Foreign Service Institute German Basic Course

Unit 1: Part 1


Wir sind in Deutschland

Basic Sentences [mp3 1.1]

I
good
morning
Good morning.
Mr.
Becker
Mr. Becker
Good morning, Mr. Becker.
day
Hello (Good day).
Mrs.
Kunze
Mrs. Kunze
Hello, Mrs. Kunze.
evening
Good evening.
Miss
Schneider
Miss Schneider
Good evening, Miss Schneider.

II
Hello, Miss Schneider.
Hello, Mr. Becker.
how
goes
it
to you, with you
How are you? (How goes it with you?)
thanks
very
good, well
Fine, Thanks.
and
And how are you, Mr. Becker?
also, too
Thank you, I‘m fine too.

III
understand
you
Do you understand Mrs. Kunze?
no
I
I understand
not
No, I don't understand Mrs. Kunze.
me
Do you understand me?
yes
Yes, I understand you well.

IV
where
is
the airport
Where's the airport?
there
over there
The airport is over there.
please
I beg your pardon. what did you say?
speak
slow, slowly
Please speak slowly.
The airport is over there.
Do you understand?
thank you
Yes, I understand. Thank you.
you're welcome
You're welcome.

V
that
the railroad station
Is that the railroad station?
No, that's not the station.
he, it
to the left
It's there to the left.
the restaurant
Is the restaurant there too?
it
Yes, it's there too.

VI
what
there
What's that there?
the hotel
That's the hotel.
here
to the right
the embassy
Is the embassy here to the right?
she, it
Yes, it's here to the right.

VII
excuse me
the cafe
Excuse me, where is the café?
straight ahead
There, straight ahead.
the bank
isn't it? (not true?)
The bank is there too, isn't it?
Yes, it's there too.
thanks
Thanks.
you're welcome
You're welcome.

VIII
Good morning.
I would like
with pleasure
I'd like very much
some cigars
to have
I'd like to have some cigars.
how many
All right. How many?
five
and
some matches
Five. and some matches too. please.
Here you are.
how much
costs
How much does that cost?
the cigars
cost
two
Mark
The cigars cost two Marks.
the matches
ten
penny, pennies
The matches cost ten pennies.
would like
would you like
some cigarettes
Would you like to have some cigarettes too?
they
they cost
Yes, how much do they cost?
one
One Mark.
Here you are.
Thank you.

IX
Good evening.
to eat
Would you like to eat?
sausage and sauerkraut
Yes, sausage and sauerkraut please.
some, a little
bread
And a little bread.

X
the wine
How's the wine, and how's the beer?
are
The wine and the beer are good.
but
the coffee
But the coffee's not good.
the tea
not ... either
And the tea isn't good either.
the milk
Is the milk good?
Yes, the milk ls very good.
the water
How's the water here?
The water is good.

XI
zero - one - two - three - four
five - six - seven - eight
nine · ten - eleven - twelve

How much is three and five?
Three and five is eight.
How much is seven and four?
Seven and four is eleven.
How much is two and ten?
Two and ten is twelve.
again
Say it again, please.
Two and ten is twelve.

XII
one, you
says
does one say
in German
How do you say 'good bye' in German?
good bye
You say 'Auf wiedersehen'.

I
guten
Morgen
Guten Morgen.
Herr
Becker
Herr Becker
Guten Morgen, Herr Becker.
Tag
Guten Tag.
Frau
Kunze
Frau Kunze
Guten Tag, Frau Kunze.
Abend
Guten Abend.
Fräulein
Schneider
Fräulein Schneider
Guten Abend, Fräulein Schneider.

II
Guten Tag, Fräulein Schneider.
Guten Tag, Herr Becker.

wie
geht
es
Ihnen
Wie geht es Ihnen?
danke
sehr
gut
Danke, sehr gut.
und
Und wie geht es Ihnen, Herr Becker?
auch
Danke, auch gut.

III
verstehen
Sie
Verstehen Sie Frau Kunze?
nein
ich
ich verstehe
nicht
Nein, ich verstehe Frau Kunze nicht.
mich
Verstehen Sie mich?
ja
Ja, ich verstehe Sie gut.

IV
wo
ist
der Flughafen
Wo ist der Flughafen?
dort
drüben
Der Flughafen ist dort drüben.
bitte
Wie bitte?
sprechen
langsam
Sprechen Sie bitte langsam.
Der Flughafen ist dort drüben.
Verstehen Sie?
danke schön
Ja, ich verstehe. Danke schön.
bitte schön
Bitte schön.

V
das
der Bahnhof
Ist das der Bahnhof?
Nein, das ist nicht der Bahnhof.
er
links
Er ist dort links.
das Restaurant
Ist das Restaurant auch dort?
es
Ja, es ist auch dort.

VI
was
da
Was ist das da?
das Hotel
Das ist das Hotel.
hier
rechts
die Botschaft
Ist die Botschaft hier rechts?
sie
Ja, sie ist hier rechts.

VII
verzeihung
das café
Verzeihung, wo ist das Café?
geradeaus
Dort, geradeaus.
die Bank
nicht wahr
Die Bank ist auch da, nicht wahr?
Ja, sie ist auch da.
danke
Danke.
bitte
Bitte.

VIII
Guten Morgen.
ich möchte
gern
ich möchte gern
Zigarren
haben
Ich möchte gern Zigarren haben.
wie viele
Gern. Wie viele?
fünf
und
Streichhölzer
Fünf, und bitte auch Streichhölzer.
Hier, bitte.
wie viel
kostet
Wie viel kostet das?
die Zigarren
kosten
zwei
Mark
Die Zigarren kosten zwei Mark.
die Streichhölzer
zehn
Pfennig
Die Streichhölzer kosten zehn Pfennig.
möchten
möchten Sie
Zigaretten
Möchten Sie auch Zigaretten haben?
sie
sie kosten
Ja, Wie viel kosten sie?
eine
Eine Mark.
Bitte schön.
Danke schön.

IX
Guten Abend.
essen
Möchten Sie essen?
Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut
Ja, Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut, bitte.
etwas
Brot
Und etwas Brot.

X
der Wein
Wie ist der Wein und wie ist das Bier?
sind
Der Wein und das Bier sind gut.
aber
der Kaffee
Aber der Kaffee ist nicht gut.
der Tee
auch nicht
Und der Tee ist auch nicht gut.
die Milch
Ist die Milch gut?
Ja, die Milch ist sehr gut.
das Wasser
Wie ist hier das Wasser?
Das Wasser ist gut.

XI
null - eins - zwei - drei - vier
fünf - sechs - sieben - acht
neun - zehn - elf - zwölf

Wie viel ist drei und fünf?
Drei und fünf ist acht.
Wie viel ist sieben und vier?
Sieben und vier ist elf.
Wie viel ist zwei und zehn?
Zwei und zehn ist zwölf.

nochmal
Nochmal, bitte.
Zwei und zehn ist zwölf.

XII
man
sagt
sagt man
auf deutsch
Wie sagt man 'good bye‘ auf deutsch?
Auf Wiedersehen
Man sagt 'Auf Wiedersehen'.

*End of mp3 1.1*

Changes since the 1960's : Verzeihung is a bit formal for excuse me. You can also use Entschuldigung when you want to get someone's attention. The currency in Germany (and Austria) is now the Euro, which is broken down into cents. Switzerland still uses the Swiss franc. Fräulein is NOT used anymore. At best it's considered old fashioned, usually somewhat sexist, and often times is only used to refer to a prositute. Instead of nein you'll often hear nee in most of Germany and na in the south and in Austria. [Thanks to kflavin84 for some of these updates!]


Notes on Pronunciation [mp3 1.2]

The spelling of a language only symbolizes to the native speaker the sounds which he already knows. You will learn these sounds directly from your instructor; the spelling will serve as an aid to listening. No spelling system adequately represents the sounds of the spoken language. and no attempt will be made at this point to outline exactly what sounds are represented by what symbols of the German spelling system. We will however present for particular drill and attention in each unit certain sounds which have shown themselves to be difficult for speakers of American English. In the meantime we ask you to remember two cardinal points:

1. The German of your text is printed in the standard German written style.

2. The letter-symbols used, although in most cases the same symbols we use in written English, in most cases do not represent exactly the same sounds we use in English. Therefore, DO NOT EXPECT GERMAN WRITTEN SYMBOLS TO REPRESENT SOUND VALUES YOU KNOW IN ENGLISH.

Pronunciation Practices. To be drilled in class.

A. Short Vowels

The German short vowels i, e, a and u are not dissimilar from English sounds. The o, however, is probably different from any sound that you have in English. Do not try to replace it by a sound from English, but rather reproduce the pronunciation of your instructor. The German front rounded vowels ö and ü do not occur in English. To produce the ö, put your tongue in the position for the German e and round your lips; for ü, put your tongue in the position for the German i and round your lips. You will then produce a sound similar to the German sound. Experiment until your instructor is satisfied with your pronunciation. Do not worry about the meaning of the words in these practices. Concentrate instead on the sounds.

Practice 1(a)

short i short e short a short o short u
bitte denn das kostet muss
ist essen Mann Sonne Mutter
in etwas an Doktor und

 

short ö short ü e (unstressed) e (unstressed)
können Mütter bitte genug
möchte fünf danke gesehen
öfter Hütte Sonne bekommen


Practice 1(b)

mit Mütter   kennen können
missen müssen   stecke Stöcke


B. Long Vowels

There are no sounds in English exactly like the German long vowels. If you will pronounce English gate and then ask your instructor to pronounce German geht, you will notice that the English vowel sound seems to change during its pronunciation. but the German sound seems tense and stable throughout its duration. Your tongue actually moves during the production of the English vowel sound, but during the production of the German sound the tongue remains in the same position. The long ö and ü are formed approximately like short ö and ü. Pronounce German long e and round your lips to form ö, and pronounce German long i and round your lips to form ü.

Practice 2(a)

long i long e long a long o long u long ö long ü
wie geht Tag Sohn gut König für
ihnen Tee Abend oder du schön Tür
viel den Bahn wo Flug öde über


Practice 2(b)

vier für   lesen lösen
Tier Tür   Sehne Söhne


c. Distinguishing Long and Short Vowels

It is NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE to distinguish long and short vowels in written German, as the German spelling system does not consistently mark them as such. Your best guide to the pronunciation of any given word is the way your native instructor pronounces it. However, a few hints can be given which will help you to recognize them most of the time. If you look back at the practice lists above you will see that the short vowels in most cases are followed by two or more consonants and they are always written with a single letter symbol. Then note that the long vowels are not always written with a single letter symbol and usually are followed by only one consonant. The following combinations of letters always designate long vowels: ie, ih - eh, ee - ah, aa - oh, oo - uh - öh - üh.

D. Diphthongs

These combinations of two vowel sounds in German are very similar, though not identical to certain vowel combinations in English.

Practice 3

ei au eu (äu)
nein auch deutsch
eins Tau neun
Wein Laut Läute

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