This week, we'll continue our work on travel vocabulary. The last lesson looked at words related to booking and traveling to a destination, so let's pick up there, and continue with types of accommodation.
When you book a trip, there's the question of both die Hinreise (the outward journey) and die Rückreise (the return journey). Depending on your mode of travel, you may instead talk about die Hinfahrt and die Rückfahrt for bus or train travel, or der Hinflug and der Rückflug for a flight. You can also say die einfache Fahrt for a single ticket, and der Gabelflug for a trip with multiple stops. Most of the time, however, you will be booking a round trip ticket:
Hin- und Rückfahrt kosten fünfzig Euro, und du musst nicht umsteigen.
A round trip costs fifty euros, and you don't have to change trains.
Caption 22, Nicos Weg: BahnreisenPlay Caption
Part of planning your trip is selecting accommodation (die Unterkunft), which is generally based on your chosen destination and budget:
Mit Hotel, Jugendherberge und Kapelle ist das achthundert Jahre alte Hospiz heute das Tor ins Innergschlöß.
With a hotel, youth hostel, and chapel, the eight-hundred-year-old former hospice is today the gateway to Innergschlöß.
Captions 26-27, Die letzten Paradiese: Die Schönheit der Alpen 2Play Caption
...und vor allen Dingen mit dem Komfort einer Ferienwohnung.
...and, above all else, with the comfort of a vacation home.
Caption 11, Glamping: Camping mit StilPlay Caption
Hierzulande hat zwar noch nicht jeder Campingplatz den Glamping-Faktor, aber schon im kommenden Jahr soll es in Deutschland soweit sein.
Here in Germany, admittedly, not every campground has this "glamping" factor, but it should already be available in Germany in the coming year.
Captions 34-35, Glamping: Camping mit StilPlay Caption
You will have to choose whether you require ein Einzelzimmer, ein Doppelzimmer, or ein Mehrbettzimmer, which is more often found at youth hostels and may involve bunk beds. At some types of accommodation, you can choose between die Halbpension, which includes breakfast and dinner, and die Vollpension, which includes all meals. More common, however, is a simple Übernachtung mit Frühstück.
Für ein Einzelzimmer zahlt man siebzig Euro die Nacht.
For a single room you pay seventy euros a night.
Caption 32, Berlin: Indoor-Camping im „Hüttenpalast“Play Caption
Inklusive Halbpension, die Ihre Frau selber kocht.
Including half board, which your wife cooks herself.Play Caption
In Germany, you may also find consider die Pension or das Gästehaus, which are generally smaller and less formal than a hotel. Of course, there is at least one mode of travel that eliminates the question of where to stay:
Mit dem Wohnmobil durch Luxemburg zu fahren bedeutet inzwischen, sich entscheiden zu müssen.
Driving through Luxembourg in a motorhome means having to make decisions these days.
Captions 31-32, Reisebericht: LuxemburgPlay Caption
In addition to watching travel videos on Yabla German, go to a German booking website and do a casual search for flights and hotels in order to see the vocabulary above used in context. For an even more advanced exercise, have a look at this article on unusual places to stay in Germany.
Maybe you live in the Southern Hemisphere, where it's currently winter, but in Northern Germany spring has arrived. We're finally starting to get more sunshine! Der Sonnenschein is a noun you probably know already, along with some other standards like die Sonnenbrille ("sunglasses," singular in German, by the way!) and die Sonnenblume ("sunflower"). Let's take a look today at some less familiar compound nouns that use Sonnen- as the root word.
The sun comes up with der Sonnenaufgang:
Wir sind nie vor Sonnenaufgang nach Hause gegangen.
We never went home before sunrise.
Caption 9, Nicos Weg: So feiern wir!Play Caption
Hopefully it will be another sunny day (der Sonnentag)! Not be confused with the day of the week (Sonntag), as there are plenty of those with bad weather!
Steh gerade, kerzengerade, lache in den Sonnentag.
Stand up straight, straight as a candle, laughing on the sunny day.
Caption 19, DDR-Fernsehen: Die letzten Sendeminuten des DFFPlay Caption
But with sunny days comes the danger of sunburn and long-term cancer risks from the rays of the sun: (der Sonnenstrahl, plural die Sonnenstrahlen):
...als die ersten Sonnenstrahlen durch die Wolken blitzten.
...as the first rays of sunshine flashed through the clouds.
Caption 48, Märchen,Sagenhaft: Der standhafte ZinnsoldatPlay Caption
It's best to protect your skin with die Sonnencreme and der Sonnenschutz and keep under der Sonnenschirm in order to avoid die Sonnenstrahlung:
Aber bitte... benutzen Sie Sonnencreme.
But please... use sun screen.
Caption 52, Unser Universum: Die SonnePlay Caption
Auf ausreichenden Sonnenschutz achten, denn durch das Wasser ist die Sonneneinstrahlung nochmal stärker als an Land.
Make sure to wear sufficient sun protection, because the water makes the solar radiation even stronger than it is on land.
Captions 78-79, Stand Up Paddling: 5 typische Anfängerfehler
Hier habe ich einen Sonnenschirm
Here I have a parasol.Play Caption
And then you can go sunbathing—usually expressed in German as ein Sonnenbad nehmen, but here they are "enjoying" sunbathing:
Eine Kolonie kalifornischer Seelöwen hat sich auf ihrem Felsen versammelt, um ein entspanntes Sonnenbad zu genießen.
A colony of California sea lions has gathered on their rock to enjoy a relaxing sunbath.
Captions 18-19, Evolution: Die KüstenPlay Caption
And at long last, after a nice day enjoying the sunshine, comes der Sonnenuntergang:
Bei mir muss der Held am Schluss in den Sonnenuntergang reiten.
For me, the hero has to ride off into the sunset at the end.
Caption 57, Rheinmain Szene Unheilig: „Der Graf“Play Caption
Go to Yabla German and search for other words using Sonnen- as the root word. You can also go to the DWDS Dictionary and find a long list of words starting with Sonnen-. See if you can guess their meanings before you look them up!
While many people in Germany have just come back from their Osterferien, people in the United States and elsewhere may already be thinking about trips they might take during summer vacation (der Sommerurlaub or die Sommerferien). This month, we'll devote a few lessons to looking at essential travel vocabulary in German.
You may remember how much trouble Jenny had deciding what kind of vacation to take. In German, a trip to a city is called die Städtereise, but many people like to keep things a bit more low key:
Ah, klar, ich könnte eine Kreuzfahrt mit dem Schiff machen.
Ah, right, I could take a cruise with a ship.
Caption 32, Jenny: ReisezielePlay Caption
Strandurlaub bei Windstärke sechs...
Beach vacation with a wind velocity of six...
Caption 42, Traumberuf: WindsurferPlay Caption
Once decided, you'll have to plan your trip and make the necessary reservations:
Ich möchte gerne eine Reise zum Europapark buchen.
I would like to book a trip to Europapark.
Caption 4, Reiseplanung: Anruf bei einem ReisebüroPlay Caption
In der Hauptsaison empfiehlt es sich zu reservieren.
In high season, it is recommended to make a reservation.
Caption 37, Reisebericht LuxemburgPlay Caption
Part of the planning is figuring out how you are going to get to your destination.
Stattdessen mit Bus und Bahn zum Reiseziel fahren.
Instead, travel by bus and train to your destination.
Caption 44, WissensWerte: Tourismus und NachhaltigkeitPlay Caption
Also mit dem Auto würde ich heute nicht fahren.
So, I wouldn't go by car today.
Caption 45, Deutsch mit Eylin Das WetterPlay Caption
Von dort können Sie ein Auto mieten oder mit dem Bus fahren.
From there you can rent a car or travel by bus.
Caption 13, Reiseplanung: Anruf bei einem ReisebüroPlay Caption
Damit höre ich manchmal Musik, wenn ich im Zug oder im Flugzeug sitze.
Sometimes I listen to music with them when I'm on the train or on a plane.
Captions 23-24, Deutsch mit Eylin: Denk schnell!Play Caption
Auf dem Schiff haben fünfhundertsechzehn Gäste Platz, richtig viel Platz.
There is room on the ship for five hundred and sixteen guests, really a lot of space.
Caption 10, Kreuzfahrtschiff: An Bord der Europa 2Play Caption
Hallo, liebe Yabla-Schüler, ich stehe heute hier auf einer Fähre.
Hello dear Yabla students, I am standing here today on a ferry.
Caption 1, Unterwegs mit Cettina: an der RheinfährePlay Caption
More travel vocabulary is coming! In the meantime, we have so many fun travel videos on Yabla German. Just do a quick search and you'll quickly find yourself in Heidelberg, Innsbruck, or the Alps! You may want to also check out this video on tourism and sustainability.
You're probably familiar with the saying "But there's a catch..." According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, it means that there is a "concealed difficulty or complication" in a situation. There is a similar saying in German, but instead of the noun for "catch," it uses the German word for the noun "hook": der Haken.
First, let's take a look at the pronunciation. You want to really open your mouth wide with an "ah" sound when pronouncing this word:
Im Wort „Haken“ ist das „A“ lang.
In the word “hook,” the “A” is long.
Caption 32, Deutsch mit Eylin: Das AlphabetPlay Caption
Now let's take a look at how der Haken is used idiomatically in the form einen Haken haben:
Dieses Kompliment seiner Frau ist schön, hat allerdings auch einen Haken.
This compliment by his wife is nice, however, it also has a catch.
Caption 19, Theater: Mörderische PhantasienPlay Caption
Die Sache hat einen Haken.
In this matter, there's a catch.Play Caption
You can also use the form ein Haken an etwas sein:
Ein Haken an der Sache ist der Preis: In der Hauptsaison zahlt eine vierköpfige Familie für die Lodgesuite am Gardasee pro Woche 1.400 Euro.
One catch with the whole thing is the price: During the peak season, a family of four pays 1,400 euros per week for the lodge suite on Lake Garda.
Captions 36-38, Glamping: Camping mit StilPlay Caption
Of course, ein Haken is also used in the literal sense to mean "a hook":
Unten am Fluss hängte er zuerst einen Wurm an den Haken und dann die Angel ins Wasser.
Down by the river, he first hung a worm on the hook and then cast the line into the water.
Captions 14-15, Janoschs Traumstunde: Post für den TigerPlay Caption
Ein solcher Fall ereignete sich, als sich ein Delfin in den Gewässern von Kona, Hawaii, einem Taucher näherte, weil ein Haken an seiner Flosse hing.
One such case occurred when a dolphin approached a diver in the waters of Kona, Hawaii, because a hook was attached to its fin.
Captions 14-16, Die 12 freundlichsten Meerestiere der WeltPlay Caption
Der Delfin positionierte sich so vor dem Taucher, dass dieser den Haken entfernen konnte.
The dolphin positioned itself in front of the diver so that he could remove the hook.
Captions 17-18, Die 12 freundlichsten Meerestiere der WeltPlay Caption
You'll note that "hook" is related to fishing. One easy way to remember this idiom is that "catch" is related to catching fish, which can be done with a hook. And that, dear Yabla readers, is der Haken!
Go to Yabla German and see the above examples in context. You can also make up some sentences of the saying using the forms einen Haken haben and ein Haken an etwas sein and have your teacher check them.
We've covered expressing opinions in German, but what about when you believe something to be true, but aren't completely sure? There are many different verbs for expressing what you assume or suspect to be the case.
The verbs vermuten and ahnen are rather neutral ways of suspecting something, whereas the verb verdächtigen is used primarily in the context of crime or wrongdoing.
Man vermutet, hier ist irgendwas in der Lüftung vom Willy-Brandt-Haus.
One suspects there is something in the ventilation here in the Willy-Brandt-Haus.Play Caption
Von all dem ahnt man oben nichts, denn die vielfältigen Geheimnisse der Alpenseen bleiben meist verborgen.
Of all of this, you would suspect nothing from above, because the diverse secrets of the Alpine lakes stay mostly hidden.
Captions 31-32, Alpenseen: Kühle SchönheitenPlay Caption
Sie haben den Chip also nur demontiert, damit wir ihn nicht finden und Sie nicht verdächtigen?
You only took the chip out so that we wouldn't find it and wouldn't suspect you?
Caption 23, Großstadtrevier: Neben der SpurPlay Caption
The separable verb annehmen, and the verbs vermuten and mutmaßen can all be translated as "to assume." However, it is especially common to use the phrase davon ausgehen.
Das ist wahrscheinlich sehr viel Arbeit auch, nehm ich an.
That's probably a lot of work too, I assume.
Caption 39, Der Fotograf: Sven SiegristPlay Caption
Er untersucht die genaue Herkunft von Kunstwerken im Museum Wiesbaden, von denen man annehmen könnte, dass sie während der Zeit der Nationalsozialisten unrechtmäßig und illegal ins Haus gelangten.
He is investigating the exact origin of artworks in the Wiesbaden Museum, that could be assumed to have entered the building unjustly and illegally during the Nazi era.
Captions 19-21, Restituierung von Raubkunst: aus der Nazi-ZeitPlay Caption
Ich gehe mal davon aus, dass wir circa sechzig Prozent internationale Schüler haben werden.
I am assuming that we will have around sixty percent international students.Play Caption
Lange gingen Astronomen davon aus, dass die Asteroiden Überbleibsel einer kosmischen Katastrophe, Bruchstücke eines zerborstenen Planeten irgendwo zwischen Mars und Jupiter seien.
Astronomers long assumed that asteroids were small remnants of a cosmic catastrophe, broken pieces of a planet blown apart somewhere between Mars and Jupiter.
Captions 17-19, Unser Universum: Asteroiden - Gefahr aus dem All?Play Caption
It being Monday, use the examples above and others on Yabla German to construct a few sentences about your expectations for the week. What do you assume will happen the same way it always does? What do you suspect might be different?
We know you're learning German, but what other subjects have you studied? Even if you're not currently in school, it's always interesting to talk with people about what they studied, and which subjects are still relevant to their lives today.
First, we can start with the natural sciences and the applied sciences, respectively called die Naturwissenschaften and die angewandten Wissenschaften in German.
Jan hat heute seine Physikarbeit zurückbekommen.
Jan got his physics paper back today.
Caption 2, The Simple Physics: Schrödingers KatzePlay Caption
Ja, das ist Mathematik oder Mathe.
Yes, this is mathematics or math.
Caption 8, Deutsch mit Eylin: Denk schnell!Play Caption
...das heißt wir gewinnen zusätzlich noch in dem Bereich Biologie auch eine gewisse Kapazität.
...which means we also gain a certain capacity in the field of biology.
Caption 40, Für Tierfreunde: Przewalski-WildpferdePlay Caption
Ich habe schnell gemerkt, dass mich Elektrotechnik sehr interessiert
I quickly noticed that electrical engineering really interests me.
Caption 10, Deutsche Welle: Lieber Ausbildung als StudiumPlay Caption
In these next captions, you will find some fields that relate to the social sciences, or die Sozialwissenschaften, and the world of business.
Ja? Das wäre so eine Geschichte, ähm, mit interdisziplinärem Input aus der Sportwissenschaft, der Sportmedizin, der Psychologie und der Soziologie.
Yes? That would be something, um, with interdisciplinary input from sport sciences, sports medicine, psychology, and sociology.
Captions 65-66, TEDx: Lebenslange FitnessPlay Caption
Ich hab schon in Spanien zwei Semester Jura studiert.
I already studied law in Spain for two semesters.
Caption 7, Nicos Weg: Am BankautomatenPlay Caption
Ich studiere Wirtschaft und arbeite in einem Café.
I study economics and work in a café.
Caption 27, Magie: Die ZaubershowPlay Caption
The humanities, or die Geisteswissenschaften, include history, languages, literature, philosophy, and often the arts as well. For more on the arts, you can refer to two recent lessons, one which covered the visual arts, and the other on the performing arts.
Kunstgeschichte wird ja von Kunsthistorikern gemacht. Da haben Sie recht, das waren immer Männer.
Art history is written by art historians. You are right about that, those were always men.
Caption 25, Malerei: ImpressionistinnenPlay Caption
Interessierst du dich für Literatur?
Are you interested in literature?
Caption 9, Nicos Weg: Das macht mir Spaß!Play Caption
Based on what you read above and have found on Yabla German, see if you can figure out the meanings of the following: die Politikwissenschaft, die Kulturwissenschaft, die Religionswissenschaft. Some disciplines, like die Philosophie, die Geografie, die Geologie, die Anthropologie, or die Medizin, have similar names to their English counterparts and may be easy to identify. And then, of course, some subjects have simply adopted the English term, such as das Marketing and das Management.
In a previous Yabla lesson, we discussed Easter traditions in Germany. Today, let's talk about the German names of the main Easter holidays. Easter, a Christian commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, is called Ostern in German. It's a neuter noun, but is usually written and spoken without a definite or indefinite article, in the same way that we don't usually say "the Easter" or "an Easter" in English.
Easter is a week-long religious celebration with major and minor days of celebration. This week is called Karwoche ("Holy Week"). The term has nothing to do with automobiles, but stems rather from the now-obsolete 17th-century German word kara, which means "grief, sorrow, or lamentation." The first major day of celebration is Palm Sunday:
Am Palmsonntag steht eine große Messe auf dem Programm.
On Palm Sunday, a large mass is on the schedule.
Captions 9-10, Papst Franziskus: Der neue Papst hat viel zu tunPlay Caption
The next four Easter days are not celebrated and not official holidays in Germany: Ostermontag, Osterdienstag, and Ostermittwoch (Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, and Easter Wednesday). Maundy Thursday, also commonly called Holy Thursday, commemorates the Last Supper of Christ: Gründonnerstag, literally "Green Thursday." This day is not an official holiday in Germany, so Cettina and Sabine can still go out dancing without fear of Tanzverbot:
Da wir heute erst Gründonnerstag haben, gehen wir jetzt eine Runde tanzen und verabschieden uns von euch.
Since it's only Holy Thursday, we'll now go dance a bit and say goodbye to you.
Captions 71-72, Cettina und Sabine: OsternPlay Caption
The next Easter day is an official holiday in Germany, Karfreitag or Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion of Christ.
Der Karfreitag ist ein Fasten- und Abstinenztag.
Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence.
Caption 65, Cettina und Sabine: OsternPlay Caption
The next day, Holy Saturday, is called Karsamstag in German, and is meant in Christian theology to mark the descent of Christ into Hell. It is not an official holiday in Germany either.
The last day of Easter is the most important: Easter Sunday, called Ostersonntag or simply Ostern. This is when, according to Christian belief, Christ was resurrected from the dead. It's surprisingly not an official holiday in Germany (except for Brandenburg), because most shops are closed and most people don't go to work on Sundays anyway. Official work-free holidays are decided in Germany on the state rather than national level.
Der Ostersonntag gehört zu den Höhepunkten der Osterfeierlichkeiten bei den Katholiken.
Easter Sunday is one of the highlights of Easter celebrations among Catholics.
Captions 16-17, Papst Franziskus: Der neue Papst hat viel zu tunPlay Caption
The day after Easter is an official holiday in Germany and is commonly called Ostermontag, although the religious Easter Monday took place the week before.
German, like many languages, uses a lot of idioms referring to animals. You've probably heard some similar English expressions like "I'm in the dog house," or "to let the cat out of the bag." Let's take a look today at some more German animal expressions, as continued from Part I.
Mann, du schläfst ja wie ein Bär!
Man, you sleep like a bear!Play Caption
You occasionally see the idiom "to sleep like a bear" in English, but the far more common phrase is "to sleep like a log." Bears hibernate much of the winter, thus it means to sleep very deeply. Logs don't sleep at all, of course, but it suggests a person is sleeping so deeply and heavily that they resemble a log.
Sie will wissen, wie der Hase läuft.
She wants to be more experienced.
The literal translation is "to know how the hare runs." The expression has nothing to do with speed (hares being fast runners), but rather with the knowledge of knowing how they run so quickly. Thus the idiom means to have experience, knowledge, or wisdom. This is related to the next expression:
Du bist ein alter Hase.
You are very experienced.
Caption 33, Oskar: Gehen, wenn es am schönsten istPlay Caption
"To be an old hare" means you have a lot of experience, and is similar to the English expression "an old hand."
Judith hat doch hier mit ihrem Projekt fabulös die Kuh vom Eis geholt.
After all, Judith has, with her project here, saved the situation fabulously.
Captions 27-28, Lerchenberg: Sascha hautnahPlay Caption
The literal translation is "to fetch the cow from the ice," meaning to have saved a precarious situation from disaster. Cows, as we saw in the previous lesson, are widely considered to be stupid animals, so it's no surprise that such sayings have them wandering out onto thin ice!
Ich bin tierisch reich.
I'm very rich.
Caption 15, Die Prinzen_ Alles nur geklautPlay Caption
Victorian English, at least judging from period films, made common use of the term "beastly" as an idiom meaning "very." So you'll have an Arctic explorer on the verge of freezing to death saying something like "I say, old chap, it's beastly cold up here!" The word sounds strange to modern ears, however, and is best translated with the simple "very."
Go to Yabla German and watch the above videos to get a better idea of the contexts in which they have been used. You can also search the Redensarten-Index for more animal expressions. It's a good site to bookmark if you come across a German idiom whose meaning isn't clear!
At one point, we wrote a lesson on the difference between eröffnen and öffnen. The verb öffnen is basically what it sounds like, while the verb eröffnen can also be used with non-physical entities that can be "opened," as well as something that is established or instituted.
When it comes to closing something, you probably know the word schließen. And just as aufmachen can substitute for öffnen, zumachen is another verb used to talk about closing something.
Jetzt schließe ich meinen Koffer.
Now, I'll close my suitcase.
Caption 22, Christiane: fährt in den UrlaubPlay Caption
Die Polizei sagt, er solle seinen Kofferraum aufmachen.
The police officer says he should open his trunk.
Caption 4, Sabine erzählt Witze: Die PinguinePlay Caption
Wenn keine Tür da ist, kann man sie auch nicht zumachen.
If there is no door, you can't close it either.
Caption 26, Piggeldy und Frederick: HausPlay Caption
That is all relatively simple, but when it comes to locking and unlocking something like a door, there are many more verbs you can use, such as aufschließen, zuschließen, verschließen, and abschließen. The first two are similar to aufmachen and zumachen, but would refer to something that is shut very securely or locked. You may know the verb abschließen as "to finish" or "to conclude," but it can also mean "to lock up." Interestingly, aufgeschlossen is also an adjective used to describe a person being "open" or "receptive."
Frankreich plant nachzuziehen und auch London will aufschließen.
France plans to follow suit and London wants to open [its financial markets] up as well.Play Caption
Die Schachtel ist total sicher verschlossen.
The box is completely and securely shut.
Caption 58, The Simple Physics: Schrödingers KatzePlay Caption
Also, die Leute sind sehr aufgeschlossen.
Well, the people are very receptive.
Caption 7, Eva Croissant: InterviewPlay Caption
It then gets even more specific, with verbs like entriegeln and entsperren, which could also mean "unlatch" or "unbolt."
Maik gibt den vierstelligen Code ein und entriegelt das Schloss.
Maik enters the four-digit code and unlocks the lock.
Caption 28, Fußballspieler Maik Franz: "Call a Bike"Play Caption
You can find many examples of these verbs on Yabla German, which is the best way to understand the nuances in their meaning. You can also look up the list of possible translations for each verb with an online dictionary like leo.org to get a sense of this as well. While you're at it, consider aufsperren and zusperren, two additional verbs more often used in Southern Germany. Based on the other verbs you have learned, what do you think these mean?
German, like many languages, uses a lot of idioms referring to animals. You've probably heard the English expression "I'm hungry as a horse" or the term "snail mail." What these expressions have in common in all languages is that they refer to some quality that is associated in that culture with a specific animal: Horses eat a lot of food and snails move very slowly—always compared to humans, of course. Let's take a look today at some German animal expressions.
Wohl aufs falsche Pferd gesetzt, hm?
Probably bet on the wrong horse, hm?
Caption 19, Marga Engel schlägt zurück Der Engel von LeipzigPlay Caption
This one is easy, because English has the same saying with the same meaning: "to make a wrong decision," or "to support something that failed." It comes from racetrack betting or investing in a racehorse.
Wisst ihr, was ich der blöden Kuh gesagt habe?
Do you know what I said to the stupid cow?
Caption 28, Weihnachtsfilm Ein Sack voll GeldPlay Caption
Cows are always being accused of being stupid, but since it's usually male humans who call women "stupid cows," perhaps it's really such men who are stupidly sexist. Thankfully, this awful expression in English is mostly confined to Britain, an island just outside of Europe. Sadly, the Germans seem to have adopted it—though perhaps it was the Germanic Saxons who first introduced it to Britain after all!
Sind die dummen Esel die Menschen und die richtigen Esel die Tiere?
Are the dumb donkeys the people and the real donkeys the animals?
Caption 15, Piggeldy und Frederick Der EselPlay Caption
If you call somebody an Esel in German, it means you think they are stupid or stubborn, similar to the English phrase "as stubborn as a mule." Mules are half donkey and half horse, of course. Piggeldy is making the point that perhaps it's humans who are dumb, and not donkeys. But of course Piggeldy is only a cartoon pig. Speaking of which...
„Wir haben ganz schön Schwein gehabt", sagte Frederick,
"We were very lucky," said Frederick,
Caption 33, Piggeldy und Frederick Reise nach SchweinebrückPlay Caption
The literal translation of Schwein haben is "to have a swine" (or "pig"), but it means "to be very lucky." The saying apparently comes from old German festivals of marksmanship, where the worst shot was given a piglet as a consolation prize. So despite Schwein being a common German insult, the pig was considered a valuable possession in earlier times and thus meant business income and luck.
„Gibt es viele arme Schweine?“, fragte Piggeldy.
"Are there lots of poor swine?" Piggeldy asked.
Caption 21, Piggeldy und Frederick ArmPlay Caption
Piggeldy, a cartoon pig, is literally asking if there are a lot of "poor swine" in the world. The joke intended here is that armes Schwein, figuratively spoken, means a person who is worthy of sympathy, as something bad has happened to them. Thus, Piggeldy is also asking if there are a lot of unfortunate people. It's similar to the English expressions "poor bastard," "poor wretch," or "poor devil."
Go to Yabla German and watch the above videos to get a better idea of the contexts in which they have been used. And remember, it's rude to call somebody a blöde Kuh, but it can show sympathy if you call somebody an armes Schwein. Funny isn’t it, how in German, calling somebody a pig can be a nice thing!
In English, we have the words "simple," "easy," "difficult," and "hard." German similarly has its own adjectives with nuanced meanings. You have likely seen einfach used both as an adjective most often meaning either "simple," "basic," or "easy," and also as an adverb meaning "simply," "basically," or "just."
Im Grunde ist es also ganz einfach.
So basically it's quite simple.
Caption 34, Deutsch mit Eylin: DoppellautePlay Caption
Natürlich kann man auch einfach nur spazieren gehen.
Of course, one can also simply just go for a walk.
Caption 10, Berlin: Eva im ViktoriaparkPlay Caption
The adjective schwierig can also mean "tricky" more than truly hard or difficult.
Und es ist schwierig, diese Dinge anzusprechen.
And it is difficult to talk about things.
Caption 37, Die Wohngemeinschaft: ProblemePlay Caption
You may have noticed that the same adjectives used to describe weight apply to ease and difficulty. The adjective leicht also means "light" (again, this is in terms of weight, not in terms of color, which would be hell). The adjective schwer has a whole host of meanings, including "heavy," "difficult," "severe," "grave," and "arduous."
Sie bleiben gerne in der Deckung umgestürzter Bäume, wo sie der Hecht nicht so leicht erwischt.
They like to stay under the cover of fallen trees, where the pike can't catch them so easily.
Captions 17-18, Alpenseen: Kühle SchönheitenPlay Caption
„Nichts leichter als das“, antwortete Frederick.
"Nothing easier than that!" answered Frederick.
Caption 4, Piggeldy und Frederick: AufräumenPlay Caption
Die können sich noch an andere schwere Zeiten erinnern.
They can still remember other difficult times.Play Caption
Clueso lässt sich immer noch schwer einordnen.
Clueso still remains difficult to categorize.
Caption 41, Clueso: ist endlich erwachsenPlay Caption
Sie sehen als Erste die Kranken und wie schwer manche Verläufe der Infektion sind.
You are the first to see the sick and how severe some courses of the infection are.
Captions 6-7, Coronavirus: Fernsehansprache von Angela MerkelPlay Caption
There's one more word that should be mentioned, which is the adjective simpel. Be careful: this word does mean "simple," but is also used negatively to express that something is simplistic or limited.
Es ist eigentlich ganz simpel.
It is actually very simple.
Caption 34, Deutschkurs in Tübingen: Verben der 2. KategoriePlay Caption
When you see one of these adjectives in a sentence on Yabla German, ask yourself whether one of the others could be swapped in. Sometimes something will be either leicht, einfach, or simpel, but not all three, and the same goes for schwierig and schwer.
English, as a Germanic language, has many words that are originally derived from German. Many of these words have had their roots in the English language for over a thousand years, but there are also German words that have been adopted by English speakers much more recently. Let's take a look at some of these German latecomers today!
The German noun die Angst, as used in the phrase Angst vor etwas haben, is commonly translated as "to be scared," "to be afraid," or "to be frightened," but only occasionally as the English word "angst." The reason for this is that the English word is often used in a more intellectual context when writing about art, sociology, or psychology. In English, it's not merely "being afraid" in the German sense of Angst haben, but rather, as the Oxford dictionary describes it, "a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general." English seems to have adopted "angst" in order to give it a meaning far more specific than plain old "being afraid."
Die typischen deutschen Gerichte sind immer so einfach. Bratwurst, Currywurst, alles immer mit Wurst.
The typical German dishes are always so simple. Bratwurst, currywurst, everything always with wurst.
Captions 31-33, Nicos Weg: Essen gehenPlay Caption
As you see above, the English versions of the German nouns follow English rules for lowercase capitalization. A good code-switching pun—if there is such a thing as a good pun—will take us from bad to Wurst. Actually, since "wurst" is English too, it's not even code-switching unless you capitalize the noun and format it as italics!
Dort auf der von ihm legendär besungenen geilen Meile Reeperbahn steht seit mehr als einem Jahr sein Doppelgänger aus Wachs.
There on the lecherous Reeperbahn mile, which he famously sung about, his doppelgänger made of wax has been standing for more than one year.
Captions 13-14, 65 Jahre: Udo LindenbergPlay Caption
According to Merriam-Webster, the preferred American English spelling of this is with the umlaut ä, though doppelganger with a standard English "a" is also an accepted spelling. The Brits, however, want nothing to do with an umlaut—another German word found in English by the way—and only accept the spelling "doppelganger." Well, more umlauts for us Americans then!
Auf der Konsumgütermesse Tendence in Frankfurt dominiert Kitsch viele Stände.
At the consumer products trade show "Tendence" in Frankfurt, kitsch dominates many booths.
Caption 2, Auftrumpfen: Mit Kitsch und ProtzPlay Caption
Back when I was a kid in the last millennium or before, a friend of mine with German parents showed me one of his parent's German books about kitsch, and a new word entered our everyday vocabulary. It made us sound smarter than we probably were to say "Oh, that's kitschy" instead of "Oh, that's trashy" or "that's tacky." Anyway it probably impressed our small-town American teachers, who may not have even known what it meant themselves!
Tja, Schadenfreude ist eben doch die schönste Freude.
Well, schadenfreude is still the best kind of enjoyment.
Caption 36, Umweltlernen: Propellerpflanzen am KräutertagPlay Caption
One could argue that the German invention of the word Schadenfreude, which means "a pleasure derived from the pain of others," says some not very nice things about German culture. But it could also be argued that it shows how the German culture had accurate insight into the human psyche, and this as early as the first appearance of the word in 1740. According to some studies, schadenfreude has been observed in children as young as 24 months of age. Hopefully, humans will eventually evolve beyond such sordid pleasures and develop a better sense of empathy for their fellow human beings, even those they dislike.
A number of German words adopted by English tend to be used much more often in written English than in spoken English, which is why you may not find them so often in Yabla German videos. Look up the words die Gestalt, die Weltanschauung, and der Weltschmerz in the DWDS dictionary, then compare them to their English equivalents in an English dictionary. Are the meanings nearly identical, such as Bratwurst (bratwurst) and Doppelgänger (doppelgänger) are? Or are they somewhat different, as Angst (angst) is?
If you are familiar with über ("above," "over," "across") and hinaus ("out," "afield"), the fact that über hinaus (also darüber hinaus) is often translated as "beyond" may not surprise you. Like in English, it can be used to talk about physical distance, or be used in a similar context to außerdem, which means "additionally" or "moreover."
Es ging über die Wiese hinaus in die große, weite Welt.
It went across the meadow, out into the big, wide world.
Caption 49, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Das hässliche EntleinPlay Caption
Ist die Drohne auch mit einer Kamera ausgestattet, muss ihr Besitzer darüber hinaus noch mehr beachten.
If the drone is also equipped with a camera, its owner must additionally pay even more attention.Play Caption
...und vielleicht noch darüber hinaus mit verschiedenen Medien zu arbeiten.
...and maybe even beyond that, working with different kinds of media.
Caption 50, Sprachschulen: Sprachcaffe FrankfurtPlay Caption
Although it may look similar, über hinweg cannot be used interchangeably with über hinaus. It is often translated with "over" or "through" and can be used to talk about time passing. Take a look:
Für Menschen sind Tiere oft treue Begleiter und helfen über so manche einsame Stunde hinweg.
Animals are often loyal companions for people, and help them through many a lonely hour.
Captions 1-2, Für Tierfreunde: Wohin mit Tieren wenn Besitzer sterbenPlay Caption
Wir haben mit den vierten Klassen über ein ganzes Jahr hinweg zu unterschiedlichen Themen gearbeitet...
Over the course of an entire year, we have worked on various themes with the fourth grade class...Play Caption
As you can see, both of the examples above refer to time, and not to distance or extent. But in this next example, über hinaus very clearly means "over" and "away":
Eines Tages wird es so weit sein, und bis dahin träume ich mich über die Mauer hinweg zu dir.
One day it will be the case, and until then I will dream myself over the wall to you.
Caption 29, Lilly unter den Linden: Umzug in die DDRPlay Caption
Go to Yabla German and make sure you understand how these phrases are used in a sentence. For each sentence you see, consider which other word could be used and what this says about the meaning of über hinaus or über hinweg in that particular context.
Yabla published a lesson on Valentine's Day in Germany a few years ago, but we thought it would be timely to address the topic again as we have a lot of newer videos that mention the holiday. Valentine's Day in Germany is not as popular as it is in some countries, but it's getting celebrated more every year.
Heute ist Valentinstag, deswegen treffen sich heute bestimmt besonders viele Leute hier.
Today is Valentine's Day, so there are bound to be a lot of people here today.
Captions 7-8, Valentinstag: in KarlsruhePlay Caption
The first part is literally true, since this lesson was sent out on Valentine's Day!
Valentinstag find ich ganz gut. Mit wem willst du denn Valentinstag feiern?
I think Valentine's Day is pretty good. Who do you want to celebrate Valentine's Day with?
Captions 31-32, Nicos Weg: Feste und FeiertagePlay Caption
This can, of course, be the question if you're single. Maybe it's a good time to be brave and give somebody you like a nice platonic-ish Valentine's card–but only if it's in the appropriate circumstances, like maybe not in the workplace.
Die Floristen wappnen sich für den Valentinstag.
The florists are gearing up for Valentine's Day.Play Caption
Your local florist, like many small businesses, has probably suffered a lot during the pandemic. This is a great time to give them some support if you can afford it–even if the flowers are for yourself!
Valentinstag ist ein Hochbetriebstag, an dem]einfach ganz viele Menschen kommen, die für ihre Liebste oder ihren Liebsten Blumen kaufen.
Valentine's Day is a peak day when a lot of people simply come who are buying flowers for their sweethearts.
Captions 6-9, Rhein-Main-TV: Vorbereitungen für Valentinstag laufenPlay Caption
Of course, you want to be very sure before you buy somebody flowers, but as we mentioned above, in the worst case scenario, buy some for yourself. And no, it's not "sad," it's self-affirming!
In Deutschland gilt der Valentinstag erst seit den 1950er Jahren als Tag der Freundschaft.
In Germany, Valentine's Day has been observed as a day of friendship only since the 1950s.
Caption 14, Valentinstag: in KarlsruhePlay Caption
But Valentine's Day is, in fact, becoming so popular in Germany that...
...laut einer Umfrage des Verbraucherforums Mydealz erwarten rund 60% der Deutschen auf jeden Fall ein Geschenk von ihrem Partner oder von ihrer Partnerin.
...according to a survey by the consumer forum Mydealz, around 60% of Germans definitely expect a gift from their partner.
Captions 40-42, Rhein-Main-TV: Vorbereitungen für Valentinstag laufenPlay Caption
Go to Yabla German and watch the full videos above to see the context in which these expressions about Valentine's day have been used.
German has a reputation for being a difficult and rough language, but there are in fact some words and constructions that are particularly lovely and not found in any other language. Let's have a look!
First of all, there are a number of nouns that are quite charming, including compound nouns. In what other language do you have words for a sense of happiness found when hiking, or being as happy as a poodle? Or what about the word for lightbulb, which literally translates as "glowing pear?"
Ein Mitbringsel gibt es für die Familie dann aber doch.
But there is a little present then for the family, nonetheless.
Caption 13, Katherine Heigl: Sie liebt deutsches EssenPlay Caption
Die Biker fühlen sich pudelwohl hier zwischen S-Bahn und Autos
The bikers feel as happy as poodles here between the S-Bahn and cars,
Caption 48, Pumptrack: Rad fahren, ohne zu tretenPlay Caption
Zum Gipfelglück führt nur ein schmaler Grat durchs ewige Eis.
Enjoyment of the summit is only reachable by a narrow ridge, through eternal ice.Play Caption
...der typische Morgenmuffel namens Geli.
...a typical morning grouch by the name of Geli.Play Caption
Hier ist die Fassung und da ist die Birne. Kann man rein- und rausschrauben. -Ist eine Glühbirne.
Here is the socket and there is the bulb. You can screw it in and out. -It's a light bulb.Play Caption
Then there is the ending -chen. You are probably already familiar with several words that simply have this ending, such as das Mädchen, das Hähnchen, or das Bisschen. But like the ending -lein, -chen is used to create diminutive forms, and there are many words that can be transformed with this suffix. Let's have a look.
As mentioned, these two words ending in -chen are simply standard German words:
Ein Junge und ein Mädchen, fünf Jahre und zwei Jahre.
A boy and a girl, five years old and two years old.
Caption 60, Cettina: interviewt MütterPlay Caption
Glaubst du, du wirst dort ein leckeres Hähnchen grillen?
Do you think you will grill a delicious chicken there?
Caption 38, Konjugation: Das Verb „grillen“Play Caption
In these next two examples, you can see that das Männchen can mean "the little man," in this case referring to small statues. However, it also can refer to the male of a species, in this case a male woodpecker:
Ja, richtig. Aus dem Ampelmännchen ist eine dreidimensionale Skulptur geworden.
Yes, exactly. A three dimensional sculpture has emerged from the little traffic light man.Play Caption
Bei der Zimmererarbeit wechseln Männchen und Weibchen einander ab.
When it comes to carpentry work, males and females take turns.Play Caption
This next example brings up a good point, which is that many diminutive forms result in the addition of an umlaut:
Aus dem „Hund“ wird dann ein „Hündchen“.
From "dog," we then get "little dog."
Caption 31, Deutsch mit Eylin: Umlaute - Part 1Play Caption
As you may have noticed, all of these words have the article das. While Mark Twain may have been quite critical of "the girl" having a neuter article rather than a feminine one, you have to admit it's quite convenient that they all follow the same pattern!
In addition to what you can find on Yabla German, there is a massive list of nouns that end with -chen on Wikipedia. Have a look! On Yabla, pay special attention to how the -chen ending is pronounced by native speakers, using the slow playback function if necessary.
In Part I of "Expressions using Tisch," we explored a number of German idioms that use the noun der Tisch. Let's take a look at some more of them today!
Wo ist denn der Herr Schöller? -Zu Tisch mit Herrn Fischer.
Where is Mr. Schöller? -Eating with Mr. Fischer.
Captions 26-27, Marga Engel schlägt zurück: Hochmut kommt vor dem FallPlay Caption
In the above example, the speaker dropped the verb, but the full sentence would read Herr Schöller ist zu Tisch mit Herrn Fischer. The phrase zu Tisch sein could also be translated more literally as "at the table," but in German it is, perhaps even more so than in English, suggesting that they are eating a meal.
Dann ist das gleich vom Tisch.
Then it'll be resolved soon.
Caption 20, Lerchenberg: Sascha hautnahPlay Caption
The phrase vom Tisch sein means "to resolve" something, whereas the English expression "off the table" means that something, such as an offer, is no longer valid or being considered. Beware of false friends!
Zwei Jahre hat der Bau gedauert und 1,4 Milliarden Euro hat Betreiber EnBW dafür auf den Tisch gelegt.
The construction lasted two years, and 1.4 billion euros is what the operator EnBW invested.
Captions 14-15, Windenergie Ostsee-Windpark: Baltic 2 speist Strom ins Netz einPlay Caption
If you were talking about business and said that an investor "laid 1.4 billion euros on the table," it would probably be understood, but for clarity it's best to translate auf den Tisch legen as "to invest."
Also würdest du mich jetzt hier ruhig unter den Tisch saufen können?
So, could you easily drink me under the table here now?
Caption 13, Schauspielerin: Jessica SchwarzPlay Caption
This one is a double whammy since saufen (literally "to soak") is also slang. The slightly more polite version is unter den Tisch trinken, but that is easy, as the expression is identical in English!
Dann: „Jemanden über den Tisch ziehen“.
Then, "To take advantage of someone."
Caption 4, Nicos Weg: Bei uns oder bei euch?Play Caption
"To pull someone over the table" doesn't make much sense in English, though it doesn't sound like a very nice thing to do! As you see, jemanden über den Tisch ziehen means "to take advantage of someone."
Make up some new sentences using the expressions we just learned about and have your teacher or a fellow student check your work:
zu Tisch sein
vom Tisch sein
auf den Tisch legen
unter den Tisch trinken
über den Tisch ziehen
Afterwards go to Yabla German and watch the full videos above to see the context in which these expressions have been used.
At some point while learning German, it may have dawned on you that there isn't exactly a German equivalent for the adjective "fun." There is, of course, the noun der Spaß, which is used to describe how someone can "have fun" (Spaß haben) or something can "be fun" (Spaß machen):
Ich glaube, auch die Erwachsenen haben Spaß an dem Film.
I think adults also have fun with this film.
Caption 11, Michael Mittermeier: Hexe LilliPlay Caption
Und ich hab auch gelernt, dass es mir Spaß macht, vor der Kamera zu stehen,
And I also learned that standing in front of the camera is fun for me,
Caption 20, Anja Polzer: InterviewPlay Caption
The adjective spaßig does exist, but is more specific, meaning that something is either "merry" or "celebratory," or "jocular" or "playful." Es hat Spaß gemacht is therefore not really the same thing as Es war spaßig.
Und spaßig ging es auch in der Festhalle weiter.
And it continued merrily in the Festhalle too.Play Caption
In terms of adjectives, however, there are a few other contenders. The adjective lustig can mean either "funny" or "fun" depending on the context.
Es ist einfach lustig und immer wieder da zwischendurch kommt trotzdem wieder ein Fund.
It's just fun, and time and time again in between, another find is still made.
Caption 64, Ausgrabungen: Auf den Spuren der DinosaurierPlay Caption
The adjectives amüsant and unterhaltsam also play a role here, as they describe something or someone being fun in the sense of being entertaining.
Er ist sicher wahnsinnig locker und unheimlich amüsant.
I'm sure he's incredibly easygoing and incredibly entertaining.
Caption 28, Weihnachtsmann gesucht: Bist du verliebt?Play Caption
So unterhaltsam kann Lernen sein!
Learning can be so entertaining!Play Caption
Für die knappe Stunde Flug ist die Außenansicht unterhaltsam genug.
For just under an hour's flight, the view outside is entertaining enough.Play Caption
On Yabla German, you can find many examples of how Germans cleverly use Spaß machen and Spaß haben to describe various fun occurrences and events. What has been fun for you in the last months? How would you tell someone about it in German?
In an earlier Yabla lesson, we started discussing idioms and slang expressions for "crazy." We'll be taking a look today at some more expressions that seriously question somebody's psychological well-being. But a word of warning if you are in Germany: these expressions are insulting and may make the person you are directing them at very angry. If that person has witnesses, it's possible that they could personally file criminal charges against you, take you to court, and have you convicted for insulting them. In Germany, Beleidigung is a felony crime punishable by up to two years' imprisonment and a fine. If the person who was insulted is a police officer or other public official, either the person or their supervisor can file charges against you. In that case it's called die Beamtenbeleidigung. So much for freedom of speech! Let's take a look at a few expressions that could get you in trouble in the wrong circumstances.
Sag mal, bist du völlig verrückt geworden?
Tell me, have you completely gone crazy?
Caption 47, Großstadtrevier: Leben kommt, Leben gehtPlay Caption
The adjective verrückt is slang and used very commonly. It comes from a 16th century usage which meant "brought to the wrong place."
Die spinnen ja wohl. Das ist ja wahnsinnig.
They're crazy. This is insane.
Caption 38, Großstadtrevier: Nicht mit mirPlay Caption
The verb spinnen was described in the previous Yabla lesson. The adjective wahnsinnig may also be translated as "crazy." It's also used in a casual sense to add emphasis, such as Das ist wahnsinnig teuer ("That is very expensive" or "That is crazy expensive"). It comes from the Old and Middle German word wan, which meant "lacking" or "empty."
Diese irre Öko-Oma wollte neulich einen echten Klimaplan verabschieden.
This crazy eco-grandma recently wanted to pass a real climate plan.Play Caption
The expression irre comes from an obsolete noun that meant "the wrong way" or "the wrong direction."
Seid ihr bescheuert oder was?
Are you crazy or what?
Caption 4, Lilly unter den Linden: Umzug in die DDRPlay Caption
The answer to that is, "No, we're just trying to learn German!" The adjective bescheuert is derived from the verb scheuern, which means "to thoroughly scrub out" with a brush or similar cleaning tool. The less than polite suggestion is that someone's brain has been scrubbed out of their skull!
Make up some new sentences using the expressions discussed above and have your teacher or a fellow student check your work. Please be sure that the sentences you construct are not aimed at your fellow students or your teacher—it always pays to be polite! Go to the videos mentioned above on Yabla German to better understand the contexts in which these expressions have been used.