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The Lernen to Talk Show: Episode 46 – On Top of Berlin!

November 7, 2012

As I’ve mentioned before, the year I spent in Germany was all thanks to a government fellowship called CBYX. In most ways, it’s a really great program. Easily the best part about the program is how it connects you with 74 other adventurous Americans who’ve dreamed of spending a year in Germany. A few of those 74 have already appeared on the Lernen to Talk Show, and today another one joins their ranks. Carl and I first met at our pre-departure orientation, when he casually remarked, “nice Saints hat”, while we were lining up for lunch. The rest is history.

In June the 75 reconvened for an exit seminar in Germany’s fair capital. The city was flooded with crazed football fans, as the European Championship was going on that week (and Deutschland hadn’t yet been shown the door). But Carl and I got a chance to catch up on the peaceful roof of our hostel, where we talked about football, plants, and Denmark. Join us!

I almost forgot! Thank you to Kansas Kate for filming!!!

0:19 – Again with the… ugh nevermind.

0:43 – Well it looks like after 46 weeks I’m daring enough to try to be poetic with my German, but not competent enough to pull it off.

1:10 – See??? 

1:28 – If you need a place to stay in Berlin…

1:33 – Here again I make a typical Mickey-mistake. To say “there are” in German, the expression is “Es gibt…”. By reversing those words (i.e., “Gibt es…” or “Gibt’s”) you turn it into a question, just like how you would ask “Are there…?” So if you listen here you’ll notice that I say “Gibt’s drei verschiedene Orte”, when I should have said “Es gibt drei verschiedene Orte“.

2:18 – Herkunft, ladies and gentlemen, is your word of the day.

2:25 – Again with the “Gibt’s“!

2:41 – Lousy Croatia.

2:44 – Oh no I missed a spot! Here Carl says, “Es ist in Ordnung“, which translates to “it’s okay”, but literally means “it is in order”. One of the more hilarious phrases in German, if you ask me.

4:48 – The word for “oxygen” in German is Sauerstoff, which is a combination of Sauer, (acrid or acid), and Stoff (matter). Which makes no sense to me because everyone knows that acids are acidic due to their presence of hydrogen, not oxygen, right? RIGHT?

4:59 – It’s actually known as “o2 World“, apparently.

5:14 – In German the word for “text message” is actually the acronym SMS. Which is actually an English acronym for Short Message Service. And here they are thinking they’re being all different.

6:04 – Carl later emailed me this photo from his trip to Denmark. I’m sorry I missed out on this.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2012 17:12


  2. Avital permalink
    November 8, 2012 14:13

    I enjoyed learning about the climbing plant! Thanks, Mickey and Carl.

  3. aeraser permalink
    June 20, 2013 14:56

    be proud, that makes you sound ultra-german 😀

  4. Lisa permalink
    June 23, 2013 23:58

    Aber Sauerstoff hat so eine hohe Elektronegativität (electronegativity?), weshalb es Elektronen anzieht, was einen Stoff sauer macht. Darum der deutsche Name. Klar sind die Wasserstoffprotonen diejenigen, die dann als H+ überall hingehen und Säure bilden, aber ausgelöst wird das Ganze am Ursprungsort meist durch Stoffe mit hoher Elektronegativität, während Hydrogen eine niedrige Elektronegativität hat… Am I making any sense?

    Love your vids!

    • June 24, 2013 00:10


      • July 1, 2013 09:42

        I think it’s primarily due to Lavoisier, the person who gave oxygen its name – back in the 18th century the scientists thought that acidity was caused by the presence of this thing they then afterwards called oxygen, as a common strong acid, sulfuric acid, contains oxygen atoms. (the name derives from Greek, where ‘oxys’ means sharp, and ‘gonos’ means producer, so the German for oxygen is in principle taken straight from the Greek)

        And seriously man, I love your videos so much, you are such an inspiration.

      • July 1, 2013 13:21

        Wow thank you so much for the note. I love the conversation this oxygen remark is stirring… I guess that makes sense, that an acid would be thought of as “sharp”!

  5. camila permalink
    June 23, 2015 14:57

    yo sólo hablo español, pero qué buenos vídeos.
    felicitaciones amigo 😀
    abrazos desde Chile.


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