Better German Podcast with Susi

Susanne Schilk-Blümel

Episode 3, Key Words about Learning German

Some words that you may run into

2023-09-14 25 min

Description & Show Notes

In this episode of the Better German podcast, host Susi Blümel discusses key words related to learning German. She emphasizes the importance of finding a German course that is accessible and understandable for beginners, suggesting that having a course in one's native language or at least in English can be beneficial. Susi introduces several basic terms such as "Kurs" (course), "Deutsch" (German), "Anfänger" (beginner), and "Fortgeschritten" (advanced). She also explains the meaning of abbreviations like A1, which denotes the first level of German language proficiency. Additionally, Susi covers terms like "Schule" (school), "lernen" (to learn), and "Wiederholen" (to repeat), among others. She concludes by highlighting the importance of practical and contextual grammar instruction and encourages listeners to check out the show notes on her website for more resources and materials.

In this episode, Susi Blumel discusses key terms related to learning German. She emphasizes the importance of finding a course that suits your language needs and provides essential German vocabulary for beginners, including course-related terms, placement exams, curriculum and language levels. She also introduces key aspects of German grammar, such as parts of speech like Nomen (noun), Artikel (article), Adjektiv (adjective), and Geschlecht (gender). 
Bullet Points 
- German "Kurs"
- Deutsch (German)
- Anfänger (beginner)
- Fortgeschritten (advanced)
- A1 (beginner course)
- Schule (school)
- lernen (to learn)
- Lehrplan (curriculum)
- wiederholen (to repeat)
- Einstufungstest (placement exam)
- vorstellen (to introduce yourself)
- sich vorstellen (introduce yourself)
- Grammatik (grammar)
- lesen (to read)

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Welcome to the Better German podcast. My name is Susi Blümel, and I will teach you German and everything around the language , the countries and the culture. Hello, welcome to the Better German podcast. My name is Susi. I'm your host. I'm a German teacher. And my mission and my vision is to help all learners of German — you — to learn German without any super complicated rules and without the things that have made German learning difficult sometimes. In this episode I'm going to go over some key terms. Key terms — words, that you may find or hit — German words — when you're looking to find a German course and some very basic terms that you may need in a German course. Sometimes when you do a German course in Austria or Germany, it could be that it's all German, which is generally problematic, if it's a beginner course. Meaning that the teacher and the material, it's all only German. It's hard to make German courses in all the languages that maybe people in Austria could come and learn German with, because there is literally people from probably almost every country in the world here that live here that, moved here that want to live here, that study here, that are refugees. So it's sometimes hard to make German courses in all of these different languages. However, as a very beginner, if you have any choice. Any possibility. I definitely advise you to ideally have a course where the person speaks your language. Or at the very least, as you're listening to this, I suppose you speak English, so then at least, the teacher having to speak English to you. All of my materials are geared towards people, like they're designed for people that speak English, not necessarily as their first language. I'm trying to also keep the English a little simpler, so everyone will understand it. If it's their native language or if English is maybe their second language as well. So let's get started with the episode. This is episode number three. And for the entire notes on this episode. And also additional material, which is a list of the words that we're going through, plus the translation, plus an example, sentence and the translation of the example sentence. You can go to my homepage. This is So, also for the future, for every episode, you find show notes for that episode, and info's and any links that are mentioned and a link to download the transcript as well at then the number of the episode. So this is episode number three. And yeah, there you find everything you want and access to the additional material . So let's get started. The first word. I have is German "Kurs". "Kurs" is of course a course. And an example would be. Ich möchte einen Kurs machen. I would like to do a course. The next word is "Deutsch". You probably have heard that already. If you're thinking of learning German, so Deutsch is what we call German in German. Deutsch: Ich spreche Deutsch. I speak German. "Anfänger" is a beginner. "Anfänger". Yeah when you want to have a course. You're going to have a course for "Anfänger". "Ich suche einen Anfänger-Kurs." would be: I'm looking for a beginner's course. "Fortgeschritten" is when you are no longer an "Anfänger", that means you are advanced. In Austria many times when we give information like that, it is: "Anfänger" and "Fortgeschritten" - beginner and advanced. Not always do we put intermediate in there, because there is no real word for intermediate in German. So it could be that you even find written the English word " intermediate" for something between beginner and advanced. Next word. Is actually not a word, but then abbreviation. And it's A1. So maybe you have already come across that. If not, there is a whole episode I'm going to do, it's about a system of giving the information, of like how advanced or not advanced someone is in a language. So A1 would be the very first you could do. So A1 would be the very first course that you take. Sometimes, if you have a classification, it could be A0, but the course would be an, A1 course. Sometimes it's called A1.1 or A1 period 1. So if you're looking for beginner's course, it could be that it's called something with A1. There is going to be an episode on this whole thing coming up. I'm going to link it in the show notes. It's coming up and I will link it as soon as it's done or even I can even tell when it's going to be published. Good next word. So when you want to do a course, you do it at a school. And this is in German "Schule". I'm looking for a school oder "Ich suche eine Schule" - I'm looking for a school to learn German. So we have already the next word in here. "lernen", so that's to learn. "Ich möchte Deutsch lernen". I think we already had that. "I would like to learn German." "Lehrplan". "Lehrplan" is a curriculum, that's the plan of what are the things that you're learning or all the materials that the teacher's going to go through in your course. That's the curriculum in German. "Lehrplan". It's basically the "teaching plan", if you do it literally. "Lehrplan", "curriculum", or "teaching plan." Next word is "wiederholen", that's to repeat. "Können Sie das wiederholen?" "Can you repeat that?" Then the next word is "Einstufungstest". That's a placement exam. So, very often when you start a course, maybe you're going to do an "Einstufungstest", a placement exam. Of course, if you've never learned any German before in your life, then you probably do not need an placement exam , an "Einstufungstest", because then you just start with the first course. These words that we're going over are not necessarily words that I want you to learn. These words you may hit, or maybe you have already met them, encountered them and you're trying to figure out what they mean. And if you haven't, then well, then you've heard it for the first time, and if you ever meet them again, You can come back to it and listen to it again. Next word. "Vorstellen". We use it with "sich". In German we're having many words where we say introduce "yourself" and this "yourself" is "sich". "Vorstellen" means to introduce yourself. Very, very often, if you open a book about German or you do a first lesson. It's going to be about that. So, if you see "sich vorstellen ", then that could be a beginner's lesson. It means "introduce yourself". I would say, for example, "Ich möchte mich vorstellen", I would like to introduce myself. "Grammatik" that's, maybe you could guess, "grammar". That's of course the system, how to put words together, so it makes sense. Very often in German or probably any language course, there is a lot of grammar that you need to learn. Grammar is something that is very necessary, however, I also want to say, that. It should be less than it is done for many courses in the beginning. There should be less theoretical grammar rules taught and it should be more practice. For example, when I t each, there is very few grammar rules and I teach grammar for beginners not as a theoretical set of rules. But I'm explaining to you, how you are going to say this. with the use of a "sentence pattern". You can learn more about that actually in the next episode number four. I I'm going over, how I teach and why I teach it like that. And it could be very helpful for you, too, because it can give you an idea. Of an approach of how to learn German, even if you're not doing a course, if you're learning it for yourself, or maybe in picking a course. Anyway. So grammar is the rules how to make a language work, you could say. Grammar is very important, don't get me wrong. Because just learning words will never give you the ability to speak very well, but in the beginning, you first need to focus on words. And all the Grammar should be more from a very practical approach For example: If you want to say this is a ________, you say "Das ist ein ________". And now you can say: "Das ist ein Tisch", this is a table. "Das ist ein Bild", this is a picture. So that's not a theoretical set of rules with big, huge words, and so on. We're not using so many. As little as possible and as much practical thing as possible, but anyway, the word is "Grammatik", and that's grammar. And a sentence would be. "Grammatik ist wichtig", grammar is important. Still, as I said, everything at its time. "Lesen" it's the next word. "Lesen" is to read. Whenever you learn German or any language, obviously you need to learn to read that language. Ich lese gerne. I like to read. Schreiben I. That's "to write". So, when you learn German, you will need to learn to write German correctly. In der Schule lernen wir schreiben. In school we learn to write. Verstehen. That means to understand. Ich verstehe Deutsch. I understand German. And you will understand German too, very fast. "Sprechen". "Sprechen" means to speak. Ich spreche Deutsch und Englisch. I speak German and English. The next word is "die Aussprache". That's the pronunciation, that's the way, how you say something, that is written. If you read the letters and then you want to figure out how to say it That's "die Aussprache". You will learn, or you should learn the correct pronunciation, right from the beginning. For example, that's an example sentence in English. I should give you one a German. So: "Wir üben jetzt die Aussprache." We are practicing the pronunciation now. The next word is "Prüfung". That's an exam. So you should never only learn just for an exam. You should always focus on how can you use what you learn. I've actually covered this relatively detailed in the last episode, which is the second episode of the podcast and it's called : "Reasons to Learn German". If you're interested in that and you haven't heard it, go there and listen to it. However, the word "Prüfung" of course is interesting and important. And in English, it's an exam. And an example sentence could be "Ich habe die Prüfung bestanden." I passed the exam. Another word that is kind of related to this is a "Test". Now at test is usually a written, maybe shorter exam than "Prüfung". So, for example: "At the end of the lesson, you could have a test" - "Am Ende der Lektion gibt es einen Test." Which was : "At the end of the lesson, there is a test." "Abschluss". That's the completion. It doesn't have to be a course. It's the finish of anything pretty much. But also for course, Nach dem Abschluss des Kurses gibt es eine Prüfung. After the completion of the course, there is an exam. Sometimes it's also like that: you have a course, you do the course, you complete it, and then after that you CAN take an exam and it's not mandatory. It depends on How it's organized there. Anyway. If you put that in a sentence, it would be: Nach dem Abschluss des Kurses kann man eine Prüfung machen. After the completion of the course, you can take an exam. And now, and for the six terms we're going to do here, it's more really about the content of a course, something that you will find within a course. And I've tried to take a few key ones, I feel very important ones. So the first one is "eine Wortart". In English it's called a "part of speech". So we have different kinds of words. And depending on what function they have or what kind of word they are, each kind of them is a different part of speech. In German, this is called "eine Wortart", which means "word-type", basically. "Die Wortart". Good. So then we're just going over three of those types of words. The most important ones. And I know I've said we don't want to have too much, grammar, and I don't want you to have too much grammar. These are just very basic ideas. And just so you know them and what they are. There is going to be an episode. Where I'm going into this a little bit more in detail. And I'm going to link in the show notes of this episode to that episode once they're done or let you know when you can expect this to come. Also, there's going to be a whole grammar course coming up, but this is going to be a little bit, but maybe depending on when you listen to this podcast episode it is already out. I'll definitely link to that, once it's out. Anyway, the first "Wortart", the first part of speech is a noun. In German, it's called "das Nomen". Or sometimes it's also called a "Substantiv". It's exactly the same thing. There is no difference between a "Nomen" and "Substantiv". For some reason that only the gods of grammar know, there are these two different words for the same thing. Yeah, anyway, that's the way it is. So in some books you may find the word "Nomen" and in some other books, you may find the word "Substantiv". Both of them are used. So the next word is "der Artikel". It's an article. In English, there's just two of them. "A" and "the". Meaning that you talk about a general thing like "a table" is "ein Tisch", meaning that it could be any table. And the other kind of article means that you're talking about but A particular table. The table, that would be "der Tisch". I don't want to go into the whole significance of this in German. There is actually an episode coming up. It's going to be the episode seven. And I'm going to link to it in the show notes, and it's an introduction to articles and I'm going to go a little bit into why we have them. And maybe, if you're native language is English, or another language that uses articles, then this is probably not as difficult for you. It could, but there's other languages like. all the Slavic languages that I know of, I don't know of so many, but I know for example, in Russian or in Ukrainian and Czech, there are no articles at all. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, there are no articles in any of those languages. But in any case, I think if you are new to learning German or haven't learned German for such a long time, this episode could be helpful for you. I'm going to give you an idea of why do we have those articles and. A little bit why is it important to learn them? And why are they coming up so early? Because I hear from many German students, that it's hard for them, like the biggest problem they have is the articles, and I want to help you a little bit with that. So it's not such a big problem. So that's episode seven coming up, I'm going to link to it. Anyway, so an article is his little word in front of the noun, it always goes with the noun, that shows you, are you talking about a specific one or any one of that thing. And in German it shows you a little bit more. And you're going to learn it there, but anyway it's one of these little words. Good. I "Adjektiv", is an adjective. An adjective is a word that describes how something is. It's a word like big, small, tall, old, young new, these words are adjectives. "Adjektiv" in German. And then the last word that has actually a connection to article what we had before. Is "Geschlecht", it's the gender. So as an introduction to the next podcast episode, I'm going to let you in on the fact, in German we have an idea of three different genders, so any object or actually any noun. is considered to be either male, female or neutral. male is what we connect with a man or a boy. Female would be what we connect with a woman or a girl. And neutral, that's the third one, is something that is neither that or that. It could be an object or just not a man or female. So every noun in German and this is just grammar, really, is considered one of those three. And that can be very interesting and it has historical reasons how this came about. I think this gender thing "the Geschlecht" we have in many languages, it does not really exist in English or very rudimentary, like just very small parts of it. Like in English, we obviously have he for a man or a boy and we have she for a woman or a girl and we have it for any objects. And in German, every object even, or every noun, has one of those three. So that's the "Geschlecht". I'm not going to go into more of that, I just want you to see if you see that "der", "die" oder "das", these are articles and they also showed her gender. They show you, are they male female or neutral. Okay, cool. So these are, if you have the keywords. I absolutely advise you to go download, go to , because this is the episode three. And go there and download the PDF , which is a list of these words with a translation and an example sentence. And also when you go there, you will find links to everything that I mentioned. Okay. So I hope you enjoyed the episode. Please let me know. If there's anything particularly you would like to see or hear actually, and see you next week or hear your next week. Bye-bye. Thank you for listening to this episode. You can find a transcript of this episode at www. bettergerman. info and slash and then the number of the episode. You can also sign up for a newsletter there and then you will be informed when there is a new episode coming or any other important events going on, new articles, new freebies or... things like that. If you liked it and it was helpful for you, please share it with other people and let them know that this exists. And if you are looking for a course and you want to learn German online, then you can, of course, find all the infos as well on www. bettergerman. info. See you there and see you in the next episode. Bye bye!

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