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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Upper intermediate season 1, Lesson 4. Signing a contract. German contract questions.
Judith: Hello everyone, I am Judith and welcome to germanpod101.
Chuck: With us, you will learn to speak German with fun and effective lessons.
Judith: We also provide you with cultural insights.
Chuck: And tips you won’t find in a textbook. In this lesson, you will learn some important words that are used in German contracts.
Judith: This conversation takes place at the gym.
Chuck: The conversation is between Mr. Jones and the trainer.
Judith: The speakers are in a business relationship. Therefore they will be speaking formal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Fitness: Ah, Herr Jones, da sind Sie ja.
Jones: Ja. Entschuldigung, dass es etwas länger gedauert hat…
Fitness: Kein Problem…. Setzen Sie sich. Und, wie sieht es aus? Möchten Sie Mitglied bei uns werden?
Jones: Ja, ich denke, ich möchte einen Vertrag abschließen.
Fitness: Schön. Es wird Ihnen hier sicher gefallen.
Jones: Ja, glaube ich auch…. Können Sie mir den Vertrag noch mal genau erklären?
Fitness: Ja, gerne.
Jones: Also ich zahle jeden Monat 25 Euro, richtig?
Fitness: Kommt darauf an. Sie können auch 30 Euro zahlen. Dann können Sie die Sauna und das Schwimmbad auch nutzen.
Jones: Ach ja… Okay, ich glaube, dann tue ich das.
Fitness: Ja, wenn ich Sie wäre, täte ich das auch. Es sind ja auch nur 5 Euro.
Jones: Ja. Und das Geld wird jeden Monat von meinem Konto abgebucht?
Fitness: Ja.
Jones: Bekäme ich Rabatt, wenn ich alles auf einmal zahlen würde?
Fitness: Nein, tut mir leid. Das gibt es bei uns nicht.
Jones: Ach so. Okay. Und der Vertrag gilt ein Jahr?
Fitness: Genau.
Jones: Verlängert er sich automatisch?
Fitness: Nein, aber wir erinnern Sie rechtzeitig daran, den Vertrag zu verlängern.
Jones: Und wie oft kann ich in der Woche trainieren?
Fitness: So oft Sie möchten.
Jones: Und was wäre am besten?
Fitness: Also, am besten wäre es natürlich, wenn sie drei- bis viermal die Woche hierherkämen. Aber wenn Sie nur zwei- bis dreimal trainieren, ist das auch in Ordnung.
Jones: Okay, gut. Wo soll ich unterschreiben?
Fitness: Ah, Mr Jones, there you are.
Jones: Yes. I'm sorry for taking a bit longer...
Fitness: No problem... Sit down. ... So, how is it looking? Would you like to become a member here?
Jones: Yes, I think I want to conclude a contract.
Fitness: Nice. You are certainly going to like it here.
Jones: Yes, I believe so, too... Can you explain the contract to me once again, in detail?
Fitness: Yes, gladly.
Jones: So I pay 25 euros every month, right?
Fitness: It depends. You can also pay 30 euros. Then you can also take advantage of the sauna and the swimming-pool.
Jones: Ah yes... Okay, I believe I shall do that then.
Fitness: Yes, if I were you, I would do that, too. Also, it's only 5 euros.
Jones: Yes. And the money will be transferred from my account every month?
Fitness: Yes.
Jones: Would I get a discount, if I paid everything at once?
Fitness: No, I'm sorry. We don't have that.
Jones: Ah. Okay. And the contract is valid for one year?
Fitness: Exactly.
Jones: Does it renew automatically?
Fitness: No, but we shall remind you in time to renew the contract.
Jones: And how often can I exercise per week?
Fitness: As often as you like.
Jones: And what would be best?
Fitness: Well, it would of course be best if you came here 3 to 4 times a week. But if you only exercise 2 to 3 times, that's also okay.
Jones: Okay, good. Where shall I sign?
Judith: Okay maybe a little bit about contracts because it’s quite important and I think there are some differences that make your life hard here. Wouldn’t they?
Chuck: Contracts in Germany eh!
Judith: Okay one thing that I wouldn’t growl about is that very often the deal is that the company will take money from your bank account automatically say every month or every quarter or year. It’s more convenient that way.
Chuck: But remember if your account if it once goes below that amount, they will want to always have it personally written to them.
Judith: Yes. And I think…
Chuck: I am not speaking from experience of course at all.
Judith: Also the contracts often are to renew.
Chuck: Yeah, be careful to cancel these three months in advance in order to avoid this pitfall. A few times I think I’ve been caught with this where I tried canceling a month in advance and they are like, no, your contract already got auto-renewed for another year.
Judith: Yeah.
Chuck: Thanks.
Judith: You have to look at the contract. It specifies the conditions under which you can cancel and tell how much time in advance you need to tell. Very commonly, it’s 3 months in advance or it is before the next quarter.
Chuck: Also note that a contract can be legally signed over the phone.
Judith: Not quite. The thing is the company needs to record the pertinent parts of the conversation and they still send you the contract in writing. The contract is only valid if you don’t send back this written contract to declare it void.
Chuck: But notice if you didn’t sign it, it’s still valid. So in my opinion, that’s legally signing it even though it’s not technically that.
Judith: It’s not as easy. If you sign a contract, there is no way you can back out but if you supposedly sign it over the telephone, then you have two weeks to send it back and if you happen to…
Chuck: And if you happen to be on vacation those two weeks, then that’s just too bad.
Judith: Well, I think you have to look at your email like once a week. It’s what they assume that someone is checking email at least once a week.
Chuck: You are legally required to check your email once a week. Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word is
Judith: [dauern].
Chuck: To last, to take as in a certain amount of time.
Judith: [dauern].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [zahlen].
Chuck: To pay.
Judith: [zahlen].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [nutzen].
Chuck: To utilize or employ something.
Judith: [nutzen].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Rabatt].
Chuck: Rebate or discount.
Judith: [Rabatt, der]. And the plural is [Rabatte].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [auf einmal].
Chuck: At once or immediately.
Judith: [auf einmal].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [gelten].
Chuck: To be valid or to be valued.
Judith: [gelten]. This is a vowel changing verb [Er gilt, Er galt, Er hat gegolten].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [verlängern].
Chuck: To lengthen or expand.
Judith: [verlängern].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [automatisch].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [automatisch].
Chuck: Automatically.
Judith: [erinnern].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [erinnern].
Chuck: To remind.
Judith: [erinnern]. Don’t confuse this with [sich erinnern] which would be to remember.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [rechtzeitig].
Chuck: In time, early enough or punctual.
Judith: [rechtzeitig].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [unterschreiben].
Chuck: To sign.
Judith: [unterschreiben. Er unterschreibt, Er unterschrieb, Er hat unterschrieben].
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 [Wie sieht es aus]?
Chuck: How is it looking or what do you think, what’s the situation?
Judith: [Wie sieht es aus?] Okay another thing is that [zahlen] versus [bezahlen]. We always get this question. The prefix [be] especially in [bezahlen] always implies that there is another object like [zahlen] is to pay but [bezahlen] is to pay for something. So say the mafia asks you to pay, then they’d use the word [zahlen]. If they used [bezahlen] they’d have to say what you are paying for either in the sentence or previous one. Anyway it has to be understood. Another phrase is [Es kommt darauf an].
Chuck: It depends.
Judith: You can also make phrases like [Es kommt auf die Hundesorte an].
Chuck: It depends on the type of dog.
Judith: So [es kommt auf] and then something [an]. Finally there is [verlängern].
Chuck: To lengthen or enlarge.
Judith: Yes, it’s an important word. It allows you to understand German spam. You know the kind that promises to enlarge your neck.

Lesson focus

Chuck: The focus of this lesson is the conditional sentence type 2.
Judith: In the last lesson, we started to look at conditional sentences in German. And last time, we had the conditional sentence type 1. Type 1 means that the proposed event is likely to occur and this is also expressed by choosing the present tense or future tense for this kind of sentence.
Chuck: Today we will look at type 2. We use this type for conditions that are unlikely to come true. For this kind of sentence, you have to use the [Konjunktiv] or conjunctive from the verbs. This form makes it clear that what you are saying is conditional.
Judith: When talking about the conjunctive, we already mentioned that there are some old kind of conjunctive based on the past tense of the verb and there is a new kind of conjunctive formed using [würde]. So when making type 2 conditional sentences, you can form the conjunctive either way.
Chuck: I am a bit confused. Could you give me some examples?
Judith: Of course. We’ve seen some in the dialogue. [Wenn ich Sie wäre, täte ich das auch].
Chuck: If I were you, I would do that as well.
Judith: Yes. Note that this means the conjunctive is in both parts of the sentence in German [wäre] and [täte] both are conjunctive whereas in English, you have simple were in the first part and would do in the other. Actually, you could say [würde ich das auch tun, täte]. That is kind of weird. Okay another example. [Bekäme ich Rabatt, wenn ich alles auf einmal zahlen würde]?
Chuck: Would I get a discount if I paid everything at once.
Judith: Yeah. Instead of [Bekäme ich] you can say [Würde ich Rabatt bekommen]. Just keep in mind that both of these sentence parts are conditional using the conjunctive. Also pay attention to what the trainer says at the end [Also, am besten wäre es natürlich, wenn sie drei- bis viermal die Woche hierherkämen. Aber wenn Sie nur zwei- bis dreimal trainieren, ist das auch in Ordnung].
Chuck: Here she chose the type 2 conditional sentence for the first part and type 1 for the second part. This reflects her estimation that it’s unlikely that Frank will be exercising 3 to 4 times a week. On the other hand, she thinks it’s likely that he will exercise twice or three times a week.
Judith: Okay.


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Chuck: We hope you enjoyed the lesson. See you next week.
Judith: [Wir hoffen, euch hat die Lektion gefallen. Bis nächste Woche]!