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¡La Navidad y el fin de año en alemán!

 

El tiempo que precede a la Navidad es el tiempo de Adviento, die Adventszeit. Es una tradición Luterana que se inicia en el siglo dieciséis. El símbolo del Adviento es der Adventskranz (la corona de Adviento). Está formada por cuatro velas rodeadas de un lecho de piñas, bayas, flores secas y adornos navideños. También es parte de la tradición  el famoso calendario de Adviento, der Adventskalender.

 

En el siguiente vídeo, Eva nos habla de manera muy amena sobre el Adventskalender:

 

Die Tage und Wochen bis zum Weihnachtsfest werden in der christlichen Tradition als Advent bezeichnet.

Los días y las semanas antes de Navidad se llaman Adviento en la tradición cristiana.

Subtítulo 4, Eva erklärt den Adventskalender

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Entonces, celebrar la Navidad en Alemania se refiere a las cuatro semanas previas al 25 de Diciembre,  bien sea disfrutando con la familia o con los amigos en los mercados navideños, der Weihnachtsmarkt, donde pueden beber vino caliente, der Glühwein, o también horneando galletas de navidad, die Plätzchen, en casa.  

 

Es cierto que la magia de los mercados navideños se ha extendido a muchos otros países y continentes, pero los orígenes de los mercados navideños se remontan a la parte germana de Europa en la Edad Media. Cada año se celebran unos cuantos miles de mercados navideños en toda Alemania.

 

Die großen traditionellen Weihnachtsmärkte findet man eher im Süden Deutschlands,

Los mercadillos tradicionales de Navidad se encuentran más bien en el sur de Alemania,

Subtítulo 6, Weihnachtsmärkte mit Eva

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En cuanto a las galletas de Navidad al estilo alemán, te proponemos este video para que aprendas cómo se hacen.

 

Heute wollen wir mit euch Plätzchen backen.

Hoy queremos hornear galletas con  vosotro

Subtítulo 3, Weihnachtsplätzchen backen mit Diane und vielen kleinen Helfern - Part 1

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Por supuesto, en Alemania también existe el día de San Nicolás, der Nikolaustag, el cual se celebra  el 6 de diciembre, y no el 24 como es usual en otros países.  El día 5 de Diciembre  por la noche, los niños dejan sus zapatos con la esperanza de que San Nicolás los llene de chocolates. Resulta curioso, pues en lo que respecta a los regalos del día de Navidad, sobre todo en el norte y el este de Alemania, los niños esperan los regalos de otro personaje llamado der Weihnachtsmann, algo así como Papa Noel, 

 

En lo que respecta al Año Nuevo en Alemania se le suele llamar Silvester -es el santo del día en el calendario católico-. Si se quiere desear a alguien un feliz año  nuevo se puede decir Frohes neues Jahr!  También está el famoso guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr: se traduce literalmente como "que tengas un buen deslizamiento hacia el nuevo año", pero en realidad significa "que tengas un buen comienzo de año", o bien se puede decir komm gut ins neue Jahr: que tengas un buen año nuevo, al igual que komm gesund ins neue Jahr: llega con salud al nuevo año

 

ich wünsch euch auch einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr,

Os deseo una buena entrada en el nuevo año

Subtítulo 100, Silvester Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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Aprendizaje adicional

En Yabla alemán hay un gran número de películas y series sobre la navidad y el fin de año. Disfruta de nuestra amplia biblioteca de videos, de las múltiples funciones que tiene el reproductor de Yabla y de nuestros juegos exclusivos, viel Spaß! 

 

The Holidays in 2020

In a Yabla interview filmed at a Christmas market a few years back, one couple describes their ideal Christmas:

 

Gemütlich, mit gutem Essen, Spielen,

Comfortably, with good food, games...

unsere Kinder sind groß,

Our children are grown up,

die brauchen keine Riesenpakete mehr.

they don't need huge presents anymore.

Captions 16-17, Weihnachtsinterviews - Diane in Karlsruhe

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It's true that Christmas this year in Germany took a bit of getting used to. Due to the continuing social-distancing regulations prohibiting parties and big gatherings, people stayed indoors with their focus firmly set on increased Gemütlichkeit. The word gemütlich means "comfortable" or "cozy" as an adjective and "comfortably" as an adverb.

 

Ganz zum Schluss werde ich noch den Kerzenständer aufstellen,

At the very end, I'll also set up the candle holders

damit wir es gemütlich haben.

so that it's cozy for us.

Captions 13-14, Tisch decken - mit Eva

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Wie verbringen Sie Silvester? -Ganz gemütlich zu Hause.

How will you spend New Year's Eve? -Very comfortably at home.

Caption 7, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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The current restrictions in Germany will continue through New Year's, but many people are making the most of it and simply appreciating getting to spend time at home (zu Hause) with those closest to them.

 

Wir haben beide gedacht, dass wir zu Hause bleiben müssen.

We both thought that we would have to stay at home.

Caption 14, Konjugation - Das Verb „denken“

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Es war sehr, sehr spannend,

It was very, very exciting

aber jetzt möchte ich lieber zu Hause bleiben, hier bei euch.

but now I'd rather stay at home, here with you.

Captions 100-101, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Der kleine Däumling

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Since restaurants and bars will be closed on New Year's Eve, the festivities will be limited and more focused on coziness and quality time than seeing lots of people. To avoid feeling too cooped up, however, it's important to get outside a bit as well. A nice stroll or hike in the few hours of daylight is always a good idea: 

 

Natürlich kann man auch einfach nur spazieren gehen.

Of course, one can also simply just go for a walk.

Caption 10, Berlin - Eva im Viktoriapark

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Further Learning
If you're spending extra time at home this week, use it as an opportunity to keep up your language skills with Yabla German! Take a look at our latest videos or catch up on recent lessons here


Wir wünschen Euch einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!

 

Party Like It's 2019?

That's a bad idea at the moment, best not to. But it doesn't hurt to remember better times. The late American president Ronald Reagan once told the United Nations General Assembly, "I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside of this world." Now that we're facing a threat from within this world, we can only hope that it will help people and nations get along better and create a more caring society.

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It's very strange to be watching television — and that's probably the main leisure activity of most of us most of the time in these COVID-19 days — and see people in large gatherings greeting each other with hugs. It's almost as if we're watching a science fiction movie or some historical drama where people behaved completely differently than they are allowed to now. 

 

In the spirit of better times and in the hope that when things return to "normal," it'll be better than before, let's focus this week on the German noun die Party. It's a loanword from English and in this case takes on the sixth definition listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: "a social gathering." 

 

Letzte Nacht haben sie mich zu einer Party mitgenommen mit all ihren Freunden.

Last night they took me to a party with all their friends.

Caption 9, Die Wohngemeinschaft - Die Verabredung

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War die Party gut?

Was the party good?

-Sehr gut. Die Party war super.

-Very good. The party was super.

Caption 3, Nicos Weg - A1 Folge 20: Andere Länder

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Viele machen sich's gemütlich zu Hause oder sie gehen auf eine Party.

Many people will make themselves comfortable at home or they will go to a party.

Caption 93, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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Die größte Party ist natürlich wie jedes Jahr im Piratenland.

The biggest party is, of course, in Pirate Land as it is every year.

Caption 23, Die Insel Fehmarn - Surffestival

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With eine Party, you have to be careful with the plural. German, unlike English, does not have the rule that "y" becomes "ie" when "s" is added for the plural form of the word. In German, "s" is simply added after the "y." The plural die Partys looks like a misspelling or something from a Shakespeare play, but in German it's quite correct: 

 

Wie hält man so viele Shows und Partys nonstop eine Woche lang durch?

How do you keep up with so many shows and parties non-stop for a whole week?

Caption 45, Modewoche in Berlin - Halbzeit für Fashion-Fans

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Hier gibt es ein Café, eine Sporthalle und viele Partys.

Here there is a café, a gymnasium and many parties.

Caption 17, Universität - Karlsruhe

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Further Learning
Be sure you don't mix die Party up with another noun, die Partei, as the latter means a political party—not the fun kind. Watch the full videos listed above on Yabla German to get into the party spirit and see the word used in a context that we hope will be more like the "real world" soon. You can also read this Zwiebelfisch article about German Partys vs. English "parties." And when you're done, read this article on Psychology Today about the possible positive effects of an alien invasion and see if some of it might apply to our current situation. Staying positive is one of the most important things of all!

The Preposition "to" in German: Part 4 — auf

You may be familiar with auf as a preposition meaning "on" or "for." However, like the prepositions nach, in, and an, there are times when its meaning is "to" (accusative) and "at" (dative) and you will see it translated as such.

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Viele machen sich's gemütlich zu Hause oder sie gehen auf eine Party.

Many people will make themselves comfortable at home or they will go to a party.

Caption 93, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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Yes, in German we say auf eine Party gehen ("to go to a party") and also auf eine Hochzeit gehen ("to go to a wedding"). 

There are certain public places for which auf is used as well. In the sentence below, der Markt refers to the consumer market, but you would also say Ich gehe auf den Markt to tell your friend that you are going to an outdoor farmer's market, and Ich bin auf dem Markt (with dative) once you have arrived there. 

 

Und einige der neuen Fahrzeuge, die jetzt auf den Markt kommen,

And you will see some of the new vehicles that are now coming on to the market

werden Sie erstmals bei dieser IAA sehen.

for the first time at this IAA.

Captions 44-45, Internationale Automobilausstellung - IAA in Frankfurt öffnet die Pforten

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As you might imagine, auf is also used when we will end up on or on top of something. If you remember our previous newsletter on the preposition in, the second example below might be quite confusing. But indeed, we say in die Berge when driving into/towards the mountains and auf den Berg when referring to climbing a single mountain.

 

Die Aktivisten kletterten über Kräne auf das Dach des Gebäudes.

The activists climbed via cranes onto the roof of the building.

Caption 8, Atomkraft - Streit um AKW-Laufzeiten

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Am besten steigen wir auf den Berg.

It's best if we climb the mountain.

Caption 9, JoNaLu - Ein Tag am Meer

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And finally, auf is also used with islands. 

 

Die Urlauber, die jetzt auf die Insel kommen, lassen sich den Wind um die Nase pusten.

The vacationers who come now to the island let the wind blow over their faces.

Caption 2, Die Insel Fehmarn - Gästeboom

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Further Learning
Other places and nouns that are commonly paired with the preposition auf when they are the destination include der Spielplatz, der Fußballplatz, der Flussdie Messe, and der Turm. Don't forget that auf is also a two-way preposition, so you will also see it used with the dative on Yabla German to describe location.

Verschieden, unterschiedlich, and anders

On Yabla German, you have probably come across these three words, which are most often all translated as "different." However, they are actually not always synonyms. The following distinction is to be taken with a grain of salt, but may be helpful:

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anders = "different," implying "other" or "another"
verschieden = "different," implying "various" or "diverse"
unterschiedlich = "different," implying "dissimilar" 

 

Following this, you would say that these adjectives have unterschiedliche Bedeutungen, but not verschiedene Bedeutungen. What exactly is the correct usage of verschieden then?

 

Wir haben jetzt viele verschiedene Leute gefragt.

Now we've asked a lot of different people.

Caption 91, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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In the sentence above, the use of the adjective verschieden simply implies that a large number of people were asked about their New Year's resolutions in a survey. If the sentence used the phrase viele unterschiedliche Leute, it would emphasize that the people asked were different from each other, perhaps in terms of age or background. 

 

Es gibt ja unterschiedliche Gründe, warum Erwachsene spielen, ne...

There are indeed different reasons that adults play, right...

Caption 1, Gamification - Wie Spielen den Alltag interessanter macht

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In this example, the opposite occurs, and the emphasis is on how dissimilar the reasons are, not the fact that a wide variety exists. 

 

Die Kündigung hat bestimmt andere Gründe.

The layoff probably has other reasons.

Caption 30, Berufsleben - Probleme mit Mitarbeitern - Part 3

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In this sentence, the use of andere Gründe emphasizes that there are reasons that are different from what has already been considered. Verschiedene Gründe would imply that there are a variety of reasons, while unterschiedliche Gründe would more likely be used if two people got fired for distinct reasons. 

 

Remember that anders can also be used with als for comparisons, which is not the case for the other two adjectives. 

 

Man kann hier natürlich noch andere Sachen tun als nur schwimmen.

You can, of course, do other things here besides just swimming.

Caption 6, Berlin - Wannsee

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Further Learning
There are many examples of these adjectives used on Yabla German. When you see them, ask yourself exactly which meaning is being implied. 
You might also want to watch this video, which looks at this tricky topic in more detail.

Accusative phrases with wünschen

Frohes neues Jahr from our team here at Yabla German!

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Unfortunately, the newsletter is not in time to wish you guten Rutsch this year (see this lesson for more information on that), but we hope you had a lovely Sylvester.

 

Have you ever wondered how the adjectival endings on phrases such as these are formed? In the examples below, you can see the full versions of these expressions. In the first one, Ich is the subject, das Jahr is the direct object, and Ihnen und Ihren Familien is the indirect object. All adjectives pertaining to das Jahr have the appropriate accusative case ending for a neuter noun, as does the indefinite article ein.

 

Ich wünsche Ihnen und Ihren Familien ein frohesgesundes und gesegnetes neues Jahr zweitausendzwölf!

I wish you and your families a happyhealthy and blessed New Year two thousand twelve!

Captions 36-37, Angela Merkel - Neujahrsansprache - Part 2

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Similarly, in the following sentence, der Rutsch is the direct object, and all articles and adjectives (ein, gut) receive the accusative ending for a masculine noun.
  

Ich wünsch' euch auch einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr.

I also wish you all "a good slide" into the New Year.

Caption 100, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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Of course, this is not at all restricted to New Year’s expressions. All of the basic phrases that you already know also follow this rule, for example, Guten Tag and Schönen Tag noch (der Tag), Guten Abend (der Abend), Gute Reise (die Reise), and Gute Nacht (die Nacht). Understanding why these expressions include the adjective endings they do unlocks a very essential aspect of German grammar. 

 

Dann wünsch' ich dir noch einen schönen Tag.

Then I wish you a nice day.

Caption 45, Jenny interviewt - Sabine

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Einen schönen guten Abend aus Karlsruhe.

A pleasant good evening from Karlsruhe.

Caption 1, Architektur - der Stadt Karlsruhe

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Further Learning
We hope that you will take special note of these and other phrases when you see them on Yabla German in the future. If you want some practice with your direct and indirect objects, write some sentences about the presents you gave to various people this year, for example: Ich (subject) habe meiner Mutter (indirect object) einen Schal (direct object) geschenkt

New Year's Resolutions

The custom of making a New Year's resolution, where we promise to try to make improvements in the coming year, is common in many western European countries. A recent newspaper report states that the most popular New Year's resolution for Germans this year is to try to pay more attention to their personal finances, with the specific goal of saving more money.

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The German word for "resolution" in the context of a New Year's resolution is der Vorsatz, as in der Vorsatz für das neue Jahr, or less commonly, der Neujahrsvorsatz

 

Haben Sie irgendwelche Vorsätze für nächstes Jahr?

Do you have any resolutions for next year?

Caption 8, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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Haben Sie Vorsätze? -Ja, es wird alles besser!

Do you have resolutions? -Yes, everything will get better!

Captions 30-31, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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Haben Sie sich schon gute Vorsätze fürs neue Jahr vorgenommen?

Have you already made good resolutions for the new year?

Caption 8, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Karlsruhe

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Machen Sie sich Vorsätze fürs neue Jahr? Nein. -Nein, warum nicht? -Weil mer [wir] sie sowieso nicht einhalten.

Do you make resolutions for the new year? No. -No, why not? -Because we don't keep them anyway.

Captions 40-41, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Karlsruhe

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We hope you can be a bit more optimistic about your New Year's resolutions than this last fellow, perhaps it helps if the resolutions are realistic!

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Further Learning
Watch both of the Yabla German videos about New Year's resolutions in Linkenheim and in Karlsruhe in their entirety and write some New Year’s resolutions for yourself in German.

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Am Silvesterabend

We have already devoted a Yabla German lesson to the celebration of New Year's Eve in Germany with an explanation of the phrase Guten Rutsch ("a good slide into the new year"), but let's take a detailed look at the German word for New Year's Eve: der Silvester (or das Silvester, either way is correct).

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The term Silvester originates from the Christian feast which takes place on the anniversary of the death of Pope Silvester I on December 31st, and is also used (with language-specific variant spellings) to denote New Year's Eve in many countries, including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Slovenia.

 

Was machen wir eigentlich an Silvester?

What are we actually doing on New Year's Eve?

Caption 2, Im Zoo - Der Jahreswechsel für die Tiere

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Wie verbringen Sie Silvester? -Ganz gemütlich zu Hause.

How will you spend New Year's Eve? -Very comfortably at home.

Caption 7, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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Wer an Silvester nicht alleine Raketen kucken will...

Those who do not want to watch fireworks by themselves on New Year's Eve...

Caption 42, Leidenszeit für Singles - Online-Dating-Hochsaison

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Wie feiert ihr den Silvesterabend? Also, ich feier mit meiner Mama und meinem Papa zu Hause.

How do you celebrate New Year's Eve? Well, I celebrate with my mom and my dad at home.

Captions 17-18, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Karlsruhe

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As you see in the last example, Silvester can be combined with Abend (evening) to form the compound noun der Silvesterabend.

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Further Learning
So regardless of whether you celebrate Silvester at home with family or out with friends, we at Yabla wish you all a happy and safe guten Rutsch into the New Year!

Bring the Noise!

In this week's new video Mama arbeitet wieder, a construction company boss tells his foreman:

 

Aber bevor wir hier abziehen, lassen wir's noch mal richtig krachen [umgangssprachlich], was?

But before we pull out here, we'll make a really big noise [slang, celebrate], right?

Caption 4, Mama arbeitet wieder - Kapitel 2: Kompromisse zu finden ist nicht einfach

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The verb krachen is defined by the Duden dictionary as primarily "einen Krach verursachen, auslösen" or "causing a loud noise." Its slang meanings are "to have a fight with somebody" (Krach haben) or "to suffer a bankruptcy" (Krach erleiden), the latter similar to the "crash" of the stock market in English. The verb combination krachen lassen, however, usually means "to celebrate."
 

Da wünsch ich euch viel Spaß! Lasst es krachen [Umgangssprache]!

Then I hope you have a lot of fun! Make some noise [celebrate]!

Caption 70, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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A variation to the translation "to celebrate" is made in the case where a car really "makes some noise":
 

Und die lassen es in der brandneuen, über zweihundert PS starken A-Klasse so richtig krachen.

And they'll really, in the brand new over two hundred horsepower strong A-Class, make some noise [idiom: "cut loose"].

Captions 16-17, Mercedes Benz - Michael Schumacher und Nico Rosberg bei der Nationalmannschaft

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So the slang term "krachen lassen" is usually used in connection with some kind of celebration, such as a birthday party or New Year's celebration. 2016 is still some months away, but that gives you a chance to get some practice celebrations going in the meantime. Lass es krachen! 

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Further Learning
Search for more videos on German Yabla that use the verb krachen and watch the entire video to improve your party vocabulary!

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