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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Newbie Series Lesson 17.
Judith: [Willkommen zurück].
Chuck: Welcome back, listeners. Hope you’re not suffering from the same summer heat that we do. One really should teach the Germans about air conditioning.
Judith: Yeah, so that everybody can freeze to death instead of dying in the heat.
Chuck: Yay!
Judith: When I was traveling the USA in summer, I wished I had brought a winter jacket to put on inside the malls or in the big greyhound busses.
Chuck: Well, that’s you’re problem, you’re traveling by greyhound. Well, anyway, I guess moderation is the key.
Judith: Moderation is definitely not the key when you’re studying German. If you want to become fluent, try to bring more German into your life. Listen to GermanPod101 in your car, read the lesson notes while sunbathing, print out the vocabulary flashcards and look at them while waiting in line, speak German as often as you can, watch German music, listen to German music…
Chuck: I think I’ll be doing the music part with my new iPhone. The new Intermediate Series is showing me that there is a lot more to German music than I thought.
Judith: Great. Today’s lesson is all about activities and plans for the day.
Chuck: Sounds good. Let’s listen to the dialogue.
Michael Schmidt: Lena, was machst du diese Woche?
Lena Wagner: Am Samstag werde ich auf einer Geburtstagsparty sein. Montags gehe ich normalerweise Joggen.
Michael Schmidt: Hast du am Mittwoch Zeit?
Lena Wagner: Ich weiß nicht. Ich werde diese Woche viel für die Uni lernen müssen.
Michael Schmidt: Meine Freunde und ich werden am Mittwoch ein Picknick am Unterbacher See veranstalten. Hast du Lust drauf?
Lena Wagner: Ja, klingt sehr gut.
Judith: Now read slowly.
Michael Schmidt: Lena, was machst du diese Woche?
Lena Wagner: Am Samstag werde ich auf einer Geburtstagsparty sein. Montags gehe ich normalerweise Joggen.
Michael Schmidt: Hast du am Mittwoch Zeit?
Lena Wagner: Ich weiß nicht. Ich werde diese Woche viel für die Uni lernen müssen.
Michael Schmidt: Meine Freunde und ich werden am Mittwoch ein Picknick am Unterbacher See veranstalten. Hast du Lust drauf?
Lena Wagner: Ja, klingt sehr gut.
Judith: Now with the translation.
Judith: Lena, was machst du diese Woche?
Chuck: Lena, what are you doing this week?
Judith: Am Samstag werde ich auf einer Geburtstagsparty sein.
Chuck: On Saturday, I will be at a birthday party.
Judith: Montags gehe ich normalerweise Joggen.
Chuck: On Mondays, I normally go jogging.
Judith: Hast du am Mittwoch Zeit?
Chuck: Do you have time on Wednesday?
Judith: Ich weiß nicht.
Chuck: I don’t know.
Judith: Ich werde diese Woche viel für die Uni lernen müssen.
Chuck: This week I will have to do a lot of learning for the university.
Judith: Meine Freunde und ich werden am Mittwoch ein Picknick am Unterbacher See veranstalten.
Chuck: On Wednesday, my friends and I will organize a picnic on Unterbacher See.
Judith: Hast du Lust darauf?
Chuck: Are you interested?
Judith: Ja, klingt sehr gut.
Chuck: “Yeah, sounds very good.”
Chuck: So now let’s go over the vocabulary for this week.
Judith: The first word is dieser.
Chuck: This.
Judith: dieser.
Chuck: “This”. Note that this could also be [Dieser] or [Dieses].
Judith: Yeah, depends on the noun’s gender. If the noun is feminine, then you would use [Diese], and if it’s neutral then you use [Dieses]. It works just like an adjective.
Chuck: And also a lot of times when you might say “this” in English, Germans will just say [Das] for “that”.
Judith: Yeah, it’s shorter and more convenient. One expression where you don’t use [Das] would be [Diese Woche].
Chuck: This week.
Judith: That includes the word [Woche].
Chuck: Week.
Judith: [Woche]
Chuck: “Week”. You might have also seen this in the word [Wochenende], “weekend”.
Judith: Maybe. [Woche] is feminine, so it requires [Diese, diese Woche] or [Die Woche].
Chuck: The week.
Judith: The next word is Geburtstag.
Chuck: Birthday.
Judith: Geburtstag.
Chuck: Birthday.
Judith: I’ll split it. Geburtstag, it consists of Geburt.
Chuck: Birth.
Judith: And Tag.
Chuck: Day.
Judith: And the S in the middle glues one word to the other if you want. So that`s Geburtstag and it`s masculine. But in the text, we didn’t hear Geburtstag. We heard Geburtstagsparty.
Chuck: Birthday party.
Judith: So you’ll notice that it is [Geburtstag], “birthday”, with an additional S as glue and “party” - [Geburtstagsparty].
Chuck: Yeah, I always forget to put the S in there.
Judith: Well, the problem is you don’t use it in all cases where you glue nouns together, but that’s a different story. It will be in the Intermediate Series sometime.
Chuck: Yeah. So learn a bunch of German so you can go up to the Intermediate Series.
Judith: For now just accept that there may be an additional S when you encounter two nouns that form a compound. The next word is Joggen.
Chuck: Jogging.
Judith: Joggen.
Chuck: “Jogging”. I noticed that it starts with a J and it’s pronounced like [J], like in English, cause it’s a foreign word. Cause normally you would pronounce J as a [Ye] sound, like [Jahr].
Judith: Yes. This is because this is a half German, half English word. It’s borrowed from English, but then we add the EN typical of German verbs. You will notice this with a lot of words borrowed from English. For example also [Callen] in poker terminology.
Chuck: Oh, right.
Judith: The next word is actually an expression - Ich weiß nicht.
Chuck: I don't know.
Judith: Ich weiß nicht.
Chuck: I don't know.
Judith: This is best learnt as an expression. Or you could also say Ich weiß.
Chuck: I know.
Judith: The next word is Freund.
Chuck: Friend.
Judith: Freund.
Chuck: “Friend”. And notice that if it’s [Freundin], then that means a female friend.
Judith: Yes, [Freund] is only male.
Chuck: So often you can add IN to German words to make it female.
Judith: Yeah, especially with nationalities or job names or something. For example, [Programmierer], the female form would be [Programmiererin].
Chuck: Or [Amerikanerin].
Judith: Yes. The next word is veranstalten.
Chuck: To organize.
Judith: veranstalten.
Chuck: “To organize”, as in an event.
Judith: I’ll break it down. [Veranstalten, veranstalten]
Chuck: “To organize”, as in an event.
Judith: Next we have darauf.
Chuck: On that.
Judith: It’s really hard to translate because it is used whenever the preposition would have been [Auf].
Chuck: It’s literally [Auf das], “on that”.
Judith: [Darauf, auf das] but [Auf das] we don’t say. We say [Darauf]. The last word for today is klingen.
Chuck: To sound.
Judith: klingen.
Chuck: “To sound”. Alright, so let’s just jump to the cultural point.
Judith: [Das klingt gut, lass uns das tun].
Chuck: Sound good, let’s do that.
Judith: Today’s cultural point is about German geography.
Chuck: Geography… I thought I finished that when I was in school.
Judith: I'm sure they never taught you about German geography.
Chuck: Ok, you got a point there.
Judith: And it will be quite important to have a general idea of where what is.
Chuck: Alright, let’s get through this section as quick as possible.
Judith: It’s not that bad.
Chuck: And let’s get to the interesting stuff.
Judith: If you imagine seeing Germany on the map, there’s this little mole that comes out in the center north, which leads to Denmark, and on the left side of that, I mean on the west side of it, we have the [Nordsee], and the east side we have the [Ostsee], the Eastern Sea, except in English it’s not called the Eastern Sea, it’s called the Baltic Sea.
Chuck: That’s because they’re both east. For us…
Judith: Well, for the British, for example, we would have the right to call the North Sea the South Sea or something.
Chuck: Or the Danish, right?
Judith: For the Danish it will be west or east. Anyway, [Nordsee, Ostsee]. And both have islands in them that belong to Germany, the [Frisian] islands. Very nice holiday spots. Somewhere between the islands and the coast, we have a very peculiar kind of environment. It’s called a [Watt] with double T.
Chuck: That with a V at the beginning or W at the beginning?
Judith: W.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: Watt.
Chuck: Like the electrical unit.
Judith: Yeah, like the [Inventor].
Chuck: Oh, right.
Judith: And I looked it up, and it’s supposed to be [Mud flat] in English, but I suppose most of you haven’t heard it because it’s a very rare thing. I think there’s one somewhere near San Francisco Bay you have a similar condition, but it’s basically an area that gets flooded with seawater like every day, but which is also more or less dry or muddy during a lot of the day. So this creates very interesting living conditions and you can actually use it to walk towards one of the islands, you know, from the coast to the island or back if you have a good guide who will make sure that you’re not walking into a swamp or anything.
Chuck: I guess you have to make sure you can get back afterwards too, right?
Judith: Yeah. It’s a very interesting experience because a lot of the times you’ll be up to your knees in this kind of muddy ground… that is fun too.
Chuck: Have you done it?
Judith: Yeah. My school class went to one of the German islands for a 6th grade outing, we spent like a week there, and that was part of the attraction. I mean there’s not that much to do on the islands if the weather isn’t good enough for swimming, so hiking in this [Mud] or just walking a bit in it is one of the major attractions.
Chuck: It sounds like Germans get cooler field trips than Americans do.
Judith: Now, a lot of Germany consist of flat areas. For example, the [Niederrhein], where I come from, is very flat and ideal for cycling, and there’s some [Hilly] terrain in the center of Germany.
Chuck: But don’t expect real mountains. I mean if you really want mountains you can go down to the Alps.
Judith: Yeah, in the south. The very south of Germany… Germany borders the Alps which it also shares with other countries.
Chuck: With those other German speaking countries.
Judith: No, also with France and even Italy. They also have a share of the Alps.
Chuck: Yeah, but they surely want to visit the German-speaking countries.
Judith: Well, Austria and Switzerland are great destinations if you like mountains.
Chuck: Yeah, it’s especially good in the winter for skiing.
Judith: Yeah, in the summer it’s not that great. In the summer, you might want to go to one of the German islands or you may go to our 17th state, that is the island of Mallorca, in the Mediterranean Sea. Mallorca, of course, is Spanish. It’s one of the [Balearic] Islands, but it’s so crowded with Germans that it might as well be part of Germany. And of course in Germany there are lots of lakes. A lot of them are small though, nothing like you have up in Canada, for example. Well, even the normal Canadian lakes tend to be bigger on average than the average German lake.
Chuck: Well everything’s big in Canada, right?
Judith: In [the Ruhrgebiet] a lot of the lakes are artificial because people have been mining there for sand or something, and when they’re done they don’t want to leave this huge crater in the area so they just fill it up with water, and this makes for very, very deep lakes that are quite nice to swim in sometime. You should be a good swimmer, and they’re usually quite cold. Now, one thing I wanted to mention is that here in Germany nobody takes responsibility when you swim in a lake. This might sound bad, but on the other hand it prevents people from just in part of the lake. That’s what annoyed me most, when I came to the USA or to Canada, I saw these great, amazing, natural lakes with lots of greenery around it or maybe an island in the middle or something, and I wasn’t able to swim out because somebody put like a fence somewhere in the lake at about two meters deep, and there was, like, maybe two meters that you could actually swim, the rest of it was just two flat and we couldn’t go beyond and we just had this mocking view of a great lake in the background.

Lesson focus

Judith: Now the last lesson was mostly a review in terms of grammar, so this time we have another juicy piece of grammar for you.
Chuck: Yummy.
Judith: Was that a snag remark or was it sincere?
Chuck: Oh, it was very, very sincere…
Judith: I believe you. Ok, first we have some additional vocabulary that you absolutely need.
Chuck: Additional juicy vocabulary.
Judith: Very useful vocabulary. This is the days of the week. Montag.
Chuck: Monday.
Judith: Dienstag.
Chuck: Tuesday.
Judith: Mittwoch.
Chuck: Wednesday.
Judith: Donnerstag.
Chuck: Thursday.
Judith: Freitag.
Chuck: Friday.
Judith: Samstag.
Chuck: Saturday.
Judith: Sonntag.
Chuck: Sunday.
Judith: Now Samstag you already heard in the previous lesson but all the rest were new so I will repeat them. Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag, Sonntag.
Chuck: And you will also notice that Montag, Mittwoch, Freitag and Sonntag are all very easy to learn because Montag sounds like Monday, Mittwoch literally means “middle of the week”, which is of course Wednesday”, Freitag sounds like “Friday”, and Sonntag is also literally “sun day”, [Like Sonne], “sun”.
Judith: One thing you notice is that all the days, except for Mittwoch end in a G or rather end in Tag even, “day”. So, some people may joke, this is valid on all days that end in -tag and Mittwoch. One really useful thing to know is that you can add S and it means usually every for example Montags, usually every Monday or on Mondays I do something. Montags. And otherwise if you don’t mean every Monday, then you would simply use the preposition am. Am Montag. Am Samstag. Am Mittwoch. Now the future tense is really necessary to make the words useful and fortunately the future tense is quite easy. The words are ich werde.
Chuck: I will.
Judith: Du wirst.
Chuck: You will.
Judith: Er wird.
Chuck: He will.
Judith: Sie werden.
Chuck: You (formally) will.
Judith: This works like möchte or muss in the sense that the actual verb becomes an infinitive and moves to the end of the sentence. Let’s hear the words again. Ich werde
Chuck: I will
Judith: Du wirst
Chuck: You will
Judith: Er wird
Chuck: He will
Judith: Sie werden.
Chuck: You (formally) will.
Judith: And now some examples. Am Mittwoch werde ich keine Zeit haben.
Chuck: On Wednesday, I will have no time.
Judith: Am Dienstag werde ich mit GermanPod101 Deutsch lernen.
Chuck: On Tuesday, I’ll learn German with GermanPod101.
Judith: There’s one more thing that I need to draw your attention to and that’s the German stacking of verbs. In a case like Ich werde viel für die Uni lernen müssen, the first verb comes second in the sentence and the second verb goes to the end of the sentence, like we’ve already explained. If there’s another verb, that one will also go to the end of the sentence, but before the other.
Chuck: You see, this also drives professional interpreters crazy because they have to wait till the end of the whole sentence to be able to say what was at the beginning.
Judith: You don’t actually need to understand it, you don’t actually need to hear the end of the sentence in a lot of cases because the context makes it clear. It’s just English speakers can’t understand it like this. They need a lot more training cause they’re not used to.
Chuck: Yeah, the English speakers will be the ones interpreting.
Judith: Yeah well the idea is that when you have a long sentence like that, you first take in the first verb and then you digest the verbs backwards from the end of the sentence. So in the case of Ich werde viel für die Uni lernen müssen, you first take ich werde, I will and then you go right to the end of the sentence müssen I will have to and then lernen, learn. And that way, you get them in the right order again Ich werde lernen müssen, I will have to learn.
Chuck: That’s hard.
Judith: It’s only one rule. With some practice, you’ll find it easier. And, you know, Mark Twain greatly exaggerates the amount of German verbs that could be piled up like this. I can’t imagine a case with four verbs even, only these three.
Chuck: Well, anyway, I think we’re all a bit tired with all that verb stacking. Can we get back to the dialogue?
Judith: Sure.
Michael Schmidt: Lena, was machst du diese Woche?
Lena Wagner: Am Samstag werde ich auf einer Geburtstagsparty sein. Montags gehe ich normalerweise Joggen.
Michael Schmidt: Hast du am Mittwoch Zeit?
Lena Wagner: Ich weiß nicht. Ich werde diese Woche viel für die Uni lernen müssen.
Michael Schmidt: Meine Freunde und ich werden am Mittwoch ein Picknick am Unterbacher See veranstalten. Hast du Lust drauf?
Lena Wagner: Ja, klingt sehr gut.


Chuck: Picnic at the lake…
Judith: Yeah, I know. I have to physically drag you into the water and get you to go swimming with me.
Chuck: Well, I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble getting me out of the studio.
Judith: Yeah, that much I know. I guess we get going now.
Chuck: Alright, well, see you next week.
Judith: [Bis nächste Woche].