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Vacation Plans

II. Listening Exercises
Listen to the conversation again by pressing the Play Audio button and read along with the conversation. Review the Key Vocabulary and the sample sentences.

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Pete: Hey Markus. I have a question I'd like to ask you.

Markus: Yes. Go ahead.

Pete: Well, I'm thinking about going to Germany this summer [Great!], and I need some advice. You're the best person I know to answer my questions since you're German.

Markus: Thank you. What do you want to know?

Pete: Well, don't laugh, but I met this really nice woman through an online music mailing list, you know, a discussion group on the Internet [laughter]. I need some advice. You see, Claudia, . . .

Markus: Okay. So it's Claudia, oh?

Pete: Yeah, yeah. See, she invited me to spend two weeks in Germany [Hum]. And well, I told here I had studied a little bit about the country and language [Hum], and she's kind of expecting that I know more than I really do.

Markus: Hum. You're really in hot water now!

Pete: Yeah. I think so.

Markus: Well, what do you want to know?

Pete: Well, she's planning on introducing me to her parents.

Markus: Hey. Sounds kind of serious.

Pete: It isn't, at least I think it isn't. Anyway, what should you do when you greet someone for the first time in Germany?

Markus: Well, it depends upon your relationship with the person. Now, speaking of your girlfriend, Claudia, . . . .

Pete: Hey, I didn't say she was my girlfriend.

Markus: Ah, okay, okay. Now if you're meeting someone formally for the first time, like Claudia's parents, you should make sure you arrive on time.

Pete: Okay, so arrive on time. Uh, what about common greetings?

Markus: Well, Germans often shake hands, and they use the person's family name, unless they're really close friends.

Pete: Okay, what about with Claudia? I'm not sure what I should do in her case.

Markus: Ah. You can call her Claudia [Okay], shake hands, and why don't you take her some flowers?

Pete: Oh, how do you say "Nice to meet you" anyway?

Markus: Oh, "Ich freue mich, Sie kennenzulernen."

Pete: "Ich freu me senselen. . ? "

Markus: Uhhh. Not exactly. "Ich freue mich, Sie kennenzulernen" [Uhhh].

Markus: Humm. Honestly, I think you need to take a crash course in German before you leave. Claudia might think you're speaking Chinese or something if you don't.

Key Vocabulary [Top]

  • mailing list (noun): a list of people who subscribe or join a mailing distribution on a particular topic
    - I'd like to join a mailing list on studying intercultural communication so I can exchange ideas with others.

  • to be in hot water: to be in a difficult situation or in trouble that might lead to punishment
    - The politician is in hot water because of his insensitive comments at the conference.

  • common (adjective): the same for many situations and people
    One common gesture of friendship is to greet someone with a firm handshake while looking them in the eye.

  • crash (adjective): quick, complete, short or intensive, often difficult
    She took crash course in Spanish before she left for Mexico, but I'm not sure if it helped.

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