German Lessons

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Landscapes and Landforms

In a previous newsletter, we looked at the German words for various bodies of water. This week, we'll take a look at different landscapes and landforms found in Germany and around the world. Germany itself has a surprising number of these diverse landscapes, with forests, rolling hills, valleys and mountain ranges, rocky and sandy coasts, and even wetlands. 

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Yabla has many videos about the incredible ecosystems of das Gebirge, the mountain range. You may also hear die Berge ("the mountains").

 

Nur wenige Menschen nehmen das beschwerliche Leben im Hochgebirge auf sich.

Only a few people take on the arduous life in the high mountains.

Caption 27, Die letzten Paradiese Schätze der Natur: Südtirol 

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Im kalten Stellisee verläuft ihre Entwicklung langsamer als im Tal.

In the cold Stellisee [a lake], their development proceeds more slowly than in the valley.

Caption 4, Alpenseen: Kühle Schönheiten

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Denn wenn das Eis der Gletscher schmilzt, fließt das Wasser von den Berghöhen durch Spalten tief ins Gebirge hinein.

Because if the ice of the glaciers melts, the water will flow from the mountain heights through fissures deep into the mountains.

Captions 35-36, Alpenseen: Kühle Schönheiten

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Fast die Hälfte der Landesfläche ist von Wald bedeckt.

Almost half of the state's area is covered by forest.

Caption 51, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Rheinland-Pfalz

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People may indeed think of forested mountains when they think of Germany, but there are also landscapes that we might associate more with other countries:

 

Einfach durch den Sumpf reiten konnten wir natürlich nicht.

We couldn't just ride through the swamp, of course.

Caption 10, Jan von München: Als ich mich einmal selbst aus dem Sumpf befreite

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In den Hügeln der grünen Insel Irland lebte einmal ein armer Kerl namens Niall O'Leary.

In the hills of the green isle of Ireland there once lived a poor fellow named Niall O'Leary.

Caption 5, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Ein Topf voll Gold

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Es sah hinaus auf die Wiese, die etwas weiter reichte, als es sehen konnte.

It looked out onto the meadow that extended somewhat farther than it could see.

Caption 45, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Das hässliche Entlein

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Near the North Sea or Baltic Sea, you will find completely different landforms (including islands!) and ecosystems:

 

Natali und Florian zieht es zunächst an die Küste Cornwalls.

Natali and Florian proceed first to the coast of Cornwall.

Caption 28, Abenteuer Nordsee: Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

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Die Hauptattraktion ist hier natürlich der Strand.

The main attraction here is, of course, the beach.

Caption 8, Berlin: Wannsee

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Of course, there are some landscapes that you simply won't find in Germany:

 

Sindbad kroch durch den Dschungel.

Sinbad crept through the jungle.

Caption 27, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Sindbad, der Seefahrer

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Die Wüste war heiß, die Berge waren hoch

The desert was hot, the mountains were high

Caption 5, Clueso Weil ich dich liebe

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Further Learning

There are many nature videos on Yabla German, and most of them include detailed descriptions of the landscape like in this series about the Alps. How would you describe the landscape of the country or region you are from? Try to talk about it with a tandem partner, or write down a few sentences. 

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