Learn German podcast PG13 - Clear as mud!

What do the German words: kapieren; blicken; schnallen; raffen; checken and peilen have in common? They are all popular German colloquial and slang alternatives for the verb: verstehen. These expressions equate to English phrases like "to get something", "to catch on", "to get the drift" etc and are used daily by many German natives. Also if you've never heard the saying "nur Bahnhof verstehen", then todays podcast is compulsory listening - preposterous as that may sound!

Free podcast to learn to speak German language online: hirnverbrannt
hirnverbrannt =
preposterous; daft








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For a translation of any of the words on this page, just double click the word that you're unsure of and the German or English translation will appear. This helpful feature will also be added to all the quizzes over the next few months. Thanks to Stan James for creating this German English translation widget.



PG13 – I don't get it

Tyler: I can’t make heads or tails of it. My German can’t be that bad but the language in this tax declaration form really is beyond me. I just don’t get it.

Lisa: Mach dir keine Sorgen. Dieses bürokratische Gelaber ist vielen Deutschen auch zu hoch. Auch ich verstehe nur Bahnhof!

Tyler: I’ve only just managed to fill in my personal details and already I can’t make sense of it. Read this sentence for example, do you understand what they want from me?

Lisa: Lass mich mal sehen. Oh nein, Hilfe, wer soll das denn raffen? Nee sorry, aber das schnalle auch ich nicht! Wer das kapieren will, muss erst einmal einen Kurs in Bürokratendeutsch belegen.

Tyler: I don’t understand why they don’t just make things a little simpler. It’s almost as if they don’t want us to get it?

Lisa: Ja, wenn man es noch nicht einmal als Deutscher checkt, wie soll es dann ein Ausländer peilen? Das ist wirklich so hirnverbrannt, da blickt keiner durch!

Tyler: Get a load of this! I don’t have the faintest idea what I’m supposed to make of the next question either. I just can’t get my head around it.

Lisa: Oh je, keinen Plan! Da bin auch ich überfragt. Ich habe ehrlich gesagt keinen blassen Schimmer, nicht die leiseste Ahnung, um ehrlich zu sein.

Tyler: I’m at my wits end! Before I go crazy, I reckon I have to bite the bullet again and fork out the cash for a tax consultant.

Lisa: Ja, in den sauren Apfel musst du wohl beißen!

List of English - German Podcast Vocabulary

Translation of German idioms, colloquial phrases, slang and theme expressions.

to be unable to make heads or tails of sth aus etw nicht klug werden können
sth is beyond s.o.; you’ve got me there etw ist zu hoch für jmdn; überfragt sein
to make sense of sth; to get sth; to get the picture; to grasp sth; to get the drift; to catch on etw verstehen; blicken (colloquial); schnallen (colloquial); raffen (colloquial); kapieren (colloquial); checken (slang); peilen (slang)
it’s all Greek to me; to be clear as mud nur Bahnhof verstehen; klar wie Kloßbrühe (ironisch)
preposterous; daft hirnverbrannt
to not have the faintest/ foggiest idea about sth; to not get one’s head around sth nicht die leiseste Ahnung von etw haben; keinen blassen Schimmer haben; keinen Plan haben
to be at one’s wits end; to be stumped am Ende sein
to bite the bullet; to swallow the bitter pill in den sauren Apfel beißen
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Podcast Quiz Material for Pukka Pro Members

German podcast to learn german online: brain

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learn German podcast: Jack

Jack's Bonus Mystery Box

You win some you lose some.
Fun discovery or worthless crap?
- you decide!

This week I chose a video more for the title than the content as the title alone contains two of this week's colloquial expressions. This little dude did his homework!

"Sogar Kinder kapieren es! Wann rafft ihr es?"





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