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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Upper Beginner Season 1, Lesson #16. You Shall Master German Smalltalk. Hello and welcome to germanpod101.com where we study modern German in a fun and educational format.
Judith: So brush up on the German that you started learning long ago or start learning today.
Chuck: Thanks for being with us for this lesson. So Judith, what are we talking about today?
Judith: In this lesson, you will learn how to make a long or small talk in German.
Chuck: This conversation takes place at a beer garden in Munich.
Judith: The conversation is between Joe and the waitress. The speakers are in a business relationship. Therefore they will be speaking formal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Frau: Sagen Sie, woher kommen Sie denn?
Joe: Ich bin Kanadier, aber ich wohne in Washington.
Frau: Aaah. Und wie finden Sie München bis jetzt?
Joe: Bis jetzt finde ich München sehr gut. Ich mag die Stadt und die Menschen. Alle sind sehr freundlich!
Frau: Schön! Und was werden Sie heute noch unternehmen?
Joe: Hmm, ich weiß noch nicht genau. Ich glaube, ich gehe auf ein Fest am Olympiaturm und dann noch in den Englischen Garten.
Frau: Oh, aber es soll doch später schlechtes Wetter geben!
Joe: Oh nein, wirklich?
Frau: Ja. Der Wetterbericht sagt für den Nachmittag Regen voraus.
Joe: Hmm, das ist aber nicht gut. Wenn es regnen soll, sind das Fest und der Englische Garten ja keine gute Idee….
Frau: Hmm, im Regen macht ein Fest ja auch keinen Spaß.
Joe: Das stimmt. Da haben Sie recht.
Frau: Vielleicht gehen Sie heute ins Museum oder gucken die Kirchen in der Stadtmitte an….
Joe: Ja, das klingt gut…..Und wissen Sie, wie das Wetter morgen werden soll?
Frau: Ja, morgen soll es nicht regnen. Soweit ich weiß, soll den ganzen Tag die Sonne scheinen.
Joe: Na, was für ein Glück!
Woman: Say, where are you from?
Joe: I'm Canadian, but I live in Washington.
Woman: Ahh, and how do you find Munich so far?
Joe: Up to now, I find it quite good. I like the city and the people. Everyone is very friendly.
Woman: Great! And what are you still planning to do today?
Joe: Hmm, I don't know exactly. I think I'll go to a festival at the Olympic tower and then to the English garden.
Woman: Oh, but the weather is actually supposed to be horrible later.
Joe: Oh no, really?
Woman: Yes. The weather report predicts rain for the afternoon.
Joe: Hmm, that's not good. If it's supposed to rain, then the festival and the English garden are not good ideas.
Woman: Hmm, in the rain, the festival won't be any fun anyway.
Joe: It's true. You're right.
Woman: Maybe go to the museum today, or take a look at the churches in the city center.
Joe: Yes, that sounds good....and do you know what the weather is supposed to be like tomorrow?
Woman: Yes, tomorrow it's not supposed to rain. As far as I know, the sun is supposed to shine all day.
Joe: Well, how lucky!!
Judith: Okay so small talk in Germany. I have to say there is considerably less small talk in Germany especially in professional relationships.
Chuck: There is little talk about the weather even among friends. For example, how are you? serves as a starter to hear about everything going on in everyone’s lives. So don’t be surprised if you get a longer answer than you’d normally expect. Many people will also answer negatively to this question especially older people who take pride in enumerating their answers.
Judith: Yeah and among friends, the news or the political situation can easily come up as a topic of discussion. It’s not taboo and generally you expect everyone to be up-to-date with the basics of current events.
Chuck: Oh I have a question.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: I’d guess that in business meetings then, you’d have much less small talk before getting down to the point of the meeting right?
Judith: Business meeting. So you are kidding. They have no reason to make small talk.
Chuck: All right then let’s get started and take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word is.
Judith: Freundlich.
Chuck: Friendly.
Judith: Freundlich. Freundlich.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Unternehmen.
Chuck: To venture or undertake.
Judith: Unternehmen. Unternehmen. And this is a vowel changing verb. So the form is er unternimmt.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Es soll.
Chuck: It is supposed to
Judith: Es soll. Es soll.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Schlecht.
Chuck: Bad
Judith: Schlecht. Schlecht.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Bericht.
Chuck: Report.
Judith: Bericht. Bericht. Der Bericht, plural is Berichte.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Voraussagen.
Chuck: To predict or foretell.
Judith: Voraussagen. Voraussagen. And the voraus splits off.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Nachmittag.
Chuck: Afternoon
Judith: Nachmittag. Nachmittag. Der Nachmittag and the plural is Nachmittage.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Regen.
Chuck: Rain.
Judith: Regen. Regen. Der Regen.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Idee.
Chuck: Idea.
Judith: Idee. Idee. Die Idee and the plural is Ideen.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Recht haben.
Chuck: To be right.
Judith: Recht haben. Recht haben.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Mitte.
Chuck: Middle or center.
Judith: Mitte. Mitte.
Chuck: Next
Judith: Soweit.
Chuck: As far as.
Judith: Soweit. Soweit.
Chuck: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Judith: The first phrase is Es soll geben. It’s a variation of es gibt. Es gibt means there is. So es soll geben, there is supposed to be. We will talk more about the soll in the grammar focus of this lesson and Wetterbericht is a combination of Wetter.
Chuck: Weather
Judith: And Bericht.
Chuck: Report.
Judith: Weather report is actually a weather forecast and Stadtmitte is a combination of Stadt
Chuck: City
Judith: And Mitte.
Chuck: Middle.
Judith: The middle of the city is the city center.

Lesson focus

Judith: Now let’s talk about grammar. The focus of this lesson is the usage of sollen. We already looked at the conjugation of the model verb sollen in lesson 9. There we saw it with the meaning of shall or should as in Soll ich Sie morgen früh wecken?
Chuck: Shall I wake you up tomorrow morning? Sollen has another use though. It can mean to be supposed to especially when talking about predictions that one has heard. Like in this dialogue where sollen was used to relate the weather forecast.
Judith: Es soll regnen translates to it’s supposed to rain. It’s not limited to the weather of course. You could also relate things like Die Museen sollen morgen kostenlos sein.
Chuck: Now before you think strangely, this isn’t some anarchist that is saying that all museums are supposed to be free tomorrow. It’s rather an announcement that you heard that they are supposed to be free tomorrow like they will be. Oh yes before I forget, definitely check the internet to where you are visiting to see what the free museum days are in the city you are going to.
Judith: Yes but we should get back to topic and note that sollen cannot be used for I shall or I will. Ich soll etwas tun cannot mean I shall do something.
Chuck: Instead it means I am supposed to do something with the underlying sense of me being miffed, that someone ordered me to do this. Sollen retains the original sentence for moral imperative and in English, you speak it strict to that meaning as well and as you can tell, for example from the Ten Commandments.


Chuck: That just about does it for today. Okay some of our listeners already know about the most powerful tool in germanpod101.com
Judith: Line by line audio.
Chuck: The perfect tool for rapidly improving listening comprehension.
Judith: By listening to lines of the conversation again and again.
Chuck: And also listen until every word and syllable becomes clear.
Judith: Listen to the dialogue in bite size sentences
Chuck: And understand it all.
Judith: Try the line by line audio at germanpod101.com
Chuck: So see you next week.
Judith: Also, bis nächste Woche.