Friday, December 5, 2008

Let's Learn German Together - Lesson 8

The story so far ...

You are chatting with your pen friend in a cafe at the Frankfurt airport. You have just learnt that she is meeting up with a 'friend of hers'. In any case you have a busy week ahead. So you call for the waiter to pay up and ...

You: "Herr Ober!" (Mr. waiter! Hair obeyer)
Ober: "Ja Bitte." (Yes please. Ya bittay)
You: "Ich möchte bezahlen.” (I would like to pay. Issh moe-sh-tay bay-tshaal-en)
Ober: “Neun Euro zwanzig bitte” (9 Euros and 20 Cents please. Noyen oyrow, swn-sish bittey)
You: "Zehn Euro." (Ten Euros. Tsane Oyrow.)
Ober: "Und achtzig Euro zurück." (And 80 Euros back. Oont aaktish oyrow tsurook)
You: "Hier. Ein Euro für Sie." (Here. 1 Euro for you. Here. Eye-n oyrow fuer zee.)
Ober: "Danke sehr! Und haben Sie noch ein schöner Tag." ( Thanks very much. And have a nice day. Daankay seyer. Oont haaben zee nokh eye-n schoen-air takh)

You & She: "Auf wiedersehen!" (Bye. Aauf weeder-seyhen)
Ober: "Auf wiedersehen!" (Bye. Aauf weeder-seyhen)


Now It is time to go on with your business. Go on! Say good bye to your pen friend with a promise to meet soon.

You: "Also denn! Bis später denn." (Alright! See you later. Aalzo den. Bis shpaeter)
She: "Rufst du mich huete Abend an. ok?" (call me this evening. ok? "roofst doo mish hoytay aabent un. Ok?) - you heart gives a small jump.

You: "Ok!"
She: "Bis Samstag denn! Tschüss!" (Till Saturday then. Bye-bye. Bis zaamstakh den. Chuss)
You: "Tschüss!" (Chuss)

And then with a quick handshake she is gone. You turn towards the rail station.

Interesting Points:

a) "Euro" does not change for plural. Ein Euro ... Drei Euro

b) Any German word with "sp" is pronounced with a "shp" - for example, for später (meaning, later) we would say shpaeter! not spaeter.

c) In Germany, one tips by handing over the money to the waiter in person. Not just leaving some change on the table. Hence, "Ein Euro für Sie."

d) "Tschüss" is an informal way of saying bye. "Auf Wiedersehen" is formal: "wieder" means "again", "sehen" means "to see". Translated, auf wiedersehen means to see you again.

e) German has many verbs that separate (called separable verbs). If the sentence has an auxiliary verb (like, haben (have), muss (have to), etc.) separable verbs stay together. If separable verb is the only verb in the sentence, it splits and the prefix goes to the end of the sentence. In the sentence, "Rufst du mich huete Abend an", "anrufen", meaning "to call", is a separable verb. You can see than "an" has been pushed to the end of the sentence. This is very similar, but not exactly, to words like "pick up" in English. Thus, "I will pick you up". In English such phrases are not strictly governed by rules of grammar. In German very strict grammar rules apply.

Ok! Some episodes ago I had promised an introduction to numbers. Here goes ...

eins - one (eye-ns)
zwei - two (tsw-eye)
drei - three (dryii)
vier - four (fee-er)
fünf - five (fuenf)
sechs - six (zeks) - be careful with the pronunciation here!
sieben - seven (zeeben)
acht - eight (aakht)
neun - nine (noyen) - not "nine" - that is how you would pronounce "nein", meaning "no".
zehn - ten (ts-ain)
elf - eleven (elf) - that is easy
zwölf - twelve (ts-vohlf)
dreizhen - thirteen (dryii-ts-ain) - starts getting easier now! dreizehn = drei + zehn! Simple.
vierzehn - fourteen - easy
fünfzehn - fifteen - easy
sechzehn - sixteen - easy
siebzehn - seventeen - easy
achtzehn - eighteen - easy
neunzehn - nineteen - easy
zwanzig - twenty (swan-sish)


1) Memorize the above numbers.

2) As you travel to work, read the registration numbers on the car in German. Read the numbers in single digits for now. Do the same with the telephone numbers you know. Here's what I mean. For the first few days read the number 2574, for example, as zwei-fünf-sieben-vier. We will move to double and higher digits soon.

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