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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Newbie Series Lesson 18.
Judith: [Willkommen].
Chuck: Welcome listeners. We’re back for this week’s Newbie lesson.
Judith: GermanPod101 gives you five podcasts a week. And we have something for everybody, phrases and two different courses for beginners, entertaining music lessons for the intermediates, and German cultural podcasts for the advanced students. Who else can claim this?
Chuck: So we pretty much have something for everyone. So if you have any friends that are interested in learning German, whether they can already speak it fluently or more likely maybe they don’t know any German at all, tell the about GermanPod101 and our free podcasts.
Judith: The more people listen to the podcast, the more people will also interact on the website, share tips and experiences, practicing German together, Chuck and I may even host a chat session, all in and about German.
Chuck: So tell your friends, post about it on your blog or Twitter or other sites, and don’t forget to post on GermanPod101 itself, the comments or the forum.
Judith: If you want, you can even apply to have your own personal blog on GermanPod101 talking about German or living in Germany. Just contact us by email. Our email address is contact us, all in one word,
Chuck: Alright. Now, Judith, what’s today’s lesson about?
Judith: Today we’ll discuss appointments. Germans take their appointments very seriously, so you have to know what is expected of you when you come to Germany.
Chuck: So do you think there might be a chance that Michael might get an appointment with Lena? Maybe a candlelight dinner?
Judith: Maybe. Let’s listen to today’s dialogue.
Lena Wagner: So, ich muss jetzt gleich gehen.
Michael Schmidt: Schade. Ich denke wir sehen uns am Mittwoch, oder?
Lena Wagner: Ah, das Picknick, ja. Wann ist es?
Michael Schmidt: Ich weiß nicht genau. Komm einfach um 16 Uhr.
Lena Wagner: Okay.
Michael Schmidt: Ich hoffe, dass das Wetter schön sein wird.
Lena Wagner: Was ist, wenn es regnet?
Michael Schmidt: Ich denke, dass wir uns trotzdem treffen werden.
Judith: Now read slowly.
Lena Wagner: So, ich muss jetzt gleich gehen.
Michael Schmidt: Schade. Ich denke wir sehen uns am Mittwoch, oder?
Lena Wagner: Ah, das Picknick, ja. Wann ist es?
Michael Schmidt: Ich weiß nicht genau. Komm einfach um 16 Uhr.
Lena Wagner: Okay.
Michael Schmidt: Ich hoffe, dass das Wetter schön sein wird.
Lena Wagner: Was ist, wenn es regnet?
Michael Schmidt: Ich denke, dass wir uns trotzdem treffen werden.
Judith: Now with the translation.
Judith: So, ich muss jetzt gleich gehen.
Chuck: So I got to go now.
Judith: Schade. Ich denke, wir sehen uns am Mittwoch, oder?
Chuck: That’s too bad. I think we will see each other on Wednesday right?
Judith: Ah, das Picknick, ja.
Chuck: Ah the picnic yes.
Judith: Wann ist es?
Chuck: When is it?
Judith: Ich weiß nicht genau. Komm einfach um 16 Uhr.
Chuck: I don’t know exactly. Just come at 4 o’ clock.
Judith: Okay.
Chuck: Okay.
Judith: Ich hoffe, dass das Wetter schön sein wird.
Chuck: I hope that the weather will be nice.
Judith: Was ist, wenn es regnet?
Chuck: And what happens if it’s raining?
Judith: Ich denke, dass wir uns trotzdem treffen werden.
Chuck: I think we’ll meet anyway.
Judith: Ok, so you’re looking forward to that picnic, are you?
Chuck: Should be cool.
Judith: Ok. Let’s look at the vocabulary. The first word is gleich.
Chuck: “Shortly” or “soon”.
Judith: gleich.
Chuck: “Shortly” or “soon”.
Judith: It’s often combined as jetzt gleich.
Chuck: Now shortly.
Judith: The next word is schade.
Chuck: “That’s too bad” or “it’s a pity”.
Judith: schade. schade.
Chuck: That’s too bad.
Judith: Next, denken.
Chuck: To think.
Judith: denken.
Chuck: To think.
Judith: Next, uns.
Chuck: Us.
Judith: uns.
Chuck: Us.
Judith: Next, genau.
Chuck: Exactly.
Judith: genau.
Chuck: Exactly.
Judith: Or it can also mean “exact” as an adjective. Next, einfach.
Chuck: “Easy”, “simple” or “just”.
Judith: einfach.
Chuck: “Easy”, “simple” or “just”.
Judith: As an adjective, it means “easy” as in [Eine einfache Lektion], “an easy lesson”. As an adverb it means “simply” or “just”, like in the sentence [Komm einfach], “just come”. The next word is hoffen.
Chuck: To hope.
Judith: hoffen.
Chuck: To hope.
Judith: This is usually used with the next word, which is dass.
Chuck: That.
Judith: dass.
Chuck: That.
Judith: Note that this is spelled with double S now. It used to be spelled with the [ß], that special character.
Chuck: That word bee.
Judith: It’s not a bee.
Chuck: It looks like a weird B, like an ancient form of the letter B.
Judith: But it evolved out of an old way of writing the S along with an old way of writing the Z.
Chuck: You mean the Z.
Judith: [Z]
Chuck: [Z]
Judith: [Z]
Chuck: [You should hear how many] arguments we always get into about this.
Judith: Anyway, this word, [Dass]…
Chuck: But we know Z is right.
Judith: Don’t talk while I'm talking. [Dass] starts a sub clause, and we’ll learn more about that in the grammar section. The next word is Wetter.
Chuck: Weather.
Judith: Wetter.
Chuck: Weather.
Judith: This is used with the article [Dass] because it’s neutral, [Dass Wetter].
Chuck: The weather.
Judith: And the last word for today is trotzdem.
Chuck: “Anyway” or “despite that”.
Judith: trotzdem.
Chuck: “Despite that” or “anyway”.
Judith: So Michael said that they will meet anyway, they will meet [Trotzdem], even if it rains. And this is very important for German appointments. You should not assume that an appointment gets canceled just because the weather isn’t that nice anymore. Always call people to check if that’s really the case.
Chuck: Yeah, Germans take their appointments pretty seriously. You’ll find that Germans generally prefer their schedule much more structured so they’re much likely to do things at the last minute.
Judith: Yeah. If you find that you need to cancel, you should call in a long time ahead.
Chuck: Yeah. And you might find that if you want an appointment with a doctor that you might have to wait like another month for one.
Judith: Well, doctors are special, but even with normal people you should always call and you should try to be punctual when you have an appointment. Being more than five minutes late is frowned upon. If you’re like 30 minutes late it’s just inexcusable, there’s no way you can make up for it. So that’s also an occasion when you should definitely call and let people know.
Chuck: And also know that many hairdressers or barber shops only accept people with by appointment.
Judith: Yeah, especially on busy days. I mean, with hair dressers, for example, it may be that they let you just come in on a normal day, but if it’s the day before Christmas then it’s very, very certain that they won’t.
Chuck: But if you look for the cheaper barber shops or hairdressers in the city, then those are usually without appointment, but you may end up waiting anywhere from a half hour to a full hour to get your hair cut.
Judith: Yeah. That’s the same with doctors actually because even if you have an appointment, you may have to wait a long time. And if you’re not there when your name is called, you just lose your chance. You’ll have to make another appointment.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: And as for appointments with the authorities, you should probably call and make an appointment. Normally, you don’t need one, like you can go into the work office or the foreigner’s office at any time, but then you’ll have to wait a long time. And if you make an appointment, that can save you a lot of time.
Chuck: Yeah, for example if you want to get a Visa and you’re in a city that’s fairly large like Berlin or Hamburg or Frankfurt, then you can often make an appointment to discuss you case.
Judith: Yeah. If you go there and wait, be prepared for a number drawing system. I don't know if you have those in the States. It’s basically you have a little machine that gives out numbers and whenever… yeah.
Chuck: It’s quite common, we say number drawing system.
Judith: Ok.
Chuck: And you’ll also see that in the smaller cities, you may find that you just wait in the hallway till your time comes.
Judith: Yeah, that’s the less nice way. If you have to wait two hours sitting in a hallway just not to lose your place in line.
Chuck: Yeah, because I’ve noticed that the ways the offices work in Berlin are quite different from the way they worked in [Heilbronn].
Judith: Well, it’s obvious with the big city or with a city that has a lot of foreigners to deal with.
Chuck: Yeah, that’s true as well.

Lesson focus

Judith: Now let’s talk about the grammar a bit. In this lesson, you had a chance to review the future tense, and also verb stacking. In addition, there are two small things to point out. One is that we saw verbs in the first person plural, that is the die wir form.
Chuck: We, we...
Judith: These are really easy because they use the EN ending just like the infinitive, they’re not distinguishable actually. For example, wir sehen.
Chuck: We see.
Judith: Wir kommen.
Chuck: We come.
Judith: Wir werden.
Chuck: We will.
Judith: As in wir werden sehen.
Chuck: We will see.
Judith: Wir haben.
Chuck: We have.
Judith: Wir waren.
Chuck: We were.
Judith: And so on.
Chuck: Now the more important grammar thing is sub clauses. In this dialogue, you saw a couple of sentences that were quite complex.
Chuck: Will drive you nuts if you don’t know the form of them. Or more likely they’ll drive the German nuts that you’re talking with.
Judith: I don’t think it’s that hard for English speakers because a lot of it it’s very similar. For example, just like in English, we have a long form and a shorter form in German. For example, Ich denke, dass du intelligent bist.
Chuck: I think that you’re intelligent.
Judith: This would be the long form. And the short form for that is Ich denke du bist intelligent.
Chuck: I think you’re intelligent.
Judith: So what you notice is that the “that” is dropped. “I think that you’re intelligent” or “I think you’re intelligent”. And in German it’s the same Ich denke, dass du intelligent bist. Ich denke du bist intelligent.
Chuck: So basically whenever you have a sub clause, like whenever you use the verb dass, think, “Ok, I would normally put the verb here, but this time I'm just going to shove it all the way at the end of the sentence.”
Judith: Yeah that’s the thing with the long form. And that’s how German differs from English, it is that you have to move the verb and it’s the same as for the future tense for example or for all the verbs like könnte and möchte that we had before. So, only in this case you put all the verbs at the end. This is one difficulty of the long form. You may want to think that, “Ok, we’re always going to use the short form and I don’t have to learn anything different”, right? It’s not a good idea because in speech you can use the short form, but in writing you should always use the long form, anything else just sounds very strange and colloquial like writing and SMS message.
Chuck: What happens when you have a bunch of verbs together though? You can’t just stick them all at the last word.
Judith: Yes, you can. It’s the same rule as before. If there’s more than one word at the end of the sentence, you just have to digest them backwards. The first verb to digest is at the very end, then the second verb will be next to last and so on.
Chuck: I hope that doesn’t give me an upset verb stomach.
Judith: I think it will be easy enough when you get used to it. I’ll give you some examples.
Chuck: Part of German cuisine, I guess.
Judith: For example, Ich hoffe, dass es nicht regnen wird.
Chuck: I hope that it won’t rain.
Judith: So then we have the wird at the very end, Ich hoffe, dass es nicht regnen wird. Wird regnen is the way that you have to think of them, “will rain”.
Chuck: So literally, “I hope that it not rain will”.
Judith: Yes. I believe Yoda was a German. And let’s have one really, really complex long sentence that you can already understand. Michael hofft, dass Lena nicht viel für die Uni lernen müssen wird.
Chuck: So let me give this one a try. “Michael hopes that Lena won’t have to study much for university.”
Judith: Yes.
Chuck: Or literally, “Michael hopes that Lena not much for the university study must will”.
Judith: Yes, “will must study”, “will have to study”.
Chuck: It’s insane.
Judith: Oh, it’s just the German way. And one more thing, what happens to stacked sub clauses when you have a sub clause of a sub clause of a sub clause? I found a really good example in the song Mr Wichtig by TicTacToe. It’s a song about this guy who’s lying on the beach and just feeling very self-important and…
Chuck: They’re playing tick tack toe or…
Judith: No, TicTacToe is the name of the band. It’s a German rap band, they dissolved a couple of years ago.
Chuck: I can see why…
Judith: Stop it, they weren’t bad. Anyway, in this song, there’s a line Meinst du das, was ich denk, oder denkst du nur du denkst, dass du weißt, was ich mein? So let’s break it down. Meinst du das, was ich denk?
Chuck: Do you mean what I think?
Judith: Oder denkst du nur du denkst?
Chuck: Or you think you think?
Judith: Dass du weißt, was ich mein.
Chuck: That you know what I mean.
Judith: And put it all together.
Chuck: Do mean what I think or do you just think you’re thinking that you know what I mean?
Judith: That’s it.
Chuck: Or for fun, literally, “mean you that what I think or think you only you think that you know what I mean”. Well, the end made sense.
Judith: Yeah. It’s not that different from English. Anyway, you can also find this example in the PDF grammar summary. And it’s great because now you can understand complex German sentences.
Chuck: Alright, so we can all start reading Kant now.
Judith: No, I would suggest not.
Chuck: Well, maybe you wait till our advanced series.
Judith: Even then, Kant is… his writings are so difficult, even for Germans.
Chuck: Yeah. In the advanced series, Judith’s going to go over the latest readings by Kant.
Judith: I'm never going to.
Chuck: Just write her and tell her you want to hear Kant. Ok, maybe you don’t want to hear Kant, ok.
Judith: His stack clauses are a mess.
Chuck: Oh, it is fun.
Judith: Ok, let’s go through the dialogue one more time.
Lena Wagner: So, ich muss jetzt gleich gehen.
Michael Schmidt: Schade. Ich denke wir sehen uns am Mittwoch, oder?
Lena Wagner: Ah, das Picknick, ja. Wann ist es?
Michael Schmidt: Ich weiß nicht genau. Komm einfach um 16 Uhr.
Lena Wagner: Okay.
Michael Schmidt: Ich hoffe, dass das Wetter schön sein wird.
Lena Wagner: Was ist, wenn es regnet?
Michael Schmidt: Ich denke, dass wir uns trotzdem treffen werden.


Judith: Alright. No matter what the weather is, you can count on having another Newbie lesson next Tuesday.
Chuck: That’s right. Neither snow nor sleet nor hale will keep us from our GermanPod lessons.
Judith: Snow, sleet and hale in August?
Chuck: That’s like the post office saying in the States or something like that.
Judith: Ah ok. Meanwhile, don’t miss Thursday’s beginner lesson and tomorrow’s lesson for intermediates.
Chuck: Just because your German is not as advanced yet to understand Kant, it doesn’t mean you can`t enjoy German music.
Judith: Yeah, you may even learn a couple of words.
Chuck: Alright, see you next week.
Judith: [Bis nächste Woche].