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Diagonal or just plain weird?

The Duden German Dictionary has the definition of the standard form of the adjective/adverb schräg as "deviating from a vertical or horizontal line at an acute or obtuse angle." With this standard meaning, schräg is usually translated into English as "diagonal" or "diagonally."

 

Sie lehnen den Kopf schräg nach links...

You'll turn your head diagonally to the left...

Caption 12, Nackenschmerzen: steifer Nacken

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In dem er sich senkrecht oder schräg positioniert, lauert der Trompetenfisch seiner Beute auf.

By positioning itself vertically or diagonally, the trumpet fish lies in wait for its prey.

Captions 47-48, Evolution: Meeresbewohner

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The second definition of schräg as a slang term is more interesting. Duden's definition describes schräg as "deviating from the norm, customary, or expected, and therefore unacceptable." In other words, "weird"—and not in a good way.

 

Although the German dictionary mentions that the slang usage of schräg is usually a pejorative or put-down, it does not give any examples of schräg used in a complimentary sense. In fact, the slang adjective—probably originally used as a put-down of jazz, experimental music, and modern art—eventually had its negative connotation turned on its head. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the advent of punk and industrial music, as well as increasingly "difficult" contemporary art, describing music or art as schräg was often meant as a compliment.

 

It might seem a bit tricky to tell if something somebody describes as schräg is meant as an insult or a compliment, but it's usually pretty easy to tell in context.

 

Alles frei nach dem Motto: „Je schräger desto besser."

Everything freely according to the motto: "the more eccentric, the better."

Caption 12, Auftrumpfen: Mit Kitsch und Protz

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Der war irgendwie psychisch ziemlich... schräg drauf. -Angeschlagen.

Who was, in a way, quite psychologically... skewed. -Damaged.

Caption 75, Sons of Sounds: Interview

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Die Kanzlerin auf einer vom schrägen Designer gepimpten Glitzer-Harley?

The Chancellor on a glittering Harley pimped out by the weird designer?

Caption 13, Stardesigner Harald Glööckler: Jetzt auch noch "Bling-Bling"-Motorräder

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Er fahre eigentlich Mercedes und kleide sich deshalb so schräg, weil er vor 20 Jahren Boris Blank getroffen habe.

He actually drives a Mercedes and the reason he dresses so weirdly is because he had met Boris Blank 20 years ago.

Captions 31-32, Yello-Biographie: Ein Leben für die Avantgarde

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The most common English translation of the slang meaning of schräg is "weird," but as you see above, there is a lot of latitude in translation, depending upon the context. The translation in the "Sons of Sounds" video as "skewed" is very clever, since it also acknowledges the translation of the standard meaning of schräg as "diagonal" yet still conveys the slang meaning!

 

Further Learning
Think of a concert or some kind of art event that you have attended that surprised you by being strange in a way that you liked. Make up a few sentences describing the event in a positive way using the slang meaning of schräg. Now think of some events you attended that were just too strange for you to like. Think up a few sentences describing these events in a negative way using schräg. Then go to to Yabla German and watch the full-length videos quoted above to get a better sense of the contexts in which schräg was used.

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Permitted or forbidden?

In the German language, there are a number of words that can be used to describe whether something is allowed or not. Generally, each adjective is also the participle of the related verb.

For something that is allowed, permitted, or approved, there are the adjectives erlaubt (verb: erlauben), gestattet (gestatten), gewährt (gewähren), and zugelassen (zulassen).

 

Was ist bei Bundestags- und Landtagswahlen in Deutschland erlaubt?

What is allowed in the national and state elections in Germany?

Caption 19, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

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Das dürfen wir nicht gestatten, König.

We must not allow that, King.

Caption 31, Deutsche Sagen: Die tapferen Weiber von Weinsberg

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Einen kleinen Einblick gewährt er uns aber trotzdem.

He grants us a little glimpse, but nevertheless.

Caption 10, Der Papst: Hier wohnt der Papst

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Nun, die politischen Umstände in Nordafrika haben das erst mal nicht zugelassen.

Well, the political circumstances in North Africa didn't allow that at first.

Caption 66, Terra X Ohne Kohle und Atom: Geht uns der Strom aus?

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Some words that have the opposite meaning are verboten (verbieten) and untersagt (untersagen). 

 

Du weißt, dass Handys in meinem Unterricht verboten sind.

You know that cellphones are banned in my classroom.

Caption 31, Die Pfefferkörner: Gerüchteküche

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Schulen wurden geschlossen, Spielplätze gesperrt, der Kontakt zu anderen Menschen wurde untersagt.

Schools were closed, playgrounds closed off, contact with other people was prohibited.

Captions 12-14, Cettina erklärt Auswirkungen des Coronavirus

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In general, the adjectives gestattet and untersagt are used in more formal contexts than erlaubt or verboten. The adjective zugelassen can also be translated as "licensed" or "registered."

 

61,5 Millionen Kfz sind in Deutschland zugelassen.

61.5 million motor vehicles are registered in Germany.

Caption 2, Richter Alexander Hold: Richtig parken

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and search for the verbs and the adjectives that are derived from them. Pick a place and write some sentences about what is allowed or not allowed there. Some examples are Glasflaschen sind im Freibad nicht gestattet or Handys sind während der Prüfung verboten. 

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Pronouncing "Berlin"

It's hard to break old habits of speech when you are learning to pronounce words in German that you already knew before, such as many place names. It can take a while to change the pronunciation that you learned a long time ago in your native language. Such may be the case with the capital city of Germany, Berlin.

 

In English, "Berlin" is pronounced bur-LIN. The first part sounds like "brr," when you are cold, and it's certainly a cold enough place in winter. The second part rhymes with "win" and is the stressed syllable. You probably pronounce it this way already, though if you happen to come from Berlin, Connecticut or Berlin, New Hampshire, you might naturally put slightly more emphasis on the first syllable. Don't do that if you are talking about bur-LIN, Germany!

 

Ironically, a number of Germans I know, when they are speaking English, mispronounce the English pronunciation of Berlin as BURR-lin. Maybe they're trying to sound more American with the heavy emphasis on the R, but I usually don't have the heart to correct them. In the following video, a male American student says "Berlin" with the American pronunciation, followed by his female native German teacher saying "Berlin" with a proper German pronunciation:

 

„Wenn ich Urlaub habe, gehe ich nach Berlin... -nach Berlin." Gut. „Nach Berlin." -„Gehe ich nach Berlin", ja.

"When I am on vacation I go to Berlin... -to Berlin." Good. "To Berlin." -"I go to Berlin," yes.

Captions 64-65, Deutschkurs in Tübingen: Nebensätze als Satzanfang

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In German, of course, "Berlin" is pronounced very differently. The first syllable sounds like "bear" and the second syllable like "lean": bear-LEAN. Of course, the bear (der Bär) is the symbol of Berlin! The German teacher above is in Southern Germany, but in Northern Germany and especially in Berlin, people tend to emphasize the "i," sounding more like bur-LEEEN :

 

Aber seit ich in Berlin lebe, arbeite ich als Kellnerin und Barista in Cafés.

But since I've lived in Berlin, I've worked as a waitress and barista in cafés.

Caption 16, Berlin: Judith und die „Brezel Bar“

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Das ist tatsächlich ein Hotel in Berlin mit einem ganz verrückten Konzept.

This is, in fact, a hotel in Berlin with a completely crazy concept.

Caption 2, Berlin: Indoor-Camping im „Hüttenpalast“

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Kommst du auch aus Hamburg? Nee, aus Berlin.

Do you also come from Hamburg? No, from Berlin.

Captions 33-34, Großstadtrevier: Nicht mit mir

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Du kommst gar nicht aus Berlin.

You're not from Berlin at all.

Caption 24, Großstadtrevier: Nicht mit mir

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and search for videos about Berlin. You can also watch the music video of the song "Berlin" by the 1980s German punk band Ideal. The chorus repeats Ich steh auf Berlin, which means "I like Berlin." It shows a lot of street scenes and demonstrations from the early 1980s West Berlin, when the city was much rougher than it is today!

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Sleep

The new year always seems to get off to a slow start in Germany. The days are actually getting longer again, but it won't really be noticeable for another month or so. Particularly in the northern part of the country, there is very little sun at the moment, and the urge to hibernate can be intense! 

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The German verb for "to sleep" is schlafen, and it is accompanied by the following related verbs:

 

Also, ich kann überall relativ schnell einschlafen.

So, I can fall asleep relatively quickly anywhere.

Caption 6, Angelique Kerber: Generali fragt Angelique Kerber #5 | Was kann Angie?

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Und am Sonntag will ich ausschlafen.

And on Sunday, I want to sleep in.

Caption 16, Deutsch mit Eylin: Wochentage, Monate und Jahreszeiten

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Sie hat verschlafen, die Jeans ist in der Wäsche und der PC streikt.

She overslept, the jeans are in the wash, and the PC is on strike.

Captions 37-38, Vero ist Asperger-Autistin: Wie klappt es mit der Liebe?

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There is also the phrase etwas überschlafen, which means to delay making a decision on something until the following day. This exists in English with a different preposition: "sleep on it."

 

Another verb that means "to sleep" is pennen, which is a slang word similar to when people use the verb "to crash" in English.

 

Sieben Nächte die Woche zu wenig gepennt.

Seven nights a week, slept too little.

Caption 7, Max Giesinger: 80 Millionen

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Although you will often hear der Mittagsschlaf used for the word "nap," there is also das Nickerchen. These are used with the verb machen. 

 

Wenn sie ein Nickerchen machen wollen, dann muss dies zwischen zwei Atemzügen geschehen.

If they want to take a nap then this must be done between two breaths.

Captions 62-63, Die Top Ten: Die 12 freundlichsten Meerestiere der Welt

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And to conclude, here are some relevant adjectives:

 

Und ich putze auch nicht den Boden, dafür bin ich nämlich viel zu müde!

And I also won't clean the floor, I am namely much too tired for that!

Caption 19, JoNaLu: Prinz Dreckspatz

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Sonnenblumen, schläfrig am Zaun.

The sunflower, sleepy against the fence.

Caption 14, Sabine und Ivana: Gedichte im Bus

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Further Learning
You can find these words related to sleep used in context on Yabla German. Make sure to read our previous lesson about the verb verschlafen, which also has meanings that aren't related to sleep! You can also learn some variations on the adjective müde, such as hundemüde, lebensmüde, und todmüde.

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Pronouncing "München"

The German name of the city of Munich is "München," which is a difficult word to pronounce correctly. The problem for many native English speakers is that "München" contains a difficult vowel and consonant combination (ü and ch) — sounds that don't really exist in the English language. And when you add a third consonant ("n") into the mix, you wind up with a potential tongue-twister. So let's focus today on learning to pronounce "München" correctly and not having it sound like something between "Munchkin" and "moonshine!"

 

Let's start with the umlaut vowel "ü." It's best if you click directly on the Deutsch mit Eylin video link below and listen to the "ü" sound several times before trying to imitate it. Notice that you may have to make a different shape with your mouth to get the sound right. Much like playing a musical instrument, learning to pronounce new sounds in a foreign language requires muscle memory: training your mouth to make different shapes than it is used to!

 

Das „Ü“ findest du ganz leicht, wenn du ein übertriebenes „I“ sprichst.

You can easily make the “Ü” when you say an exaggerated “I."

Caption 26, Deutsch mit Eylin: Umlaute

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Iiiüüü. Iiiüüü. Super! So hört sich das „Ü“ im Deutschen an.

Iiiüüü. Iiiüüü. Excellent! This is what the "Ü" sounds like in German.

Captions 29-32, Deutsch mit Eylin: Umlaute

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Next, let's look at the consonant combination "ch" in German. This consonant combination is often used in diminutive forms such as ein bisschen, or das Mädchen. The most commonly spoken word with this "ch" combination is probably when you're talking about yourself: ich. It's pretty normal for beginners to pronounce it too hard like "ick," or too soft like "ish." It's actually closer to the harder "ick" sound, but instead of clicking the "k" sound on the back of the roof of your mouth, you let it more or less extend as a kind of hissing sound from the front of the roof of your mouth.

 

Listen to captions 49-51 repeatedly in the following video and then practice pronouncing them yourself. The three highlighted words all have the same soft "ch" sounds: weich, durchgekocht, and riecht. Be careful that you don't mispronounce the "ch" as a hard "k" or a soft "sh"!

 

Ja, die Birnen sind jetzt weich und die Bohnen sind durchgekocht und es riecht sehr, sehr lecker.

Yes, the pears are now soft, and the beans are cooked through, and it smells really, really delicious.

Captions 49-51, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Bundesland Hamburg

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Now that you have practiced saying the vowel "ü" and the consonant "ch," it's time for the challenge of pronouncing both of them together with the consonant "n" in between: München, here we come!

 

Ich komme dich in München besuchen.

I'm coming to visit you in Munich.

Caption 20, Deutsch mit Eylin: Das Futur bilden

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Meine älteste Schwester Anne eröffnete in München den ersten Bioladen der Stadt!

My eldest sister Anne opened in Munich the city's first organic food store!

Captions 39-40, Deutsch mit Eylin: Ernährungsformen

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and search for videos about München. Now that you have learned to pronounce it correctly, you can learn a bit more about the culture of the city. In a coming lesson, we'll be addressing the pronunciation of "Berlin," a city name that Germans themselves often mispronounce when trying to speak its standard English pronunciation!

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Zwischen den Jahren

In Germany, the time between Christmas and New Year's is often referred to as zwischen den Jahren ("between the years"), which is a dative construction. As you may know, the word zwischen is a two-way preposition, which means it may be followed by either the accusative or dative case. Here you can see how the article (and adjective!) changes depending on whether something is in the process of being put or going between, or is simply stationed between:

 

Ganze sechs Wochen hat man an dem Rezept getüftelt. Nach amerikanischem Vorbild kommt hier nicht einfach nur Fleisch zwischen die Brötchen.

An entire six weeks were spent tinkering with the recipe. According to the American model, it's not just meat that gets put between the buns.

Captions 7-8, Berlin: Die beste Auswahl an Hamburgern

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Erst neunzehnhundertneunundachtzig wurde die Mauer zwischen den beiden Regionen wieder geöffnet.

It was not until nineteen eighty-nine that the wall between the two regions was reopened.

Captions 19-20, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Bundesland Berlin

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In addition to the preposition zwischen, you may have also seen the words dazwischen and inzwischen. These words are both adverbs. The word dazwischen is often translated as "in between," though there may be instances in which other phrasings are more applicable in English. 

 

Also, entweder gewinnen wir oder wir fahren alle anderen kaputt. Also, dazwischen gibt's nichts.

Well, either we win or we run everyone else off the road. So there is nothing in between.

Caption 6, VW-Käfer-Cup: auf dem Hockenheimring

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Und dazwischen ist eine kleine Biene hin und her geflogen.

And in between them, a little bee flew back and forth.

Caption 22, Piggeldy und Frederick Der Apfel

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Und dazwischen ist immer wieder Zeit für eine kleine Rast und einen kleinen Ratsch.

And along the way, there's always time for a little rest and a bit of conversation.

Caption 33, Die letzten Paradiese: Die Schönheit der Alpen

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The word inzwischen has quite a different meaning, as it refers to time. It means "meanwhile," "in the meantime," or "by now."

 

Hier in Ulrichstein am Vogelsberg stehen inzwischen sechsundvierzig Windräder.

Here in Ulrichstein, there are meanwhile forty-six windmills.

Caption 4, Energiewende in Hessen: Windräder und Solarparks

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Claudia Schiffer ist inzwischen dreifache Mutter.

Claudia Schiffer is in the meantime mother of three.

Caption 28, Claudia Schiffer: Nach der Babypause

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Und wir haben inzwischen viele Begegnungen gehabt.

And we have had many meetings in the meantime.

Caption 6, Angela Merkel :Gemeinsame Pressekonferenz mit Barack Obama

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Further Learning
You can find many examples with these words on Yabla German. Meanwhile, enjoy your time "between the years," and stay tuned for our first lesson of 2023!

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Renting an Apartment in Germany

If you ever decide to move to Germany, you may be looking for an apartment or house to rent. Let's take a look today at some of the basic terminology related to renting a place of your own!

 

Hallo, ich bin Fine und heute bin ich auf Wohnungssuche.

Hello, my name is Fine and today I am apartment-hunting.

Caption 2, Fine: sucht eine Wohnung

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The first step, of course, to find an apartment is auf Wohnungssuche gehen ("to go apartment-hunting").

 

Ich habe das Internet nach Stellenanzeigen durchsucht.

I have searched on the internet for job listings.

Caption 5, Berufsleben: das Vorstellungsgespräch

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In much the same way as you would search for work via job listings on the internet, you can search die Wohnungsanzeigen ("the apartment listings") online on sites such as Immobilienscout.

 

Ich würde vorschlagen, da machen wir einen Termin am Freitag um zwölf Uhr.

I'd suggest that we make an appointment for Friday at noon.

Caption 26, Mein Weg nach Deutschland: Beim Arzt

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Once you have found an available apartment that meets your requirements for size, price, and neighborhood etc., you can make an appointment to see the apartment.

 

Hat der keinen Antrag gestellt? Das würd' ich dringend raten!

Didn't he file an application? I would strongly advise that!

Caption 75, Meine fremde Freundin: Was alle denken

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When you find an apartment you like, you will need to then fill out an apartment application (der Wohnungsantrag or die Wohnungsbewerbung). You may also be required to give a credit report, called a Schufa. This syllable word abbreviation is short for Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung ("Protective Association for General Credit Security"). It's easy to understand why this is commonly abbreviated!

 

Es gibt jetzt einen Vertrag.

There is now a contract.

Caption 37, Wincent Weiss & Benni Freibott: Musik sein

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Once your rental application and credit report are approved, the next step is for you to sign a rental contract (der Mietvertrag).

 

Muss man denn Kaution bezahlen?

So do you have to pay a deposit?

Caption 20, Nicos Weg: Auf Wohnungssuche

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The answer to that question is unfortunately "yes." In most cases, you will be required to pay a rental deposit (die Mietkaution), either directly to the landlord or into a shared escrow account. The amount is usually the equivalent of two or three months' rent.

 

Ich habe Ihnen den Schlüssel im Vertrauen gegeben.

I gave you the key in confidence.

Caption 47, Lerchenberg: Sascha hautnah

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Once you have signed the contract, it is normal for the landlord to hand over the keys to the apartment. German even has a specific noun for the handover of the keys: die Schlüsselübergabe.

 

Wie ist denn deine neue Wohnung?

What is your new apartment like then?

Caption 5, Lilly unter den Linden: Umzug in die DDR

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It's really nice, hopefully! Herzliche Glückwünsche on getting your first apartment in Germany! In an upcoming lesson early next year we'll discuss the less-expensive option of moving into a Wohngemeinschaft, called WG for short. Do you already know what that is?

 

Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch the full Auf Wohnungssuche videos from the Mein Weg nach Deutchland, Nicos Weg,  and Fine series.

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Arts and Crafts

For some people, winter in particular is a time of coziness, which may involve indoor activities such as knitting and sewing. Of course, arts and crafts are something you can engage in all year round. We've looked at fine arts before, but today let's look at German words for various creative hobbies. 

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First of all, we have activities such as knitting, sewing, crochet, and embroidery:

 

Sie hatte gestrickt und vergessen, ein Mahl zu bereiten.

She had been knitting and had forgotten to prepare a meal.

Caption 14, Janoschs Traumstunde: Der Wettlauf zwischen Hase und Igel

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Er verbrachte seine Tage damit zu nähen.

He spent his days sewing.

Caption 7, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Das tapfere Schneiderlein

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Im Nebenjob sind die Oberkommissare Häkelhelden und häkeln Mützen für den guten Zweck.

In their sideline jobs, the chief commissioners are crochet heroes and crochet caps for a good cause.

Captions 4-5, Häkelhelden: Polizisten im Einsatz

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Sie vertrieben sich die Zeit mit Stickerei, Lesen und Kartenspiel.

They passed the time with embroidery, reading, and card games.

Caption 56, Das Mittelalter im Südwesten: Ritter und Burgen

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Of course, not all creative hobbies involve textiles:

 

Mittlerweile machen wir eben Schmuck und, äh, es gibt jetzt ein Parfum von Herr von Eden.

In the meantime, we have started making jewellery and, uh, there is now a perfume by Herr von Eden.

Caption 13, Jonathan Johnson: Herr von Eden

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Bauernmalerei, Blaudruckerei, Schmiede, Töpferei, Weberei.

Farm painting, indigo printing, blacksmith's, pottery studio, weaving studio.

Caption 2, Berlin: Domäne Dahlem

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Hier kommen wir nun zum Stand mit der Keramik.

Here we come now to the stand with the ceramics.

Caption 34, Deutsch mit Eylin: Umzug nach Ottensen

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Ach ja, und hier sind natürlich auch noch die Pinsel zum Aquarellkasten.

Oh yes, and here are, of course, the paintbrushes for the watercolor box, too.

Caption 56, Deutsch mit Eylin: Dinge auf meinem Schreibtisch

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The word "hobby" has been adapted into German as das Hobby, though you also might hear people talk about their Lieblingsbeschäftigung. When we speak about crafts in German, we tend to specify with das Kunsthandwerk rather than simply saying die Kunst.

 

Further Learning

Do you do any handicrafts or have creative hobbies? In addition to looking on Yabla German, you can use an online dictionary like LEO.org to get a translation for your hobbies. 

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Complain, Complain, Complain

Not that there's any shortage of things to complain about the last few years, but even in better times, Berliners are especially fond of complaining. In winter, it's always too cold outside, and as soon as it gets warm, it's always too hot! And with a recent court decision, which for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany has rendered the results of last September's Berlin elections null and void, everyone has to go in February 2023 and vote on the identical ballot again. Not only is that something to complain about, but since I recently moved out of Berlin, I won't even be able to take part in the revision election because I no longer meet the residential qualifications to be allowed to vote. So I stood in line for two and half hours to vote last September—only to have my vote rendered null and void. Not that I am complaining or anything!

 

Let's take a look today at some of the standard and slang German verbs for "to complain."

 

70 Prozent der Lehrer beschweren sich darüber, dass die sanitären Einrichtungen nicht gut sind.

70 percent of teachers complain about the fact that the sanitary facilities are not good.

Captions 13-14, heute-show: Hazel Brugger will Lehrerin werden

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Aber er wagte es nicht, sich über die harte, langweilige Arbeit zu beschweren.

But he didn't dare complain about the hard, boring work.

Caption 8, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Der Zauberlehrling

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As you see above, one of the most common German proper verbs that means "to complain" is the reflexive verb sich beschweren.

 

Ja, und die jammern nicht, die klagen nicht...

Yes, and they don't whine, they don't complain...

Caption 23, Umwelt und Natur: Wo sind all die Bienen hin?

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Lerne warten, ohne zu klagen.

Learn to wait without complaining.

Caption 26, Piggeldy und Frederick: Der Esel

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The slang verb jammern is also often translated as "to complain." Be careful with the verb klagen, however, as it can also mean "to sue" or "to file a lawsuit."

 

Vielleicht reklamiert sie was.

Maybe she's issuing a complaint.

Caption 12, Großstadtrevier: Nicht mit mir

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The verb reklamieren is an official kind of complaint, and means more than just complaining verbally. It can also mean to return a product you have purchased: Ich habe den Fernseher reklamiert means "I returned the television."

 

Ich beklagte mich beim Kellner über das kalte Essen.
I complained to the waiter about the cold food.

 

And yet another reflexive verb, sich beklagen, is often translated as "to complain." Let's move on now to some more slang words for "to complain," not forgetting the verb jammern mentioned above.

 

Von uns Westberlinern wird gesagt, dass wir nur meckern.

People say about us West Berliners that all we do is complain.

Caption 51, heute-show: 30 Jahre Mauerfall

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Und daran gibt es nichts zu meckern.

And there's nothing to complain about there.

Caption 25, Die letzten Paradiese: Die Schönheit der Alpen

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The slang verb meckern can also, depending upon the context, be translated as "to grumble," "to whine," and occasionally "to scold."

 

Sie gruben und schaufelten, buddelten und hievten, knurrten und murrten, ächzten und stöhnten, aber den Topf voller Geld, den fanden sie nicht.

They dug and shoveled, burrowed and heaved, growled and grumbled, moaned and groaned, but the pot full of money—they didn't find it.

Captions 49-51, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Die drei Brüder

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The verb knurren, often translated as "to growl," and the verb murren, often translated as "to grumble" or "to mumble," are also sometimes translated as "to complain." Only the verb knurren is considered to be slang, however.

Further Learning
Look up the verbs you learned today on Yabla German and see how they are variously translated in different contexts:

 

(sich) beklagen
(sich) beschweren
jammern
klagen
knurren
meckern
murren
reklamieren

 

Remember that the word search will sometimes work better if you just search for the verb's root and an asterisk (murr* for murren) because then you can find videos with different tenses.

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The News

These days more than ever, our eyes are on the news. Finding reliable sources is so essential for keeping up to date with politics, following the weather and the environment, and learning about society and culture.

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As we know from a previous lesson, die Nachricht can mean "the message," but also refers to the news. Note that "the news" is singular in English, but plural in German.

 

Die Nachrichten über den Krieg in der Ukraine seien schwer zu ertragen.

The news about the war in Ukraine is hard to bear.

Caption 21, Private Hilfe auf dem Bahnsteig: Berliner helfen Ukrainern

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Many people get their news from newspapers, whether in print or online. Some German newspapers include Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. There are also political magazines like Der Spiegel with articles on current events.

 

Ich hab Zeitung gelesen und mich in den Artikel vertieft.

I was reading the newspaper, immersing myself in the article.

Caption 8, O du fröhliche: Flashmob in der Straßenbahn

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Du schaust eine Zeitschrift an oder eine Zeitung und dann gibt es Anzeige für ein Auto, Anzeige für ein Parfüm.

You are looking at a magazine or a newspaper and then there is an ad for a car, an ad for a perfume.

Captions 10-11, Deutschkurs in Tübingen: Was braucht der Mensch?

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Ha, traurig, was manche Leute für eine Schlagzeile tun.

Ha, sad what some people do for a headline.

Caption 58, Lerchenberg: Hitlers Hundeführer

 Play Caption

 

Of course, many people also get their news from television or radio. The word die Sendung can be used to describe either a television show or a radio broadcast. A news show can be referred to as die Nachrichtensendung.

 

Hallo, hallo. Ich bin der Moderator dieser Sendung.

Hello, hello. I'm the host of this show.

Caption 27, Lerchenberg: Du bist, was du isst

 Play Caption

 

Whether you read or listen to your news is not as important as making sure the source of the news is reliable: 

 

Das sagte Merkel am Donnerstag. [Quelle]

That's what Merkel said on Thursday. [Source]

Caption 6, Angela Merkel: Solidarität der Generationen in Coronakrise

 Play Caption

 

Further Learning
Keep an eye on the series Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten and visit Yabla German for an overview of current events. 

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Fasching: der Karneval

The spooky holiday Halloween is celebrated in many countries, but has only begun to be celebrated in German-speaking countries in the last few decades. This is partially because these countries already have a similar holiday—in fact a whole season—called Carnival. This holiday period is called Fasching, or der Karneval.

 

Fasching season officially begins on November 11th at 11:11 p.m and ends on Ash Wednesday, which in 2023 is on Wednesday, February 22nd. The holiday is celebrated with large costume parades and costume parties. In parts of Europe where Fasching is celebrated—usually in traditionally Catholic regions—it is not unusual to see people in outlandish costumes in public. It's a bit like having Halloween for four months of the year! Let's take a look today at terms associated with Fasching in some Yabla videos about the event.

 

Helau! Hier aus Linkenheim an Fasching, Karneval.

Hurrah! We are here in Linkenheim for Fasching, carnival,

Caption 2, Fasching: mit Cettina

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Helau is a regional celebratory greeting used during Fasching celebrations. It could also be translated, depending upon the context, as "hey!" or "hello!," which it closely resembles in pronunciation. According to some sources, it might be a shortened version of "hallelujah," but meant in jest. Another possibility is that it derives from Hölle auf, and is thus a call to "raise hell." This is definitely true to the spirit of Fasching!

 

Da wir ja Fasching haben momentan, wollen wir uns auch ein bisschen verkleiden.

Since it's Carnival right now, we also want to dress up in costumes a bit.

Captions 18-19, Sallys Tortenwelt und Kochwelt: Bewerbungsvideo

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People like to dress up in all sorts of costumes, though they are typically less spooky than those we associate with Halloween. It's popular to put on outrageous, colorful costumes reminiscent of the 18th century, but with the addition of brightly colored wigs!

 

Fasching kann man auch Fasenacht oder Karneval nennen, also das kommt immer so auf den Ort drauf an.

You can also call Carnival Fasenacht or Karneval, it always depends on the location.

Captions 6-7, Fasching: mit Cettina

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So as you see, Fasching is a very regional event. When I lived in the Bavarian capital Munich, I'd often see people in crazy costumes on public transport at this time of year. Whereas in Prussian Berlin, it's pretty rare to see people in such outlandish get-ups.

 

Es gibt den Schmutzigen Donnerstag, der eigentlich auch für die Frauen ist.

There is Dirty Thursday, which is actually also for the women.

Caption 15, Fasching: mit Cettina

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Different holidays during Fasching are also called by different names, depending on the region. The "Dirty Thursday" above ("Fat Thursday" in English) is also called Weiberfastnacht or Weiberfasching ("women's Fasching"), hence Cettina's comment that this holiday is for women. In Cologne, it is called Wieverfastelovend, in Aachen Fettdonnerstag, and in Koblenz Schwerdonnerstag. And be forewarned if you're a male wearing a tie that day: It's best to wear one that you don't care much about, as women sometimes cut the the ties off of total strangers and compensate them with ein Bützchen—a little kiss!

 

In Köln machen die Geschäfte zu. Da ist ein paar Tage wirklich Ausnahmezustand.

In Cologne, the shops close. There is really a state of emergency for a couple of days.

Captions 13-14, Fasching mit Cettina

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The celebrations get so wild in some cities that shops are shut and the police have to take extra shifts for the sake of public safety.

 

Es ist alles super: die Kostüme super, die Guggenmusik ist am besten!

It's all great: the costumes are great, the Guggenmusik is the best!

Captions 19-21, Fasching: Rosenmontagszug in Mainz

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Never heard of Guggenmusik? Frankly, I hadn't either! It's the marching band music played during Fasching, and you can read all about it on Wikipedia and listen to some examples on YouTube.

 

Further Learning
Watch the videos in Cettina's Yabla series about Fasching. You can then go to Yabla German and search for some of the terms you learned and see them in context in other videos. Perhaps you and some fellow classmates can even organize your own Fasching party, complete with crazy costumes. Helau!

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Plastic, Metal, and Wood

f you haven't already seen Eva's video about materials, it's a great way to improve your vocabulary for describing objects. Although she covers the topic extensively, we'll augment her video this week with some more specific words related to plastic, metal, and wood. 

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In German, plastic is either der Kunststoff or das Plastik, and rubber is der Gummi.

 

Diese können echt sein oder aus Holz oder Kunststoff.

These can be real or made of wood or plastic.

Caption 19, Ostern: mit Eva

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Es gibt natürlich auch Trinkbecher, die aus Plastik bestehen.

There are, of course, also drinking cups that are made out of plastic.

Caption 13, Eva zeigt uns: Materialien

 Play Caption

 

Ich nehme die Gummistiefel.

I'll take the rubber boots.

Caption 12, Felix und Franzi: Sonnenbrille oder Regenschirm?

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There are, of course, many types of metal, or das Metall

 

Die Krone enthält ein anderes Metall, ein leichteres.

The crown contains a different metal, a lighter one.

Caption 81, Es war einmal: Entdecker und Erfinder Archimedes

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Die Kufen der Schlittschuhe sind aus Stahl und haben eine sehr glatte Auflagefläche.

Ice skate runners are made of steel and have a very smooth contact area.

Caption 22, Unterwegs mit Cettina: Schlittschuhlaufen

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Und ich möchte so wenig wie möglich Eisen verwenden.

And I want to use iron as little as possible.

Caption 30, Heidi: Dunkle Vergangenheit

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Diese Fünf-Cent-Münze ist aus Kupfer gemacht.

This five-cent coin is made out of copper.

Caption 7, Eva zeigt uns: Materialien

 Play Caption

 

Fun fact: Just like in English, the word das Blech ("tin") in German is also used to describe a baking tin (das Backblech). Additionally, it refers to a metal baking sheet or tray that you would slide into the oven.

 

Wie ihr seht, wird das Blech von der Tomatensauce nicht komplett bedeckt.

As you can see, the tray is not completely covered with the tomato sauce.

Caption 15, Cannelloni: mit Jenny

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As you saw in the very first example above, the word for "wood" is das Holz. But there are as many types of wood (die Hölzer) as there are types of trees. Here are just a few:

 

Denn die Kiefer ist einerseits ein Nadelbaum . . .

Because the pine is, on the one hand, a coniferous tree ...

Caption 17, Deutsch mit Eylin: Wörter mit 2 Bedeutungen

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Weinsberg war von Mauern umgeben, die waren so dick [sic] wie eine alte Eiche.

Weinsberg was surrounded by walls that were as thick as an old oak tree.

Captions 9-10, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Die Weiber von Weinsberg

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Der wird zwei Wochen lang geräuchert im Buchenholz.

It is smoked for two weeks in beech wood.

Caption 58, 48 h in Innsbruck: Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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You can additionally look up das Birkenholz, das Kirschholz, das Mahagoniholz, das Eschenholz, and many more. Based on the pattern you see, what is the name for the wood that comes from oak or pine trees?

 

Further Learning
Watch Eva's video on Yabla German and then look around the room you are in and try to describe what the furniture and objects are made of. 

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All About Kürbisse

You too may be suffering from the post-Halloween blues. If you're a kid and went trick-or-treating, you've probably eaten about ten times your usual allowed amount of candy. If you're a grown-up like myself, you may have had half of a big bag of candy left over from the few trick-or-treaters brave enough to pass by the scary pumpkin on the doorstep. My problem is that I can't just leave candy lying around, I have to eat it. Either way, too much sugar can make you feel pretty down later on—your body's way of telling you that eating that much sugar just can't be very good for you.

 

By now, if you still have a carved pumpkin sitting outside, it's probably starting to sag and look even scarier than it did when it was fresh. You probably wouldn't want to eat it after it's been sitting out for a couple of days, but if you saved some of the inside bits (not the seeds and slimy stringy bits!), you can make some very tasty meals and desserts out of it. Let's talk today about pumpkins in German!

 

Kinder höhlen Kürbisse aus und feiern Halloween-Partys.

Children hollow out pumpkins and celebrate at Halloween parties.

Caption 15, Cettina erklärt: Halloween

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Weil Halloween ohne Kürbisse kein Halloween ist, oder?

Because Halloween isn't Halloween without pumpkins, right?

Caption 20, Nicos Weg: Feste und Feiertage

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Es entstand die Tradition, zum Totenfest Laternen aus Rüben zu schnitzen. Daraus hat sich nach und nach die Tradition entwickelt, Kürbisköpfe auszuhöhlen und sie in hässliche Fratzen zu verwandeln.

The tradition emerged of carving lanterns out of turnips for the festival of the dead. Out of that, the tradition gradually developed of hollowing out pumpkin heads and and transforming them into ugly faces.

Captions 28-30, Cettina erklärt: Halloween

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From der Kürbis, we get der Kürbiskopf. It's a good thing we don't still carve out hard turnips for Halloween, especially since we might have to eat something made of turnips later! Speaking of food:

 

Wir haben damals im Herbst immer ganz viele Gerichte aus Kürbissen gemacht, zum Beispiel Kürbissuppe, Kürbiskuchen, Kürbismarmelade, Kürbismuffins, Kürbisbrot...

We always used to make a ton of dishes from pumpkins in autumn — for example, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin jam, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread...

Captions 22-24, Nicos Weg: Feste und Feiertage

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Die Kürbissuppe, der Kürbiskuchen, der Kürbismuffin and das Kürbisbrot all sound delicious, but die Kürbismarmelade?  Sorry, but pumpkin marmalade just sounds weird!

 

Ich finde Kürbis total lecker.

I think pumpkin is totally delicious.

Caption 80, Sallys Tortenwelt und Kochwelt: Kürbissuppe

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Und deswegen gibt's heute eine leckere Kürbissuppe.

And that's why there's a delicious pumpkin soup today.

Caption 3, Sallys Tortenwelt und Kochwelt: Kürbissuppe

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Ich gebe immer gern noch ein bisschen von diesem Kürbiskernöl mit rein.

I always like to put a little bit of this pumpkin seed oil in with it.

Caption 67, Sallys Tortenwelt und Kochwelt: Kürbissuppe

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The Austrians are particularly proud of their fine pumpkin seed oil (das Kürbiskernöl), and for very good reason: A little drizzle over a salad or into a soup can work wonders. If you've never tried it, trust me: it's delicious, practically magical. Speaking of magic:

 

Aber mit einem Wink ihres Zauberstabs verwandelte die Fee den Kürbis in eine goldene Kutsche.

But with a wave of her magic wand the Fairy transformed the pumpkin into a golden carriage.

Captions 44-45, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Aschenputtel

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Of course, the pumpkin plays a major role in the tale of Cinderella too. This is the origin of the phrase "to turn into a pumpkin," which is something people say when it's getting late, and they are either getting tired or they're going to miss their curfew getting home on time.

 

Further Learning
Read the Yabla German lesson Halloween in Deutschland and watch some of the videos above in their entirety to get your head around pumpkins in German. Just be careful not to turn into one!

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The verb ausmachen

In today's lesson, we'll look at the many different meanings of the German verb ausmachen, which is a separable verb

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If we look at the parts of this verb, machen means "to do" or "to make" and aus means "out," "off," or "over." This will help us, but only to a certain extent. First, we have a very common translation of ausmachen, which is "to turn off":

 

Handys bitte ausmachen!

Please turn off your cell phones!

Caption 31, Verstehen Sie Spaß?: Sascha Grammel

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So, Annakind, jetzt wird aber Licht ausgemacht.

So, little Anna, now the light will be turned off.

Caption 17, Filmtrailer: Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl

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Next, it can also mean "to put out" when it comes to fire, and is used instead of the verb löschen ("to extinguish"):

 

Mit wenigen hundert Litern können wir einen Wohnungsbrand ausmachen.

With a few hundred liters we can put out an apartment fire.

Caption 87, Feuerwehr Heidelberg: Löschfahrzeug

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Willst du nicht mal die Zigarette ausmachen?

Don't you want to put out the cigarette?

Caption 1, Lerchenberg: Viva La Television!

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The verb ausmachen can be used if you've made an agreement with someone or arranged something: 

 

Wir hatten doch ausgemacht, dass wir uns duzen!

But we had agreed that we'd address one another informally!

Caption 3, Konjugation: Das Verb „können“

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Und da haben wir auch, direkt auch einen Songwriting-Termin ausgemacht.

And then we also arranged a songwriting session right away.

Caption 31, LOTTE & Max Giesinger: Interview

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You can use ausmachen to state that something matters or has an effect:  

 

...wie unheimlich viel das ausmacht, wenn jemand einfach so 'nen Laden gut im Griff hat.

...how incredibly much it matters when someone simply has a good grip on the shop.

Captions 24-25, Live-Entertainment-Award: Glamouröse Preisverleihung

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And in a related usage, it's very common to use the following construction to inquire about a potential negative effect, bother, or inconvenience:

 

Würde es Ihnen denn was ausmachen, wenn wir ...

Would it be a problem for you then if we...

Caption 40, Weihnachtsfilm: Ein Sack voll Geld

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Yet another translation is "to form," "to constitute," or "to comprise":

 

Du hast einen Zauber, der dich ausmacht.

You have a magic that forms you.

Caption 14, Cris Cosmo: Herzschlag

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Wien besitzt viele unterschiedliche Parkanlagen und ist weltweit eine der Städte mit dem höchsten Grünflächenanteil, der die Hälfte des Stadtgebiets ausmacht.

Vienna has many different parks and is one of the cities worldwide with the largest percentage of green areas, which comprise half of the city's space.

Captions 19-21, Reisebericht: Wien

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Be careful, as "to make out" in English has meanings that ausmachen does not. We might say, "I could make out the shape of her house in the distance" or "I couldn't make out what he wrote" in English, but other German verbs (such as erkennen or entziffern) are generally used in these contexts. The common slang usage of "to make out" in English that involves kissing has its own verb in German, which is knutschen, and ausmachen also isn't used for the idea of "making out well" in a deal or situation.

 

Further Learning
Create a sentence using each definition of ausmachen and etwas ausmachen listed above. You will find many more examples on Yabla German if you do a quick search. 

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Office Supplies, Part III

In parts I and II of this lesson, we talked about office supplies that are not specifically related to the ever-present digital devices in the workplace and at school. Let's take a look today, in the final installment of this topic, at some more German names for office items that may be new to you.

 

Das ist ein Umschlag und das ist die Briefmarke.

This is an envelope and this is the stamp.

Caption 22, Nicos Weg: Das hört sich gut an!

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You probably knew der Umschlag (or der Briefumschlag) and die Briefmarke already, although these days we use them far less frequently than in the stone age of the pre-digital era.

 

Die häng ich immer an so eine Pinnwand und dafür brauch ich eine Pinnnadel.

I always hang them on a pinboard like this one, and for that I need a push-pin.

Captions 57-58, Deutsch mit Eylin Dinge auf meinem Schreibtisch - Part 2

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Die Pinnnadel is one of those German words with three consonant letters in a row, although in this case, the spelling Pinn-Nadel is also grammatically acceptable. Eine Pinnnadel usually has a round or oblong plastic head, as opposed to its flat-headed cousin der Reißnagel (or die Reißzwecke), which is a thumbtack. The advantage of push-pins is that they are much easier to pull out of harder surfaces like wood than thumbtacks are.

 

O nein, das ist Lisas Mappe. Bringt Lisa die Mappe.

Oh no, that's Lisa's folder. Bring the folder to Lisa.

Captions 22-23, Nicos Weg: Mein Beruf

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Eine Mappe is usually a simple folder that can hold loose papers.

 

Auf Ihrem Arbeitsplatz werden Sie einen Ordner namens „Deutsche Werbung“ finden.

On your desktop, you'll find a folder with the name "German Advertising."

Caption 39, Berufsleben: das Vorstellungsgespräch

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So while both die Mappe and der Ordner are usually translated as "folder," eine Mappe usually means a large ring binder that most Germans use to store important paperwork such as tax documents. In Berlin, I've often noticed that non-Europeans tend to prefer filing cabinets or pouches, but somewhere in most German homes you will find a wall of bookshelves filled with Ordner. I'm doing my best to avoid an unfortunate pun on the unfortunate German cliché Ordnung muss sein. It's just not true, at least if you're creatively inclined.

 

Du siehst, ich liebe Büromaterial, und ich liebe es auch, Ordnung zu halten auf meinem Schreibtisch.

You see, I love office supplies, and I also love keeping order on my desk.

Captions 68-69, Deutsch mit Eylin: Dinge auf meinem Schreibtisch

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At least some people are capable of keeping their desk clean! The term der Schreibtisch is outdated for many of us, as we barely even write anymore, at least in the sense of taking a pen or pencil in hand. Another common German word for "office supplies" is der Bürobedarf, which is usually also what shops are called that sell them.

 

Further Learning
Review our other two newsletters about office supplies and test your knowledge of the German words for the vast array of articles that are commonly used in office situations. Then go to the videos above on Yabla German and see these words in the context in which they are used.

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The adverb zwar

Today we will look at a unique, but somewhat confusing German word: the conjunctive adverb zwar. Mainly confusing because it doesn’t have a single equivalent in English, it’s a word that can be used to create more expressive German sentences — a great word to know!

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First of all, zwar can be used when making a clarification. Where we would use "namely," "that is," or "indeed" in English, in German you often see the phrase und zwar.

 

Zu seinem einhundertfünfundneunzigsten Geburtstag hat der Philosoph seine Geburtsstadt Trier erobert, und zwar gleich in fünfhundertfacher Ausführung.

For his one hundred ninety-fifth birthday, the philosopher has conquered his birth city of Trier, namely, in the form of five hundred duplicate copies.

Captions 3-5, „Mini-Marxe“: In Trier

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Wir beobachten aber auch, dass sich die Welt verändert, und zwar in rasantem Tempo.

We also observe, however, that the world is changing, and indeed at a rapid pace.

Caption 17, Angela Merkel: Gemeinsame Pressekonferenz mit Barack Obama

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Heute kochen wir ein niedersächsisches Gericht, und zwar eine Hochzeitssuppe.

Today we are cooking a Lower Saxon dish: namely, a wedding soup.

Captions 2-3, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Niedersachsen

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Secondly, zwar can be used to express limitations or contradictions. In these sentences, zwar is in the limiting first statement, which is then followed by a contradictory statement beginning with an adverb like aber, allerdings, or doch. Let's have a look:

 

Die Raumordnung kann zwar nicht alle Konflikte lösen, aber sie kann als eine neutrale, übergeordnete Größe vieles steuern und anstoßen.

Spatial planning may not be able to resolve all conflicts, but as a neutral, superordinate variable, it can control and initiate many things.

Captions 53-54, Bundesregierung DE: Wie geht Raumordnung?

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Sie darf zwar nicht so lange draußen bleiben wie die Rentiere, aber dafür kann sie alles essen, was der Boden so hergibt.

Admittedly, she's not allowed to stay outside as long as the reindeer, but instead, she can eat everything the ground may happen to yield.

Captions 33-34, Im Zoo: Tiere im Winter

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Das Telefon klingelt zwar ab und zu, aber meistens höre ich nichts.

The phone does ring every now and then, but most of the time I don't hear anything.

Captions 32-33, Marius Müller-Westernhagen: Der Mann auf der Mauer

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Köln ist zwar die Stadt mit den meisten Einwohnern, aber die Landeshauptstadt ist Düsseldorf.

Although Cologne is the city with the most inhabitants, the state capital is Düsseldorf.

Captions 19-20, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Nordrhein-Westfalen

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As you can see, there is not a single equivalent for this in English, but the meaning is essentially that of "although." Additionally, zwar adds emphasis to a statement.

 

Further Learning
Now that you have a sense of how zwar is used, try integrating it when you speak German. There are many more examples on Yabla German that you can look at as well. 

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Pronoun Agreement in Dative/Genitive Cases

The other day my partner, who like me is a non-native German speaker, asked me if eines der Gebiete ("one of the areas") is grammatically correct in German. Since I had to pause to consider it, it occurred to me that it would be a good time to brush up on the topic of indefinite pronoun genders when used in tandem with the dative and genitive cases. I had discussed the topic in a lesson several years ago, but thought it best (for myself and for Yabla newcomers!) to return to it in more depth.

 

Previously, I had discussed how when saying "one of..." in sentences such as "one of these days..."  or "one of the problems" etc. in German, the pronoun gender has to agree with the gender of the noun. In these two examples, the nouns are "days" and "problems." It is a bit counterintuitive, as the nouns are plural but the pronouns reflect a singular version of the nouns.

 

Thus with einer von diesen Tagen (dative) or einer dieser Tage (genitive), the noun der Tag is masculine, so the pronoun ein must reflect the masculine gender of the noun: einer. It follows then that a neuter noun in these situation becomes eines and a feminine noun eine. Let's start with some examples of indefinite pronouns paired with feminine nouns.

 

Das war eine von den Ausnahmen, die ich vorhin erwähnt habe.

That was one of the exceptions I mentioned earlier.

Caption 41, Deutsch mit Eylin: Das Perfekt

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Das ist ja eine der beliebtesten Marken hier in Deutschland.

That is one of the most popular brands here in Germany.

Caption 41, Jenny und Alena: Autos und Motorräder

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Since die Ausnahme and die Marke are feminine nouns, the indefinite pronoun is eine.

 

Next comes indefinite pronouns paired with masculine nouns:

.

...weil das einer von den Arbeitsbereichen ist, wo noch sehr viele Menschen arbeiten.

...because that is one of the fields where a lot of people still work.

Captions 34-35, Gamification: Wie Spielen den Alltag interessanter macht

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Daniel Brühl gilt mittlerweile als einer der erfolgreichsten deutschen Schauspieler.

Daniel Brühl is now regarded as one of the most successful German actors.

Caption 9, Jahresrückblick: 2013 Deutsche Promis

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Again, der Schauspieler and der Arbeitsbereich are masculine, thus einer is used.

 

Lastly, the pronouns used with neuter nouns:

 

Matthias Henke bringt eines von schier unzähligen Beethovenbüchern auf den Markt.

Matthias Henke is bringing one of an almost countless number of Beethoven books onto the market.

Caption 29, Ludwig van Beethoven: 250. Geburtstag

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Das ist doch eines der ungelösten Rätsel.

That's one of the unsolved mysteries, after all.

Caption 78, Es war einmal: Archimedes

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Das Beethovenbuch — or easier, das Buch — and das Rätsel are neuter nouns, hence eines.

 

When one of the indefinite "one of" pronouns paired with a dative or genitive phrase is preceded by a preposition, however, it gets a bit tricky. The preposition also effects the pronoun:

 

Ich machte mich mit einer der Tassen vertraut.

I familiarized myself with one of the cups.

Caption 9, Abgedreht: Heinrich und der Tassendieb

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Thus eine der Tassen becomes mit einer der Tassen, because the dative preposition mit changes the feminine eine to einer. Using a preposition with a "one of..." phrase is a real double-whammy! Consider how the accusative preposition für changes the indefinite article for a masculine noun from ein to einen, but leaves the feminine article eine and the neuter article ein unchanged. So too with an accusative preposition and the three indefinite pronouns: the masculine changes from einer to einen, but the feminine eine and neuter eines remain unchanged:

 

für einen von den Männern or für einen der Männer

für eine von den Frauen or für eine der Frauen

für eines von den Kindern or für eines der Kinder

 

Further Learning
1. Pick ten or twenty favorite German nouns, being sure you write the genders correctly and you have a selection of feminine, masculine, and neuter nouns, as in the above example: der Mann, die Frau, and das Kind. 2. Now write all three as "one of..." phrases in dative and genitive: einer von den Männern / einer der Männer; eine von den Frauen / eine der Frauen; eines von den Kindern / eines der Kinder 3. Write them now together with a dative preposition: mit einem von den Männern / mit einem der Männer; mit einer von den Frauen / mit einer der Frauen; mit einem von den Kindern / mit einem der Kinder 4. Then try this with an accusative preposition such as für in the example above. Not so easy, is it?  Lastly, as a well-deserved break, go to Yabla German and search for some "one of..." phrases like those above. Tip: if you put a phrase like "einer der" in quotation marks, you can narrow your searches to exact hits!

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Exercise

This week's lesson is all about exercise! When you think of "exercise" in the context of Yabla German, you might immediately think of language exercises, but we are now talking about die Übung in relation to der Sport or das Training. These are two common nouns for "the exercise" or "the workout," along with their related verbs: 

 

Ja, mehr Sport machen, drei Kilo abnehmen und eine Tätowierung.

Yeah, exercise more, lose three kilos and a tattoo.

Caption 31, Silvester: Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Karlsruhe

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Ganz gemütlich, wir trainieren hier jetzt die Oberschenkel.

Very comfortably, we are training the thighs now.

Caption 68, TEDx: Lebenslange Fitness

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banner PLACEHOLDER

When people go to the gym (ins Fitnessstudio gehen), they may use particular machines or equipment. But there are lots of exercises that can be done just with a mat, or no equipment at all:

 

Ja, also, ich muss sagen, ich trainiere wirklich sehr, sehr gerne im Fitnessstudio, also wirklich auch im Freihantelbereich.

Yeah, well, I have to say, I really, really like to work out at the gym, really in the free weights area too.

Captions 54-55, Anja Polzer: Interview

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Er reagiert genauso auf Training wie dein Bizeps auf Hanteltraining.

It responds to exercise the same way like your biceps to dumbbell training.

Captions 9-10, Deutsch mit Eylin: Kreatives Schreiben

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Liegestütze, Kniebeugen... und solche Sachen.

Pushups, squats... and things like that.

Caption 48, Deutsch mit Eylin: Sportarten

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So, die nächste Übung ist auch wieder für die Beine, wir machen einen ganz weiten Ausfallschritt nach vorne.

So, the next exercise is also for the legs again, we make a very big lunge forward.

Captions 19-20, Workout mit Erik: Übungen für Arme, Beine, Po, Rücken

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Ja, was man auch machen kann, ist zum Beispiel, Sit-ups, Bauchtraining.

Yes, what you can also do are, for example, sit-ups, abdominal training.

Caption 33, Finanzassistentin: Sarah interviewt Cettina

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Of course, some people do not like gyms and prefer to get exercise outside or through team sports:

 

Es ist dreimal effektiver auch als joggen, das heißt, du verbrennst hier dreimal mehr Kalorien als beim Joggen.

It's also three times more effective than jogging — that is, you burn three times as many calories here than when jogging.

Captions 53-54, Rhein-Main Ferien: 360 Jump in Dietzenbach

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Further Learning
On Yabla German, you can watch Erik's workout video in its entirety to get a sense of how a sequence of exercises would be directed in German, or watch Eylin's video on sports to learn the German words for all sorts of sports. 

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