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The Lernen to Talk Show: Episode 43 – A Bike Ride!

October 17, 2012

Photo by Jimmy Lange.

Well this one got out of hand. On May 21st I found myself without a guest, so I invited my fair city to be the backdrop of the episode. She graciously obliged. I thought I’d give a few short glimpses into a typical ride through my neighborhood to the center of Cologne, but I ended up with a shaky fourteen minute odyssey filled with near crashes, deafening brakes, and an embarrassing amount of amateur speaking mistakes. But I guess that’s what happens when you’re on your own! A person’s German ability is only as high as its lowest moments, right? So here’s a true glimpse into where my brain was at after 42 weeks. BE WARNED: Wearing headphones for this episode might not be a good idea.

0:48 – Hence the disclaimer…

0:55 – Here I confuse the words Rutsch and GeräuschRutsch means “slide”, like, something you can slide down, and Geräusch means “noise” or “sound”. Oddly enough, Geräusch is one of the words that took the longest to make it into my vocabulary.

1:29 – But they only have that sandwich sometimes.

1:34 – A sneak peek of next week’s episode!

2:00 – You’ll notice that this episode is riddled with word-gender errors. I guess that kind of detail is the first thing to go when my mind’s preoccupied with another task…In this case, I should have said “Und wir haben ein sehr besonderes Ziel.” But I won’t get into that for all the mistakes I make…

2:07 – Here’s one mistake I definitely don’t make too often… mistakenly conjugating the du form with the ich form… What was I thinking??? Du kannst eine sehr gute Uberraschung erwarten.

2:28 – Einsteigen is a verb that goes with sein, not haben! Weyertal – Ich bin nie hier eingestiegen…

2:53 – Erste Blick von unserem Ziel. Dative case makes adjective endings accompanying neuter nouns -em. DUH.

3:24 – Vorrende? I was trying to say “preceding”, which apparently is vorhergende. I was only two syllables off.

4:28 – You can always count on the clever restaurant names in Germany.

4:38 – So delicious. Schnitzel and fries, if you’re into it.

4:53 – Check it out!

5:13-5:31 – If I may so myself, I think this is the best German I’d spoken to date caught on camera. Please comment with any errors you find in this stretch…

5:33 – Of course I follow that up with this abomination: “Gibt’s viele Bugs.” I don’t know the word for “bug”. I also had the verb in the wrong place. I’ve been hassled a lot about this mistake I tend to make, actually. If you want to say that there is something, like “there are a lot of bugs”, the German expression is “Es gibt”. And if you want to ask if there is something, you switch it around to say “Gibt es…?” I somehow got in the bad habit of always saying “Gibt es” even when it wasn’t a question. Watch out for that!

6:17 – You actually exit on the right side.

6:53 – Seriously, it’s nasty.

7:54 – Check it out!

8:16 – Another case of words that I continue to confuse… Das Geschenk = the gift; Die Geschichte = the story. And yes, it’s a good story. It involves waking up in the middle of the night in a strange town and forcing myself to read The Brothers Karamazov while pacing back and forth underneath a train track, occasionally being scared to death by high speed trains passing overhead.

9:19 – I mixed up the noun and adjective for “Gothic” here. As a noun, the word is “gothik”. But as an adjective, what I should have said is “gotisch”. A slight difference in pronunciation…

9:56 – That color gradient is just because the bottom had been washed recently.

10:04 – One of the more delightful customs in Cologne is that a beer can only officially be called “Kölsch” if the cathedral is visible from where it is brewed. This has led to some breweries further away building towers on top of the building in order to see the cathedral and make the Kölsch klaim.

11:30 – Here’s a better picture of the interior.

11:57 – How embarrassing.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Avital permalink
    October 18, 2012 17:32

    I love, love, love this episode! It’s so great to see the city from this perspective and hear you think aloud. 🙂

    Also, perhaps the most quotable episode ever.

    “Oh look! Here comes my second most-used streetcar.”

    “Old Streeeeeeeeeeet.”

    “It fills my whole picture with gothic architecture.”

    “No smoking… no French fries…”

    • October 19, 2012 01:04

      I’m really glad you liked it! I was nervous that it would be way too long and boring (and shaky!). I definitely had fun making it though. It’s fun for me to see how my German was then without the pressure of actually speaking in front of somebody. I just kind of said whatever popped into my head!

  2. nostrovatus permalink
    December 10, 2012 15:26

    my mistake. THIS is the ultimate epic Lernen to Talk Show episode. Alles das ich liebe hier ist. Und ich hab laughed so much. Belly laugh. From Zülpicher to the Dom, Gerolsteiner, Dr Box, Universität Park, Bf Sud, Habibi, (you missed Duddel und Stiefel, though), the REWE, the grosse ice cream…. Der Brücke. So so schön. Danke Mickey für dieses Episode.

  3. June 22, 2013 18:35

    did you really mean to translate chef with “boss” or did you mean chef as in “koch”?

    • June 23, 2013 22:26

      Haha excellent question! I meant “Chef” as in “boss”, but he’s a “Koch” too! Unfortunately his shop hasn’t been open in months! I miss him.

  4. lesn permalink
    June 26, 2013 20:46

    Bugs = Kopfsteinpflaster?

  5. Daphne permalink
    June 27, 2013 08:35

    This might be my favorite episode so far.

    • June 28, 2013 01:24

      It’s one of my favorites too! Funny, because I remember that night feeling so bummed out that I couldn’t find a guest…

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