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Talking about the Five Senses in German

 

Ich würde mich hauptsächlich erst mal auf meine Sensorik, also auf mein Auge, auf meinen Sehsinn, auf meinen Tastsinn und auch wieder auf meinen Geruchssinn verlassen.

I would rely mainly first on my senses, that is, on my eye, on my sense of sight, on my sense of touch and, also again, rely on my sense of smell.

Captions 6-9, Kochhaus Berlin: Frische Zutaten erkennen

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In the Yabla example above, a chef discusses how he uses his senses when picking out produce. He first mentions sight—der Sehsinn—which relates to the verb sehen and was covered in a previous newsletter.

 

Das kann man besonders gut hier sehen.

You can see that particularly well here.

Caption 22, Eva erklärt: Farben

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Der Tastsinn refers to touch. Here, there are three verbs you will regularly see: not only tasten, but also berühren and anfassen. Generally, anfassen refers to intentionally touching something in order to get a better sense of it, or possibly to hold onto it. The verb berühren could refer to barely touching something, or touching it carefully or accidentally. It can also refer to being emotionally moved or "touched" by something. The verb tasten often refers to touching with the intent of finding something, like when you feel around for something in a bag or purse. 

 

Sie können's auch mal anfassen. -Das sieht so echt aus, so... -Ja.

You can also touch it. -It looks so real, so... -Yes.

Caption 50, Karlsruher Stadtgeburtstag: die Majolika-Manufaktur

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Papa Wutz kann seine Zehen wirklich nicht berühren.

Papa Wutz really can't touch his toes.

Caption 35, Peppa Wutz: Sport

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The chef in our first example lastly mentions der Geruchssinn, the sense of smell. The related verb here is riechen, which can be used to refer to both the act of smelling something or the state of smelling (like something). 

 

Ich rieche daran, ob die wirklich auch nach einer Erdbeere riecht.

I smell it to see if it also really smells like a strawberry.

Caption 23, Kochhaus Berlin: Frische Zutaten erkennen

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Boah, das riecht schon sehr gut. 

Wow, that smells very good indeed. 

Caption 50, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Baden-Württemberg

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Der Geschmackssinn is not mentioned, as you generally don't try food before buying it unless invited to do so. You will often see not only schmecken, which is used to describe how something tastes, but also kosten, which refers to the act of trying food.

 

Das heißt, die Sachen schmecken ganz normal.

This means that the things taste quite normal.

Caption 37, Die Pfefferkörner: Endspurt

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Aber die meisten Leute kommen her, um das leckere Essen zu kosten.

But most people come here to taste the delicious food.

Caption 11, Weihnachtsmärkte: mit Eva

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The chef also doesn't mention das Gehör—the sense of hearing. Luckily, we have a lesson all about listening that you can peruse, as well as one on unrelated verbs that contain the root hören

 

Hört man das? -Ja, ja, man hört es. 

Can you hear this? -Yes, yes, we can hear it.

Caption 41, Böhmermann: Wie geht man als Satiriker mit Rechtspopulismus um?

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Further Learning
Practice describing what you can hear, see, smell, touch, and taste, and go to Yabla German to find other examples of the relevant verbs and nouns. 

Advent in Germany

Advent is the time of year in Western Christian practice that starts on a Sunday at the end of November or first week of December and ends on December 24th, though it is popularly celebrated starting on December 1st. Let's take a look today at some German customs of the Advent season.

 

Der Advent, das ist die Zeit vor Weihnachten. Und an den Adventstagen ist es ein beliebter Zeitvertreib, über den Weihnachtsmarkt zu spazieren.

Advent, that is the time before Christmas. And during the days of Advent it is a favorite pastime to take a walk through the Christmas market.

Captions 3-5, Weihnachtsmärkte: mit Eva

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) are going to be very limited this year due to the Corona pandemic. There are, however, plans to allow limited access by selling tickets with specific entry times. Some cities have even introduced drive-through Christmas markets so that people can shop from the relative safety of their cars!

 

Am Sonntag haben wir den ersten Advent. Und dann machen wir natürlich das erste Lichtlein hier an dem Adventskranz an. Am zweiten Advent kommt dann das zweite Licht, am dritten Advent das dritte Licht, und am vierten Advent ist Weihnachten.

On Sunday we'll have the first Advent. And then we'll, of course, put on the first little candle here on the Advent wreath. On the second Advent comes then the second candle, on the third Advent the third candle, and on the fourth Advent is Christmas.

Captions 58-61, Unterwegs mit Cettina: auf dem Bruchsaler Weihnachtsmarkt

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Advent wreaths with candles originated in the mid-19th century in Hamburg, Germany, but they were not commonly allowed in German churches until after the Second World War. 

 

In der Adventszeit oder eben in der Vorweihnachtszeit gibt es viele verschiedene Bräuche.

In the Advent season or in the run-up to Christmastime, there are many different customs.

Caption 5, Eva erklärt: den Adventskalender

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One of these customs is the Advent calendar:

 

Der Adventskalender hat 24 Türen, und auf jeder steht eine Zahl.

The Advent calendar has 24 doors, and each one has a number on it.

Caption 11, Eva erklärt: den Adventskalender

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The Advent calendar also originated in 19th century Germany, but of course the best-known Christmas tradition with roots in German culture is der Weihnachtsbaum, also called der Tannenbaum or der Christbaum.

 

Heute wollen wir einen Weihnachtsbaum aufstellen.

Today we want to set up a Christmas tree.

Caption 8, Frohe Weihnachten: der Christbaum

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Further Learning
Watch all of the videos above in their entirety to get a feel for some German Christmas customs and search for more holiday-related videos on Yabla German. Wishing you all a happy and safe holiday season from us at Yabla! 

Der Weihnachtsmarkt

Although Christmas decorations started appearing in the shops at the end of October, the holiday season in Germany really begins with the first Sunday of Advent. A clear sign of this is the opening of a Christmas market in most towns and cities. This is referred to as either der Weihnachtsmarkt, der Adventsmarkt, or der Christkindlesmarkt.

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Hallo, ich bin auf dem Karlsruher Weihnachtsmarkt.

Hello, I am at the Karlsruhe Christmas Market.

Caption 1, Diane - auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt

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Der Advent, das ist die Zeit vor Weihnachten.

Advent, that is the time before Christmas.

Caption 3, Weihnachtsmärkte - mit Eva

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In the evenings, people gather on the town square or in an enclosed market hall to do Christmas shopping, listen to music, and eat and drink a number of winter specialties. These include savory dishes, but also many types of sweets, such as almonds roasted with sugar, which are served in a small paper bag.

 

... eine Tüte gebrannte Mandeln.

... a bag of almonds roasted with sugar.

Caption 48, Rhein-Main-TV - Eva Padberg beim Weihnachtseinkauf

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Selber gebackene Plätzchen. -Oh, lecker.

Home baked cookies. -Oh, delicious.

Caption 16, Unterwegs mit Cettina - auf dem Bruchsaler Weihnachtsmarkt

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A typical Weihnachtsmarkt has small wooden cabins or tables with heaters, stands selling assorted gifts and sweets, and rides for children. And of course, we should not forget the centerpiece: a large Christmas tree, known as der Tannenbaum or der Weihnachtsbaum.

 

Hier kann man schöne Weihnachtsgeschenke kaufen.

You can buy beautiful Christmas presents here.

Caption 14, Diane - auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt

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Einen Tannenbaum im Wasser zu schmücken...

To decorate a Christmas tree in the water...

Caption 7, Weihnachten geht baden - Tannenbaum unter Wasser

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Further Learning
Watch the Yabla German videos that have featured a Weihnachtsmarkt and take note of vocabulary related to things to eat and do there. This article on Wikipedia has an interesting overview of the history of the traditional Christmas market in Germany, as well as the tradition as it exists in other countries.

Frohe Weihnachten!

Ich hoffe, euch hat's Spaß gemacht, und wünsche euch frohe Weihnachten!

I hope it's been fun and I wish you a merry Christmas!

Captions 71-72, Frohe Weihnachten - der Christbaum

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Beyond "merry Christmas" there are a number of other ways to give season's greetings as well, for instance your Christmas could be schön:

 

Dann wünsch' ich euch schöne Weihnachten.

In which case I wish you [plural] a wonderful Christmas.

Caption 84, Weihnachtsinterviews - Cettina in Linkenheim

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Let's not neglect the period before Christmas, which in German is the same word as in English:

 

Der Advent, das ist die Zeit vor Weihnachten.

Advent, that is the time before Christmas.

Caption 3, Weihnachtsmärkte - mit Eva

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And if we're going to make it through all the Christmas shopping, we'd better have some Stollen to see us through:

 

Das ist der Christstollen. Der wird auch Weihnachtsstollen genannt.

This is the Christstollen. It is also called Christmas stollen [fruit cake].

Captions 22-23, Weihnachtsessen - mit Eva

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If you don't have your Christmas tree yet, you might have to go diving for one!

 

Nasse Weihnachten: Der Tannenbaum steht fast vier Meter tief unter Wasser.

Wet Christmas: The Christmas tree stands nearly four meters deep under water.

Caption 1, Weihnachten geht baden - Tannenbaum unter Wasser

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning:

Do a search on Yabla German for typical Christmas words and get into the Christmas spirit while improving your German at the same time. Happy holidays!

Vocabulary

Some German Words with "Christmas"

In keeping with the holiday spirit, let's take a look at a few German words that can be formed using Weihnachts- (Christmas-) as a root. Many of today's standard Christmas traditions originated in Germany, but as you can see from the "Krampuslauf" video, Germany still has a few Christmas traditions that remain very unique!

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If you haven't done your Christmas shopping yet, you only have a couple of days left! Better head down to the Weihnachtsmarkt, which, although traditionally Southern German, can also be found in other parts of Germany:

 

Hier am Berliner Gendarmenmarkt gibt es auch einen kleinen tollen Weihnachtsmarkt.

but here at the Berlin Gendarmenmarkt [a square in Berlin-Mitte], there is also a great little Christmas market.

Caption 7, Weihnachtsmärkte - mit Eva

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And while you are there, you'd better pick up something delicious at the Weihnachtsbäckerei, because:

 

In der Weihnachtsbäckerei gibt es manche Leckerei.

In the Christmas bakery there is many a treat.

Caption 23, Der Sternschnuppenmarkt - in Wiesbaden

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Of course, your main purpose there is not to snack on pastries, but to pick up some Weihnachtsgeschenke:

 

Hier kann man schöne Weihnachtsgeschenke kaufen.

You can buy beautiful Christmas presents here.

Caption 14, Diane - auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt

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When you get home, it may be time to decorate the Weihnachtsbaum

 

Also der Weihnachtsbaum wird bei uns am Vierundzwanzigsten aufgestellt.

Well, the Christmas tree will be set up at our place on the twenty-fourth.

Caption 27, Weihnachtsinterviews - Cettina in Linkenheim

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Learning suggestions:

Can you figure out what some of these other words based on Weihnachts- (Christmas-) mean?

Weihnachtssachen, Weihnachtsbaumständer, Weihnachtsspenden, Weihnachtstrubel, Weihnachtsferien, Weihnachtsmann, Weihnachtsessen

Search for videos on Yabla that use these words to better understand their meaning and context!

Expressions

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