|F: German Survival Phrases. Lesson 24, Riding the Train in Germany, Part II. In Germany, riding the rails is one of the best ways to get around. Not only locally but also for long distance destinations and in fact traveling by a train is one of the best ways to see everything. In Germany, one can buy train tickets at the ticket gate window, vending machines on the internet and in the case of emergency even on the train. When traveling long distances, there are several types of tickets which we will have a look at in a minute but first let’s work on first asking for the ticket. We can accomplish this by asking ticket to your destination please. Now of course we need a destination. So let’s use [München] which you better know, as Munich. Let’s say the city name once more [München]. This city is located in the Southeast part of Germany and is well known for its Oktoberfest the [Weißwurst] and [Sauerkraut] as well as for those dresses and funny leather trousers you sometimes see on TV. So to ask for one ticket to [Ein Ticket nach München, bitte] in German is [Ein Ticket nach München, bitte], one ticket to Munich please. [Ein Ticket nach München, bitte] Now let’s hear it once again [Ein Ticket nach München, bitte]. The first word [Ein] means a The second word should be familiar, ticket. Let’s break down this word and hear it one more time, [Ticket] ticket. This is followed by [nach] which in German is, to [nach]. So to recap here, we have [Ein Ticket nach]. Literally this means, a ticket to. Let’s take a look at the next word [München] Today’s city of choice [München] The last word is [bitte] which means please [bitte] So altogether we have [Ein Ticket nach München, bitte] Literally this means a ticket to Munich please. Now if you want to buy more than one ticket, for example if you want to buy two tickets, you can accomplish this by saying two tickets to Munich please. [Zwei Tickets nach München, bitte] Let’s break it down by syllable [Zwei Tickets nach München, bitte] Now let’s hear it once again [Zwei Tickets nach München, bitte] Notice that we simply substitute [ein Ticket] with [zwei Tickets] tickets. [zwei] means two. However just the destination may not be enough as there are several types of seats on trains in Germany. There are first class seats and second class seats. Once we have established the destination, it is time to select the type of seat you want. In German, one ticket for first class please is [Ein Ticket für die erste Klasse, bitte] Let’s break it down by syllable. [Ein Ticket für die erste Klasse, bitte] Now let’s hear it once again [Ein Ticket für die erste Klasse, bitte] Again we have [ein] and ticket which should be familiar, a ticket. The next word is [für] which in German means for [für] So to recap here, we have [Ein Ticket für] which means a ticket for. Next we have [die] which means [the] for feminine words. [die] This is followed by [erste]. In German, this means first [erste] Let’s look at the next word [Klasse] which means class [Klasse] The last word is [bitte] which again means please [bitte] Now you can ask for a ticket for the first class [Ein Ticket für die erste Klasse, bitte] one ticket for first class please [Ein Ticket für die erste Klasse, bitte] For the second class, you just exchange [erste] and you say [zweite] instead. [zweite] means second. [zweite] Let’s break it down [zweite] So you would ask [Ein Ticket für die zweite Klasse, bitte] One ticket for second class please [Ein Ticket für die zweite Klasse, bitte] Now you know how to order a ticket and how to say that you want to sit in a certain class. It goes without saying that the first class is more expensive than the second one, however the pricing of German train tickets is very complex. Here are some tips for you to get a good deal. When traveling in a group of at least four people, there maybe group discounts available or when traveling within Germany, you can also buy a discount card, [Bahnkarte] card. These kind of cards are available to give you 25%, 50% or 100% discount. Also you should know what kind of train to use. Generally the faster the train is, the more it’s going to cost. Here is an overview of the types of trains in Germany. First, there is the ICE, Intercity Express. As the name says, it’s fast, it stops only at important stations and it’s really expensive. Then there is the IC meaning Intercity. It’s like the ICE just a little bit slower. Otherwise they are almost the same and both are very expensive and quite comfortable to travel in. EC stands for Euro city [Eurocity] Those are the trains you will need if you plan to leave Germany by train to see a little more of Europe. Then there are [Regionalexpress]. Those are trains that are bit slower mainly because they stop at more stations. On the other hand, they are also much more affordable. If you have a lot of time, try the so called [Regio] or [regionalzug]. Those stop at every station on their way but they are really cheap in comparison and there are a few cities that even use trains as a means of public transportation. Now if you want to go by train from say Cologne to Munich, then there is a pretty realistic chance that you will have to switch trains and see more than one of them at one point or another. If you have to travel at a certain time in a certain city, you aren’t really free to choose your route, but if you have time, it is really recommended to take a look at the home page of the [Deutsche Bahn] www.bahn.de There you have the opportunity to choose between a number of opportunities with different schedules, routes, prices. The differences can be amazing. Sometimes you pay a lot more to arrive only a few minutes earlier than you would when using another connection. So be sure to plan ahead and look at all the options. It is going to spare you a lot of trouble. Also make sure to ask for an English explanation when you have to change trains. How much time you have and most importantly, to which platform you have to go next. If you find that you might not have enough time to change trains, sometimes it helps to talk to the conductor. He could ask you a connecting train to wait for you if your current train is late.