Monday, October 20, 2008

Let's Learn German Together - Lesson 2


She: "Wie lange bist du hier? How long are you here?" (V laanga bisst doo here)

You: "Für eine Woche. For a week." (fyur eye-nem wockha)

She: "Das ist sehr schön. Ich kann dir im Wochenende Frankfurt zeigen. That is very nice. I can show you Frankfurt in the week end." (Das ist sayrr schoen. Issh cann dear in dee wockhen-enda Fraankoort ts-eye-gen."

You: "Prima! Great!" (preema)


Now that we are into the 3rd chapter we need to start a vocabulary list. I will therefore create one post called German Vocabulary which I will keep updating as we go along.

Let me know if you wish me to change the style.

One more aspect of these lessons: I am deliberately ignoring a large part of grammar at this stage. We will touch upon all aspects of German grammar eventually.

Ok! We have one more umlaut (see Chapter 1, where umlaut was first introduced)" 'ö'. The way I pronounce ‘ö’ is by clenching my teeth and utter ‘o’. That seems to work.

One peculiarity that you would have noticed. The word ‘zeigen’ (=to show) has been relegated to the end of the sentence when ‘kann’ is used. That is standard. “kann’ (=can) is a modal verb that pushes the main verb to the back. We will touch upon many such modal verbs.

You will notice that ‘i’ is pronounced ‘ee’, ‘ei’ is pronounced ‘eye’.

The sentence “Ich kann dir im Wochenende Frankfurt zeigen” actually transliterates into “I can to you in the weekend Frankfurt show.” It is a bit strange but I got used to it eventually. This peculiarity of the language also ensures that you have to listen to the complete sentence before responding - an extremely handy device to ensure politeness. Wouldn’t you say? And Germans are known to be very polite.

Just to recapitulate the entire dialog so far:

You: "Hello!"
She: "Hallo!"
You: "Wie geht es Ihnen? How are you?" (Pronounced: v gate s ehnen)
She: "You can call me dear"
You: "Wie geht es dir?" (V gate s dear)
She: "Gut! Danke. Und dir?"
She: "Wie war die Reise?"
You: "Nicht schlecht."
She: "Bist du müde?"
You (male ego in place): "Nein!"
She: "Wie lange bist du hier?”
You: "Für eine Woche.”
She: "Das ist sehr schön. Ich kann dir im Wochenende Frankfurt zeigen.”
You: "Prima!"


Exercise:

Q1. List down the words that appear similar to English.
Q2. Translate: “You are here for a week. Great!”

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2 comments:

Madhu said...

1) Hallo
Gut
Danke
Nein
lange
hier
Für
Das
ist
kann

2) Sie hier für eine Woche. Prima!

Amitabh Mukherjee said...

Madhu,
we haven't come to "Sie" yet. Plus we need to include the verb for "are". So the correct translation for
"You are here for a week. Great!”
is
Du bist für eine Woche hier. Prima!

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