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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Intermediate Season 4, Lesson 25 – “Writing a German Letter to a Friend”. Hello, I’m Chuck.
Judith: Hello, I’m [Judith].
Chuck: You’re listening to GermanPod101.com
Judith: And this is the last lesson of Intermediate Series Season 4.
Chuck: Oh, the last lesson? Then again, if you’ve listened to this from start to finish, you’ve come a long way.
Judith: So, we’re going to upgrade you!
Chuck: Level up! As soon as this lesson is over, you can consider yourself an Upper Intermediate Student of German.
Judith: And you should try our Upper Intermediate Lessons.
Chuck: Keep an eye out for Upper Intermediate Series Season 2 especially. This series will be continue exactly where we’re stopping right now!
Judith: Oh, but we do still have themes. So, what are we learning today?
Chuck: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to write a letter.
Judith: This conversation takes place at Anke’s home.
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.
Joe: Hey Anke, ich habe gerade einen Brief über meinen Aufenthalt in Deutschland an meinen Freund Michael in München geschrieben. Möchtest du lesen?
Anke: Ja, gerne.
Anke: Lieber Michael, ich hoffe, es geht dir gut. Ich bin jetzt seit mehreren Tagen in Berlin und ich genieße meine Zeit hier.
Anke: Das Wetter ist sehr gut – die Sonne scheint jeden Tag und es ist nicht windig. Heute haben wir auch einen wolkenlosen Himmel; gestern war es noch bewölkt.
Anke: Die Konferenz ist schön. Ich habe schon viel dazugelernt, ich habe selbst einen Vortrag gehalten, und interessante Leute getroffen.
Anke: Nur vorgestern ist etwas Doofes geschehen. Jemand hat mein iPhone gestohlen. Ich war auf dem Weg von der Anmeldung zum ersten Vortrag und irgendjemand muss es aus meiner Jackentasche genommen haben. Ich war schon bei der Polizei.
Anke: Na ja, ich werde abwarten, was jetzt passiert. Auf jeden Fall möchte ich versuchen, den Rest meiner Zeit in Berlin zu genießen.
Anke: Es tut mir leid, dass ich dieses Mal nicht nach München reisen kann; ich habe nicht genug Zeit. Aber auf der Konferenz hat mir eine Frau geraten, mich bei ihrer Übersetzungsagentur zu bewerben.
Anke: Vielleicht arbeite ich also demnächst in Deutschland, und dann komme ich dich bestimmt besuchen. Liebe Grüße, dein Joe
Joe: Hey Anke, I just wrote a letter about my stay in Germany to my friend Michael in Munich. Would you like to read it?
Anke: Yes, gladly.
Anke: Dear Michael, I hope you're doing well. I've been in Berlin for several days and I'm enjoying my time here.
Anke: The weather is really good - the sun shines every day and it's not windy. Today we have a clear sky; yesterday it was still cloudy.
Anke: The conference is nice. I've already learned a lot there, I gave a talk myself and met interesting people.
Anke: But the day before yesterday something dumb happened. Someone stole my iPhone. I was on the way from the registration to the first lecture and someone must have taken it out of my jacket pocket. I was already at the police.
Anke: Well, I'll just wait and see what happens. In any case, I'd like to try to enjoy the rest of my time in Berlin.
Anke: I'm sorry that I can't go to Munich this time; I don't have enough time. But at the conference a woman advised me to apply at her translation agency.
Anke: So maybe I'll be working in Germany soon, and then I'll certainly come visit you. Best wishes, Joe
Judith: Okay, maybe a few basics about writing a letter.
Chuck: Well, first of all how to address the letter, you’d use first name and last name, street and number, notice that the number comes after the street and then the next line the postal code comes first then the city and in the last line it is the country.
Judith: Yes. Only four lines, very compact, very detailed.
Chuck: You’ll also notice that generally people don’t have apartment numbers, because they just have their name printed on the door.
Judith: And their name on the mailbox. If your name isn’t on the mailbox, you can’t get mail.
Chuck: So, when you first move to Germany, you really need to put your name up there, the landlord says they’ll do it, but they usually take their good time and in the meantime you’re losing lots of mail.
Judith: Okay, now the postal code. The postal code usually only specifies the city, not the street or block or anything. Only major cities or cities that used to be several towns might have a few different postal codes. They roughly specify the area of town.
Chuck: Well, I believe the first digit for example will tell you about what region in Germany it is, right?
Judith: Yet, it allows you to identify the region, but my point was that it doesn’t allow you identify the region within the city. It’s not like for numbers, really.
Chuck: If you want to send a postcard from Germany, you can get a postcard anywhere, but for stamps you have to usually go to a post office.
Judith: They’re not small because they’re bright red yellow.
Chuck: You can get to send the card from there or you can throw it into another bright yellow boxes anywhere around town.
Judith: Within Germany, your letters will probably be delivered noon on the next day. On Sundays there’s no service however.
Chuck: Yeah, you notice that if you order something online for example, it usually just arrives the next day. It’s nice that Germany is so small and efficient. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson.
Chuck: The first word we shall see is?
Judith: [Brief]
Chuck: “Letter”.
Judith: [Brief, der Brief] and the plural is [Briefe]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Aufenthalt]
Chuck: “Residence” or “stay”.
Judith: [Aufenthalt, der Aufenthalt] and the plural is [Aufenthalte]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [bewölkt]
Chuck: “Cloudy”.
Judith: [bewölkt, bewölkt]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [vorgestern]
Chuck: “The day before yesterday”.
Judith: [vorgestern, vorgestern]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [doof]
Chuck: “Dumb, foolish” or “silly”.
Judith: [doof, doof]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [geschehen]
Chuck: “To happen” or “to occur”.
Judith: [geschehen, geschehen] and this is a vowel changing verb. [Es geschieht]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [abwarten]
Chuck: “To wait” or “wait out”.
Judith: [abwarten, abwarten]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [versuchen]
Chuck: “To try”.
Judith: [versuchen, versuchen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [raten]
Chuck: “To guess” or “advice”.
Judith: [raten, raten]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [demnächst]
Chuck: “Soon” or “in the near future”.
Judith: [demnächst, demnächst]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Gruß]
Chuck: “Greeting”.
Judith: [Gruß, der Gruß] and the plural is [Grüße]
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: The first thing we’ll look at is the German suffix [los] it’s approximately the same as the English “less”. It means “completely lacking something”, for example [wolkenlos]
Chuck: “Cloudless”.
Judith: A sky completely without clouds. Another common words with this ending are [arbeitslos]
Chuck: “Unemployed”.
Judith: And [obdachlos]
Chuck: “Homeless”.
Judith: Then, we shall look at the word [dazu] in the phrase [ich habe etwas dazu gelernt]
Chuck: “Something in addition.”
Judith: I learned something in addition, that is I learned something new. And finally, [Jemand muss es genommen haben] it’s another complex German verb structure.
Chuck: It means “somebody must’ve taken it”.
Judith: Yeah, “must have taken” corresponds one to one to the German [muss genommen haben], “must have taken”.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson is grammar review.
Judith: Let’s review what we’ve learned in the past 24 Lessons.
Chuck: That’s a lot to review!
Judith: Yeah, but most important of all it’s the perfect tense. The perfect tense consists of the word “to have”, that is [haben] and occasionally the verb “to be”, [sein] and the past participle.
Chuck: The rules for building the past participle are not simple, most of the time it involved the prefix “ge” or [ge]. The perfect tense is used in spoken German. All except the most common, short verbs will be in the perfect tense.
Judith: The shortest verbs, such as [war] and [hatte] and so on will be in the predator past tense.
Chuck: In written German the predator past dominates.
Judith: This tense is typically formed using the ending “te” like [baute]
Chuck: We also talked about all the German cases: nominative, genitive, dative and accusative and which endings they take.
Judith: We talked about reflexive verbs, about [umzu], about [worauf] and [darauf] and words like that. We talked about relative clauses, shorten sub-clauses and a lot more.


Chuck: Now, I’d say it’s too much to review here. If you forgot any of these check the PDFs of earlier lessons again! Well that just about does it for today. Like our podcasts?
Judith: Then like our Facebook page, too.
Chuck: Get lesson updates or German word of the day or news of Facebook.
Judith: Just search for GermanPod101.com and like our fan-page.
Chuck: And if you like our lesson or series enter GermanPod101.com
Judith: Let us know!
Chuck: Just click the like button next to the lesson or series. So, that’s it for this Intermediate Series.
Judith: We hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for being such loyal listeners.
Chuck: And stick around for the Upper Intermediate Lessons next. Well, see ya!
Judith: [Man sieht sich]!