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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Eric: Expressions to Describe When You are Feeling Lost over Something
Eric: Hi everyone, and welcome back to GermanPod101.com. I'm Eric.
Jennifer: And I'm Jennifer!
Eric: This is Must-Know German Slang Words and Phrases, Season 1, Lesson 10. In this lesson you'll learn expressions to describe when you’re feeling lost over something. German people often use these phrases when they feel uncomfortable or don't know how to handle a certain situation.
SLANG EXPRESSIONS
Eric: The expressions you’ll be learning in this lesson are:
Jennifer: Nur Bahnhof verstehen.
Jennifer: Das kommt mir spanisch vor.
Jennifer: Im falschen Film sein.
Jennifer: Den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen.
Eric: Jennifer, what's our first expression?
Jennifer: Nur Bahnhof verstehen.
Eric: This literally means "to just understand train stations." When it's used as a slang expression, it means " to not understand anything."
Jennifer: [SLOW] Nur Bahnhof verstehen. [NORMAL] Nur Bahnhof verstehen.
Eric: Listeners, please repeat.
Jennifer: Nur Bahnhof verstehen.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Eric: Use this slang expression when something goes over your head and you don't get it. Now let's hear an example sentence.
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Das ist ja kompliziert. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. [SLOW] Das ist ja kompliziert. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof.
Eric: "That is complicated. I don't get it."
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Das ist ja kompliziert. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof.
Eric: Okay, what's the next expression?
Jennifer: Das kommt mir spanisch vor.
Eric: Which literally means "that seems Spanish to me." When it’s used as a slang expression, it means "that sounds fishy to me."
Jennifer: [SLOW] Das kommt mir spanisch vor. [NORMAL] Das kommt mir spanisch vor.
Eric: Listeners, please repeat.
Jennifer: Das kommt mir spanisch vor.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Eric: Use this slang expression when something seems odd to you. You don’t trust it. Let's hear an example sentence.
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Wirklich? Das kommt mir irgendwie spanisch vor. [SLOW] Wirklich? Das kommt mir irgendwie spanisch vor.
Eric: "Really? That sounds suspicious."
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Wirklich? Das kommt mir irgendwie spanisch vor.
Eric: Okay, what's our next expression?
Jennifer: Im falschen Film sein.
Eric: Which literally means "being in the wrong film." When it's used as a slang expression, it means "I think I am losing it."
Jennifer: [SLOW] Im falschen Film sein. [NORMAL] Im falschen Film sein.
Eric: Listeners, please repeat.
Jennifer: Im falschen Film sein.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Eric: Use this slang expression when something unexpected happens and you can't believe that it’s true. Let’s hear it used in a sentence.
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Es kann doch nicht wahr sein, ich glaube ich bin hier im falschen Film. [SLOW] Es kann doch nicht wahr sein, ich glaube ich bin hier im falschen Film.
Eric: "This can't be true, I think I am losing it."
Jennifer: [NORMAL] Es kann doch nicht wahr sein, ich glaube ich bin hier im falschen Film.
Eric: Okay, what's the last expression?
Jennifer: Den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen.
Eric: This literally means "to be unable to see the wood for the trees." But when it's used as a slang expression, it means "to not see the point or main idea."
Jennifer: [SLOW] Den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen. [NORMAL] Den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen.
Eric: Listeners, please repeat.
Jennifer: Den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen.
[pause - 5 sec.]
Eric: Use this slang expression when the main problem is unclear because there are too many distractions. Now let's hear an example sentence.
Jennifer: [NORMAL] In Mathe seh ich den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht. [SLOW] In Mathe seh ich den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht.
Eric: "In math, I can't see the main problem because there is too much going on."
Jennifer: [NORMAL] In Mathe seh ich den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht.
QUIZ
Eric: Okay listeners, are you ready to be quizzed on the expressions you just learned? I’ll describe four situations, and you choose the right expression to use. Are you ready?
Eric: You meet someone who seems odd to you or encounter something that you don’t trust. Which slang do you use?
[pause - 5 sec.]
Jennifer: Das kommt mir spanisch vor.
Eric: "that sounds fishy to me."
Eric: You hear something but you don’t understand it clearly. Which slang do you use?
[pause - 5 sec.]
Jennifer: Nur Bahnhof verstehen.
Eric: "to not understand anything"
Eric: When you find an issue or problem where the main point is unclear. Which slang do you use?
[pause - 5 sec.]
Jennifer: Den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen.
Eric: "to not see the point, main idea"
Eric: Something unexpected happens and you can't believe that it’s true. Which slang do you use?
[pause - 5 sec.]
Jennifer: Im falschen Film sein.
Eric: "I think I am losing it"

Outro

Eric: There you have it; you have mastered four German slang expressions! We have more vocab lists available at GermanPod101.com, so be sure to check them out. Thanks everyone, and see you next time!
Jennifer: Bis zum nächsten Mal!

5 Comments

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GermanPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Hi Listeners! Do you know any other related slang expression? Post them in the comments.

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GermanPod101.com
Monday at 10:44 am
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Hello Catherine,


Thank you for posting and sharing the proverb in French!

It's very interesting!


Thank you for studying with us!

Cheers,

Lena

Team GermanPod101.com

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Catherine B
Sunday at 11:07 pm
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Thank you Anne for thisclear explanation.

In French: "c'est l'arbre qui cache la forêt." it is the tree that hides the forest= the detail that prevents having an overview.

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GermanPod101.com
Saturday at 10:08 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Catherine,


Thank you for your comment.

"Den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen." is a frequent German proverb. Literally translated into English it means "to not be able to see the wood [or forest] for the trees".

The German "vor" means "due to" and "lauter" means "nothing but".


The proverb talks about someone getting so lost in details that he can't see the obvious. He loses track of the bigger context.

I hope this explanation helps you.


Sincerely,

Anne

Team GermanPod101.com

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Catherine Bouveyron
Tuesday at 7:50 am
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Can you indicate what is the precise litteral translation of "vor lauter Bäumen"?

I do not understand the translation: "for the trees"

Kindly be more explicit: why "vor" and why "lauter"?

Thank you very much!