The Family. Absolute Beginner #11

Published on :

Welcome to a typical German family! Let’s see what everybody is called. Let’s start with the parents. Parents are called „Eltern“ by the way. Eltern. Father and mother are very similar to the English words, they are „der Vater“ und „die Mutter“. Always learn the article with the words, that makes it so much easier later on!
Then there is the child, „das Kind“. Das Kind. Very important in almost every family are the grandparents. „Die Großeltern“. Die Großeltern. They are „der Großvater“ and „die Großmutter“. Kids often call them „Oma“ and „Opa“. Oma is Grandma, Opa is Grandpa.
Maybe the kid has siblings. Siblings are called „Geschwister“. Die Geschwister. There is the sister, „die Schwester“, and the brother, „der Bruder“. Schwester und Bruder.
On Sunday there will be a visit by an uncle. „Der Onkel“ is coming to visit. He is bringing his wife, „seine Frau“. Die Frau. Or to be more precise: Die Ehefrau – if they are married. He is also bringing his kids, who are the cousins of the kid we are talking about. Der Cousin und die Cousine. There are German words for the cousins, but they are very outdated and we use the French words with French pronunciation. Cousin und Cousine.
Let’s make it a little more complicated. If I have a sister and she is married, then her husband is my „Schwager“. Der Schwager. If I have a brother and he is married, then his wife is my „Schwägerin“. Die Schwägerin.
If I am an aunt myself, eine „Tante“, die Tante, then I have nieces and nephews. They are called Nichten und Neffen. „Die Nichte“ is the niece and „Der Neffe“ is the nephew.

Make-Up and Hair. Absolute Beginner #10

Published on :

Many of my female listeners asked me to talk about make-up. So let’s start with what you say if you apply make-up. You say: „Ich schminke mich.“ Sich schminken. All the things you need for painting your face so to speak are „Schminke“. Die Schminke. Many words we use are the English words, for example „make-up“ means the foundation for your skin. „Das Make-Up“. Then there is „Lidschatten“. Der Lidschatten. „Lid“ is the upper part of your eye, and „schatten“ is shadow. Eye-shadow. Lidschatten. Then there’s „Wimperntusche“. „Wimpern“ are the eye-lashes and „Tusche“ is ink. Die Wimperntusche is mascara – but don’t worry, most people understand „Mascara“ as well. Your eyebrows are „Augenbrauen“ – die Augenbrauen. It’s the same word. And then we need lipstick, „Lippenstift“. „Lippen“ are your lips, „Stift“ is a pen. Der Lippenstift.

At the end of a long day, when you want to remove the make-up, we use the verb „abschminken“. Ab-schminken. The correct sentence would be: „Ich schminke mich ab.“

And what about your hair? For your hair you need „einen Kamm“ – a comb, „einen Kamm“. Der Kamm. Or a brush. Die Bürste. Die Bürste. In both cases you can say: „Ich kämme meine Haare“.

If you want to part your hair, you are wearing a „Scheitel“. Der Scheitel. If it’s parted in the middle of your head, it’s „der Mittelscheitel“. If it’s parted to the side, it’s „der Seitenscheitel“.

If you have long hair, you can wear it in a ponytail. „Ein Pferdeschwanz“. Der Pferdeschwanz. „Ich mache mir einen Pferdeschwanz.“ For a ponytail you need „einen Haargummi“ – a scrunchy. Der Haargummi. Oh, and talking about ponys: If a woman in Germany has a „Pony“ it means she wears bangs, so her hair is short on her forehead. Der Pony. Don’t misuse the article: „Der Pony“ is a hairstyle, „das Pony“ is a small horse.

Going to the doctor. Absolute Beginner #09

Published on :

I hope you’ll never get sick when you’re travelling in Germany, but we’re going to the doctor today, ok? First, you might make a call to get an appointment. With an appointment, you don’t have to wait too long to see the doctor. So you call the „Praxis“, that’s what the doctor’s office is called, „Praxis“, and tell the Sprechstundenhilfe, that’s the woman answering the phone: „Ich möchte einen Termin vereinbaren.“ Or a little less polite: „Ich brauche einen Termin“, meaning: I need a doctor’s appointment. The woman might ask you: „Worum geht es denn?“, meaning: What’s this about? And you can tell her: „Ich habe Halsweh“, or „Ich habe Kopfweh“. You see: the syllable „weh“ means pain in this case. So you tell them where it’s hurting you. Der Hals is the throat, der Kopf is the head, der Bauch is the stomach.

When you have your apointment, you try to be there on time. When you enter the Praxis, you go to the counter and tell them your name. You say: „Guten Tag. Mein Name ist Miller. Ich habe einen Termin um drei Uhr.“ That means: „Hello, my name is Miller, I have an apointment at three o’clock.“ The woman then might ask for your insurance card, „Ihre Versichertenkarte bitte“. After everything is checked, she will tell you: „Gehen Sie schonmal vor ins Wartezimmer.“ The „Wartezimmer“ is the waiting room. When you enter it you can say „Guten Tag“ to the other patients waiting there. The doctor will call you into his Arztzimmer, the doctor’s office. Usually he comes into the waiting room (or sends his assistant), saying either your name or simply „Der nächste bitte!“ meaning: Next one, please.

You tell him where it hurts – if you don’t know how to say it, just show him with your hands. Maybe he says: „Machen Sie sich bitte frei.“ This is hard to understand, isn’t it? It means: Get undressed. Ususally just the upper part of your body. When he’s done examining your body, he will say: „Ich gebe Ihnen ein Rezept.“ The „Rezept“ is a piece of paper. With this, you go to the next pharmacy to get your medicine. Maybe the doc will also say: „Gute Besserung!“ meaning: Get well, soon!