Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let's Learn German Together - Lesson 11

This is perhaps my last post this year. Unless something else comes to my mind by mid-night.
So, here's wishing all my subscribers and readers



You are now on the Train to Bremen. The train is more or less packed. The seat next to you is vacant. An elderly man comes up to you and says:

He: "Ist das frei?" (Is that free? Isst dass fry?)
You: "Ja!" (Yes. Ya)

He: "Danke." (Thank you. Daankay)
You: "Bitte." (You are welcome. Bittay)

You will get used to this "danke", "bitte" routine.

You smile at each other politely and ...

He: "Wohin fahren Sie? Nach Bremen?" (Where are you going? To Bremen? Vo-hin faah-ren zee? Naakh Bray-men?)

You: "Ja bitte." (Yes please. Ya Bittay.)

He: "Woher kommen Sie?" (Where are you coming from? vo-hair commen zee?)
You: "Aus Indien." (From India. aaos Indi-en)

He: "Aah! Indien. Sind Sie hier in Urlaub?" (Aah! Are you here on holiday? Zint zee here in uur-laaup)

You: "Nein! Geschäftlich." (No. On business. Nine! Gay-shaeft-lish)

He: "Ach so! Was sind Sie von Beruf?" (I see. Was are you by profession? Aakh zo! Wass zint zee fon bay-roof?)

You: "Ich bin Ingineur." (I am an engineer. Issh bin in-gin-ear)

He: "Ist dieses Ihr erste Mal?" (Is this your first time? Isst dee-zes eahr air-st maal?)
You: "Nein! Ich komme nach Deutschland oft. Aber, ich kenne Bremen nicht." (No. I come to Germany often. But, I am not familiar with Bremen.)

He: "Ach so! Bremen ist sehr schön. Kennen Sie die Bremen-Straßensänger? Sie sind noch da." (I see. Bremen is very beautiful. Do you know the Bremen Street Singers? They are there. Aakh zo. Bray-men isst zay-er schoen. Kay-nen zee dee Bray-men-straasen-saynger? Zee zint noch daa.)

You: "Ich besuche sie bestimmt." (I will definitely see them.)

When you have someone to talk to the distance to your destination grows shorter. Even if it is an old man who asks lots of questions?

He: "Wo wohnen Sie?" (Where do you stay? Vo vohnen zee?)
You: "In Bangalore."

He: "Ach so! Software!"
You: "Ja!"

He: "Wie lange bleiben Sie in Bremen?"
You: "Nur drei Tage."

And thus talking to the old gentleman you suddenly realize you are in Bremen.

Interesting Points

1. By now you know that "bitte" can be used just about anywhere. When in doubt use it.

2. "fahren" means "to drive". However, it is used by Germans for a drive, train ride, to ski, cycle ride, to go somewhere, etc.

3. "kennen" and "wissen" both mean "to know". However, the way they are used is different. I find easiest to remember "kennen" as "acquainted with" in  a loose form. "wissen" goes with "I am aware."

For example,

Q: Do you know Germany is a big country?
A: Ich weiß. I am aware or I know.

Q: Do you know that place well?
A: Ich kenne. I am acquainted with that place.

4. "b" at the end of a word is always pronounced "p"

5. You must have heard of the Bremen Street Singers. Here is a photo.

6. "wo" means "where". "wohin" means "where from." "woher" means "where to".



a) Are you on business?
b) Where are you going?
c) Where do you come from?
d) Do you know Mr. X?
e) Do you know that ...?

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1 comment:

The Wandering Gypsy said...

Wow! This blog shall become my German handbook now..and your posts are far more interesting and wittier than any handbook or manual can get...

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