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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Intermediate Season 4, Lesson 5 – “A Must-See Building in Berlin”. Hello and welcome to GermanPod101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn German.
Judith: I’m Judith and thanks again for being here with us for this Intermediate Season 4 Lesson.
Chuck: In this lesson you’ll learn how to talk about a famous building.
Judith: This conversation takes place on Berlin’s Oranienburger Straße.
Chuck: The conversation is between Joe and Anke.
Judith: The speakers are friends therefore they will be speaking informal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
J: Was essen wir heute?
A: Ich weiß noch nicht. Auf was hast du Lust?
J: Hmm, diesen Teil der Stadt kenne ich nicht so gut. Welche Restaurants gibt es hier in der Nähe? Kannst du etwas empfehlen?
A: Hier auf der Oranienburger Straße befinden sich viele gute Restaurants. Es gibt alles, sogar Essen aus Kuba oder aus Singapur.
J: Kubanisch klingt interessant. Lass uns da essen!
A: Okay!
J: ... Was ist denn das für ein Gebäude?
A: Was? Das da?
J: Ja.
A: Das ist das Kunsthaus Tacheles.
J: Das ist so alt, und voller Graffiti, das passt gar nicht zum Aussehen der anderen Gebäude. Alle anderen Gebäude hier sind moderne, schicke Restaurants.
A: Stimmt. Das Tacheles ist ein besetztes Haus. Das ist schon seit 1990 so. Immer wieder will man es abreißen, aber die Hilfe der Berliner hält es am Leben. Mittlerweile ist es ziemlich bekannt, du siehst ja die Schlange der Touristen...
J: Die wollen alle das Kunsthaus Tacheles sehen?
A: Ja.
J: Vielleicht sollten wir später zurückkommen und es uns dann ansehen. Nach dem Essen oder so.
J: What shall we eat today?
A: I don't know yet. What are you in the mood for?
J: Hmm, I don't know this part of the city that well. Which restaurants are there nearby? Can you recommend something?
A: Here on Oranienburger street there are many good restaurants. There's everything, even food from Cuba or Singapore.
J: Cuban sounds interesting. Let's eat there!
A: Okay!
J: ... What sort of building is that?
A: What? That one there?
J: Yes.
A: That's the Tacheles art-house.
J: It's so old, and full of graffiti, it doesn't match the appearance of the other buildings at all. All the other buildings here are modern trendy restaurants.
A: That's right. Tacheles is a squat. It has been that way since 1990. They keep wanting to tear it down, but the support of Berliners keeps it alive. In the meantime, it has become well-known. You can see the line of tourists...
J: They all want to see the Tacheles art-house?
A: Yes.
J: Maybe we should come back later and take a look. Maybe after the meal.
Chuck: I know what I want to talk about.
Judith: What?
Chuck: Fried food in Berlin.
Judith: Sounds good. I mean, we didn’t mention Cuban and Singaporean?
Chuck: I think we just ate some Thai food, didn’t we?
Judith: It’s true that there’re lots and lots of foreign restaurants in Berlin, including some really exotic ones like Cuban, Sri Lankan, Nepali or Georgian food.
Chuck: You can even find American restaurants here.
Judith: That’s not so exotic.
Chuck: It’s nice if you lived here for a while and you missed your old food, but anyway. You’ll find that Mexican food are chic and rarely available but it’s really not that authentic, well it’s mostly Germans trying to prepare the food.
Judith: Yeah. There are nearly not enough Mexicans in Germany to fill the demand for tacos, burritos, nachos and salsa. These have become a fashion, so lots of Germans want to eat it but there are not enough Mexicans.
Chuck: Yeah, actually the only authentic restaurant I know it’s ran by an American. Sushi is perhaps the most Asian food in Berlin.
Judith: Thai food is so popular in Berlin that even your neighborhood Europeanized Chinese restaurants that will probably offer you a few Thai dishes. And you’ll find frozen already Thai dishes in your supermarket.
Chuck: Mango Lassi and any other Indian mango milkshake is not available just in Indian restaurants, but just about in every Asian restaurant in some Turkish one even.
Judith: That’s so crazy to have an Indian drink at a Turkish restaurant. Especially when the rest of Germany doesn’t even know what a Mango Lassi is.
Chuck: Yeah, in other parts of Germany, particularly small towns you just find Italian Turkish and Europeanized Chinese. It’s about all the foreign food you can get, unless you really look all your way for it.
Judith: Yeah, I mean big cities are always more of a selection, but Berlin especial.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word we shall look at is?
Judith: [Nähe].
Chuck: “Vicinity” or “nearby area”.
Judith: [Nähe, die Nähe].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [sich befinden].
Chuck: “To be located”.
Judith: [sich befinden,sich befinden].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [sogar].
Chuck: “Even”.
Judith: [sogar, sogar].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Gebäude].
Chuck: “Building”.
Judith: [Gebäude, das Gebäude] and the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [voll]
Chuck: “Fool”.
Judith: [voll, voll].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [passen].
Chuck: “To fit, to go with something” as in clothing or “to pass or fold” as in a game.
Judith: [passen, passen].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [modern].
Chuck: “Modern”.
Judith: [modern, modern].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [schick].
Chuck: “Trendy” or “Chic”.
Judith: [schick, schick].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [besetzt].
Chuck: “Occupied” or “squatted”.
Judith: [besetzt, besetzt].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [seit].
Chuck: “For” or “cents”.
Judith: [seit, seit].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [abreißen].
Chuck: “To tear down” or “demolish”.
Judith: [abreißen, abreißen] and the [ab] splits off.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Hilfe].
Chuck: “Help” or “aid”.
Judith: [Hilfe, die Hilfe] and the plural is [Hilfen].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [leben].
Chuck: “To live”.
Judith: [leben, leben].
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [mittlerweile].
Chuck: “Nowadays”.
Judith: [mittlerweile, mittlerweile].
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 [in der Nähe].
Chuck: This literally means “in the vicinity”.
Judith: Yeah, but it’s much often used in German than it would imply. The thing is German doesn’t have any other word to express the concept of near, so I would translate [in der Nähe] as “near” or “nearby”.
Chuck: You can’t really even say [Nähe das] can you?
Judith: No, no, no way. You have to say [in der Nähe von].
Chuck: Yeah, [in der Nähe von das] right?
Judith: [von dem, in der Nähe davon].
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: Then we should talk about all of those country names like [Kuba], this is obviously Cuba and Singapore, [Graffiti] is “graffiti”, so we didn’t list these in the vocabulary list because they’re proper words and because they’re basically identical to English. Then, we have [das Aussehen].
Chuck: “Appearance”.
Judith: This is the noun based on [aussehen].
Chuck: “To look” or “appear”.
Judith: You can turn any verb into a noun by simply capitalizing the first letter and these nouns will always be neutral. Another example is [das Leben].
Chuck: “Life”.
Judith: This is based on [leben].
Chuck: “To live”.
Judith: And, one more thing [am Leben halten], it’s another expression, it means “to keep alive”. [Halten] is “to hold” or “to keep”, so the German expression is not too far from the English. [Am Leben halten] “to keep alive” and note that the “l” in this, “l” of Leben is capitalized because [am] is for [an dem] anything with [der, die, das] in front has to be a noun.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson is a genitive plural. In Lesson 3 we had a look at genitive singular endings so now it’s time to cover the genitive plural.
Judith: The key ending for the genitive plural is “er” and there are no differences between masculine and feminine and neutral.
Chuck: So the definite article is [der], no matter if you’re talking about men, women or children.
Judith: The indefinite article doesn’t exist in plural. This means that the adjective or the possessive pronoun will have to carry the key “er” ending if [der] is not present.
Chuck: On the other hand, if the “er” ending is already present then adjectives will only get the bland “en” ending.
Judith: So we say [der guten Männer], “of the good man”, [guter Männer], [der guten Frau], [guter Frauen], [der guten Kinder], [guter Kinder] “of the good children”.
Chuck: For the genitive it’s not possible to just have the noun stand on its own, because the meaning would be unclear.
Judith: Yeah, you could say [ich liebe Hunde] and [Hunde] could stand alone as an accusative plural form here, but you can’t say [ich liebe das Fell der Hunde].
Chuck: “I love the fur dogs.”
Judith: You definitively need the [der] in there. [ich liebe das Fell der Hunde], “I love the fur of dogs”.
Chuck: The [der] has the same purpose as the English word “of”, here. So, use it even when talking about an unspecific group.
Judith: It’s doesn’t need to be [der] specifically though. If you have any other word that goes with [hunde] that’s fine, too. You just put the “er” ending somewhere else to mark this as a genitive phrase. For example, you could say [Ich mag das Fell junger Hunde], so [junger] has the “er” ending then.


Chuck: That just about does it for today. Listeners, do you know why flashcards are so popular?
Judith: It’s because they work.
Chuck: We’ve taken this time of this studying tool and modernize it “My Word Bank” flashcards.
Judith: Learn vocabulary using your eyes and ears.
Chuck: It’s simple and powerful. Save difficult interesting words to your personal vocabulary list called “My Word Bank”.
Judith: Master the words in your “My Word Bank” by practicing with flashcards.
Chuck: Words in “My Word Bank” come with audio so you learn proper pronunciation.
Judith: While you learn how to recognize words by site.
Chuck: Go to GermanPod101.com right now and try “My Word Bank” and flashcards today! So, see you next week!
Judith: [Also bis nächste Woche]!