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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Intermediate Season 4, Lesson 17 – “Man VS Machine in Germany”. Hello and welcome back to GermanPod101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn German. I’m joined in the studio by?
Judith: Hello everyone, [Judith] here.
Chuck: In this lesson you’ll learn how to give a lecture in German.
Judith: This conversation takes place at a translator’s conference in Berlin.
Chuck: The conversation is between Joe, Christina and Martin, another translator.
Judith: The speakers are professionals, therefore they’ll be speaking formal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Joe: Willkommen! Es freut mich, dass so viele erschienen sind. Mein Name ist Joe Cardigan und ich halte jetzt den Vortrag über die Internationalisierung von Firmenwebseiten. Darüber habe ich auch schon bei amerikanischen Übersetzerkonferenzen gesprochen und mich interessiert, welche Unterschiede es hier in Deutschland gibt.
Joe: Ich werde also zunächst allgemein etwas zur Übersetzung von Firmenwebseiten sagen und danach würde ich gerne mit Ihnen diskutieren.
Joe: (bla bla bla) ...
Joe: So, jetzt haben wir noch etwas Zeit für eine Diskussion. Was sind Ihre Erfahrungen auf diesem Gebiet?
Christina: Ich habe gesehen, dass einige Firmen ihre Seiten nicht professionell übersetzen lassen, sondern Google Translate benutzen. Wie kann ich sie überzeugen, doch in eine gute Übersetzung zu investieren?
Martin: Das Problem kenne ich. Es sind meistens kleine Unternehmen mit Chefs, die selbst nur eine Sprache sprechen. Die denken sich, dass die automatische Übersetzung nicht falsch aussieht.
Christina: Ja, deshalb sind sie nicht bereit, Geld für eine professionelle Übersetzung zu bezahlen. Aber wie kann ich sie doch noch überzeugen?
Martin: Ich zeige ihnen meistens ausländische Seiten und eine automatische Übersetzung davon. Dadurch sehen sie, dass die automatische Übersetzung viele Fehler enthält.
Christina: Genau, und die Fehler lassen die Firma unprofessionell aussehen, und deshalb kriegen sie dann weniger Kunden. Aber sie merken nicht, dass sie Kunden verlieren.
Martin: Vielleicht sollte man ihnen schreiben „Heute habe ich nichts auf Ihrer Webseite gekauft, weil sie unprofessionell wirkt“.
Christina: Da kann man auch zu einem Straßenverkäufer gehen und sagen „Ich kaufe nichts bei Ihnen, weil es so aussieht, als ob Sie mein Geld stehlen wollen.“
Joe: Welcome! I'm glad so many showed up. My name is Joe Cardigan and I'm now giving the talk on internationalization of corporate websites. I've also spoken about this at American translator conferences, and taken an interest in what differences there are here in Germany.
Joe: So, first I'll say something general about translation of corporate websites and afterwards I'd like to have a discussion with you.
Joe: (bla bla bla) ...
Joe: So, now we still have some time for a discussion. What are your experiences in this area?
Christina: I've seen that some companies don't have their websites professionally translated, but instead use Google Translate. How can I convince them to invest in a good translation instead?
Martin: I'm familiar with this problem. It's mostly small enterprises with bosses that only speak one language. They think that the automatic translation doesn't look wrong.
Christina: Yes, therefore they're not ready to pay money for a professional translation. But how can I convince them?
Martin: I show them mostly foreign sites and an automatic translation of them. That way they see that the automatic translation contains many errors.
Christina: Exactly, and the errors make the company look unprofessional, and therefore they get fewer customers. But they don't notice that they're losing customers.
Martin: Maybe someone should write to them saying "today I didn't buy anything from your website because it looked unprofessional".
Christina: Since you can also go to a street vendor and say "I'm not buying anything from you because it looks like you want to steal my money."
Judith: Okay, here’re few things about making a good impression. One thing is that Germans are much more conscious of clothing that the typical Americans.
Chuck: Yeah. I wouldn’t say they’re necessarily fashion conscious because there’re plenty that don’t know what colors or styles are the rage right now, but most Germans can’t accept idea of someone wearing informal or old clothes might be an important person.
Judith: Yeah, it’s unimaginable for the head of a company to wear large t-shirts and shorts for example.
Chuck: Of course, if you’re a tourist then wearing large a t-shirt and shorts it’s pretty common.
Judith: Yeah, it’s perfectly fine.
Chuck: But, I say if you want to business to get a job here, you should probably consider dressing well for that.
Judith: Yes. It’s only the business day, at work clothes that are important. Also, if you’re having difficulty getting an apartment in a cram city like Munich, then you might want to dress well to see the landlord, because it gives the impression that you’re earning well.
Chuck: Other indicators are almost the same, walking confidently, speaking well. If anything, there’re more layers to speaking well in Germany.
Judith: Yeah, in some cases like when you’re having trouble with the landlord, then people might adopt a formal kind of language that’s almost as bad as law’s languages. This goes to show the other side that you’re aware of loss and regulations and that you can use the system against them if they try to fool you.
Chuck: Of course, as a foreigner it will take a while until you learn the right words. Just start to note that if someone’s like that, it means they’re going to use the system as a cover, they’re unlike to come around to your point of view at that point. You’d have to find some rule or regulations back-up. I remember that once I lost several hundreds of euros because I didn’t notice when someone switched the formal German and I messed up there, so be careful. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word we shall see is?
Judith: [Unterschied]
Chuck: “Difference”.
Judith: [Unterschied, der Unterschied] and the plural is [Unterschiede].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [allgemein]
Chuck: “General”.
Judith: [allgemein, allgemein]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [diskutieren]
Chuck: “To discuss”.
Judith: [diskutieren, diskutieren]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Gebiet]
Chuck: “Area, territory” or “field”.
Judith: [Gebiet, das Gebiet] and the plural is [Gebiete].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [einige]
Chuck: “Some” or “several”.
Judith: [einige, einige]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [professionell]
Chuck: “Professional” or “professionally”.
Judith: [professionell, professionell]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [sondern]
Chuck: “But” or “instead”.
Judith: [sondern, sondern]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [überzeugen]
Chuck: “To convince”.
Judith: [überzeugen, überzeugen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [investieren]
Chuck: “To invest”.
Judith: [investieren, investieren]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Unternehmen]
Chuck: “Enterprise”.
Judith: [Unternehmen, das Unternehmen] and the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [deshalb]
Chuck: “Therefore”.
Judith: [deshalb, deshalb]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [enthalten]
Chuck: “To contain” or “include”.
Judith: [enthalten, enthalten] and the forms are [Er enthält, Er enthielt, Er hat enthalten].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Kunde]
Chuck: “Costumer” or “client”.
Judith: [Kunde, der Kunde] and the plural is [Kunden].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [verkaufen]
Chuck: “To sell”.
Judith: [verkaufen, verkaufen]
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 [Ihre Seiten übersetzen lassen].
Chuck: “Have these translated?”
Judith: [Lassen] normally means “to let”, but it can also mean “to have somebody do something”, like here [übersetzen lassen], “to have it translated”. Then, we should look at the word [diskutieren].
Chuck: “To discuss”.
Judith: It doesn’t resemble the English word too much, however the noun [Diskussion] it’s spelled exactly like in English, well almost, with just “c” swept for a “k”. Then, we have the adjective [ausländisch].
Chuck: “Foreign”.
Judith: [ausländisch] is based on [das Ausland].
Chuck: “Foreign countries”.
Judith: And that word is also the basis for [der Ausländer].
Chuck: “Foreigner”.
Judith: We already studied the [der Ausländer], so the new things [Ausland] which is everything outside your own country and based on [Ausland] the adjective [ausländisch]. Then, the word [Verkäufer].
Chuck: “Salesperson”.
Judith: It’s the person who does [verkaufen].
Chuck: “To sell”.
Judith: And finally the expression [als ob].
Chuck: “As if”.
Judith: As in the sentence [Es sieht so aus, als ob Sie mein Geld stehlen wollen].
Chuck: “It looks as if you want to steal my money.”

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson is [da] and [dar].
Judith: German words starting with [da] or [dar] are often a problem area for English speakers. There are lots of them, not just [dafür, darüber] which we’ve seen before, but this will go for every preposition.
Chuck: The [da] part always means “that”, so [dafür] is “for that”, [darüber] is “about that” and similarly you can form words based on every preposition.
Judith: The recipe is that if the prepositions starts with a consonant, then you add [da] in front, and if it starts with a vowel then you need an additional “r”, so the prefix becomes [dar].
Chuck: Give us some examples?
Judith: Of course. So, [danach], the preposition is [nach] so [danach].
Chuck: “After that”.
Judith: [darüber]
Chuck: “About that”.
Judith: Here the preposition is simply [über] so we have an extra “r” [darüber, davon].
Chuck: “Of that”.
Judith: [dadurch]
Chuck: “Through that” or “by way of that”.
Judith: [darauf]
Chuck: “On that”.
Judith: [daran]
Chuck: “At that”.
Judith: [dagegen]
Chuck: “Against that”.
Judith: [dazu]
Chuck: “To that” or “for that purpose”.
Judith: These words always replace sentence parts, like [Ich weiß nichts von dem Unfall].
Chuck: “I don’t know anything about the accident.”
Judith: Then, you can replace [von dem Unfall] with [davon, Ich weiß nichts davon].
Chuck: “I don’t know anything about that.” As you can see, we choose [davon], “of that”, instead of [darüber], “about that”, which the English would imply. This is because you always have to choose the word that contains the preposition that you’re replacing.
Judith: Yes, so if it’s [von dem Unfall] you have to say [davon] and if it’s [durch seine Hilfe] you say [dadurch, nach dem Vortrag, danach] it doesn’t matter what preposition English would use.


Chuck: Well, that just about does it for today!
Judith: Listeners, have you ever dreamt of starring in one of our lessons?
Chuck: If your answer is “yes”, use the voice recording tool in lesson’s page.
Judith: Record your voice with a click of a button.
Chuck: Then play it back just as easily.
Judith: Then, compare it to the native speakers in the lesson.
Chuck: And adjust your pronunciation.
Judith: After a few tries, you’ll be speaking better German than Chuck here.
Chuck: Hey!
Judith: Go to GermanPod101.com and rapidly improve your German pronunciation.
Chuck: Got that, see you next week!
Judith: [Verstanden? Dann bis nächste Woche!]