can make a nice rhyme with them, I mean a rhythm like [aus bei mit nach von zu seit].


Chuck: Congratulations! You now know all the rest to know about German cases! It wasn’t so bad, was it? That just about does it for today!
Judith: Looking for a word definition?
Chuck: Find exactly what you’re looking for with the instant word finder. Search the word dictionary in the top right corner of our site to find the word that you’re looking for in English or German.
Judith: We’ll also display related audio lesson in our archive.
Chuck: Add the word directly to your word bank.
Judith: And drill yourself with “my wordbank” flashcards.
Chuck: Go to GermanPod101.com and try it now. So, see you next week!
Judith: [Also bis nächste Woche!]