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M: Hello and welcome to German Survival Phrases brought to you by germanpod101.com, this course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Germany. You will be surprised at how far a little German will go. Now before we jump in, remember to stop by germanpod101.com and there you will find the accompanying PDF and additional info in the post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.
F: German Survival Phrases. Lesson 23, Riding the Train in Germany, part 1. In Germany, Riding in Rails is one of the best ways to get around. There are regional trains, fast train lines crisscrossing the country and international trains going all the way to the Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and other countries. You can even get into a train in Berlin and get out in Moscow crossing several European countries on the way. For local transportation companies also operate train and tramlines that help you get around the city or travel into neighboring cities even. These may go on separate rail tracks, on tracks in the middle of the street or underground or a mixture of these. Only the biggest German cities have pure subway lines. In other cities, the tram may suddenly go underground for just the center most part of the city. It will make a few stops on the ground and then emerge again to go on aboveground.
Let’s focus on trains that go between cities in this lesson. In Germany, you can buy train tickets online. You can buy them from an Auto Mart at a train station or you can buy tickets from a human at every city’s main train station [Hauptbahnhof] This is a really important word. So let’s break it down and hear it again [Hauptbahnhof] So imagine, you are going to [Hamburg Hauptbahnhof] that is Hamburg main train station. In the previous lesson, we already learned how to request a ticket. Do you guys still remember? To request a ticket to Hamburg main train station, say [Eine Fahrkarte nach Hamburg Hauotbahnhof, bitte] whatever destination you want to go to, just put it after the [nach] means to in English [Eine Fahrkarte nach Hamburg Hauotbahnhof, bitte] One ticket to Hamburg central train station please. Once you are on the platform, you may want to confirm that the train you are about to board is actually heading the right way. So in German, will this train go to Hamburg main train station is [Fährt dieser Zug nach Hamburg Hauptbahnhof] Let’s break it down by syllable. [Fährt dieser Zug nach Hamburg Hauptbahnhof] Now let’s hear it once again [Fährt dieser Zug nach Hamburg Hauptbahnhof] The first word [fährt] means drives because in German, you drive the train rather than ride it. Let’s hear this word slowly one more time. [fährt] This is followed by [dieser] which in German is this when talking about a masculine noun [dieser] The third word is [Zug] which in German means train. Let’s hear it again slowly. [Zug] So to recap here, we have [Fährt dieser Zug] literally this means drives this train. After that, it’s [nach]. You will probably recognize this part because we’ve used it so often. [nach] means to. [Hamburg] is the German pronunciation of the city Hamburg and [Hauptbahnhof] is the main train station. This is a long word. So let’s break it down once more [Hauptbahnhof] So altogether we have [Fährt dieser Zug nach Hamburg Hauptbahnhof] Literally this means drives this train to Hamburg main train station or in proper English, does this train go to Hamburg central station? You will notice that Hamburg [Hauptbahnhof] is a rather specific destination since Hamburg has a number of stations just like Berlin. So if you are at the other end of Germany and just want to get into the city and if you can find your way around once you are there, it’s enough to just ask for the general direction or rather the city name. So does this train go to Berlin simply would be [Fährt dieser Zug nach Berlin]. This literally means drives this train to Berlin. Pretty easy, right. And now you are ready to ask for your way to every single city in Germany but don’t forget your tickets. The good thing about the train system in Germany is that you can access an English version of a [Deutsche Bahn] website. And since you can order tickets online, this is probably the easiest way to travel. You can just order and print out the ticket. However you can’t buy tickets for trips that are less than 51 kilometers this way. So for these, you will have to go to a ticket office or a machine. They are regional, Intercity, short IC and Intercity Express short ICE trains. The regional trains are a lot slower. You may have to change trains a few times if you are going a long distance but you will see that you can save a lot of money if you are willing to take that extra time. The IC is the Gold middle [0:05:53] it’s faster. You get more direct routes between cities. The seats are more comfortable but you also pay for it. The ICE is the most expensive version even faster and even more expensive and more luxury. All ICE trains offer radio at your seats like in an airplane. They have on train cafeterias and a lot of them even offer electricity at your seat. For all three, there is one basic rule. You can get cheaper prices if you order your tickets at least 1 or 2 weeks beforehand. And if you are traveling in a group, the tickets will be cheaper too. This way, even IC or ICE tickets can go down to reasonable prices. So being German and planning your trip beforehand is going to pay off. Note that you can buy a ticket from the ticket inspector but only if you are traveling on an IC or ICE train. If you are going by regional train and you are caught without a ticket, you will have to pay a hefty fine. When traveling by IC or ICE particularly on a weekend, I would also suggest reserving a seat because you don’t want to be standing up for 4 hours or so. It’s not possible to reserve seats in regional trains though. So avoid these during rush hours if you can. German trains and buses are typically on time. Well people complain about the trains a lot but compared to how things are in South America or Eastern Europe or so, the train and bus systems are really reliable. You can look up your departure time and your arrival time and trains weren’t normally delayed much. Maybe your train will be half an hour late if you are crossing the entire country or when there are severe weather conditions but the train company has to give you back part of what you paid for the ticket if the trains are delayed much more than that. So they take care not to let that happen.
M: Okay to close our today’s lesson, we’d like you to practice what you’ve just learned. I provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out aloud. You have a few seconds before I give you the answer. So [Viel Glück] which means good luck in German.
F: Does this train go to Hamburg central station? [Fährt dieser Zug nach Hamburg Hauptbahnhof] Does this train go to Berlin? [Fährt dieser Zug nach Berlin]
M: That’s going to do it for today.