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German Travel Vocabulary, Part I

While many people in Germany have just come back from their Osterferien, people in the United States and elsewhere may already be thinking about trips they might take during summer vacation (der Sommerurlaub or die Sommerferien). This month, we'll devote a few lessons to looking at essential travel vocabulary in German.

 

You may remember how much trouble Jenny had deciding what kind of vacation to take. In German, a trip to a city is called die Städtereise, but many people like to keep things a bit more low key: 

 

Ah, klar, ich könnte eine Kreuzfahrt mit dem Schiff machen.

Ah, right, I could take a cruise with a ship.

Caption 32, Jenny: Reiseziele

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Strandurlaub bei Windstärke sechs...

Beach vacation with a wind velocity of six...

Caption 42, Traumberuf: Windsurfer

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Once decided, you'll have to plan your trip and make the necessary reservations: 

 

Ich möchte gerne eine Reise zum Europapark buchen.

I would like to book a trip to Europapark.

Caption 4, Reiseplanung: Anruf bei einem Reisebüro

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In der Hauptsaison empfiehlt es sich zu reservieren.

In high season, it is recommended to make a reservation.

Caption 37, Reisebericht Luxemburg

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Part of the planning is figuring out how you are going to get to your destination. 

 

Stattdessen mit Bus und Bahn zum Reiseziel fahren.

Instead, travel by bus and train to your destination.

Caption 44, WissensWerte: Tourismus und Nachhaltigkeit

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Also mit dem Auto würde ich heute nicht fahren.

So, I wouldn't go by car today.

Caption 45, Deutsch mit Eylin Das Wetter

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Von dort können Sie ein Auto mieten oder mit dem Bus fahren.

From there you can rent a car or travel by bus.

Caption 13, Reiseplanung: Anruf bei einem Reisebüro

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Damit höre ich manchmal Musik, wenn ich im Zug oder im Flugzeug sitze.

Sometimes I listen to music with them when I'm on the train or on a plane.

Captions 23-24, Deutsch mit Eylin: Denk schnell!

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Auf dem Schiff haben fünfhundertsechzehn Gäste Platz, richtig viel Platz.

There is room on the ship for five hundred and sixteen guests, really a lot of space.

Caption 10, Kreuzfahrtschiff: An Bord der Europa 2

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Hallo, liebe Yabla-Schüler, ich stehe heute hier auf einer Fähre.

Hello dear Yabla students, I am standing here today on a ferry.

Caption 1, Unterwegs mit Cettina: an der Rheinfähre

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Further Learning

More travel vocabulary is coming! In the meantime, we have so many fun travel videos on Yabla German. Just do a quick search and you'll quickly find yourself in HeidelbergInnsbruck, or the Alps! You may want to also check out this video on tourism and sustainability.

Germany out of the World Cup

Berlin is a wonderful city during the soccer world championship. Most Spätis (small convenience stores) just place large TVs on the sidewalk and every 50 meters or so there's a makeshift outdoor sports bar. When Germany gets a goal, you can hear cheering and fireworks across the city. But when Germany loses and is no longer playing, the city seems to suddenly go quiet.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

The headline today of the Berlin tabloid newspaper BZ was Die Mannschafft sich ab, reflecting the fact that after having lost 0-2 to South Korea, the German soccer team, reigning world champions, are out of the World Cup after only three games. The accompanying photograph was of five players on the field at the end of the match with their hands on their heads, much like prisoners being led away under arrest. Very depressing indeed!

 

The phrase in the headlines is not strictly correct, grammatically speaking. It's a play on words of the noun die Mannschaft ("the team") and the verb abschaffen ("to abolish," "to do away with," "to eliminate"). The proper non-wordplay version would be Die Mannschaft schafft sich ab. An approximate translation could read "The team eliminates itself," as they have been eliminated from playing in the World Cup. 

 

Let's take a look at some other contexts where the verb abschaffen can be used in the present tense:

 

Eine Partei im deutschen Bundestag will die Pressefreiheit abschaffen.

A party in the German Parliament wants to abolish the freedom of press.

Caption 9, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest - Part 3

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Man will die Buslinie abschaffen, mit der Sie immer zur Arbeit fahren.

They want to get rid of the bus route that you always ride to work with.

Caption 25, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest - Part 5

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By the way, it's not possible for a political party to "do away" with freedom of the press in Germany because it's a basic constitutional right, but if a bus line is being cut, you can start a citizen's initiative to save it. Unfortunately, no basic rights or citizen's initiatives will be able to bring the German team back into the World Cup!

 

Insgesamt zweiundzwanzig Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungen wurden heute auf hessischen Autobahnen abgeschafft.

Twenty-two speed limits in total were scrapped today on Hessian autobahns.

Captions 7-8, Deutsche Autobahnen - Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungen

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„Captain's Dinner“ [Englisch] und feste Tischzeiten wurden abgeschafft.

The "captain's dinner" and fixed meal times were done away with.

Caption 18, Kreuzfahrtschiff - An Bord der Europa 2

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Früher hatten sie solche Riesenmaschinen, aber die haben sie abgeschafft.

Long ago they had such giant machines, but they have abolished them.

Captions 40-41, Piggeldy und Frederick - Maschine

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

It's interesting to note that by taking the verb schaffen ("to create") and adding the prefix ab-, you essentially create the opposite of "create" with abschaffen: "to abolish." 

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