German All-in-One For Dummies, with CD
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Read the following German conversation with a grain of salt — and a smile. It gives you an idea of how many English words have slid into German. However, you're not likely to overhear this many examples of mixed language in a single conversation. In this scenario, two friends, Claudia and Jana, meet on the street. Notice how some terms have a slightly different meaning in German.

Claudia: Hi Jana, wie geht's? Wie ist der neue Job?

Hi [as in English] yâ-nâ, vee geyts? vee ist dêr noy-e job [as in English]?
Hi Jana, how are you? How's the new job?

Jana: Super! Heute war meine erste Presentation vor meinem big Boss, und er war total cool.

Super [as in English]! hoy-te vahr mayn-e rs-te pre-zen-tât-see-ohn fohr mayn-êm big boss [as in English], oont êr vahr toh-tahl cool [as in English].
Super! Today was my first presentation in front of my big boss, and he was totally cool.

Claudia: Wow! In meinem Office gibt es nur Stress. Mein Boss kann nichts managen. Mein Kollege checkt nichts, und denkt, er ist ein Sonnyboy, und alle anderen spinnen.

wow [as in English]! in mayn-êm office [as in English] gipt ês noohr shtrês. mayn boss kân niHts mân-â-jen. mayn kol-ey-ge checkt niHts, oont dênkt, êr ist ayn sonny boy [as in English], oont âl-e ân-der-en spin-en.
Wow! In my office there's nothing but stress. My boss can't manage anything. My colleague isn't "with it," and thinks he's a hot shot, and all the others are crazy.

Jana: Ich gehe shoppen. Kommst du mit?

iH gey-e shop-en. Komst dooh mit?
I'm going shopping. Do you want to come along?

Claudia: Nein, danke. Gestern war ich in einem Outlet und habe ein T-Shirt in pink und eine Jeans im Boyfriend-Look gekauft. Ich gehe jetzt joggen. Bye-bye!

nayn, dân-ke. gs-têrn vahr iH in ayn-em outlet [as in English] oont hah-be ayn T-shirt [as in English] in pink [as in English] oont ayn-e jeans [as in English] im boyfriend-look [as in English] ge-kouft. iH gey-e yêtst jog-en [jog as in English]. bye-bye [as in English]!
No, thanks. Yesterday I went to an outlet and bought a pink T-shirt and a pair of jeans in boyfriend look. I'm going jogging now. Bye!

Jana: Schade. Bye-bye!

shah-de. bye-bye!
Too bad. Bye!

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Wendy Foster teaches Business English, German, French, and intercultural communication skills. She also does editing for online German education programs. Wendy received her degree in German studies at the Sprachen-und-Dolmetscher-Institut in Munich and later her MA in French at Middlebury College in Paris.

Paulina Christensen has been working as a writer, editor, and translator for more than 10 years. She has developed, written, and edited numerous German-language textbooks and teachers' handbooks for Berlitz International. Dr. Christensen recieved her MA and PhD from Dusseldorf University, Germany.

Anne Fox has been working as a translator, editor, and writer for more than 12 years. She studied at Interpreter's School, Zurich, Switzerland, and holds a degree in translation. Most recently she has been developing, writing, and editing student textbooks and teacher handbooks for Berlitz.

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