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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Newbie Series Lesson 16.
Judith: [Willkommen zurück].
Chuck: Wow. You’re in for another Newbie Lesson. So what’s this lesson about?
Judith: This lesson will be a review lesson. We’ve learned so much in the previous lessons, we’re going to take some time to digest this week.
Chuck: Oh man, nothing new?
Judith: Of course there’s still something new today. Lena and Michael will continue their conversation, of course, and we’ll also have some new vocabulary and grammar, just not as much as in the other lessons.
Chuck: Yeah, I guess with the summer heat you can’t absorb too much these days. So this is the perfect time to go to GermanPod101.com and review previous lessons. See how their grammar and vocabulary applies in other contexts, reuse some of the exercises in the Learning Center and come visit Germany.
Judith: Yes. It’s your summer break, isn’t it? Perfect time for studying.
Chuck: And visiting Germany.
Judith: For now, let’s listen to the latest installment of the story.
Lena Wagner: Wo bleibt eigentlich meine Apfelschorle?
Michael Schmidt: Mein Cocktail ist auch noch nicht da.
Lena Wagner: Ist der Service hier immer so schlecht?
Michael Schmidt: Nein, bis jetzt war er immer gut.
Lena Wagner: Ist die Kellnerin lahm oder was?
Michael Schmidt: Ähm Lena.
Staff: So. Hier ist die Apfelschorle. Und der Cocktail Hawaii war für Sie, oder?
Michael Schmidt: Ja.
Judith: Now read slowly.
Lena Wagner: Wo bleibt eigentlich meine Apfelschorle?
Michael Schmidt: Mein Cocktail ist auch noch nicht da.
Lena Wagner: Ist der Service hier immer so schlecht?
Michael Schmidt: Nein, bis jetzt war er immer gut.
Lena Wagner: Ist die Kellnerin lahm oder was?
Michael Schmidt: Ähm Lena.
Staff: So. Hier ist die Apfelschorle. Und der Cocktail Hawaii war für Sie, oder?
Michael Schmidt: Ja.
Judith: Now with the translation.
Judith: Wo bleibt eigentlich meine Apfelschorle?
Chuck: Where is my Apple Spritzer in fact?
Judith: Mein Cocktail ist auch noch nicht da.
Chuck: My cocktail is also not yet here.
Judith: Ist der Service hier immer so schlecht?
Chuck: Is the service here always so bad?
Judith: Nein, bis jetzt war er immer gut.
Chuck: No until now, it was always good.
Judith: Ist die Kellnerin lahm oder was?
Chuck: Is the waitress lame or what?
Judith: Ähm Lena.
Chuck: Umm Lena.
Judith: So. Hier ist die Apfelschorle. Und der Cocktail Hawaii war für Sie, oder?
Chuck: So here is the Apple Spritzer and the cocktail hawaii was for you right?
Judith: Ja.
Chuck: Yes.
Judith: Ok, where do you say this? Do you think she heard us?
Chuck: Don’t know, but I know what we need to hear. We need to hear the vocabulary from that lesson.
Judith: Ok, let’s go through them. The first word is bleiben.
Chuck: To stay.
Judith: bleiben.
Chuck: To stay.
Judith: The next word is da.
Chuck: There.
Judith: da.
Chuck: Wait a minute… You might know this song [Da Da Da].
Judith: [Da] means “there”. While Chuck is occupied, I’ll tell you the next word…
Chuck: Wait, wait, wait, before you say the next word, I just want to mention that if you want to learn intermediate German with songs, check out our new intermediate series every Wednesday.
Judith: Alright…
Chuck: But fortunately you won’t hear me singing there.
Judith: Maybe I can convince him to sing for us sometime. Now the next word is immer.
Chuck: Always.
Judith: immer.
Chuck: Always.
Judith: Next, er.
Chuck: He.
Judith: Er.
Chuck: He.
Judith: Note that you will also use this when English would use “it” when you are using masculine nouns. For example, in the text we had [Ist der Service hier immer so schlecht?]. And then the answer was “No, until now he has always been good”, “he”, the service. [Der Service] The next word is Kellnerin.
Chuck: Waitress.
Judith: Kellnerin.
Chuck: Waitress.
Judith: This word is feminine. If you mean the male form, you would have to say Kellner.
Chuck: Waiter.
Judith: Kellner.
Chuck: Waiter.
Judith: The next word is lahm.
Chuck: Lame.
Judith: lahm.
Chuck: Lame.
Judith: Not just lame in the sense of intelligence also in the original intended sense of not being able to walk very fast.
Chuck: Right.
Judith: And the next word is oder.
Chuck: Or.
Judith: oder.
Chuck: Or.
Judith: And, finally, the last word for today is für.
Chuck: Das letzte Wort für heute ist “for”.
Judith: für.
Chuck: For.
Judith: Alright, now as promised, today we’ll be talking about [Servicewüste Deutschland].
Chuck: Yay!
Judith: This means the desert of service. There’s no service to be had anywhere around here.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: It’s not that bad but a lot of people like on planning. I think we already mentioned that Germans are very likely to complain.
Chuck: Dealing with us at GermanPod, you’ll notice a difference in that [Servicewüste].
Judith: [I hope we are not a servicewüste here]. Chuck, can you think of anything that you have personally experienced in terms of bad service here, in Germany.
Chuck: Oh, how many hours do I get?
Judith: Is it that bad?
Chuck: Well, maybe not that bad. I can remember a couple of occasions that were pretty bad.
Judith: Like what?
Chuck: Let’s see… I remember once I was in [Heilbronn] and I was at a traditional type of restaurant, and you know I asked for the usual apple spritzer, the [Apfelschorle], I just like apple juice with carbonated water, it’s very popular here, and she never asked me what size I wanted and she gave me a small one. And I'm like, “Well, I wanted a large one” and she’s like, “Well, you should have asked for a large one!” I was like, “Uhm, ok…” So she wouldn’t take it back and change it. She just gave me the small one.
Judith: Well, of course restaurants assume you order the things in the size they indicate. Like, in the menu you would see Fanta 0,30 is this much and then you’re just expected to order that. And sometimes they will say, “Ok, large Fanta is 0,50 and the small Fanta is 0,30”. The thing is that she should have changed it back if you…
Chuck: Well, they had both of them on the menu.
Judith: Oh, ok then.
Chuck: Yeah, it’s…
Judith: I take back what I said.
Chuck: Yeah. Well, I think the worst experience I had, I was at a café, sitting outside on a nice day, and a fly found its way into my coffee, and so they said, “Would you like another one?” I'm like, “Of course I want another one cause I can’t drink that one,” you know. And then when they went to ring me up they wanted to charge me for the coffee I couldn’t drink cause I had a fly in it. I was like, “What?!” And that was actually the time that I learned the word [Servicewüste].
Judith: Who told you?
Chuck: The waitress, actually, said [Denkst du das ist eine Servicewüste hier?]. Cause I was like so pissed, I was like, “See? The service here isn’t as good as in the States?” cause I really wanted to offend the waitress there because she was being so mean.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: I remember another time that really, really made me angry too. I waited a half hour in line at the train station to… it was for a ticket refund I needed to get and I went there and I didn’t have the receipt immediately on me because the other service station I went to before had kept my receipt. And then so I left there and I got the receipt and I came back and they said, “Sorry, [Feierabend]” and that’s the time when the work ends.
Judith: Yeah, Germans take [Feierabend] extremely seriously, but I have noticed that you do too.
Chuck: Well, I just want to say in that situation what happens is he even had a colleague that was working there, and he wasn’t allowed to accept me because I was only at the other colleague, and they said I had to wait in the half hour line again so I just got angry and just went out yelling.
Judith: Yeah, I can imagine.
Chuck: … service here.
Judith: I mean before you get really upset, you have one positive example?
Chuck: Positive example? Alright, I guess I can think of one. Let me think. Ok, I do remember one. Alright. Well, there’s one thing that you should know is when you order from fast food places, like, they’re called [Imbiss] here, or like you get [Currywurst] which is like a sausage cut with curry sauce on it, what will often happen is when you order, say, a meal that comes with a drink, if you don’t specify what drink you want, they just assume you want Coca Cola. But of course I had no idea that they do this and I was at the [Stuttgart] train station, and he gives me a Coke and I say [Apfelschorle bitte] and he said, “Well, you didn’t say it so I got you a Coke.” “Well, you never asked me.” He was nice enough to take me back and give me the drink I wanted cause I told him that I really hate Cola. So sometimes they are nice. So it looks like the cheaper the place is, the nicer they are.
Judith: I wouldn’t say that.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: I don't know. Maybe it’s just that traditional people are very traditional about their sense of what should be done in which wa.
Chuck: Yeah, I think in an international train station like at Stuttgart, they can also understand that people from other cultures don’t understand things the same way.

Lesson focus

Judith: I don't know, I haven’t had any recent bad experiences with bad service but maybe I'm just too accustomed to doing things the way that everybody expects them to be done. Now, as we said, this lesson is mostly for review, and one particular thing that we’d like to review is various ways of asking questions in German. I remember we talked about this topic before, but this lesson adds one more item to this topic. The first type of questions, of course, is the W questions, at least in German they’re called “W-Fragen” and for them you just invert the verb and subject and then add a question-word to the front of the sentence.
Chuck: That’s just like English.
Judith: No because in English sometimes you have to put “do” or “are” or “will” or random other words in between there. In German you don’t need to.
Chuck: Not for W question.
Judith: Yes, you do. For example, “When do you sleep?” It’s not “When sleep you?” In German we would say “When sleep you?” and in English you said “When do you sleep?”
Chuck: It’s true.
Judith: And this matter of adding “do” or “did” or “will” or whatever is completely incomprehensible to German students. I’ve tutored them in English, I know.
Chuck: Yeah, I get to hear some weird questions like that, that’s true.
Judith: And one example of this is: Warum ist der Service hier so schlecht?
Chuck: Why is the service here so bad?
Judith: So there you have warum at the beginning of the sentence and then ist the verb and der Service is the subject. Warum ist der Service hier so schlecht? Yes/no questions are even easier because you just invert the verb and subject and you don’t do anything more. You don’t put any word or anything and the verb is the first word of the sentence. For example, Ist der Service hier schlecht?
Chuck: Is the service here bad?
Judith: And I don’t think anybody will answer yes but maybe you are asking a friend or something. Anyway, you see ist is at the beginning of the sentence there and der Service is right after it. In this lesson, you’ve also seen one more way of asking a yes/no question. That is by adding the word oder to the end of the sentence. Oder means
Chuck: or.
Judith: For example, Der Service ist schlecht hier, oder?
Chuck: The service is bad here, right?
Judith: Yeah, and in English you might say “right”. In German it’s “or”, [Oder].
Chuck: I remember Judith, when she was first learning English, she would say things like, “The service is bad here, or?”
Judith: Anyway, this way of forming a question, you are implying that the things are as you say and then you add oder so that somebody can correct you. Note that in standard high German, you are actually supposed to say nicht wahr?
Chuck: No one actually says that though.
Judith: That’s right. I haven’t yet heard it except from foreigners. So oder is the colloquial way of saying it across Germany and each dialect also has its own equivalent. For example, in the Ruhrgebiet area or where I come from, people will say ne. Der Film ist gut ne?
Chuck: Right here in Southern Germany, they will say gell or geller even.
Judith: Yeah. Actually we will have a special series coming up soon, it will be about German dialects and socializing, the ways that people speak in different parts of the country. the first dialect we featured is the [Bernese Swiss German] dialect.
Chuck: Swiss-German? Can anyone actually understand that language?
Judith: I find it hard right now, but I'm sure that after these couple of lessons it will be easier because they will cover general things like pronunciation differences and vocabulary differences and things like that.
Chuck: So after this you’ll finally be able to understand Swiss-German?
Judith: I hope so, at least better than now. I understand it if they speak slowly, carefully or something.
Chuck: But actually one thing is nice is when you’re in Switzerland that the locals tend to speak high German with you anyway. Cause I mean I was in Switzerland and I told them, you know, I could understand everyone in Switzerland, I don’t see what the big problem is.
Judith: Well…
Chuck: Was because everyone was just speaking high German to me because they knew if they spoke Swiss-German to me I would have no idea what they’re saying.
Judith: Well, it depends on where you go. But I think with a little bit of training you can understand the dialects more easily. This dialect series will be based on Newbie Series dialogues, so they’re actually taking the first ten Newbie lessons and translating the dialects to [Bernese Swiss German]. It should be really interesting to hear. Now, let’s get back to this lessons dialogue in high German.
Lena Wagner: Wo bleibt eigentlich meine Apfelschorle?
Michael Schmidt: Mein Cocktail ist auch noch nicht da.
Lena Wagner: Ist der Service hier immer so schlecht?
Michael Schmidt: Nein, bis jetzt war er immer gut.
Lena Wagner: Ist die Kellnerin lahm oder was?
Michael Schmidt: Ähm Lena.
Staff: So. Hier ist die Apfelschorle. Und der Cocktail Hawaii war für Sie, oder?
Michael Schmidt: Ja.


Judith: What do you think?
Chuck: Well, I'm quite ready to drink this cocktail Hawaii finally.
Judith: You’re thirsty?
Chuck: Yeah. Can we just finish up this lesson now? It’s…
Judith: I don't know, I think I want you to share another long story with us, you know, have you talk a long monologue before you get to drink anything.
Chuck: I think we’re in a [Wüste] now, a desert. I'm thirsty.
Judith: Ok, let’s close here. I hope you enjoyed the lesson, be sure to leave us a comment.
Chuck: See you next week.
Judith: [Bis nächste Woche].