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Lesson Transcript

Chuck: Chuck here. Upper intermediate season 1, Lesson 8. What Do You Know About the Singing Hippo in Germany?
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 how to form the present participle in German.
Judith: This conversation takes place at Frank Jones home.
Chuck: The conversation is between Manuela and Frank.
Judith: The speakers are friends. Therefore they will be speaking informal German.
Chuck: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Jones: So. Jetzt können wir endlich den Film gucken!
Manuela: Ja! Ich gehe noch mal kurz auf die Toilette… du kannst ja schon mal die DVD einlegen…
Jones: Okay…..
Jones: Oh ooooh…. Manuelaaa…..
Manuela: Was ist los?
Jones: Es passiert nichts!
Manuela: Wie…es passiert nichts?
Jones: Es tut sich nichts! Der DVD-Spieler geht nicht an….
Manuela: Nein! Ist der Stecker in der Steckdose?
Jones: Ja.
Manuela: Hmm. Hast du mal die Anleitung von dem Gerät?
Jones: Ja... aber die wird dir nicht helfen. Ich finde sie sehr verwirrend.
Manuela: Na mal schauen…Hmm, du hast Recht. Das ist eine sehr verwirrende Anleitung. Jetzt bin ich auch nicht schlauer als vorher…
Jones: Und nun?
Manuela: Also, ich glaube, dein DVD-Spieler ist kaputt.
Jones: Na klasse. Jetzt haben wir die richtige DVD, aber keinen funktionierenden DVD-Spieler!
Manuela: Und was machen wir nun?
Jones: Hmm, möchtest du Fernsehen?
Manuela: Hmm, nein. Wollen wir nicht etwas spielen?
Jones: Okay. Aber ich habe nicht viele Spiele…
Manuela: Hm, was hast du denn?
Jones: Also, ich habe „Das singende Nilpferd“, „Wer weckt den schlafenden Hund?“ und ein Kartenspiel.
Manuela: Haha, die Spiele hören sich ja lustig an. Hast du ein Lieblingsspiel?
Jones: Ja, ich spiele gerne „Das singende Nilpferd“.
Manuela: Na dann los!
Jones: OK, now we can finally watch this movie!
Manuela: Ya, let me just go to the bathroom...you can put the DVD in.
Jones: OK
Jones: Uh-oh....Manuela!
Manuela: What's wrong?
Jones: It's not working!
Manuela: What do you mean it's not working?
Jones: It's not doing anything. The DVD-player won't start.
Manuela: Is it plugged in?
Jones: Yes
Manuela: Hmm, do you have the manual for it?
Jones: Ya, but it won't help you much. It's so confusing.
Manuela: Let me take a look...hmm, you were right. This is a really confusing manual. I haven't learned anything new.
Jones: What now?
Manuela: Well, I think your DVD-player is busted.
Jones: Just great. Now we have the right DVD, but no working DVD-player!
Manuela: What do we do now?
Jones: Hmm, do you want to watch TV?
Manuela: Not really. What about playing a game?
Jones: OK, but I don't have many games.
Manuela: What do you have?
Jones: Well, I have "The singing hippo", "Who woke up the sleeping dog?", and a card game.
Manuela: Haha, those games sound hilarious. Which one's your favourite?
Jones: I really like playing "The singing hippo"
Manuela: Great, let's do that!
Judith: All right board games.
Chuck: Hmm I like this topic.
Judith: German board games. Board games are much more mainstream in Germany than they are in the USA.
Chuck: Yeah and they typically require much more strategy and they are not just for kids like in the States.
Judith: Yeah there are very few just for kids. A lot of games are not suitable for kids, only 14 and up, 16 and up.
Chuck: Yeah exactly. And they are much deeper than the American board games tend to be.
Judith: One city near where I come from [Essen] host the largest board game fair in the world.
Chuck: Yeah it has 150,000 visitors every year over 4 days. One of the largest fair exposition places in the world. It’s amazing. You just go in and you just see board games everywhere and there is like eight huge rooms of them.
Judith: I hear you came over one year just for that?
Chuck: You know I sure did.
Judith: It’s a good reason to visit Germany.
Chuck: Yeah.
Judith: You are really into board games. So maybe you can recommend some to our listeners, maybe some typical German games.
Chuck: Yeah well I mean the most popular one that actually brought German gaming to the states was settlers of Catan or [Siedler von Catan] from Catan and then there was [Karkason] which is also quite popular but lately, the game we’ve really been into is called Dominion which is a card game and the box comes with 500 cards. That is not nearly as complicated as it sounds.
Judith: It’s not too typical. Card game is nothing like [Skart].
Chuck: Yeah you basically you are trying to build up your own deck and make it as efficient as possible and get points and you can attack your opponents and send them curses and stuff. It’s pretty cool and if you come over for [Essen] let me know. Can hang out. I will probably be going there this year.
Judith: Sounds good.
Chuck: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word is
Judith: [Toilette].
Chuck: Toilet or bathroom.
Judith: [Toilette, die] And the plural is [Toiletten].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [passieren].
Chuck: To happen.
Judith: [passieren].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [DVD Spieler].
Chuck: DVD player.
Judith: [DVD Spieler, der] And the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Stecker].
Chuck: Plug.
Judith: [Stecker, der] And the plural is the same.
Chuck: Next
Judith: [Steckdose].
Chuck: Electrical outlet.
Judith: [Steckdose, die]. And the plural is [Steckdosen].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Anleitung].
Chuck: Instruction manual.
Judith: [Anleitung, die]. And the plural is [Anleitungen].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Gerät].
Chuck: Machine, tool or device.
Judith: [Gerät, das] And the plural is [Geräte].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [verwirrend].
Chuck: Confusing.
Judith: [verwirrend].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [schlau].
Chuck: Smart.
Judith: [schlau].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [kaputt].
Chuck: Broken.
Judith: [kaputt].
Chuck: Next
Judith: [funktionieren].
Chuck: To function or run.
Judith: [funktionieren]. This is a weak verb.
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [Nilpferd].
Chuck: Hippo.
Judith: [Nilpferd, das] And the plural is [Nildpferde].
Chuck: Next.
Judith: [wecken].
Chuck: To wake someone up.
Judith: [wecken].
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 passiert nichts].
Chuck: Nothing is happening.
Judith: Do not confuse this with the common expression [Nichts passiert].
Chuck: Nothing happened or no big deal.
Judith: Yeah that’s an answer that you could give if someone apologize for bumping into you, something like that [Nichts passiert] like don’t worry about it, I am fine. And the other thing I wanted to talk about is [Ich bin nicht schlauer als vorher].
Chuck: I haven’t learned anything new.
Judith: Yeah literally I am not smarter than before but you use this – well you saw in the dialogue. He was reading the manual and afterwards he still doesn’t know anything new, anything that could be wrong.

Lesson focus

Chuck: Our high school students like that after the classes. The focus of this lesson is the present participle as a verb form like laughing in the phrase. The laughing children rushed out of the classroom. So it’s a verb that’s been turned into an adjective.
Judith: In German, the present participle is formed by adding [die] to the infinitive. So you always get the form that ends in end, very recognizable. For example, to laugh in German is [lachen] and laughing is [lachend].
Chuck: This is the time when German is more annoying than English again. Since the form is used like an adjective, it also has to get endings like an adjective.
Judith: So in the phrase the laughing children, we don’t have the [die lachend Kinder] but [die lachenden Kinder].
Chuck: Actually we had another kind of participle in lessons 2 and 3. There was a past participle. Compared to the present participle, there is not just the obvious difference when something happened but also the perpetrator of the action changes.
Judith: Let’s use the example of [verwirren].
Chuck: To confuse.
Judith: The past participle is [verwirrt].
Chuck: Confused.
Judith: For example, [die verwirrte Frau].
Chuck: To confuse woman.
Judith: The present participle would be [verwirrend]. So [die verwirrende Frau].
Chuck: The confusing woman.
Judith: In the case of [die verwirrte Frau] the woman was confused by something in the past and on the other hand, the [die verwirrende Frau] the woman is confusing someone else. So she is active and the action is happening right now.


Chuck: Well, now I get it. So that’s the difference between the past participle and the present participle. Be sure to review this grammar point using the lesson PDF. Well that just about does it for today.
Judith: Ready to test what you just learned.
Chuck: Make this lesson’s vocabulary stick by using lesson specific flashcards.
Judith: There is a reason everyone uses flashcards.
Chuck: They work.
Judith: They really do help memorization.
Chuck: You can get the flashcards for this lesson at
Judith: Germanpod101.com.
Chuck: Okay. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and that you will be the studying person. See you next week.
Judith: [Wir hoffen diese Lektion hat euch gefallen. Bis nächste Woche]!