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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Newbie Series Lesson 13.
Judith: [Willkommen zurück.]
Chuck: Welcome back, listeners. How’s everything going?
Judith: Hope everything is going well for you and for your studies of German. We want to see you succeed.
Chuck: We spend a lot of time preparing these lessons, but yet you get these podcasts completely for free and yet the subscription to the additional materials is pretty well-priced. For example, a whole year of premium membership costs less than 30 lessons of [Pimsleur]. And how many German lessons might you do in a year?
Judith: Today’s lesson will focus on extremely common small talk. These are phrases that you will use every day with German speaking friends and colleagues.
Chuck: Let’s go eavesdrop on Lena and Michael now at the café.
Judith: Ok.
Lena Wagner: Wie geht es dir Michael?
Michael Schmidt: Gut, danke. Und dir?
Lena Wagner: Auch gut. Was macht die Arbeit?
Michael Schmidt: Viel Stress, aber es macht Spaß.
Lena Wagner: Musst du lange arbeiten?
Michael Schmidt: Ja, oft auch am Samstag. Und was macht die Uni?
Lena Wagner: Ich muss viel lernen.
Judith: Now read slowly.
Lena Wagner: Wie geht es dir Michael?
Michael Schmidt: Gut, danke. Und dir?
Lena Wagner: Auch gut. Was macht die Arbeit?
Michael Schmidt: Viel Stress, aber es macht Spaß.
Lena Wagner: Musst du lange arbeiten?
Michael Schmidt: Ja, oft auch am Samstag. Und was macht die Uni?
Lena Wagner: Ich muss viel lernen.
Judith: Now with the translation.
Judith: Wie geht es dir Michael?
Chuck: How is it going Michael?
Judith: Gut, danke. Und dir?
Chuck: Good thanks and you?
Judith: Auch gut.
Chuck: Also good.
Judith: Was macht die Arbeit?
Chuck: How is work going?
Judith: Viel Stress, aber es macht Spaß.
Chuck: A lot of stress but it’s fun.
Judith: Musst du lange arbeiten?
Chuck: Do you have to work long?
Judith: Ja, oft auch am Samstag.
Chuck: Yeah also quite often on Saturday.
Judith: Und was macht die Uni?
Chuck: And how is university?
Judith: Ich muss viel lernen.
Chuck: I have to study a lot.
Judith: Ok. Let’s have a look at the vocabulary for this dialogue. The first word is Arbeit.
Chuck: Work.
Judith: Arbeit.
Chuck: Work.
Judith: This is related to the word [Arbeiten], which you already know. And in the dialogue, we saw the phrase Was macht die Arbeit?
Chuck: How’s work going?
Judith: Next word is viel.
Chuck: “A lot” or “much”.
Judith: viel.
Chuck: “A lot” or “much”.
Judith: If you’re using this with the plural noun, you have to say [Viele] instead.
Chuck: “A lot” or “many”.
Judith: Next, Stress.
Chuck: Stress.
Judith: Stress.
Chuck: Stress.
Judith: Note that in German, when you have ST at the beginning of a word, the S becomes a [Sh] sound. [Stress]
Chuck: Stress.
Judith: For example in the phrase [Zu viel Stress].
Chuck: Too much stress.
Judith: Next, es.
Chuck: It.
Judith: es.
Chuck: It.
Judith: Next, Spaß.
Chuck: Fun.
Judith: Spaß.
Chuck: Fun.
Judith: Again, when you have SP at the beginning, the S becomes [Sh] sound. [Spaß]
Chuck: Fun. As in GermanPod101 [macht Spaß].
Judith: Yeah, it’s fun. [Es macht Spaß] is an expression. Literally, “it makes fun” but it is “it is fun”. Next, Uni or Universität.
Chuck: University.
Judith: Universität is the long for and Uni is what every student will say. Next, müssen.
Chuck: “Must” or “have to”.
Judith: müssen.
Chuck: “Must” or “have to”.
Judith: This word will be covered in the grammar section. Next, lange.
Chuck: A long time.
Judith: lange.
Chuck: A long time.
Judith: For example, [Ich arbeite immer lange].
Chuck: I always a long time.
Judith: “I always work long” or “I always work long hours”. Next, lernen.
Chuck: To learn.
Judith: lernen.
Chuck: To learn.
Judith: You already know the word [Studieren], “to study”, but [Lernen] can also mean “to study”. [Studieren] you only use when you’re talking about a particular subject. For example, “I study medicine”. If you mean you’re sitting in your room and you’re looking at grammar books or whatever, that will be [Lernen].
Chuck: And also note that you would never use [Studieren] to discuss what you do before university.
Judith: Yes, [Studieren] is really only for university subjects. Well, Chuck, you never liked to learn a lot, do you?
Chuck: Sometimes I do. I get to learn about all the types of beer in my area.
Judith: Yeah, right, that’s some [Lernen].
Chuck: What do you like to study?
Judith: I think you should know that. I like to learn about languages. To learn languages themselves too. And today, we’ll talk about learning in Germany, in particular German universities. Now, in Germany, not everybody may go to a university, only those who completed at least 13 years of schooling.
Chuck: The rest do only 10 years of school and go on to trade schools.
Judith: Or some might do 13 years of schooling and then don’t go on to universities because they just have better chances of being hired as a bank clerk or something.
Chuck: But after 13 years in the school, you’ll have your baccalaureate exams, which are called [Abitur] in Germany. The [Abitur] allows you to enter any university and study anything. However, if there are too many students applying for the same program, it’s most likely the grade point average that gets to decide who gets to enter the program that year.
Judith: If you wait long enough, you may be admitted even with a lower grade point average because your wait time is also factored in. Now, universities assume that students have been prepared decently at high school, so when you enter university you immediately start with the things related to your subject. You don’t have to take as wide rage as topics as at high school.
Chuck: Yeah, it’s much more focused in general than it is in the States. Well, except for a few preparatory courses like Business English or [statistics] for Social Science students.
Judith: Yeah. You may also have to take an additional math course if you don’t pass the test. But really you will be focusing on your subject.
Chuck: Yeah, for example you’ll never find any physical education classes in college here.
Judith: No, no classes, but of course you can play for the college team or do some kind of clubs there. The first two years of courses will still usually be widespread compared to the rest. They’re usually more boring too. For example, when I started my studies of business management, the first two years I had to study the basics of all parts of management, like personnel, accounting, taxes and a lot of other things. But after two years, I was able to choose a major. And for the major, you would then only take classes related to that major. For example, you no longer have to take accounting and instead you only have to do marketing or something like that.
Chuck: Another thing you may notice is that university courses will tend to be more academic. So if you want a more practical study, [Fachhochschule] or... I guess you could translate it as department high school but not really, it’s more like a college.
Judith: There is no translation.
Chuck: It would be more like a technical school but for a particular topic.
Judith: Well, right now it’s gradually changing. Universities cancel out the old academic-oriented programs in favor of bachelor and master studies, and those focus more on speedy learning on anything you’ll need for a job, not so much on teaching you how to research and become a scholar. These new programs also mean that there are actual university classes studying according to the same time table and graduating together. Under the old system, everybody was free to attend whatever lectures you chose for that semester and there were no real classes, you’d just meet a couple of the same people in every class but every class would be different.
Chuck: Yeah. It’s really interesting now because in Germany they are transferring the whole system to Bachelor’s, just like in the States, and the people who get caught in the middle of it can get quite confused.
Judith: Yeah, it’s quite confusing. But then the old system was quite confusing too because you had to figure out which lectures are actually worthwhile and when to do them, in what order, you have to know when they come back so that you can decide, “do I do this this year or can I postpone it”.
Chuck: And so it’s interesting because of a lot of this freedom that students have, some students may graduate at, say, 28 years old and that’s normal. So when I came over here and I’d graduated university at 21 everyone was like, “How could you have graduated already?” It just didn’t make sense.
Judith: Yeah. A lot of people don’t even start studying before 21 because they first go to military service or maybe a European social year or they just want to see something of the world. I mean you graduate from high school at 18 or probably 19 years old, some even older because of repeating classes. And then to go onto university, and the university lasts at least four years. How can you graduate with 21?
Chuck: And it also seems strange for Americans that are looking for jobs over here because I, as a 29 year old, apply for jobs and they think, you know, I'm coming straight out of college when actually I have 8 years of professional experience.
Judith: Yeah, well, a lot of German university students also already have job experience. University in Germany have two breaks of almost three months each, during which there are no lectures and only examinations. So during that time a lot of people can get some work experience if they want.
Chuck: Or they might find it a very nice time to party or go on vacation.
Judith: Or maybe they can’t actually go on a vacation if they need some income.
Chuck: Well, one thing nice here is the need for income isn’t so high for students because a lot of their tuitions is subsidized by the government taxes and so it’s comparatively low. Cause I know I studied for quite a lot more than what it would cost for the equivalent degree here, in Germany.
Judith: Well, they only introduced tuition fees a short while ago. While I was studying, actually, they sprung it on us and now every student has to pay like 500 euros in tuition fees for the semester, and maybe 150 more for student benefits like being able to use the public transport for free…
Chuck: Of course, if you tell that to an American they just laugh at you, but Germans are used to paying even less.
Judith: Yeah, they’re used to not paying anything. And suddenly politicians said [Studenten müssen zahlen].
Chuck: Students have to pay.

Lesson focus

Judith: It’s crazy. Actually, this sentence was just right because we’re now going to talk about the verb müssen.
Chuck: “Must” or “have to”.
Judith: The forms of müssen are: ich muss.
Chuck: I must.
Judith: Du musst.
Chuck: You must.
Judith: Er muss
Chuck: He must.
Judith: Sie müssen
Chuck: You must (formally).
Judith: Now the only weird thing about this verb is that it changes the vowel between the U and the Ü, Umlaut or no Umlaut, but the rest is really easy especially the usage is just like möchte. You know you combine it with a verb, the other verb will be at the end of the sentence, you should have got used to it by now and I still have some examples. Ich muss arbeiten.
Chuck: I must work.
Judith: Er muss heute Abend lernen.
Chuck: He has to study tonight.
Judith: Sie müssen auf der linken Seite gehen.
Chuck: You must go on the left side.
Judith: Du musst morgen mit mir ins Café gehen.
Chuck: You have to come with me tomorrow to the café.
Judith: Or maybe an example from the actual conversation. Lena said to Michael, musst du lange arbeiten?
Chuck: Must you work long?
Judith: Or Lena said about herself, ich muss viel lernen.
Chuck: “I have to study a lot.” Could we maybe go over those phrases in context again?
Judith: Yeah, of course. We can listen to the dialogue again. You can also use the dialogue track actually to rehear this conversation over and over until the phrases become really familiar to you.
Chuck: Or you can listen to it while you sleep.
Judith: Maybe. Or you can listen to it line by line if you want to practice a particular line or you find it hard to imitate. Anyway, let’s just listen.
Lena Wagner: Wie geht es dir Michael?
Michael Schmidt: Gut, danke. Und dir?
Lena Wagner: Auch gut. Was macht die Arbeit?
Michael Schmidt: Viel Stress, aber es macht Spaß.
Lena Wagner: Musst du lange arbeiten?
Michael Schmidt: Ja, oft auch am Samstag. Und was macht die Uni?
Lena Wagner: Ich muss viel lernen.


Chuck: Ok, it think I have to go study some too…
Judith: I don’t think so. I don’t think you’ll voluntarily went to study ever so…
Chuck: See you next week.
Judith: Ok, I guess. [Bis nächste Woche].