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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Newbie Series Lesson 11.
Judith: [Willkommen zurück].
Chuck: Welcome back listeners. Glad you’re still with us for this 11th lesson. Well, Judith, what’s today’s topic?
Judith: Well, Lena and Michael are on their way to meet each other, but then Lena gets stopped on her way unexpectedly.
Chuck: Oh wait, oh wait. You mean like the police stopped her for possession of dangerous love-inducing drugs, right?
Judith: No, nothing as crazy as that. It’s simply that a tourist is asking her for directions.
Chuck: But are you sure Lena’s the right person to ask? I mean I heard you shouldn’t ask women for directions.
Judith: Stop spreading such nonsense.
Chuck: Because then we men would lose out on the fun or hours of searching. Let’s listen to the dialogue.
Judith: There’s one little problem.
Chuck: What’s that?
Judith: We are fresh out of German speaking Americans and that guy is supposed to be a tourist.
Chuck: I think I can handle the role of an American tourist in Germany. So I’ll play the part since Michael doesn’t appear in this dialogue.
Judith: Alright. Let’s go.
M: Entschuldigung, könnten Sie mir bitte helfen? Ich suche das Hofbräuhaus.
F: Das Hofbräuhaus? Das ist in München.
M: Ich komme gerade vom Flughafen. Wie komme ich zum Hofbräuhaus?
F: Gehen Sie zum Flughafen und fliegen Sie nach München.
M: Oh danke.
Judith: Now read slowly.
M: Entschuldigung, könnten Sie mir bitte helfen? Ich suche das Hofbräuhaus.
F: Das Hofbräuhaus? Das ist in München.
M: Ich komme gerade vom Flughafen. Wie komme ich zum Hofbräuhaus?
F: Gehen Sie zum Flughafen und fliegen Sie nach München.
M: Oh danke.
Judith: Now with the translation.
Judith: Entschuldigung, könnten Sie mir bitte helfen?
Chuck: Excuse me, could you please help me?
Judith: Ich suche das Hofbräuhaus.
Chuck: I am looking for the Hofbräuhaus.
Judith: Das Hofbräuhaus?
Chuck: The Hofbräuhaus?
Judith: Das ist in München.
Chuck: That’s in Munich. I am coming right from the airport.
Judith: Wie komme ich zum Hofbräuhaus?
Chuck: How do I get to the Hofbräuhaus?
Judith: Gehen Sie zum Flughafen.
Chuck: Go to the airport.
Judith: Und fliegen Sie nach München.
Chuck: And fly to Munich.
Judith: Oh danke.
Chuck: Oh, thanks.
Judith: Now let’s have a closer look at what was said. First the vocabulary. The first word is Entschuldigung.
Chuck: Excuse me.
Judith: Entschuldigung.
Chuck: “Excuse me.” It literally means “apology”.
Judith: I’ll say it slowly for you. Ent-schul-di-gung. Entschuldigung. Next, bitte.
Chuck: Please.
Judith: bitte.
Chuck: Please.
Judith: Next, helfen.
Chuck: To help.
Judith: helfen.
Chuck: To help.
Judith: It’s really similar to the English. Now, a very common phrase that you should absolutely learn is [Entschuldigung, bitte helfen Sie mir].
Chuck: Excuse me, please help me.
Judith: Next word is suchen.
Chuck: “To search” or “look for”.
Judith: suchen.
Chuck: “To search” or “look for’.
Judith: suchen. suchen. Next, gerade.
Chuck: Just.
Judith: gerade.
Chuck: “Just” as in “I just came from the airport”.
Judith: [Ich komme gerade vom Flughafen] That brings us to the next word: vom.
Chuck: “From the” or “of the”.
Judith: vom. These are the combination of [Von] and [Dem]. [Vom] and in the phrase you also saw Flughafen.
Chuck: Airport.
Judith: Flughafen.
Chuck: Airport.
Judith: [Flughafen, Flug] means “flight” and [Hafen] means “harbor”. A harbor for flights. And what do you do at the airport? Well, for example fliegen.
Chuck: To fly.
Judith: fliegen.
Chuck: To fly.
Judith: This is a similar root as [Flug]. Just the vowel changed. Alright.
Chuck: But I'm a bit confused. Judith, what is the Hofbräuhaus?
Judith: You don’t know it?
Chuck: No, what it is? I live in Berlin, you know, not in Munich.
Judith: Well, I thought it was one of the things that every American has heard of or most Americans. The Hofbräuhaus is, of course, a very famous beer hall in München, Munich. I always call it München, why would you rename cities? Anyway, this Hofbräuhaus is really, really popular with tourists.
Chuck: Sounds like quite a good thing to know if I'm going to go there to celebrate Oktoberfest this year.
Judith: No, the Oktoberfest does not take place in the Hofbräuhaus. It’s in the [Wiesn], but it’s ok. Anyway, the Hofbräuhaus is very popular with tourists. And, unfortunately, some tourists think that Bavaria is all of Germany but there is a lot else.
Chuck: For example, you have the area of Germany I used to live in, near [Heidelberg], and [Heidelberg] for example is a very historical city and it has the biggest castle in Europe.
Judith: Or you could go to the area that I come from, the [Buzzling Ruhr] area. Or the nice landscapes and cycling paths of [Niederrhein]. As you can see in the first audio blog, the very first one, about my hometown, [Kamp-Lintfort]. [Kamp-Lintfort] is located right between those two big areas of metropolitan rural area and the nice landscapes of the [Niederrhein].
Chuck: Or you could come visit us in Berlin. It’s interesting because it has a bit of a small town feel, while it also has a metropolitan feel. So having lived in New York, I can find pretty much everything here that I would really want there. And it’s also very inexpensive, so you can have all the metropolitan experiences, like exotic restaurants at reasonable prices.
Judith: It’s really amazing. I love Berlin. Before I could never imagine living anywhere else, but Berlin is really cool. And then, of course, you have all of Eastern Germany, for example also [Dresden]. [Dresden] is of course famous for the [Frauenkirche], the [Zwinger], the [Semper] Opera House. There’s a lot to see there, yet I don’t see it on a lot of tourist sites.
Chuck: Then the north there’s Hamburg and [Kiel].
Judith: And Germany has islands in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. If you want to go sea-bathing, you can do that in Germany too. And so on, and so on, there’s a lot of places in Germany to see besides Bavaria. Let me phrase that in German actually. Man könnte in Deutschland viel besuchen.
Chuck: One can visit a lot of things in Germany.

Lesson focus

Judith: Let’s talk about the “could” in there. In German, the equivalent of “could” is könnte. The forms are ich könnte.
Chuck: I could.
Judith: Du könntest.
Chuck: You could. (informally)
Judith: Sie könnten.
Chuck: You could. (formally)
Judith: The forms are parallel to the ones of möchte. You’ll probably recognize them.
Chuck: And it’s used the same way too.
Judith: A very useful phrase to make a polite question is könnten Sie bitte?
Chuck: Could you please?
Judith: For example, könnten Sie bitte kommen?
Chuck: Could you please come?
Judith: Or könnten Sie bitte übersetzen?
Chuck: “Could you please translate?” But if you need a German translation, you can try our forum.
Judith: Yes, and sometimes even I am around on the forum answering questions.
Chuck: And occasionally you might catch me there too. How about we go over that dialogue again?
Judith: Sounds like a plan.
Chuck: Entschuldigung, könnten Sie mir bitte helfen? Ich suche das Hofbräuhaus.
Judith: Das Hofbräuhaus? Das ist in München.
Chuck: Ich komme gerade vom Flughafen. Wie komme ich zum Hofbräuhaus?
Judith: Gehen Sie zum Flughafen und fliegen Sie nach München.
Chuck: Oh danke.
Judith: Think he will fly to Munich now?
Chuck: I don't know. You know, he might also prefer to take a train.
Judith: Yes, the Düsseldorf airport also functions as a major train station. All the fast trains go through there.
Chuck: And if I'm not mistaken, there is even a direct train from Dusseldorf airport to Munich, even though they’re about five hours apart.
Judith: Yeah, it’s really convenient.
Chuck: Anyway, I think there’s a train heading home for me sometime soon.


Judith: Ok, let’s call it quits for today. We made enough progress.
Chuck: Be sure to tune in again next time.
Judith: And before that, be sure to practice what you learned today using the Learning Center.
Chuck: See you next week.
Judith: [Bis nächste Woche].