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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: This is Newbie Series Lesson 24.
Judith: [Willkommen zurück].
Chuck: Welcome back, listeners. I'm glad you’re back with us again for another lesson. GermanPod101’s Newbie lessons cover many different aspects of culture, language and customs that you’ll find in Germany and other German-speaking countries.
Judith: Today that last part is particularly true as we will talk a bit about Switzerland and the kind of German they speak there.
Chuck: Besides different ways to pronounce [Zürich], I don't know much about Switzerland yet, so this lesson will be very interesting for me as well. Last I checked, Michael was hogging Lena’s conversation at the picnic, they were talking about cakes. So how did Switzerland come in to play?
Judith: Just wait and see.
Chuck: [Wie findest du Sachertorte?]
Judith: [Sachertorte ist auch sehr lecker].
Chuck: Shouldn’t we have a review of the last week’s dialogue?
Judith: No, actually I think if it’s getting quite long if we want to review the whole picnic dialogue, so if you want to listen to that again, just go back to the previous lessons and click on the dialogue track, that’s the fastest way to get a review.
Chuck: Alright.
Judith: So let’s just continue. As I said, or as you said rather, Michael was hogging Lena’s conversation and it was about cakes.
Michael Schmidt: Wie findest du Sachertorte?
Lena Wagner: Sachertorte ist auch sehr lecker.
Michael Schmidt: Warst du schon mal in Wien?
Lena Wagner: Ja, aber im Dezember reise ich nach Bern. Da war ich noch nicht.
Michael Schmidt: Im Dezember? Was für ein Zufall! Vielleicht muss ich auch im Dezember nach Bern.
Lena Wagner: Nicht ehrlich, oder?
Michael Schmidt: Doch, wegen der Arbeit.
Judith: Now read slowly.
Michael Schmidt: Wie findest du Sachertorte?
Lena Wagner: Sachertorte ist auch sehr lecker.
Michael Schmidt: Warst du schon mal in Wien?
Lena Wagner: Ja, aber im Dezember reise ich nach Bern. Da war ich noch nicht.
Michael Schmidt: Im Dezember? Was für ein Zufall! Vielleicht muss ich auch im Dezember nach Bern.
Lena Wagner: Nicht ehrlich, oder?
Michael Schmidt: Doch, wegen der Arbeit.
Judith: Now with the translation.
Judith: Wie findest du Sachertorte?
Chuck: How do you find Sachertorte?
Judith: Sachertorte ist auch sehr lecker.
Chuck: Sachertorte is also very delicious.
Judith: Warst du schon mal in Wien?
Chuck: Were you ever in Vienna?
Judith: Ja, aber im Dezember reise ich nach Bern. Da war ich noch nicht.
Chuck: Yes but in December, I am traveling to Bern. I have never been there yet.
Judith: Im Dezember?
Chuck: In December?
Judith: Was für ein Zufall.
Chuck: What a coincidence.
Judith: Vielleicht muss ich auch im Dezember nach Bern.
Chuck: Maybe I also need to go to Bern in December.
Judith: Nicht ehrlich, oder?
Chuck: Not really eh?
Judith: Doch, wegen der Arbeit.
Chuck: Yeah, because of work.
Judith: What do you think of this? Michael needs to go to Bern?
Chuck: Well, I mean if his work makes him go there… Is my work for GermanPod going to make me go to Switzerland?
Judith: I doubt it. Your work is keeping you right here, translating for me. And right now I got a new batch of words to translate for you.
Chuck: [Where did you find them?]
Judith: Yes, [Finden].
Chuck: No, I said where do you find them?
Judith: Right here.
Chuck: To find.
Judith: Finden.
Chuck: To find.
Judith: This can be in two senses. One is to… How do you like something, [Wie findest du etwas?], and one is the obvious, find as in find something that you lost.
Chuck: It works just like in Dutch.
Judith: Or English.
Chuck: Oh yeah, that too. Yeah, I guess we already had that.
Judith: The next word is schon.
Chuck: Already.
Judith: schon.
Chuck: Already.
Judith: Don’t confuse this with schön.
Chuck: Beautiful.
Judith: [Schon].
Chuck: Already.
Judith: [Schön].
Chuck: Beautiful.
Judith: [Ist schon schön oder?]
Chuck: [Ja sicher.]
Judith: Next word, einmal or simply mal.
Chuck: “Once” or “sometime”.
Judith: [Einmal]
Chuck: Once.
Judith: As an interjection, [Mal] means “sometime” like “let’s go there sometime” or “check it out sometime”.
Chuck: It could also be like [Sag mal]?
Judith: Yeah, just… well, it doesn’t mean “tell me sometime”, it means “tell me” but it makes it sound more casual.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: The next word is Dezember.
Chuck: December.
Judith: Dezember. Dezember.
Chuck: “December”. So to make “December” in German, just change the C to a Z.
Judith: [Z]
Chuck: Z.
Judith: [Z]
Chuck: Z.
Judith: [Z]
Judith: Let’s talk more about…
Chuck: In German, the last letter is [Z], just like Judith is saying.
Judith: I was the British letter.
Chuck: [D-E-Z-E-M-B-E-R]
Judith: Wow, he knows how to spell! Amazing! Let’s learn more about months in today’s grammar section. The next word is reisen.
Chuck: To travel.
Judith: reisen. reisen.
Chuck: To travel.
Judith: Next, Zufall.
Chuck: Coincidence.
Judith: Zufall.
Chuck: “Coincidence”. Wait, isn’t that random?
Judith: No, [Zufällig] would be “random” as an adjective.
Chuck: Ah so it’s almost the same thing.
Judith: Yeah. [Zufall] is a masculine noun. [Der Zufall] and the plural is [Zufälle]. Like it would be a lot of [Zufälle] if Michael should show up in Bern.
Chuck: Truthfully, honestly?
Judith: That’s the next word. Ehrlich.
Chuck: See, I'm ahead of you today.
Judith: Yeah. I’d prefer if you just translate the words, [Ehrlich].
Chuck: “Honest”, “truthful”, “honestly”.
Judith: Yes, [Ehrlich, ehrlich].
Chuck: “Honest”, “truthful” or “honestly” but because of what [do you just] like me to translate the words?
Judith: Stop it. The next word is wegen.
Chuck: Is that “because of”?
Judith: [Ahem]
Chuck: What a Zufall that was.
Judith: [Nicht ehrlich, wegen].
Chuck: I think we [schon] had that.
Judith: Please, just translate. [Wegen]
Chuck: Because of.
Judith: So [Sag mal warst du schon in Bern?].
Chuck: [Nein]
Judith: [Oder in der Schweiz?]
Chuck: [Doch]
Judith: [Ja]
Chuck: [Ja]
Judith: [Wie hast du dich da verständigt?] How did you make yourself understood there?
Chuck: One word, [Hochdeutsch].
Judith: You mean you actually found some Swiss people that speak [Hochdeutsch]?
Chuck: They all spoke it perfectly fine. I didn’t even know at the beginning that Swiss German was that different because no one will speak Swiss German with me, which is a good thing cause I wouldn’t understand it.
Judith: Ok, let’s talk about the Swiss-German situation. It’s… Switzerland is very special because everybody ranks it with the German-speaking countries, at least in Germany we like to do that. And the thing is actually German is just one of the languages there, and there are also regions that speak French, Italian or even [Romänisch].
Chuck: So I think if you listen to FrenchPod101, you’ll hear that Swiss is clenched with the French-speaking countries, won’t they?
Judith: Maybe. But actually German is the most common language there, it’s the one spoken in most parts of Switzerland. So there…
Chuck: You mean if it doesn’t quite sound like German. You know, I was once in this train and I was listening to this group, and I was like, “That half sounds like Dutch but yet some of the words I only know from German”. I just asked them, “What language are you speaking?” They said [Schweizerdeutsch]. “Ah, ok.”
Judith: Yeah, it’s particularly hard with the Swiss. You know there’s dialects all over Germany, but it’s particularly hard to understand Swiss German because they don’t have real [Hochdeutsch] there, they have their own version. They have Swiss High German. You know [Hochdeutsch] is the standard that Germany and Austria uses, it’s the kind that you would hear at the schools here and they have their own standard. And it’s mostly used in writing, meaning that when people in Switzerland speak German, then they will mostly speak in dialect. The dialect doesn’t have any negative connotations there and it’s not dying out, unlike Germany, so people will actually use the dialect most of the time.
Chuck: Yeah, I actually heard that if you hear a Swiss German film here, then you’ll see subtitles, won’t you?
Judith: Yes. Well, I think they would do the same if there were any films, say, in Bavaria or other dialects. But the things is the people making films here are most likely to do it in [Hochdeutsch] or something resembling [Hochdeutsch].
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: The thing is that Swiss Standard German is actually quite understandable to Germans because it’s the written language and it’s not really related to the Swiss dialects, it’s more like different standard. They didn’t do some of the spelling reforms that we did here and they did do spelling reforms that only they did, but the thing is that Swiss Standard German does not prepare you for the actual Swiss German dialects that are spoken on the streets. I think GermanPod should do a Swiss-German series sometime, we just need to get a hold of a couple Swiss-German speakers.
Chuck: So then you could have like a dialogue about a Swiss army knife or a Swiss cheese?
Judith: No.
Chuck: So I think now we see why Judith does the writing of the lessons instead of me.
Judith: If you started writing them, people would always get sidetracked discussing things that have nothing to do with the thing at hands, like army knives or cheese or whatever, it’s… We’re talking language here. And understanding Swiss dialects is hard.
Chuck: What do you mean I get sidetracked?
Judith: Yeah, very sidetracked. I was going to do some grammar today. I don't know about you but I say we do some grammar. Actually that’s not really grammar because…
Chuck: Can we do something else today besides grammar?
Judith: It’s not quite grammar so you have to do it.
Chuck: Ok.

Lesson focus

Judith: Today we’re going to do the month names in German, and you know I could never write a dialogue that just contains all the month names by accident. It would be a very strange Zufall, so let’s still talk about all the month names and not just Dezember. They’re quite easy.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: So we start the year with Januar.
Chuck: That would be “January”.
Judith: Yes. And Februar.
Chuck: Yeah, I think they got this one.
Judith: Say it.
Chuck: February.
Judith: And then the one word that’s difficult, the one month that’s really different from English is März.
Chuck: March.
Judith: I’ll say it again. März.
Chuck: March.
Judith: That is M-Ä-R-Z. And now we will see if you remembered your spelling lessons.
Chuck: The only month with an Umlaut in it. Thank goodness.
Judith: What do you have against Umlaut? Come on. Okay April.
Chuck: April.
Judith: Really easy, spelled just the same. Then there is Mai.
Chuck: May.
Judith: Spelled with the I. Then Juni.
Chuck: June.
Judith: Then Juli.
Chuck: July. I think I heard this pronounced some other way before...
Judith: Like what?
Chuck: I am not sure.
Judith: I think what you may have heard is when people are afraid of confusing the months, then they would say Juni and Julei in German, not Juli because Juni, Juli sounds so similar. Then again very easy ones, August.
Chuck: August.
Judith: Spelled just the same. September.
Chuck: September.
Judith: Spelled exactly the same. Oktober.
Chuck: Oktoberfest. I mean “October”.
Judith: Spelled with a K.
Chuck: As you’ve probably seen if you’ve seen Oktoberfest written somewhere.
Judith: November.
Chuck: November. I just – you just said that.
Judith: Dezember.
Chuck: December.
Judith: Alright.
Chuck: With a Z for the third letter.
Judith: Z. Let’s not open that discussion again. Ok, so how would you write dates in German? In German, we use the only sensible format there is that is day, month, year with dots in between.
Chuck: Ahem.
Judith: For example, you would write 11.6.1984.
Chuck: You would put 06, wouldn’t you?
Judith: Yes, well, either way goes.
Chuck: Ok.
Judith: It doesn’t matter if you have dots in between. You can always tell. So 11.6. is not the 6th of November but the 11th of June.
Chuck: Yeah, it’s actually quite funny. That’s even tricked me up the other day, I always keep forgetting that it’s backwards here.
Judith: Well remember and try to – I mean it’s more logical. You go from small to big. Day first, it’s the shortest and the month and then the year.
Chuck: Well, I have to admit it is more logical. I think the US is the only country who does it month/day/year actually.
Judith: Yeah, really weird.
Chuck: Just like to confuse the rest of the world.
Judith: Ok, so how would you pronounce that date? 11.6. or 11.06.?
Chuck: Elfter Juni.
Judith: Yes. Elf is the number 11 and then you add ter to make it 11th. So the dot after the 11 turns it into an ordinal number like 4th, 5th, 6th and in German, that means that you have to add ter when pronouncing the number. This works for all numbers except the 1st which is Erster and the 3rd which is Dritter. So they are deformed a bit to make them sound better.
Chuck: Yeah Einster and Dreiter sound kind of weird.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: So remember it’s Erster and Dritter.
Judith: Okay so let’s see. If I say, if the date is written 3.10.1990, how would you say that?
Chuck: Dritter Oktober 1990.
Judith: Yes and you know what that day is?
Chuck: German National Day?
Judith: Yes well any 3rd of October is a National Day, Dritter Oktober. In this particular year, 1990, the German reunification occurred.
Chuck: Oh, right.
Judith: The East Germany and West Germany were officially united. That is the reason we have the national day, the national holiday on the 3rd of October.
Chuck: Oh right, I remember that day. That’s the day I get off work. I mean the day that we all appreciate when the East and West Germany came together.
Judith: Ahem. Actually we have a special intermediate lesson focusing on this day enough. Unfortunately we can’t publish the intermediate lesson on the 3rd because the 3rd is Friday, but we publish our intermediate lesson on the 1st, which is a Wednesday, the 1st of October, [Erster Oktober], and on that day we’re going to treat the German national anthem.
Chuck: Wow.
Judith: So if you’ve always wondered what the national anthem says or is about, then you should definitely listen to the intermediate lesson on that day.
Chuck: Alright. So look at you, prepared two days ahead of time.
Judith: Yes, but don’t think that Germans do any kind of special anthem-singing, flag-waving fireworks kind of thing. It’s just a normal day and people are happy to have a holiday.
Chuck: Do they ever have fireworks?
Judith: Yeah, at the end of the year. [Am einunddreißigsten Dezember] Understand that? 31st.
Chuck: Or is it [Erster Januar] that they have them?
Judith: Yeah, actually it’s past midnight so [Ersten Januar].
Chuck: Ok. I think you just want an excuse to practice those big numbers at the end of the year.
Judith: Well, it’s nice to know that they are all regular.
Chuck: Yeah, you should be really happy you’re not learning French. Unless you want to learn French, then you should listen to FrenchPod101.
Judith: Yes, but we’ll be quite happy to keep you here at GermanPod101.com and I'm really happy that you’re listening to us.
Chuck: Yes.
Judith: So shall we listen to the dialogue one more time?
Chuck: Sounds good.
Michael Schmidt: Wie findest du Sachertorte?
Lena Wagner: Sachertorte ist auch sehr lecker.
Michael Schmidt: Warst du schon mal in Wien?
Lena Wagner: Ja, aber im Dezember reise ich nach Bern. Da war ich noch nicht.
Michael Schmidt: Im Dezember? Was für ein Zufall! Vielleicht muss ich auch im Dezember nach Bern.
Lena Wagner: Nicht ehrlich, oder?
Michael Schmidt: Doch, wegen der Arbeit.


Chuck: Naja Arbeit, Arbeit, immer Arbeit.
Judith: Yeah, right. Try to tell people that Germans are working so much, it’s not quite true. We got more holidays than any other country in the world. Not to mention less hours in the week. You in particular don’t have many hours a week, you’re just here for the recordings.
Chuck: Oh yeah.
Judith: That gives you a lot of free time. But I'm glad you’re helping me.
Chuck: Alright, thanks.
Judith: And if you want to hear more of Chuck’s voice, then I can recommend going to the dialogue track and listening to all those lessons or going to the line by line dialect too, that way you can listen to only Chuck’s voice. Since we’re paying him so much.
Chuck: Oh, and one more thing. If you have an iPhone check out our application called ‘MyWords’.
Judith: Yes, you might learn some German that way. And you get our voices too so you can listen to the words that you’re learning.
Chuck: It’s made especially for people who are just starting to learn German.
Judith: That’s right.
Chuck: So we hope you get on those flashcards from that iPhone program and we’ll see you next week.
Judith: Yes, see you then. [Bis nächste Woche].