Seite 1

Kapitel 1: Einführung


It is crucial that students train themselves to pronounce German as closely as possible to the native speakers on the recordings. Pronunciation is a graded skill.

For all recordings:

  1. Listen to the recording once all the way through without stopping.
  2. Listen again and stop every few words and pronounce them after the speaker.
  3. By far the best way to train pronunciation is to record your voice, play back, and listen to your own voice recording.
Listen to the following conversational exchanges: Hallo! Wie heißen Sie?


Hallo! Guten Tag! Herzlich Willkommen!

Internationale Studenten

  • Guten Tag! Herzlich willkommen! Mein Name ist Pohle. Norbert Pohle. Und wie ist Ihr Name?
  • Sabine Zimmermann.
  • Und Sie? Wie heißen Sie?
  • Ich heiße Antonio Colletti.
  • Und ich bin Zafir Yusef.

Auf einer Party

  • Grüß dich! Ich heiße Peter Sedelmeier.
  • Mein Name ist Katharina Steinmetz.
  • Woher kommst du?
  • Aus Dresden. Und du?
  • Aus Rosenheim.

Ein Treffen in Berlin

  • Frau Kuhne, das ist Herr Jamamoto aus Tokio. Frau Kuhne kommt aus Potsdam.
  • Freut mich!
  • Freut mich auch!

Übung 1-1a (Exercise 1-a): Complete the quiz "Hallo! Guten Tag! Herzlich Willkommen!" on BOLT.

German has several words for "you".

  1. Formal address, for which the pronoun "you" is Sie (Note that the pronoun is capitalized!), as in "Wie heißen Sie?" ist the way to ask a person's name when addressing an adult who is not a personal friend. Ihr, as in "Wie ist Ihr Name?" (another way to ask "What is your name?") is the formal "your".

  2. Informal address, for which the pronoun "you" is du, as in "Woher kommst du?" (Where do you come from?). "Du" is used with friends, children, relatives, and in other informal contexts, such as with fellow students. The informal "your" is dein, as in "Wie ist dein Name?". This pronoun is used only when addressing one person.

  3. Informal plural address, for which the pronoun "you" is ihr, is used more than one person in an informal context. One could suggest a translation of "you all" or "you guys" in order to emphasize the difference between "du" and "ihr".


Umlauts on PC-Keyboard (United States) and Mac

For PCs You can use the numerical escape codes. These work in most text fields, such as on BOLT. You need a full keyboard with the number pad on the right.

  • Number Lock should be ON
  • Use the left-side ALT key (for most keyboards; try the right if it doesn't work)
  • Hold down the ALT key and type a number on the number pad on the right as follows (while holding the ALT key down). When you release the ALT key, you will have the following character:
    • Ä - 0196
    • Ö - 0214
    • Ü - 0220
    • ß - 0223
    • ä - 0228
    • ö - 0246
    • ü - 0252
You could also add the German keyboard through your computer settings. The German keyboard has the umlauts on the right. Careful: It also switches the "z" and "y".

Short cut in MS-Word: These short cuts do not seem to work in text fields other than MS-Word.

  1. Hold down Ctrl and Shift, then tap ":" (colon)
  2. Release Ctrl and Shift
  3. Tap the letter "a" to get "ä"
  1. Hold down Ctrl and Shift, then tap ":" (colon)
  2. Release Ctrl and Shift
  3. Hold down Shift and tap the letter "A" to get capital "Ä"
The same goes for the other umlauts:

Hold down Ctrl and Shift, then tap : (colon), release Ctrl and Shift, tap the letter "o" or "u" to get "ö" or "ü"

Hold down Ctrl and Shift, then tap : (colon), release Ctrl and Shift, hold down Shift and tap the letter "O" or "U" to get "Ö" or "Ü"

For ß:

  1. Hold down Ctrl and Shift, then tap "&"
  2. Then tap "s"
  3. There is no capital "ß"

Macs are real easy and the umlauts will print on any text program:

Hold down the "alt" (alt - option) key and type "u". Let go and type letter.

  • alt + u --> a = ä
  • alt + u --> A = Ä
  • alt + u --> o = ö
  • alt + u --> O = Ö
  • alt + u --> u = ü
  • alt + u --> U = Ü
  • and... alt + s = ß

Übung 1-1b: Watch this video: Hallo! Complete this exercise on BOLT. Wer sagt das? (Who says that?) Match the greetings and statements with the people:
Hallo!Ich heiße Kapenda.Guten Morgen!Guten Abend!
Ich heiße KatjaGute Nacht!Ich heiße Kirsten.Hi!


Hallo: hello
Grüß dich: hi
Hi: hi
Guten Morgen: good morning
Guten Tag: good day
Guten Abend: good evening
Servus: hello (South Germany and Austria)
Gute Nacht: good night (usually only when saying goodbye after 11:00PM or saying good night before going to bed)

herzlich willkommen!: welcome!
Wie heißen Sie? / Wie heißt du?: What is your name?
Wie ist Ihr / Wie ist dein Name?: What is your name?
Woher kommst du? / Woher kommen Sie: Where are you from?
Freut mich!: Pleased to meet you.

Tipp: on-line German-English dictionaries

During class, the use of electronic devices is not allowed, except when a classroom exercise requires an app, such as an on-line dictionary.

There are many on-line reference sources for German.

Listen to the following conversational exchanges: Wie geht's? Wie geht es Ihnen?

Dialog 1

'n Abend, Thomas!
'n Abend, Ursel!
Na? Wie geht's?
Ach! Nicht besonders gut. Und du?
Danke, gut.

Dialog 2

Grüß Gott, Herr Kümmerle!
Grüß Gott, Frau Engelhardt!
Wie geht es Ihnen?
Danke, gut. Und wie geht es Ihnen?
Danke, auch gut.
Na, dann. Auf Wiedersehen!
Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Kümmerle!

Dialog 3

Grüß dich, Dieter!
Nina! Wie geht's?
Ach, es geht nicht besonders gut und nicht besonders schlecht. Und dir?
Na, dann macht's gut!

Übung 1-1c: Complete the exercise "Wie geht's?" on BOLT.

Übung 1-1d: Record your voice speaking the three dialogues above. Save the audio file and submit the file "speaking: Wie geht's?" on BOLT.


'n Abend (guten Abend): good evening
Grüß Gott: greetings (Southern Germany and Austria)
Auf Wiedersehen: good bye
Tschüss: good bye (informal)
Na: well
Danke: thanks
nicht: not
gut / schlecht: good / bad
besonders: especially
ausgezeichnet: excellent
Wie geht's?: how are you doing; how is it going (informal)
Wie geht es Ihnen?: how are you doing (formal)
Und dir?: And you?
Macht's gut: take care (informal)
bis bald: see you soon

Other: "Wie geht's?"

Es geht mir...
ganz gut (real well)
nicht so gut
sehr gut (very well)

Ich bin...
krank: sick
müde: tired
furchtbar müde: terribly tired

Übung 1-1e: Wie heißt du? With several students in class, exchange greetings, ask and give your names, ask how others are doing and say how you are doing, say good bye. Use variations.

Übung 1-1f. Demonstration Drills The worksheet "Demonstration Drills" will give you an idea of some of the interactive exercises conducted during class sessions. Below is part A. Part B is on "Seite 11".


  1. Ask four people in the room the make, model and year of their car, if they own one. Make sure to get their names, too. Report your findings to the class.

  2. Ask your partner: a. what classes she/he has b. what time her/his classes are over today c. where he / she like to study. Report your findings.

  3. Information gap: First fill in the information chart under "You," stating if and when you pursue the following athletic activities. Then ask your partner for the missing information for "Jane" and for "Jim." Then ask your partner about her/his activities.

    Athletic ActivityJaneJimYouYour Partner

     about 3x/month  
    rock climbing

    scuba diving

     6x / year  

    (add your own)


    -- Now report your findings to the class.

  4. In a group of four, each person comes up with any bit of information about Germany, Austria or Switzerland, whether history, customs, current events -- anything at all. The group leader notes this information and reports.

Übung 1-1g. Pattern Dialogue 1 Pattern dialogues are structured conversations with variations that are substituted with each repetition. For example, in the pattern dialogue below, the greeting for "good morning" in German is substituted by the greeting "good day" in German in the second repetion, and so on.
Practice this dialogue and variations with your partner until you are able to carry on the exchange fluently.

Neue Wörter (New Words): Fill in the blanks with the English equivalents.

Es geht mir... gut ______________________, schlecht _________________, nicht schlecht ______________________, prima ____________________, wunderbar __________________

Ich bin... müde __________________, krank __________________

Other: Wie geht's dir? ________________________, Das freut mich. _______________________________, Das tut mir leid. ___________________________________, auch ________________, danke ______________________, sehr _________________

A: Guten Morgen! (variations: Guten Tag! Guten Abend! Grüß dich!) Ich heiße (variation: Ich bin) ________________________ (your name). Und du? (variation: Und wie heißt du?)
B: Ich heiße (Ich bin) ______________________
A: Freut mich.
B: Mich auch.
A: Na, wie geht's dir heute?
B: Danke, es geht mir gut. (schlecht, nicht schlecht, prima, wunderbar) Und dir?
A: Ach, ich bin sehr müde. (krank)
B: Das tut mir leid.
A: Also gut, dann. Tschüß!
B: Bis dann! Tschüß!

The exchange above is informal and would take place between young people. Repeat the dialogue as a formal exchange between adults who are not close friends or family:

  • Instead of "Wie heißt du?" one asks "Wie heißen Sie?"
  • Instead of "Und du?" one asks "Und Sie?"
  • Instead of "Wie geht's dir heute?" one asks "Wie geht es Ihnen heute?"
  • Instead of "Tschüß!" one parts by saying "Auf Wiedersehen!"

1 Gespräch: conversation / Gespräche: conversations
2 Wortschatz: vocabulary