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

Play learn German audio in new window (7.4MB)
Podcast Transcript (PRO) | Bookmark / Share

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
TELL ME MORE - Global Leader in Language Learning Software.

Podcast Quiz Material for Pukka Pro Members

German podcast to learn german online: brain

Time to work that jelly. Effective language learning is multi-sensory and hands-on which means you're doing great! You've read along with today's podcast, seen the words and heard them spoken. Now tackle the online quizzes to ensure the theme expressions stick. We put a lot of energy into creating quizzes that are interactive and fun so it seeps in deep and stays with you. Learn more...

Grab a cheeky Pukka Single

Access quizzes for podcast 13 ($1.19)
Get a free trial of quizzes for podcast 1

F u cn rd ths msg, u 2 cn lrn gr8 Grmn!

Becoming a Pukka German Pro member has never been easier or more affordable. Our Pro members are the real Pukka heroes because not only do they have fun mastering cool German lingo with unlimited access to loads of interactive quizzes, but they also simultaneously charge their social magnetism and enjoy V.I.P. status. Click the button below to discover the many advantages of Pukka Pro.

Learn German slang, German idioms, cool German podcast: Membership

Our Crazy Satisfaction Pledge Puts The Risk On Us

You Must Agree That Your Colloquial German Has Improved By At Least 300% After Only 24 Hours Of Study, Or Let Us Know For A 150% Unconditional Refund!

Worst Case Scenario: You Make A Fat 50% Profit!
... and who said these were tough economic times?

We're so passionate about Pukka German Pro and convinced about the value of our Pro quiz material that we're willing to accept all the risk. If you spend just 2 hours a week working through our online quizzes, we're certain that you'll be understanding and speaking German slang and colloquial lingo at least 300% more confidently within three months.

And if it doesn't work out for you, no sweat - just let us know and we'll pay your membership fee back in full plus an additional 50% to thank you for your time and trouble in giving us a try. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain so click the order button below to get started today.

  Yes Lisa and Tyler!

I want instant access to the Pukka Pro quizzes and I am aware that if my colloquial German lingo does not improve by at least 300% after only 24 hours of study I can claim your 150% unconditional money back guarantee.

I am happy to make a bargain one time payment for unlimited quiz access and understand that I will never be charged any renewal fees. I also understand that this is a limited time offer guaranteed for:

Podcast to learn German language free online: satisfaction guaranteed

Pukka German is a Certified HONESTe Online Member

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?"


Share/Save/Bookmark German podcast Subscribe to learn German podcast

"Best website to learn German as it's really spoken!"

Ranked 2nd in "Top 10 Language Podcasts 08" LexioPhiles.com

Learn rude words
Rude German phrases

Tyler on Twitter

Learn German TWEETS


    Pukka - genuine, authentic, top notch, the bees knees

    Podcast Benefits

    • Speak German more fluently
    • Learn the real lingo of native Germans
    • Get expressive with German idioms, proverbs and sayings
    • Integrate with German colloquial language
    • Have a laugh with German slang and funny German phrases
    • Earn street cred and sex appeal :)

    colloquial German podcast friends
    Join the Friends of Pukka German Facebook Group to share cool German discoveries and get answers to your colloquial German, idioms and German slang questions.

    Free Languages

    Free 6 day mini language courses valued at $27. Read a comprehensive Rocket German review

    Rocket German

    learn german

    Rocket Spanish

    learn spanish

    Rocket Chinese

    learn chinese

    Rocket French

    learn french

    Rocket Italian

    learn italian

    Podcast Feedback

    Have feedback, suggestions or podcast lesson requests? We'd love to hear from you and answer your German sayings and German slang questions. Email Us.