German Lessons

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Handeln and um etwas handeln

The basic definition of the noun das Handeln is "the action." As a verb, handeln can mean "to act" or "to take action," but also "to trade," "to deal in," or "to bargain."

 

Wenn sich die eigenen Kinder einen Hund als Haustier wünschen, sollten Eltern nicht gleich voreilig handeln.

If their own children wish to have a dog as a pet, parents shouldn't just act hastily.

Captions 12-13, Haustiere als Geschenk? - Vier Pfoten unterm Weihnachtsbaum

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Und letztendlich hab' ich dann eben versucht, in Währungen zu handeln und in Rohstoffen und so weiter.

And in the end I just tried to deal in currencies and in commodities and so on.

Captions 10-11, Rhein-Main-TV aktuell - Börsen-Gewinnspiel

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However, you may have also seen the construction sich um etwas handeln, which can be translated as  "to be a case of," "to be a matter of," "to be about," "to be dealing with," or "to have to do with." Pay attention to how the order of the words in the phrase is altered to fit into the sentence constructions. 

 

Es handelt sich also um akut verfügbare Maßnahmen

So it is a matter of provisions made immediately available.

Caption 21, Angela Merkel - beim Nachhaltigkeitsrat

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Ich habe gedacht, es kann sich nur um doppelt vergebene Nachnamen handeln.

I thought it could only have to do with duplicately given last names.

Caption 19, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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Aber prüfe genau, ob es sich auch wirklich um eine Prinzessin handelt!

But check carefully whether you're really dealing with a princess!

Caption 24, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse

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Ja, der Frühling. Der kommt bestimmt bald. Kann sich ja nur noch um Monate handeln.

Yes, spring. Surely it will come soon. It can only be a matter of months now.

Caption 26, Umfragen - Zootiere im Winter

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Further Learning
Look up related words such as die Handlung, die Verhandlung, and verhandeln using  your favorite dictionary and search for examples on Yabla German

Austrian, Swiss & Southern German Dialects

You may at some point go to Austria, or watch a film or TV program made in Southern Germany, or read an article that is written in Swiss German. Let's talk today — all difficulties in understanding the accents aside — about some words in Austrian, Swiss, and Southern German dialects that are different from words used in Standard German. Such dialects are occasionally found on Yabla German too!

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In der Früh [Dialekt] ist er ganz stolz gewesen wieder.

In the morning he was very proud again.

Caption 81, Oktoberfest München - Auf der Wiesn

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Die Früh is a standard Austrian and Southern German expression for "morning," which is der Morgen in Standard German.

 

Ich wurde eben von meinen Freunden da so 'n bisserl [ein bisschen] inspiriert.

I was just inspired a little bit by my friends.

Caption 8, Rhein-Main-TV aktuell - Börsen-Gewinnspiel

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Wird 'n bissel [bisschen] später heute.

It will be a little bit later today.

Caption 9, Mama arbeitet wieder - Kapitel 1: Alle haben sich lieb

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Bissel and bisserl are typical dialect for the Standard German bisschen.

 

Als besonderes Zuckerl [Dialekt] für die Rider zum Training...

As a special treat for the riders to train on...

Caption 8, Wintersport - 7. Austrian Freeski Open

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Das Zuckerl is Bavarian dialect for a "candy," "sweet," or "treat," rendered as der (or das) Bonbon in Standard German.

 

Patrick Hollaus zählt auch heuer [Dialekt: dieses Jahr] wieder zu den heißen Favoriten.

Patrick Hollaus is counted among the hot favourites again this year.

Caption 34, Wintersport - 7. Austrian Freeski Open

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Heuer is Southern German, Austrian, and Swiss dialect for "this year," or dieses Jahr in Standard German.

 

„Ist der Brief im Kuvert? Ist eine Marke drauf?“

"Is the letter in the envelope? Is there a stamp on it?"

Caption 22, Janoschs Traumstunde - Post für den Tiger

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The word das Kuvert is indeed acceptable Standard German, but is primarily used instead of der Briefumschlag for "envelope" in Austria and Switzerland.

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Further Learning
Some other very typical Southern German dialects are found in names of food. Here are a few examples, with the first word as dialect in bold, followed by the English word and the Standard German word in parentheses: der Erdapfel (potato, die Kartoffel); der Kukuruz (corn, maize, der Mais); die Marille (apricot, die Aprikose); der Paradieser (tomato, die Tomate); die Ribisel (currants, die Johannisbeere); das Schwammerl (mushroom, der Pilz); die Semmel (bread roll, das Brötchen); die Zwetschge / die Zwetschke (plum, die Pflaume). Now that you are prepared, you can watch this three-part video series on Yabla German to hear some real-life Austrians in action!

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