The Lernen to Talk Show: Episode 12 – Happy Birthday Ellen!
Friends! This week’s episode finds me in my local train station, talking transportation with my good friend Niklas. See the inner workings of a real live Hauptbahnhof! Discover Germany’s super effective carpooling system! Learn a new birthday song! It’s all here, in Episode 12:
Thanks to Tobi and Ali for working the camera!
0:29 – “Die” should be “den”. Here’s a perfect example of one of my main qualms with learning German. Here I commit a classic error of not knowing the proper gender of my choice of word. Bahnhof is a masculine word, and I mistakenly give it a feminine article. What I say, however, could be interpreted as even more incorrect than it really was. Here I look like I didn’t know it was supposed to be accusative case! Or worse, that I didn’t know the masculine article for accusative case! But really I just didn’t know the gender.
0:33 – Little did I know, Niklas just said exactly what I say here except in a more nuanced way.
0:50 – I say “fahrst”, I should have said “fährst”. Surprisingly I don’t think I’ve used this word much before…
0:53 – “dem Deutsche Bahn” should be “der Deutsche Bahn”. Another case of the mistaken case.
1:10 – See 0:50
1:13 – This goofy word translates literally to “withdrivebargain”.
1:30 – And by “goofy” I mean “logical”.
1:41 – I’m very proud that I said this as almost correctly as I did. The word “mal” is very mysterious in when and where it appears in this language, and here I managed to do it naturally and correctly for what I think is the first time.
2:05 – Close call.
2:13 – DIE UHR, DIE!
2:43 – Hilarious!
2:53 – I was right the first time! “Ich mag das sehr gern.” I’d been battling with this phrase all week. Knowing when to say “sehr” and when to say “viel” is a lot harder than knowing when to say “very” and when to say “many”.
3:04 – This goof– I mean, logical word translates literally to “rollstairs”.
3:10 – Considering the amount of time I spend being confused, I feel like I should have learned this word by now. Apparently the word is “verwirren”. I should have said “Wir können unseren Kameraman verwirren.”
3:26 – I was trying to find the word for “advertisement”, which is “Werbung”. I wanted to remark on the ad that is pasted to the vertical part of each step such that it’s visible as you walk up the stairs. I saw a particular alluring Ritter Sport ad in this style in the Cologne train station.
3:40 – Hearing this again later made Niklas and Tobi laugh very hard. It was that bad. But to be fair, the correct way of saying it may very well be the most difficult sentence I’ve ever heard: “Ist es so wie du es dir vorgestellt hast?” I can’t even begin to guess how to approach that sentence. As I see it, it contains at least two superfluous words.
5:25 – I took some artistic liberties with the translation here in order to give it in English the nice rhyme it has in German. I think I did a pretty good job maintaining the meaning. Isn’t it an awesome song?