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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Intermediate Season 4, Lesson 6 – “Let’s Have an Exciting German Discussion…About Work” 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 talk about your job.
Judith: This conversation takes place at the Cuban restaurants in Berlin.
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.
A: Ein Tisch für zwei bitte.
Kellner: Da oben vielleicht?
J: Ja, da ist gut.
Kellner: Kann ich Ihnen schon etwas zu trinken bringen?
A: Ja, ich hätte gern ein kubanisches Bier.
J: Kubanisches Bier? Das klingt interessant, aber heute Abend möchte ich keinen Alkohol. Für mich bitte eine große Cola.
A: Bist du sicher? Wenn du jetzt eine Cola trinkst, kannst du bestimmt nicht vor 2 Uhr schlafen.
J: Egal, ich brauche jetzt etwas, das mich aufweckt. Ansonsten schlafe ich ein, bevor das Essen da ist.
A: Mach, was du willst.
J: Wie läuft deine Arbeit?
A: Ach, so wie immer.
J: Was meinst du?
A: Es ist jeden Tag das Gleiche. Egal wie viel langweiligen Papierkram ich erledige, es gibt immer noch mehr. Aber es ist eine sichere Arbeitsstelle und es gibt kaum Stress, ziemlich angenehm.
J: Klingt nicht spannend.
A: Es ist nicht spannend.
J: Wie findest du den Chef?
A: Er ist okay. Er ist kaum im Büro, also ist es meistens ruhig.
A: A table for two, please.
Waiter: Up there perhaps?
J: Yes, that's good.
Waiter: Can I bring you something to drink?
A: Yes, I'd like a Cuban beer.
J: Cuban beer? That sounds interesting, but tonight I don't want any alcohol. A large cola for me, please.
A: Are you sure? If you drink a cola now, then you certainly won't be able to sleep before 2am.
J: Whatever, right now I need something that'll wake me up. Otherwise I'll fall asleep before the food is here.
A: Do what you like.
J: How's your job going?
A: Oh, same as always.
J: What do you mean?
: It's the same every day. No matter how much boring paper work I take care of, there's always more. But it's a secure job and there's barely any stress, quite pleasant.
J: Doesn't sound exciting.
A: It's not exciting.
J: What do you think of the boss?
A: He's okay. He's barely in the office, so it's mostly quiet.
Judith: All right. Maybe it’s time to talk a bit about German working conditions.
Chuck: With a lot of guarantee it’s four weeks of movable holidays. So that translates to 20 days of a five day work week or 24 days if you have a six day work week. This is really the minimum here.
Judith: Yes. Once you work a few years you get more.
Chuck: I think it’s quite common even when you’re about the age of retirement you get eight weeks of movable holidays, isn’t it?
Judith: I don’t know, I haven’t looked at the statistics, but yeah it’s a minimum here. And also keep in mind that if you’re young, up to 18 years old you also get more, but you also need to work all the same jobs, you choice of work and your month of weekly work hours are restricted.
Chuck: That prevents child labor. Additionally, there are 9 to 13 non-movable holidays, the exact amount depends on which federal state union, because some recognize different religious holidays than others, depends on the state’s prevalent confession, Catholic or Protestant.
Judith: You typically don’t have to worry about running out of paid sick days or your job because of sickness, unless you’re missing for more than a few months. However, to prevent abuse, you need to see a doctor and have him certify that you’re actually sick.
Chuck: It’s impossible to get all the health insurances unless you’re filthy rich. You can choose your health insurance company, but you have to be insured, it’s illegal not to have health insurance. The money for the insurance goes straight out of your salary and your employer contributes half. If you’re not employed, your health insurance is covered by the state.
Judith: Either way, non-working family members are covered by the working parent’s health insurance and if you’re an un-employee it’s also impossible to opt out of the national pension system. As a freelancer, you’re responsible for that yourself.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word we shall look at is?
Judith: [Alkohol]
Chuck: “Alcohol”.
Judith: [Alkohol, der Alkohol]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [schlafen]
Chuck: “To sleep”.
Judith: [schlafen, schlafen] and this is a vowel changing verb.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [aufwecken]
Chuck: “To wake up”.
Judith: [aufwecken, aufwecken] and the [auf] splits off.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [ansonsten]
Chuck: “Otherwise”.
Judith: [ansonsten, ansonsten]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Papier]
Chuck: “Paper”.
Judith: [Papier, das Papier] and the plural is [Papiere]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Kram]
Chuck: “Stuff” or [unintelligible 00:03:29]
Judith: [Kram, der Kram]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [erledigen]
Chuck: “To carry out” or “handle”.
Judith: [erledigen, erledigen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Arbeitsstelle]
Chuck: “Position” or “workplace”.
Judith: [Arbeitsstelle, die Arbeitsstelle] and the plural is [Arbeitsstellen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Stress]
Chuck: “Stress”.
Judith: [Stress, der Stress]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [angenehm]
Chuck: “Pleasant”.
Judith: [angenehm, angenehm]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [spannend]
Chuck: “Thrilling”.
Judith: [spannend, spannend]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Chef]
Chuck: “Boss”.
Judith: [Chef, der Chef] and the plural is [Chefs]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Büro]
Chuck: “Office”.
Judith: [Büro, das Büro] and the plural is [Büros]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [meistens]
Chuck: “Mostly” or “most of the time”.
Judith: [meistens, meistens]
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: The first word we’ll look at is [einschlafen] this is related to [schlafen] as you can guess. The difference is that [schlafen] means “to be sleeping” while [einschlafen] is “to fall asleep”. The separable [ein] prefix is for the transition into sleep.
Chuck: [Wie läuft es?] means “How’s something doing”. The literal meaning of [laufen] is to “to jog”.
Judith: Then the expression [so wie immer], it means “at always” or “as usual”. [wie] can mean “how” but it can also mean “as”.
Chuck: [Das Gleiche] is a fixed expression meaning “the same” or “more the same”. It doesn’t mean that there’s a noun [gleiche] with a capital “g”. It’s only this one expression.
Judith: Finally, the word [Papierkram] it’s a compound German noun. It means “paperwork” but in a negative kind of way, [Kram] has always a negative connotation. [Papierkram] is paperwork that you really shouldn’t have to do. Someone coined an English word for it. “Bumf”.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson is accusative singular. Today we’re looking at the accusative endings since the dialogue contained lots of them.
Judith: For masculine nouns such as [der Mann] or [der Anzug].
Chuck: “Suit”.
Judith: The key ending is the “en” for the accusative.
Chuck: The key ending always has to be present.
Judith: Yes, so the masculine accusative singular form of “the” is [den] and the equivalent form of “a” is [einen].
Chuck: Also, any adjectives will get the ending “en” as well. Could you give us some examples of this?
Judith: Of course. [Ich mag den Anzug, ich mag den grauen Anzug, ich mag einen Anzug.]
Chuck: There’re also a few masculine nouns such as [der Mensch], they will also adopt the “en” ending for the accusative.
Judith: Yes, only some masculine words to that like [der Mensch, den Menschen] with “en”.
Chuck: For feminine nouns such as [die Frau], the key ending is “e”. Actually, feminine nouns are exactly the same in the nominative and the accusative so this is easy.
Judith: Always chose the form that ends in “e”. So, the forms would be [die], [eine], and [andere]. [Ich mag die Größe, ich mag die andere Größe, ich mag eine Größe.]
Chuck: Finally, for neutral nouns such as [das Kind] or [das Kleid].
Judith: “A dress”.
Chuck: The key ending is “s”. Neutral nouns are also exactly the same in accusative as in the nominative. So again, you’re saving yourself some work.
Judith: The correct form of [der, die, das] for accusative singular is obviously [das].
Chuck: Here you have the issue that [ein] does not carry this key ending “s”. This cannot be helped when you’re just saying [ein Kleid] or something like that. But, once you add an adjective, the adjective has to end in “s” or “es” for pronunciation reasons.
Judith: If the article is [das], then the adjective does not need the additional “s”, it would just end in “e”. So, this is just something to think about when you’re using [ein].
Chuck: Can you give us some examples?
Judith: Yeah. [Ich mag das Kleid, ich mag das schwarze Kleid, ich mag ein Kleid, ich mag ein schwarzes Kleid.]
Chuck: Memorize these forms as well and have another look at the dialogue to identify all the accusative forms.


Judith: Good idea! Make sure you figure out now where they have the endings that they have. Post your results in the comments. Listeners, have you ever dreamed of starring in one of our lessons?
Chuck: If your answer is yes, use the voice recording tool on the 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 with the native speakers in the lesson.
Chuck: And adjust your pronunciation.
Judith: After a few tries, you’ll be speaking a better German that Chuck here.
Chuck: Hey!
Judith: Go to GermanPod101.com and rapidly improve your German pronunciation.
Chuck: So, see you next week!
Judith: [Also bis nächste Woche!]