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Summer Swimming

Summer is the time to go swimming. Let's talk today about words related to swimming and swimming safety.


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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OK, und dann halt lieber hier in der freien Natur baden.

OK, and then just better to swim here in open nature.

Caption 77, Unterwegs mit Cettina: Sommer am Baggersee

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The verbs schwimmen and baden both mean "to swim," but baden can also mean "to play in the water" or even "to take a bath." I've often had Europeans ask if we should "go bathing" (or even "have a bath"), by which they mean "go swimming," of course!


Kommt Kinder, wir gehen zur Abkühlung erst mal eine Runde schwimmen!

Come on kids, let's go for a swim to cool off first!

Caption 72, Umwelt und Natur: Wo sind all die Bienen hin?

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Aber es ist perfekt, um ans Meer zu fahren und baden zu gehen.

But it's perfect for going to the sea and going for a swim.

Caption 39, Deutsch mit Eylin: Das Wetter

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To say "to go swimming," you combine the verbs gehen and schwimmen, or gehen and baden. Note that the phrases consist of two verbs and are not single separable verbs!


Den größten Teil meiner Freizeit verbringe ich in Tel Aviv und am Strand.

I spend the largest portion of my free time in Tel Aviv and at the beach.

Caption 11, Grete: eine Freiwillige in Israel

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Also, in Tübingen gibt's ein Schwimmbad.

Well, in Tübingen there is a swimming pool.

Caption 21, Deutschkurs in Tübingen: Über jemanden sprechen

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Two obvious places to go swimming are the beach (der Strand) or a swimming pool (das Schwimmbad), and you'll hopefully be able to find those someplace closer to home than Tel Aviv or Tübingen!


Mein Handtuch brauche ich nicht.

I don't need my towel.

Caption 19, Peppa Wutz: Sport

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Actually, unless you're going to a gym that supplies a towel, you will probably want to have one when you go swimming. Das Handtuch is the general word for "towel," but you may want to bring a bigger one to lie down on, such as a a beach towel (das Strandtuch).

Vorsicht: Die Sonne ist auch sehr heiß. Deswegen brauchen wir einen Hut, eine Sonnenbrille, und ganz wichtig... Sonnencreme.

Beware: The sun is also very hot. Therefore we need a hat, sunglasses, and very important... sun lotion.

Captions 18-21, Jahreszeiten: Der Sommer

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Safety first! In addition to a hat (der Hut), sunglasses (die Sonnenbrille), and sun lotion (die Sonnencreme), it's important to bring lots of liquids to drink!


Further Learning
Watch the videos above on Yabla German and learn some other terms about summer fun. And then take a break and go swimming somewhere to cool off! And remember to be safe about swimming when you're out in the hot sun.


This past week, temperatures in Germany rose to 102° F / 39° C, even in Berlin and the northern Bundesländer. For a place where air conditioning is the exception rather than the norm, this is extreme!


In German, the noun for "heat" or "hot temperatures" is die Hitze


Ich mag zwar Wärme, aber keine Hitze.

I like the warmth indeed, but not the heat.

Caption 38, Jenny - Reiseziele

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Die Hitze war so groß,

The heat was so great

dass schon bald die Farben seiner Soldatenuniform verblassten.

that the colors of his soldier's uniform soon faded.

Captions 79-80, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Der standhafte Zinnsoldat

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Die Mischung aus Staub und Sonnenstrahlen

The mixture of dust and sunbeams

ließ das gleißende Licht entstehen,

gave rise to the glistening light,

das die tödliche Hitze im Film so glaubhaft macht.

that makes the deadly heat in the film so believable.

Captions 28-30, Hell - Science-Fiction-Kinotipp

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Just as we say "heat wave" in English, Germany combines die Hitze and die Welle into a compound noun:


Eine Hitzewelle rollt an.

A heatwave is coming through.

Caption 6, Unterwegs mit Cettina - Sommer am Baggersee

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Sometimes when a heat wave is too intense and no air conditioning is available (which is the case in many offices and classrooms), cancellations may even occur. There is a special phrase in German for getting the day off due to a heat wave: hitzefrei haben.


Die Müllmänner ham [haben] hitzefrei

The garbage men have time off due to the heat

Caption 4, Culcha Candela - Sommer im Kiez

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Further Learning
Search for more examples of the word die Hitze on Yabla German and see our past newsletter on summer living. You can also read a short text in German about the Berlin government's stance on school cancellations here.