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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 26, German for Taking a Taxi.
M: In this lesson, we will cover a phrase used to get you to your destination when riding a taxi. We will look at the most basic way to express this which is the word to followed by a destination. In today’s lesson, we will use [der Fernsehturm] which is Berlin’s famous television tower. Now let’s see it once again. [Der Fernsehturm] Let’s go over what you say to the taxi driver to get there. In German, the television tower is [Zum Fernsehturm] Let’s break it down by syllable [Zum Fernsehturm] The word for to in German is [zum] when referring to a noun with masculine or neutral gender. If the preposition to is followed by a noun with feminine gender, for example, the national gallery which in German means [die Staatsgallerie] you will use the term [zur] to express the preposition. The phrase to the national gallery is [Zur Staatsgallerie]. Okay, let’s break this one down by syllable. [Zur Staatsgallerie] In this case, the word for to in German is [zur]. This is the most basic way of expressing where you would like to go and actually even the easiest one. However speaking the local language is one of the most fun things you can do on your travels. So challenge yourself by using another option. You can also say, I would like to go to the television tower which in German is [Ich möchte zum Fernsehturm gehen] Let’s break it down by syllable. [Ich möchte zum Fernsehturm gehen] Let’s hear it again [Ich möchte zum Fernsehturm gehen] Let’s look at the components. The first word [Ich] means I which is the subject of the sentence. Let’s hear this word one more time. [Ich möchte] follows after this which means would like to. It is the conjugated form of the helping verb [möchten] in German meaning to want which in this case, we use in the conditional form. Let’s break down this word and hear it one more time [möchte] and [möchte]. So to recap here, we have [Ich möchte] I would like to followed by the destination [Zum Fernsehturm] to the television tower. Finally we need the verb to go which in German is [gehen]. In German grammar, if we construct this sentence with a helping verb, we put the regular verb at the end of the sentence in its unconjugated infinitive form. So altogether we have [Ich möchte zum Fernsehturm gehen]. Literally this means I would like to television tower go. One more helpful phrase when taking a taxi is, here is fine. This phrase will allow you to get out of the taxi whenever and wherever you want. In German, here is fine is [Bis hierher, bitte] Let’s break it down by syllable [Bis hierher, bitte] and now let’s hear it once again. [Bis hierher, bitte] This sentence starts with [bis] which in English means to. The word for here in German is [hierher] follows after this which in German is an expression we use to translate, it is fine [bitte] simply means please. Let’s break it down by syllable. [bitte] And now let’s hear it once again [bitte] Another useful phrase you could be able to practice when riding a taxi is [Können Sie fünfzig Euro wechseln] which means do you have change for 50 Euros? They may not change the bigger notes such as 50, 100, and 200 so easily. So before you jump into the taxi, if you have bigger notes, try to ask [Können Sie fünfzig Euro wechseln] Let’s break it down by syllable [Können Sie fünfzig Euro wechseln] Let’s hear it once again now [Können Sie fünfzig Euro wechseln] is the conditional form of the verb [können] which sounds the same and we use it together with a third person plural form of you which in German is [Sie] and we also use it in the formal level of speech. The number and currency follows it [fünfzig Euro] which means 50 Euros and the infinitive of the verb [wechseln] to change. Altogether we have [Können Sie fünfzig Euro wechseln] literally this means, can you 50 Euro change? See it’s pretty easy and if you just have 100 or 200 Euro bills in your pocket, just replace 50 [fünfzig] with 100 [hundert] or 200 [zweihundert] Let’s repeat the simple phrase that you use when you tell the driver where you would like to go. You will say [zum] or [zur] followed by the destination. For example, [Zum Fernsehturm] which means to the television tower. If you ask for another destination, just replace [Fernsehturm] with a destination you are looking for but be careful because in German grammar, there are two ways of expressing to. For nouns in the masculine or neutral form, you have to use [zum] when expressing way to go. For nouns in their feminine form, you have to use [zur]. For example, [zur Staatsgallerie] which means to the national gallery or [zur Oper] which means to the opera. Deciding between masculine, neutral and feminine nouns dates back to the medieval times in Germany and you can’t learn it right away. What is even trickier is that the nouns themselves don’t indicate which gender they have. In order to say it correctly, you need to learn the noun with its pronoun but don’t worry too much. Any taxi driver will understand your desired destination even if you mix [zur] or [zum] alphabet [ph] When using the phrase [Ich möchte zum Fernsehturm gehen] which in English means, I would like to go to the television tower, it’s common to leave out the verb [gehen] to go at the end of the sentence. You can just say [Ich möchte zum Fernsehturm] or in English, I would like to the television tower. The driver will understand you perfectly. Maybe one more thing at the end of this lesson. When you are in Germany, you will recognize that in huge taxi stands, the drivers sometimes leave their cars to chat with each other or you will find a bunch of them together talking in one car but don’t worry. They are not lazy or anything. You will recognize that the first taxi’s in the line are always operated properly. You can just open the door, get into the car and tell the driver your stop.
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. To the television tower [zum Fernsehturm] To the national gallery [zur Staatsgallerie] I would like to go to the television tower [Ich möchte zum Fernsehturm gehen] Here is fine [Bis hierher, bitte] Do you have change for 50 Euros [Können Sie fünfzig Euro wechseln] That’s going to do it for today.