At this time of year, schools and universities in many countries around the world are in their first weeks of the school year. German schools actually started again several weeks ago, whereas the fall semester for colleges and universities doesn't begin until mid-October. There are many videos on Yabla German that reference the school system in Germany, which can seem a bit complex at first. The system may also differ slightly depending on which Bundesland you are in.
In Germany, der Kindergarten is attended by children generally between ages three and six, much like a pre-school in the United States. Prior to that, babies and toddlers may spend time at a nursery, which is called die Kinderkrippe. Day care centers are generally referred to as die Kita, which is short for die Kindertagesstätte.
Die sechsjährige Tochter ist im Kindergarten aktuell noch.
The six-year-old daughter is currently still in kindergarten.
Caption 33, Cettina erklärt: Auswirkungen des CoronavirusPlay Caption
Ihre Kinder können nicht zur Schule oder in die Kita.
Your children can't go to school or to daycare.Play Caption
Children usually enter primary or elementary school (die Grundschule) at age 6 in Germany.
Das Singen in der Grundschule ist besonders wichtig.
Singing in elementary school is particularly important.
Caption 27, Freude am Singen: mit PrimacantaPlay Caption
At age ten (and at age twelve in Berlin and Brandenburg), there are then three types of secondary schools students can choose from depending on aptitude and their educational goals. Students who will likely later do an apprenticeship or technical training would most likely attend die Hauptschule. Die Realschule prepares students for a variety of possible careers, whereas das Gymnasium is an academic high school that prepares them for university. The resulting degree after Gymnasium, a high school diploma called das Abitur, more or less guarantees entrance to a German university. In some cities, you may also find a comprehensive high school, more like in the United States, which is called die Gesamtschule.
Zum ersten Mal findet der Projekttag in einer Haupt- und Realschule statt.
For the first time, the project day is taking place at a trade-oriented high school and a career-oriented high school.
Caption 21, Gewaltprävention: Gewalt an SchulenPlay Caption
Wart ihr in Deutschland auf einem Gymnasium oder einer Realschule?
In Germany, did you go to an academically-oriented high school or a career-oriented high school?
Captions 8-9, Nicos Weg: BewerbungPlay Caption
Ohne Abitur kann ich doch aber gar nicht studieren.
But without a high school diploma I can't go to university at all.
Caption 33, Die Klasse: Berlin '61Play Caption
There are different types of institutions for higher education in Germany. One can attend die Berufsschule, which is a vocational school where students may simultaneously do an apprenticeship, or die Fachhochschule, which is a university of applied sciences. Generally, die Hochschule is a university or college, though larger institutions will be called die Universität. You'll note below that both die Hochschule and die Universität are used to refer to the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences.
Die Idee dazu hatte Professor Meyer von der Evangelischen Fachhochschule Darmstadt.
Professor Meyer had the idea for it; he's from the Evangelical Technical College of Darmstadt.
Captions 10-11, Bespielbare Stadt: GriesheimPlay Caption
Ich war jetzt grad zuletzt an der Hochschule in Karlsruhe.
I was just recently at the university in Karlsruhe.
Caption 39, Anja Polzer: InterviewPlay Caption
Was studierst du hier an der universität in Karlsruhe?
What do you study here at the university in Karlsruhe?
Caption 8, Geoökologie: Cettina interviewt SarahPlay Caption
Go to Yabla German and watch this video in its entirety to see if you can follow the use of these terms in the conversation. This website also provides a good overview of the education system in Germany.
A few weeks ago in Part I, we looked at the most common ways to say "before": vor, vorher, and bevor. Let's take a look today at some more German words that are commonly translated into English as "before."
Warum hatte man bis vergangene Woche denn so wenig von ihr gehört?
Why had we heard so little from her before this past week?
Caption 65, Coronavirus - Kommentar zu Angela Merkels RedePlay Caption
The preposition bis, usually requiring the accusative case, is also often translated as "until."
Ist natürlich ein besonderer Umstand, nur mit Leuten, die man bisher nicht kannte...
Of course, it's a particular circumstance to only be with people you didn't know before...
Caption 11, Anja Polzer - InterviewPlay Caption
The adverb bisher is sometimes translated to English as "previously."
Ehe du einschläfst, wollte ich dir schnell bloß sagen,
Before you fall asleep, I just wanted to quickly say to you,
Caption 51, Janoschs Traumstunde - Post für den TigerPlay Caption
Not to be mixed up with the noun die Ehe ("the marriage"), the conjunction ehe is sometimes spoken in a shortened form as eh.
Alles das, was früher war
All that was before
wischst du einfach weg
you just wipe away
Captions 20-21, Adel Tawil - 1000 gute GründePlay Caption
The adverb früher (which is also seen as an adjective) is sometimes translated as "previously" or "earlier," depending upon the context.
Die hatte ich vorhin an, zum Beispiel beim Umzug
I had it on before, for example during the parade
oder als wir noch 'nen Auftritt hatten.
or when we had an appearance.
Captions 14-15, Bretten - Das Peter-und-Paul-FestPlay Caption
The adverb vorhin sounds similar to vorher, which we read about in Part I, but expresses something that happened in the very recent past—just seconds, minutes, or perhaps a few hours previously.
All das wird auf die Probe gestellt wie nie zuvor.
All of this is being put to the test like never before.Play Caption
The adverb zuvor is often translated as "previously" or "beforehand," depending upon the context.
So voll Energie, so hoch wie noch nie
So full of energy, as high as never before
Caption 4, Beatrice Egli - Wir leben lautPlay Caption
The German phrase noch nie would translate literally as "yet never," but that doesn't make any sense in English and it is usually translated as "never before."
Go to Yabla German and search for some of the words above that are commonly translated as "before" to get a better feel for the contexts in which they are used in a real-world context.
Last week, we offered you Part 1 of the vocabulary in Chancellor Merkel's televised speech about COVID-19, and today we're giving you the second and last part. It's pretty rare that a German chancellor appeals directly to the nation on television like this, and we think her message has many aspects that are valid for everyone during this crisis, regardless of where you live. You may not hear some of the words she uses in everyday casual speech, however, so it's important that you focus on some key words to effectively extend your German vocabulary.
Ich möchte Ihnen erklären,
I would like to explain to you
wo wir aktuell stehen in der Epidemie,
where we currently stand with the epidemic
was die Bundesregierung und die staatlichen Ebenen tun,
and what is being done at the Federal Government and state levels
um alle in unsrer Gemeinschaft zu schützen
to protect everyone in our community
und den ökonomischen, sozialen, kulturellen Schaden zu begrenzen.
and limit the economic, social, and cultural damage.
Captions 29-33, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 1Play Caption
Die Ebene has three distinct definitions in the German Duden dictionary: the first is an area of flat land, the second a geometry or physics term usually translated as "plane" in English, and the third definition is the one used here, "level." Der Schaden means "the damage". This is easy to remember as it correlates to a German adjective you are probably already familiar with: schade ("too bad").
Zeit, damit die Forschung ein Medikament und einen Impfstoff entwickeln kann.
Time, so that researchers can develop a drug and a vaccine.Play Caption
Aber noch gibt es weder eine Therapie gegen das Coronavirus
But there is still neither a treatment for the coronavirus
noch einen Impfstoff.
nor a vaccine.
Captions 43-44, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 1Play Caption
Hopefully for all of our sakes this situation will change soon, but in the meantime der Impfstoff ("the vaccine") is an important word to know.
Wir müssen das Risiko, dass der eine den anderen ansteckt, so begrenzen,
We must limit the risk of one person infecting another
wie wir nur können.
as much as we can.
Captions 22-23, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 2Play Caption
The German verb anstecken means "to infect" and is a separable verb that takes a direct object. The less we have to do with any anstecken, the better!
Die verschärften Grenzkontrollen und Einreisebeschränkungen
The tightened border controls and entry restrictions
zu einigen unserer wichtigsten Nachbarländer in Kraft.
on some of our most important neighboring countries have been in force.
Captions 42-43, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 2Play Caption
The 6-syllable noun die Einreisebeschränkung, or the "travel entry restriction", has been used often in the last few years as part of the ongoing debate about emigration, since the level of such restrictions determines who is allowed or forbidden entry to a country.
Alle staatlichen Maßnahmen gingen ins Leere,
All government measures would come to nothing
wenn wir nicht das wirksamste Mittel
if we didn't employ the most effective means
gegen die zu schnelle Ausbreitung des Virus einsetzen würden.
of keeping the virus from spreading too quickly.
Captions 9-11, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 3Play Caption
The noun die Ausbreitung may also be translated into English variously as "propagation", "dissemination", or "distribution", depending upon the context.
Watch the Chancellor's speech on Yabla German and listen for these key words and phrases. The city of Berlin website has set up a news feed under Nachrichten with updates on the crisis in German and in English. Try reading an article in German, such as their recommendations of what is allowed during the Easter Holiday, then check your comprehension by going to the top right-hand corner of the page and choosing the English version of the article. Best wishes from Yabla to you and your family during these times of crisis.
Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn't often give televised addresses, however, she recently went on TV to speak about the measures being taken in Germany to slow the spread of COVID-19 and appeal to the public.
Chancellor Merkel opens the speech by acknowledging how difficult recent weeks have been. The word die Begegnung can mean "the encounter," like when you bump into someone on the street, but here it refers to social interaction.
Uns allen fehlen die Begegnungen, die sonst selbstverständlich sind.
We are all missing the interactions that are otherwise taken for granted.Play Caption
She refers to the "restrictions" and "closures" that are defining daily life at the moment.
Es sind Einschränkungen, wie es sie in der Bundesrepublik noch nie gab.
They are restrictions such as have never been seen before in the German Federal Republic.Play Caption
Ich weiß, wie hart die Schließungen,
I know how severely these closures,
auf die sich Bund und Länder geeinigt haben,
which have been agreed upon by the federal and state governments,
in unser Leben und auch unser demokratisches Selbstverständnis eingreifen.
are interfering with our lives and with our democratic self-image as well.
Captions 30-32, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 2Play Caption
Chancellor Merkel describes Germany as eine Gemeinschaft, which can be translated as "a community," "an association," or "a collective." The community now has the task of practicing social distancing. The word for task, die Aufgabe, can be used to describe a household task, but also a much larger undertaking.
Und wir sind eine Gemeinschaft,
And we are a community
in der jedes Leben und jeder Mensch zählt.
in which every life and every person counts.
Captions 63-64, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 1Play Caption
Ich glaube fest daran, dass wir diese Aufgabe bestehen,
I firmly believe that we will succeed in this task
wenn wirklich alle Bürgerinnen und Bürger sie als ihre Aufgabe begreifen.
if all citizens really see it as their task.
Captions 21-22, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 1Play Caption
Chancellor Merkel uses the adjective solidarisch, as well as its opposite unsolidarisch, to describe different behaviors.
Seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg
Since the Second World War
gab es keine Herausforderung an unser Land mehr,
there has been no challenge to our country
bei der es so sehr auf unser gemeinsames solidarisches Handeln ankommt.
that has depended so much on us acting together in solidarity.
Captions 26-28, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 1Play Caption
Hamstern, als werde es nie wieder etwas geben,
Hoarding as if nothing will ever again be available
ist sinnlos und letztlich vollkommen unsolidarisch.
is senseless and ultimately completely lacking in solidarity.
Captions 62-63, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel - Part 2Play Caption
Note the use of the word das Hamstern above. This is a nominalization of the verb hamstern, which relates to the food collection method of a certain animal and is slang for horten / "to hoard." The noun der Hamsterkauf is related to der Einkauf, but rather than "the shopping trip" it is more like the English expression "panic buying."
When talking about social distancing or keeping a distance from people you encounter when you have to leave your house, the term in German is Abstand halten. Chancellor Merkel says that even though it is difficult, this is one of our greatest weapons against the spread of the virus.
Im Moment ist nur Abstand Ausdruck von Fürsorge.
At the moment, distance is the only way to express care.Play Caption
Watch the Chancellor's speech on Yabla German and listen for these key words and phrases. If you would like to work on your listening comprehension by means of a daily news briefing, try listening to Deutsche Welle's Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten, which is made especially for German learners. If you would like to learn about how the situation is unfolding in Germany, you may find Der Spiegel to be a good resource for articles in English as well as German.