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Media and Entertainment

When it comes to leisure, we may engage in sports or other hobbies and activities, but most people also enjoy listening to music or radio programs, watching films or TV, and/or reading in their free time. This week's lesson is devoted to vocabulary related to media and entertainment. 



It used to be that music collections took up lots of space, but now this depends on how you listen. Many people still collect records (die Schallplatte, plural die Schallplatten), CDs (die CD, plural die CDs) or even cassettes (die Kassette, plural die Kassetten), but not all. 


Also, der hat ein Lied „Fireflies“ und habe ich mir auch gleich das Album gekauft.

Well, he has a song called "Fireflies" and I bought the album right away too.

Caption 33, Eva Croissant: Interview

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Die Nashville-LP „Could Have Been Mine“ ist die dritte Platte der Band.

The Nashville LP "Could Have Been Mine" is the band's third disc.

Caption 43, Ann Doka & Band: New Country aus dem Rhein-Main-Gebiet

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Komm, dreh noch mal die Kassette.

Come on, play the cassette again.

Caption 28, Max Mutzke: Welt hinter Glas

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Den Platz im Regal für diese kunststoffreichen Staubfresser kann man sich sparen, indem man Musik und Filme online streamt oder herunterlädt.

You can save the shelf space taken up by these plastic-rich dust collectors by streaming or downloading music and movies online.

Captions 36-37, WWF Deutschland: Tipps zur Vermeidung von Plastikmüll

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Movies and TV series are also often accessed through streaming services, but some people have DVD collections with their favorite films. Others think nothing compares to the big screen:


Ich schenke ihr eine DVD.

I'm giving her a DVD.

Caption 18, Nicos Weg: Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

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Wohin gehst du heute noch? Ins Kino. Es läuft ein neuer Film.

Where else are you going to today? To the cinema. A new film is playing.

Captions 35-36, Diane erklärt: Fragewörter

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For TV series, there are two nouns to know: die Sendung and die Serie. A season of a TV show is called die Staffel, and an episode is die Folge.


Ja, ein Team dreht hier bald eine aktuelle Serie fürs Fernsehen.

Yes, a team is filming a current series for television here soon.

Caption 15, Nicos Weg: Ein Praktikum beim Film

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Die meisten kennen mich wahrscheinlich aus der Sendung „Der Bachelor“.

Most of you probably know me from the series "Der Bachelor."

Caption 11, Anja Polzer: Interview

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Nochmal zu deiner Karriere. Germany's Next Topmodel, zweite Staffel, Platz zwei.

Back to your career. Germany's Next Top Model, second season, second place.

Caption 24, Peyman Amin: Der Modelmacher

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It should be noted that die Sendung is also used for radio broadcasts and shows. You may hear der Rundfunk instead of das Radio, but the word "podcast" remains the same in German and in English:


Wir zeigen denen, wie man eine Radiosendung macht, richtig professionell. 

We show them how you do a radio broadcast, really professionally.

Caption 59, Sallys Tortenwelt und Kochwelt: Backen mit Kindern & Auftritt bei Radio Rumms

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Schon jetzt gibt es Enkel, die ihren Großeltern einen Podcast aufnehmen,

There are already grandchildren who are recording a podcast for their grandparents

Captions 61-62, Coronavirus: Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel

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Further Learning
What do you like to do? Write down a few sentences about your habits related to music, radio, films, or TV. And don't forget that accessing these in German is a great way to learn the language. You can find a number of different fun series and interesting films, as well as great music to listen to on Yabla German.

Opening and Closing

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 Urlaub

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Die Polizei sagt, er solle seinen Kofferraum aufmachen.

The police officer says he should open his trunk.

Caption 4, Sabine erzählt Witze: Die Pinguine

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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: Haus

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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.

Caption 41, Frankfurt wird Handelszentrum für die chinesische Währung Yuan

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Die Schachtel ist total sicher verschlossen.

The box is completely and securely shut.

Caption 58, The Simple Physics: Schrödingers Katze

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Also, die Leute sind sehr aufgeschlossen.

Well, the people are very receptive.

Caption 7, Eva Croissant: Interview

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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"

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Further Learning
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 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?

Expressing Emotional States in German

It has truly been a year of ups and downs, to the extent that it takes a pretty advanced vocabulary to describe what we're feeling sometimes. This week, we'd like to provide a list of some adjectives that are used to express both positive and negative emotions. 

The adjective aufgeregt in German describes a mixture of "excited" and "nervous," like before you do a presentation or go on a roller coaster. On the other hand, gespannt is used to describe a type of excitement more linked to curiosity or looking forward to something. Besorgt could be translated as "worried" or "concerned."


Gleich geht's los, ein bisschen aufgeregt bin ich schon.

It will start momentarily, I am certainly a little bit nervous.

Caption 3, Deutsche Welle - Hin und weg - Best of Europa-Park!

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Ich bin mal gespannt, wie es klappt. Ich hoffe, es gefällt euch.

I am excited to see how it will go. I hope you like it.

Caption 41, Eva Croissant - Interview

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Ich bin ein bisschen besorgt, ob ich es zu der Wohnung von den beiden schaffe.

I'm a little bit worried as to whether I'll be able to make it to their apartment.

Caption 21, Die Wohngemeinschaft - Besuch

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When something turns out well, your reaction may range from zufrieden ("pleased," "satisfied") to erstaunt ("astonished"), depending on whether the outcome was expected or not. 


Ich bin sehr zufrieden. Für diese gute Leistung geb ich dir eine Eins.

I'm very satisfied. I'll give you a "one" for this good performance.

Caption 51, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte - Bayern

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Eine Freundin von mir war schon einmal in der Hauptstadt Oslo und sie war begeistert.

A friend of mine was already in the capital, Oslo, once and she was thrilled.

Caption 11, Jenny - Reiseziele

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Die Menschen waren erstaunt über das, was sie sahen.

The people were astonished at what they saw.

Caption 63, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Des Kaisers neue Kleider

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Of course, many of us have had our share of difficult experiences this year and had to face their corresponding emotions:


Ich war total gestresst, weil mein Chef im Büro mich so genervt hat.

I was totally stressed out because my boss was really getting on my nerves at the office.

Caption 19, Konjugation - Das Verb „brauchen“

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Müde und erschöpft stand er schließlich vor ihrer Tür.

Tired and exhausted, he finally stood in front of their door.

Caption 20, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Büchse der Pandora

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Die Leute wären genauso enttäuscht und genauso deprimiert.

People would be just as disappointed and depressed.

Caption 55, Böhmermann - Wie geht man als Satiriker mit Rechtspopulismus um?

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Na ja, also, der Junge ist einfach schlichtweg überfordert mit dem Projekt.

Well... well, the boy is just completely overwhelmed by the project.

Caption 8, Mama arbeitet wieder - Die Trennung

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Völlig überwältigt stellt sie sich den vielen Fernsehkameras.

Completely overwhelmed, she faced the many television cameras.

Caption 41, Miss Germany 2011 - Auf High Heels zur Krone

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The hope is, of course, that we can generally find a balance and remain optimistic as the year comes to an end.


Ich versuche, optimistisch zu bleiben,

I am trying to stay optimistic,

aber ich habe das Gefühl, dass ich die Stelle nicht bekommen habe.

but I have the feeling that I didn't get the job.

Captions 4-5, Berufsleben - das Vorstellungsgespräch

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Wart ihr sehr aufgeregt oder wart ihr ganz entspannt?

Were you very nervous or were you totally relaxed?

Caption 37, Modedesignerin Nina Hollein - Floria Prinzessin von Hessen

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Further Learning
There are many more adjectives you can look up on Yabla German, of course. You can start with erleichtert, frohverärgert, verzweifelt, wütend, verängstigt, and zuversichtlich. Since adjectives and adverbs can often be identical in German, do not be surprised if you encounter these words being used as adverbs as well — it's a 2 for 1 deal! 

Spannend, entspannt, gespannt, and verspannt

If you look carefully at the words gespannt and entspannt in the sentence below, you'll notice that gespannt is a participle (of spannen), whereas entspannt is an adverb. 


Dann werden die Pferde vor die Kutsche gespannt und man kann ganz entspannt durch Dahlem fahren.

Then the horses are hitched up in front of the coach and one can ride very leisurely through Dahlem.

Captions 39-40, Berlin - Domäne Dahlem - Part 1

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However, you have probably also seen gespannt used as an adjective, and also perhaps come across spannend or verspannt. Let's take a look at some examples and clarify the meanings of all of these words. 


Above, entspannt is used as an adverb to mean "leisurely" or "in a relaxed way." As an adjective it means "relaxed," or you might see it as the verb entspannen, which means — you guessed it — "to relax." 


Aber es entspannt mich. -O ja.

But it relaxes me. -Oh yes.

Caption 15, Kolkhorst - Konzert

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Und das ist sehr, sehr, sehr entspannt im Gegensatz zu München, Hamburg, Berlin.

And that's very, very, very relaxed in contrast to Munich, Hamburg, Berlin.

Caption 19, Fernsehmoderatorin - Sonya Kraus

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Spannend is an adjective used to describe something that is "exciting," "interesting," or "intriguing."


Auf der Berlinale zu laufen ist schon wahnsinnig spannend.

Attending the Berlinale, indeed, is insanely exciting.

Caption 7, Berlinale - Schauspieler Jürgen Vogel

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Ich finde es sehr spannend, wie viele Facetten so ein Film hat

I find it very exciting how many facets a film like this has.

Caption 48, Filmtrailer - Der kleine Rabe Socke

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Be aware: spannend almost never describes people. It means "exciting" and NOT "excited," which is the meaning of the adjective gespannt. 


Ich bin mal gespannt, wie es klappt. Ich hoffe, es gefällt euch.

I am excited to see how it will go. I hope you like it.

Caption 41, Eva Croissant - Interview - Part 2

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Two other words you should know are angespannt and verspannt. They both translate as "tense" in a more negative sense, and often refer to the body rather than the mind.


Bauch ist leicht angespannt. Wenn wir hochkommen: ausatmen...

The belly is slightly tensed. When we come up, breathe out...

Caption 34, Workout mit Erik - Übungen für Arme, Beine, Po, Rücken

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Genau da, wo er so verspannt ist, da muss er ziehen.

exactly where it is so tense, it has to stretch there.

Caption 32, Nackenschmerzen, steifer Nacken, steifer Hals - Übungen gegen Nackenverspannungen

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Further Learning


Make sure that you understand all related words and can identify what part of speech they occupy in sentences using context clues. This includes the verbs spannensich entspannen(sich) verspannen, and anspannen. There are many examples available on Yabla German.

An Experience or Life Experience?

For this week's lesson, we will look at the nouns das Erlebnis and die Erfahrung, and the related verbs erleben and erfahren


Consider the three examples below:


Das ist einfach das beste Erlebnis, das man als Künstler haben kann.

That is simply the best experience that you can have as an artist.

Caption 17, Helge Schneider - Auf der Bühne geht's mir gut

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Also, das war eigentlich eine sehr tolle Erfahrung.

Well, that was actually a really great experience.

Caption 21, Eva Croissant - Interview

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Ich bin selbst Mutter von zwei wundervollen Kinder [sic, Kindern]

I myself am the mother of two wonderful children

und spreche aus eigener Erfahrung.

and speak from my own experience.

Captions 5-6, Cettina interviewt - Mütter

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In English, the word "experience" has a few definitions. In the first two sentences, the speaker is referring to a particular instance of encountering or undergoing something. In the third sentence, they are referring to the knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what they have observed, encountered, or undergone. In German, it is possible to use both das Erlebnis and die Erfahrung to describe this first kind of "experience." However, when we are talking about life experience, only die Erfahrung is appropriate in German. 


The verbs erleben and erfahren similarly can both indicate the process of experiencing something:


Ein Ort lebendiger Demokratie soll es werden,

It should become a place of living democracy,

ein Haus für jeden,

a building for everyone

der Politik hautnah erleben will.

who wants to experience politics next to their skin [idiom, up close].

Captions 16-17, Berlin - Hauptstadt des vereinten Deutschland

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Ich denk', jeder muss für sich selber wissen,

I think everyone has to know for himself

wo er hinfährt und wie er da ist

where he's heading and how he is there

und welche Länder und was er dort erfahren will.

and which countries and what he wants to experience there.

Captions 41-42, Anna - Am Strand in Mexiko

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However, erfahren is also often used to express learning of or finding out about something new:


Wir haben nichts gefilmt. -Niemand wird davon erfahren.

We didn't film anything. -Nobody will find out about it.

Caption 30, Die Pfefferkörner - Gerüchteküche

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Further Learning
Conjugate erfahren and erleben and search for the various conjugations (erfahre, erfährst, etc.) on Yabla German to find more examples of the verbs used in context. Try to guess what the words das Erlebnisbad, das Erlebnisgeschenk, der Erlebnispark, erlebnisreich, and die Erlebniswelt mean now that you have an understanding of the word Erlebnis.