German for beginners: Paula and Philipp are Radio D reporters who have several mysterious cases to investigate. Join them as their research takes them across Germany -- and learn German along the way! [English Version]
Episode 26 – Saying Goodbye to Ayhan
It's a sad day in the Radio D office. Ayhan is saying goodbye and moving back to Turkey. Although his co-workers have prepared a surprise for him, the farewell party can't lift the blue mood.
Paula comes to work in the morning to find everyone is preparing for a party. But she doesn't like the occasion at all: Ayhan is leaving Radio D and going back to Turkey to help his father. To say goodbye, his co-workers have prepared a little speech and a gift to remind him of his friend Eulalia.
In honor of the farewell party, the professor leaves out the grammar portion. But he still manages to get in a few words about noun compounds.
Episode 25 – Greeting the Ships
The journalists try to understand the term "getürkt" and visit an unusual port where every ship is greeted in a particular way.At Port Willkomm-Höft, each ship is greeted with the national anthem of the country whose flag it's flying under. In their radio play, Paula and Philipp examine the origins of this tradition -- which may be associated with the meaning of the word "getürkt." Meanwhile, Ayhan kills time at the office by reading a book about owls.
Since Eulalia can't read, Ayhan reads to her. This episode focuses on verb prefixes and the ways a verb's meaning can change when its prefix is altered.
Episode 24 – The Editor's Desk
Eulalia the owl helps get Paula and Philipp on the right track. They discover that their co-workers from the Hamburg newspaper are in on the game.
Paula, Philipp and Eulalia find out that the Hamburg newspaper thought up the shark in the port basin and staged the whole thing in order to sell more copies. Later, Philipp and Paula get in a fight over the use of a particular word. Philipp hopes that his invitation to Port Willkomm-Höft will calm Paula down.
If Philipp had paid closer attention to his word choice, Paula wouldn't have gotten upset with him. A verb prefix may be short, but it can alter the whole meaning of the word. It's also important to note that some verb prefixes are separated from the infinitive.
Episode 23 – The Shark Fin
Paula and Philipp solve the mystery of the shark sighting and once again uncover a fraud. However, the reason for the staged incident is unclear at first.
While looking for the missing surfer, Paula and Philipp meet a diver and discover a clue. With a shark fin on his back, the diver had scared half of Hamburg. But why? Meanwhile, Eulalia has shown up in Hamburg ready to help. She's made a discovery, too.
Eulalia just found a clue that might help Paula and Philipp -- a perfect opportunity to use the perfect tense. Pay close attention to forming the past participle.
Episode 22 – The Missing Surfer
Philipp and Paula search for traces of the shark and make a peculiar discovery. A surfboard without a surfer in the port basin and a confusing newspaper article peak their interest.
Away from the chaos of the crowd, the two journalists investigate the shark sighting. When they find a broken surfboard, they start to fear the worst. Then, in a Hamburg newspaper, they see a picture of the shark -- and their co-workers Laura and Paul with a look of fear on their faces. But how does all that fit together?
This episode emphasizes the pronouns "sie" and "er," which can also be used to refer to feminine or masculine nouns, respectively, that have already been mentioned.
Episode 21 – A Shark in Hamburg
When the temperature in the Radio D office becomes unbearable, Paula and Philipp are glad to get an assignment that takes them to the coast, where a shark has been spotted in the port basin.
Paula, Philipp and Ayhan don't have it easy. The heat in the office is insufferable and they don't even have a fan. Paula wishes she could go to the sea and, fortunately, Compu is able to make this possible. The journalists have to go to Hamburg because a shark has allegedly been sighted at the port. Due to the crowd of people who have already turned out to catch a glimpse of the big fish, Paula and Philipp can't get through.
Things also get complicated for the professor, who is tackling the accusative ending of masculine articles. The negative "kein" follows the same pattern of endings.
Fun but poor audio quality
Having taken German in high school, I found this to be a fun series for reintroduction to some basic vocabulary. (It's aimed at kids, but that's why it's fun. I bet the adult-oriented programs don't feature a computer that not only talks, but raps.)
However, there are definitely audio problems -- a good example is the word "auch." It sounds like "auf" when they use it. I guess if you look at it one way, a little lack of clarity is more realistic anyways.
Politics deliberately injected
Why did they deliberately inject politics into what should be a German Raffi lesson?
Disappointing-too much wasted time
Because it is produced by such distinguished institutions, I expected this to be much better than I found it. I don;t mind it being oriented towards kids. But there is so much wasted time--little musical introductions and interludes; the hosts being goofy; etc. Also, I think it's a n odd strategy to make sure there is often lots of background noise to go with the short dialogues. I get the idea of making things realistic in that sense. But I generally found the staged dialogues pretty hard to follow, partly because of the sound quality and partly because the vocal they introduce is so unexpected: UFOs; shark fins; etc