Vocabulary (Review)

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 Season 4, Lesson 21 – “Are the Trams Behaving in an un-German Way” Hello and welcome back to GermanPod101.com. My name is Chuck.
Judith: And I’m [Judith]. This is the Intermediate Series Season 4 and today it’s based on a particular event that happened to us not so long ago.
Chuck: Yes. In fact, this could happen any time when you visit Germany, especially if you’re in Berlin.
Judith: Pay attention to the dialogue, but first what’s the goal of today’s lesson?
Chuck: In this lesson you’ll learn a unique German skill: complaining.
Judith: I don’t think that’s unique to Germans. Anyway, this conversation takes place at the tram stop outside the conference center.
Chuck: Yeah, you’ve developed the skill quite well.
Judith: Hey!
Chuck: The conversation is between Joe and Anke.
Judith: The speakers are friends therefore they’ll be speaking informal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Anke: Mann, wann kommt die Straßenbahn denn endlich!
Joe: Das frage ich mich auch.
Anke: Wenn wir noch länger warten, hätten wir fast schon laufen können.
Joe: Eigentlich sollte alle zehn Minuten eine Straßenbahn kommen und jetzt stehen wir schon mehr als 15 Minuten hier. Ich weiß nicht, was heute los ist.
Anke: Ja, und hier hängt auch kein Zettel, dass es heute Probleme mit dem normalen Fahrplan gibt...
Joe: Was sollen wir tun? Sollen wir ein Taxi nehmen?
Anke: Ein Taxi wäre am bequemsten, aber ich glaube, die U-Bahn reicht auch. Es gibt um diese Zeit immer viel Verkehr. Davon sind die U-Bahnen nicht betroffen. Vielleicht sind wir mit der U-Bahn sogar schneller da als mit dem Taxi.
Joe: Okay. Die U-Bahn ist auf jeden Fall besser als laufen.
Anke: Die nächste U-Bahn-Haltestelle ist da links um die Ecke.
Joe: Okay.
Anke: Oh, was ist denn da vorne los?
Joe: Lauter Polizisten...
Anke: Das ist eine Demonstration! Die ganze Straße ist abgesperrt!
Joe: Ah, das erklärt, warum die Straßenbahn nicht gekommen ist.
Anke: Wow. So viele Menschen! Die Gewerkschaften und die Parteien sind vertreten...
Joe: Wofür demonstrieren die denn alle?
Anke: Die meisten Leute in dieser Menschenmenge demonstrieren für sicherere Energie.
Anke: Man, is the tram ever going to get here?
Joe: I'm wondering that too.
Anke: If we wait any longer, we might as well have walked.
Joe: Actually, the trams are supposed to come every ten minutes, and we've already been here more than fifteen minutes. I don't know what's up today.
Anke: Yes, and there's no notice here that there are any problems with the normal schedule...
Joe: What should we do? Should we take a taxi?
Anke: A taxi would be the most comfortable, but I think the subway is sufficient. At this time there's always lots of traffic. The subway isn't affected by that. Maybe we'll be even faster on the subway than with a taxi.
Joe: Okay. The subway is better than walking, in any case.
Anke: The next subway station is to the left, around the corner.
Joe: Okay.
Anke: Oh, what's going on up ahead?
Joe: So many policemen...
Anke: That's a demonstration. The whole street is blocked!
Joe: Ah, that explains why the tram didn't come.
Anke: Wow, so many people! The unions and the political parties are here too...
Joe: What are they all demonstrating about?
Anke: Most people in this crowd are demonstrating for safer energy.
Judith: Okay, maybe a little talk about what’s different in the German political landscape, because there’re quite few differences. For example, environmentalism is much more widespread. Also, the entire political system is moved to left a bit and trade unions have a whole lot more power.
Chuck: One thing to keep in mind that Germany has a multiparty system. Here’s some other parties that usually wind up in the parliament.
Judith: One is the CDU, the Christian Democrats there’re center-right party.
Chuck: The SPD, the Social Party, center-left party.
Judith: The Green are basically a mix of environmentalists and pacifists.
Chuck: FDP, liberals. But beware, in Germany liberal means they want to liberate the markets and allow big businesses for a rant.
Judith: Yes, very careful with this word. Conservative and liberal are basically inverted in Germany. Then, there’s [Linke], the left most party in parliament, they include reminiscence of the communist party that formerly ruled East Germany, so this leftist party have also named itself to be the relic now but it’s still treated as a superior by the other parties.
Chuck: There’re many more smaller parties, but a party must get at least five percent of votes in order to become part of the [Bundestag], so the smaller parties have a very little influence.
Judith: One effect of having fight parties in parliament is that a party rarely gets enough votes to rule all by themselves. They usually have to form a coalition with one other party, sometimes even two and this way, smaller parties have a chance to bring in some of their ideas. The can’t turn on the existence completely, but they can change some things that some things that they particularly care about.
Chuck: For example, the Greens effectively use coalition negotiations in order to bring some pro-environmental legislation, that their bigger coalition partner wasn’t really said against. It’s tit for tat. But I have to say, I was quite surprised in 2001 when I had my first encounter with German political parties.
Judith: Why? Where was that?
Chuck: Well, there were some of the SPD any – well, he gave everyone a free condom.
Judith: Where was that?
Chuck: It was in [Magdeburg]. They were just trying to get their name out, I guess.
Judith: At a party or?
Chuck: No, just on the street. I don’t think I saw that happen in America.
Judith: No.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word we shall look at is?
Judith: [los sein]
Chuck: “To be up” or “to be rid of”.
Judith: [los sein, los sein] the forms are [Es ist los, Er war los, Es ist losgewesen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Zettel]
Chuck: “Note” or “piece of paper”.
Judith: [Zettel, der Zettel] and the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [bequem]
Chuck: “Comfortable”.
Judith: [bequem, bequem]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [reichen]
Chuck: “To be enough” or “to pass something to someone”.
Judith: [reichen, reichen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [betreffen]
Chuck: “To concern” or “affect”.
Judith: [betreffen, betreffen] the forms are [Es betrifft, Es betraf, Es ist betroffen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Ecke]
Chuck: “Corner”.
Judith: [Ecke, die Ecke] and the plural is [Ecken]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [lauter]
Chuck: “So many, sheer” or “great”.
Judith: [lauter, lauter]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [absperren]
Chuck: “To block” or “close off”.
Judith: [absperren] the [absperren, absperren] splits off.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Gewerkschaft]
Chuck: “Tribe union”.
Judith: [Gewerkschaft, die Gewerkschaft] and the plural is [Gewerkschaften]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Partei]
Chuck: “Political party”.
Judith: [Partei, die Partei] and the plural is [Parteien]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [vertreten]
Chuck: “To represent”.
Judith: [vertreten, vertreten] the forms are [Er vertritt, Er vertrat, Er hat vertreten]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [demonstrieren]
Chuck: “To demonstrate”.
Judith: [demonstrieren, demonstrieren]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Menge]
Chuck: “Book” or “amount”.
Judith: [Menge, die Menge] and the plural is [Mengen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Energie]
Chuck: “Energy”.
Judith: [Energie, Energie] and the plural is [Energien]
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 [Alle zehn Minuten]
Chuck: “Every ten minutes.”
Judith: [Alle zehn Minuten] Next, [Fahrplan]
Chuck: “Schedule” as in a public transportation.
Judith: [Der Fahrplan]. Then, the expression [um diese Zeit]
Chuck: “Around this time”.
Judith: Yeah, careful there. [Um] has to mean “around” here. If you want to say “at this time” that would be [zu dieser Zeit]. Next, [betroffen sein]
Chuck: “To be affected”.
Judith: [betroffen sein], “to be affected”. Then, [Demonstration]
Chuck: “Demonstration”.
Judith: This is based on the verb [demonstrieren].
Chuck: “To demonstrate”.
Judith: And finally [Menschenmenge]
Chuck: “Crowd”.
Judith: This consists of [Menschen]
Chuck: “Humans”.
Judith: And [Menge]
Chuck: “Book” or “amount”.
Judith: So, “book of humans” is a “crowd”. [Menschenmenge]

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson is comparison of adjectives.
Judith: To say that something is nicer, bigger, better other like in German add “er” to any adjective.
Chuck: English has a similar rule, except in English you sometimes add “more” instead. For example, for the word “beautiful” it’s impossible to say “beautifuler”, you have say “more beautiful”. In German it’s not possible to use [mehr], “more”, you have to use “er” at the end. Additionally, adjectives still change according to the gender, number or case of the accompanying noun.
Judith: Like [Köln ist schöner als Düsseldorf]
Chuck: “Cologne is nicer than Dusseldorf.”
Judith: [Köln ist weniger schön als Düsseldorf]
Chuck: “Cologne is less nice than Dusseldorf.”
Judith: [Düsseldorf und Köln sind genauso schön]
Chuck: “Dusseldorf and Cologne are equally nice.”
Judith: There are a few irregular comparison forms, for example [gut] changes to [besser]. This shouldn’t be hard to memorize however, because English ????? this change.
Chuck: If you want to say that something is the very best out of a large group, you need the superlative. The superlative is the most alimented form of an adjective. For example, superlatives in English are “strongest”, “hardest” or “most beautiful”.
Judith: In German, the superlative formed much the same, always using “est” as in “strongest” and again, we don’t have a form with “most”, we have to use the “est” ending, like [schönster, bester] or [wunderschönster].


Chuck: Well that just about does it for today.
Judith: Listeners, can you understand German TV shows, movies or songs?
Chuck: How about friends and loved ones? Conversations in German?
Judith: If you want to know what’s going on, we have a tool to help!
Chuck: Line by line audio.
Judith: Listen to the lesson conversations line by line and learn to understand natural German fast.
Chuck: It’s simple really.
Judith: With a click of a button, listen to each line of the conversation.
Chuck: Listen again and again until your ears are natural German.
Judith: Rapidly understand natural German with this powerful tool.
Chuck: Find this feature on lesson’s page under premium member resources at GermanPod101.com. So, see you there!
Judith: [Also wir sehen uns online]!