Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Aufenthaltstitel und Deutschkurs mit Jewli zwei!

Bit of news, my actual Aufentshaltitel is ready for me to pick up at the Alien's office, so I think we will be taking a trip there either Thursday or Friday to pick it up. Yay! :)

Sponge Bob Schwammkopf = Sponge Bob Squarepants

That makes no sense to me since kopf means "head" and hose means "pants."

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My language teacher encourages us to watch German tv and listen to German radio as practice, but I'm not sure Sponge Bob Schwammkopf is what she had in mind. By the way, the woman who runs our school teachers our class a couple of days a week. I don't know if I have mentioned that fact before, but I didn't want anyone wondering if my teacher had a sex change or was a drag queen. ;)

Did you also know that there is actually a German word for Smurfs? Die Schlümpfe. I thought Smurf was a made up name and therefore would be universal across all languages. Guess not.

Okay, so on to the German lessons from this week so far! We have only managed to cover two concepts because they are quite tricky. Telling time and using "special" verbs.

Telling Time

What time is it? = Wie viel uhr ist es?

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That part is simple enough. To respond, you can answer in one of many ways.
If you are making an appointment with a doctor or a meeting at work, you would say Es ist vierzehn Uhr drezig. for an appointment at 2:30pm. In other words, you would say It is 14:30. 

But if you are out with a friend or family member and they ask you Wie viel Uhr ist es?, you would say Es ist halb drei. if it is 2:30pm. Directly translated you are saying It is half three. 

In the U.S., we say that it is the hour plus the minutes. In German, you say the minutes that are after the hour until you get to 20 minutes after the hour. You could tell someone that it is 2:20 in several ways:
Es ist zwanzig nach zwei. It is twenty after two.     
Es ist zehn vor halb drei. It is ten before half three.
Es ist zwei Uhr zwanzig. It is two hour twenty.        

As you can see in the 2nd example, I didn't reference zwei (2) even though that is the hour we are talking about. In German, once you reach 30 after the hour, you begin referencing the hour you are approaching. In my 2nd example, because we were referencing it being 10 minutes until 2:30, we had to say it was ten till halb drei. Does that make sense?

If you want to tell someone that it is 3:35, you would say one of the following:
informal- Es ist fünf nach halb vier.                  
It is five after half four.      

formal- Es ist drei Uhr fünfunddreizig.             
It is three hour five and thirty.

Vor means "before" in this context and nach means "after." So if you wanted to say it is 3:35, you would say (to a friend) "Es ist fünf vor halb vier."

When you are talking about it being XX:15 or XX:45, there is a separate word referring to a "quarter till" and a "quarter after." 

2:15 would be...
        Es ist viertel nach zwei. It is quarter after two.  
        Es ist zwei Uhr fünfzehn. It is two hour fifteen.  
        Es ist fünfzehn nach zwei. It is fifteen after two.

2:45 would be...
        Es ist viertel vor drei. It is quarter till three.                        
        Es ist zwei Uhr fünfundvierzig. It is two hour five and forty.
        Es ist fünfzehn vor drei. It is fifteen till three.                       

If it is a little before or after the hour, or half hour, you can include "kurz" in your response.

2:03 would be...
        Es ist kurz nach zwei. It is shortly after two.

2:53 would be...
        Es ist kurz vor drei. It is shortly before three.

In Germany, they use military time, so 2:00 in the afternoon is actually 14:00; however, when you are verbally telling someone the time informally, you only use 1-12.
Basically, there are LOTS of different ways you can say what time it is in German and they are all correct. The hardest part for me has been the half till the hour. It's just so different from English and I have had trouble with it for years. 

If you'd like to see some examples with pictures of clocks, you can watch this rather boring, but informative youtube video. :)

Now for the Trennbare Verben!

These verbs are crazy. And when I say crazy, I mean completely nutzo!

In German, kaufen means to buy. However; einkaufen also means to buy, but there's a catch. Einkaufen only refers to shopping for Lebensmittel, or groceries. When you conjugate kaufen, you just change the word slightly for each pronoun, I, he/she/it, you, we, you plural, they/respect form you.

Ich kaufe    
Du kaufst    
Er/Sie kauft
Wir kaufen  
Ihr kauft     
Sie kaufen   

When you conjugate einkaufen, you have to split the word into ein and kaufen. Then you conjugate kaufen the same as above, but you move the ein to the very end of the sentence.

Ich kaufe Socken und Schuhe. I buy socks and shoes.

Ich kaufe Äpfel und Butter ein. I buy apples and butter.

There are several verbs like this:

stehen - to stand          
aufstehen - to stand up

stehen -  to watch                     
fernsehen - to watch television

rufen - to call                         
anrufen - to call on the phone

räumen - to put away                 
aufräumen - to tidy up, organize

They are all the same as einkaufen, but the auf, fern, an,  and auf respectively are moved to the end of whatever sentence they are in.

For example, if I say "Ich rufe meine Schwester." I am saying "I call my sister." This is the way you would call after a dog off a leash or call for your kids to come inside for dinner.

If I wanted to say that I call my sister on the phone, I would say, "Ich rufe meine Schwester an." The only difference is the an at the end. So if you don't pay attention to the WHOLE sentence, you may mistake the meaning of what is being said.

Whew! Okay, I am exhausted and my eyes are killing me, so I think it is time to wrap this up and head to bed. I hope you enjoyed round two of my German lessons. :) Let me know if you do or do not like these kind of posts. Personally, I find them to be useful for my retention.

I hope you are all doing well!