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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Intermediate Season 4, Lesson 7 – “Making Friends in the German Workplace”
Judith: Hello everyone, I’m Judith and welcome to GermanPod101.com
Chuck: With us you’ll learn how to speak German with fun and effective lessons.
Judith: We also provide you with cultural insights.
Chuck: And tips you won’t find in a textbook. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to talk about your coworkers in German.
Judith: This conversation takes place at a Cuban restaurant 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.
J: Sind deine Mitarbeiter in Ordnung?
A: Ja, wir verstehen uns meistens gut. Wir essen auch zusammen zu Mittag und wir planen manchmal gemeinsame Aktivitäten.
J: Was denn zum Beispiel?
A: Na, wir organisieren Feste, oder wir machen Ausflüge zusammen... letztens waren wir zusammen in Potsdam.
J: Nicht schlecht.
A: Ich mag die gemeinsamen Ausflüge. Ich finde, sie machen uns zu einem Team.
A: Wie läuft das bei dir eigentlich? Du bist ja Übersetzer. Arbeitest du bei einer Firma?
J: Nein, im Moment bin ich Freiberufler. Ich arbeite von zu Hause aus.
A: Ist das nicht langweilig? Du bist ja den ganzen Tag allein.
J: Ich finde es nicht schlecht. So kann ich mehr Zeit mit meiner Familie und mit meinen Freunden verbringen. Als Angestellter verbringt man viel Zeit mit Leuten, die man vielleicht gar nicht mag.
A: Ja, ich habe Glück mit meiner Firma. Ich mag alle.
J: Das ist nicht oft so. Meistens gibt es zumindest einen, der Stress macht.
A: Der Chef?
J: Der auch. Na ja, es ist schön, frei zu sein, aber manchmal hätte ich lieber jeden Monat sicheres Geld.
A: Und manchmal wäre ich lieber Freiberufler. Dann würde ich nur interessante Projekte machen, nicht immer den gleichen Papierkram. Und ich könnte morgens länger schlafen.
J: Are your coworkers okay?
A: Yes, we mostly get along well. We also eat together at lunch and we sometimes plan activities together.
J: Like what, for example?
A: Well, we organize parties or we go on an outing together...recently we went to Potsdam together.
J: Not bad.
A: I like the outings we do together. I find that they make us a team.
A: How's it going with you, actually? You're a translator. Do you work at a company?
J: No, at the moment I'm a freelancer. I work from home.
A: Isn't that boring? You're alone for the entire day.
J: It's not bad. That way I can spend more time with my family and with my friends. As an employee, one spends a lot of time with people that you perhaps don't like at all.
A: Yes, I'm lucky with my company. I like everyone.
J: It's not often like that. Most of the time there's at least one person that causes stress.
A: The boss?
J: Him too. Well, it's nice to be free, but sometimes I'd prefer to have reliable money every month.
A: And sometimes I'd prefer to be a freelancer. Then I'd only do interesting projects, not always the same paperwork. And I could sleep longer in the mornings.
Chuck: How about we talk about etiquette on the job.
Judith: Yeah, that could be interesting.
Chuck: So when you work at home, you -
Judith: When you work at home, you do whatever you want.
Chuck: Oh yeah, I guess I’m too much into the Berlin mindset. With all the freelancers here.
Judith: Yeah, but in all of the smallest companies you should expect to always use formal language with your boss and for him to maintain a certain distance.
Chuck: However, colleagues of roughly the same standing tend to form tightly connected groups who also regularly spend free time together.
Judith: Yeah, you might have to prove yourself before you’ll be part of that kind of circle. Also, you should wait for older colleagues to offer you the use of informal language before you start doing so. Anything else will seem disrespectful and make for a bad job climate.
Chuck: Once you show each other respect this way, your switch to informal language marks the beginning of a friendship. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Chuck: The first word we shall see is?
Judith: [Ordnung]
Chuck: “Order”.
Judith: [Ordnung, die Ordnung] and the plural is [Ordnungen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [sich verstehen]
Chuck: “To get along well”.
Judith: [sich verstehen, sich verstehen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [planen]
Chuck: “To plan”.
Judith: [planen, planen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [gemeinsam]
Chuck: “Common” or “together”.
Judith: [gemeinsam, gemeinsam]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Aktivität]
Chuck: “Activity”.
Judith: [Aktivität, die Aktivität] and the plural is [Aktivitäten]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Beispiel]
Chuck: “Example”.
Judith: [Beispiel, das Beispiel] and the plural is [Beispiele]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [organisieren]
Chuck: “To organize”.
Judith: [organisieren, organisieren]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [letztens]
Chuck: “Recently”.
Judith: [letztens, letztens]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Firma]
Chuck: “Company”.
Judith: [Firma, die Firma] and the plural is [Firmen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Freiberufler]
Chuck: “Freelancer”.
Judith: [Freiberufler, der Freiberufler] and the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [verbringen]
Chuck: “To spend” as in a period of time.
Judith: [verbringen, verbringen]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Angestellter]
Chuck: “Employee”.
Judith: [Angestellter, Angestellter]
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Leute]
Chuck: “People”.
Judith: [Leute, Leute] this word is always plural.
Chuck: Next?
Judith: [Projekt]
Chuck: “Project”.
Judith: [Projekt, das Projekt] and the plural is [Projekte]
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 [Mit] it’s a noun prefix meaning “fellow”, so [Mitarbeiter]
Chuck: “Fellow worker”.
Judith: [Mitschüler]
Chuck: “Fellow student”.
Judith: And [Mitmensch]
Chuck: “Fellow human”.
Judith: It’s a very useful prefix. Then there’s the expression [In Ordnung] is a German expression for “okay”, it was a lot more common before “okay” invaded the German language.
Chuck: [Zum Beispiel] means “for example”. This is a really handy expression, remember well. Also you might notice [Sie] as an abbreviation for this when writing.
Judith: Yes. Small [that] and capital “B” and we already saw [Ich hätte gern]
Chuck: “I would like to have.”
Judith: Now, there’s something very similar [Ich hätte lieber].
Chuck: “I would prefer to have.”
Judith: [lieber] means “rather” so [lieber haben] is “to prefer”. There’s no better word for it in German.
Chuck: [werden] means “would be” in German. It’s the conditional form of [sein], “to be”, so instead of [würde sein] you should say [würde].

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson is accusative plural and usage.
Judith: Let’s continue our studies of the accusative. Today we shall go over the plural forms.
Chuck: Fortunately, the plural forms largely correspond to those feminine nouns. Also, there’s no difference between accusative plural and nominative plural. The forms are exactly the same.
Judith: This means that the key ending is “e”. The definite article is [die] as in [die Männer, die Frauen] and [die Kinder].
Chuck: The indefinite article doesn’t exist in plural, but related words like [kein] and [mein] use [keine] and [meine] for plural. So, they also use the key ending “e”.
Judith: Stand-alone adjectives also get the ending “e”, but if they’re proceeded by an article, a possessive pronoun or something like that, then they instead use the ending “en”.
Chuck: We can see this pattern in a lot of places. Adjectives taking the ending “en” if there’s already another word using the key ending of the case.
Judith: So, what does that mean in practice? [Ich mag die Anzüge. Ich habe die neuen Anzüge]
Chuck: The forms for [Frauen] and [Kinder] are the same, because in plural there’s no difference between the plurals in German.
Judith: Okay, this was less painful than expected. So, maybe we should have one more word about when to use the accusative.
Chuck: The accusative is used for the direct object.
Judith: For example [Ich gebe meinem Freund den Hund.]
Chuck: “I give the dog to my friend.”
Judith: [Meinem] the indirect object is dative, but [den Hund] is accusative.
Chuck: The accusative is also used for movement into a direction.
Judith: For example [Ich gehe in den Park].
Chuck: “I go into the park.”
Judith: Or [Ich lege das Buch auf den Tisch].
Chuck: “I put the book on the table.” The accusative is used after the prepositions [durch, für, gegen, ohne] and [um].
Judith: And finally it’s used when you’re talking about time without using a preposition. For example [den ganzen Tag].
Chuck: “All day”.
Judith: Or [jeden Morgen ].


Chuck: “Every morning”. That just about does it for today. Attention perfectionists, you’re about to learn how to perfect your pronunciation!
Judith: Lesson review audio tracks.
Chuck: Increase fluency and vocabulary fast with these short, effective audio tracks.
Judith: Super simple to use! Listen to the German word or phrase.
Chuck: Then repeat it out loud in a loud clear voice.
Judith: You’ll speak with confidence, knowing that you’re speaking German like the locals.
Chuck: Go to GermanPod101.com and download the review audio tracks right on lesson’s page today. We hope you enjoyed this lesson. See you next week!
Judith: [Wir hoffen, euch hat die Lektion gefallen. Bis nächste Woche!]