Quizzes can help memorizing hard to remember words and phrases, e.g. also German conjugations of irregular verbs, noun endings, etc. With the first few Quizzes you can test yourself on the words and phrases listed in the the “German for Travel” lessons. For those who like further challenges, we are adding more tests using often-used words with their varying forms and endings.
Here is an easy Quiz with some of the vocabulary of the first two lessons of German for Travel. If you need to remind yourself of some of the words and phrases just click on German 1 for Travel or German 2 for Travel. There you can also record yourself to practice your pronunciation.
Choose the correct forms of “können” in German Quiz B
This Quiz continues German Modal Verb “können” Quiz A . And if you’d like to learn even more about this modal verb, click on our sister site’s post German Modal verb “können”. That site offers FREE courses, games and podcasts for four European languages German, French, Spanish and Italian. The travel-story based courses and Quick Games you’ll find on www.Gamesforlanguage.com are a fun way to learn and practice those languages. Here is now our German Quiz #2 with the German Modal verb “können”:
German Modal Verb “können” Quiz B
Fill in the correct forms of "können"! (Hint: Simple Past and Imperfect Subjunctive Tenses!)
Choose the correct forms of “können” in German Quiz A
Recently we published a post about the German Modal verb “können” on our sister site GamesforLanguage.com. That site offers FREE courses, games and podcasts for four European languages German, French, Spanish and Italian. The travel-story based courses and Quick Games may be a fun way to learn and practice a little more before your next trip to the countries where those languages are spoken. Over the next weeks and months we’ll also add more Quizzes for these and other languages on Lingo-Late. Here is now our first German Quiz #1 with the German Modal verb “können”:
Few of us will ever be able to converse fluently in any of these languages. (Well, I do speak French fluently, and I’m currently learning Dutch with Duolingo. Also, I’m practicing simple Dutch conversations with Ulrike, who learned it as a child during her two school years in the Netherlands.) But it doesn’t take much to learn greetings and polite phrases for travel to countries where these languages are spoken. Plus, you also want to be able to ask questions and understand directions. And as travelers mostly eat in restaurants, knowing a few restaurant basics comes in handy as well.
Our Plan for Travel Essentials
Last year, we described our idea for our Lingo-Late site in our blog post “Why Lingo-Late?“. We started with the language we know best, German 1 for Travel. We then added Portuguese 1 for Travel, as we were planning a trip to Lisbon. Icelandic 1 for Travel made the early list, as our son wanted to explore Iceland with his family during the summer. These and the first lessons of the other languages we soon added, all contain eleven of the most common greetings and polite phrases:
Do you speak English (for English speakers)
E.g. Turkish 2 , Polish 2 For Travel
More recently, we added the next 12 words and phrases for Turkish 2 for Travel and Polish 2 for Travel. The second lessons typically contain “Where is…?” questions, related to locations or places you might be looking for, such as:
Excuse me, where’s the toilet?
Excuse me, where is a bank?
Excuse me, where is an ATM?
Excuse me, where is a supermarket?
Excuse me, where is the subway station?
Excuse me, where is the bus stop?
Excuse me, where is the railway station?
Excuse me, where is the nearest pharmacy?
Excuse me, where is a gas station?
Excuse me, where is the tourist information?
Do you speak English?
Even if you’re looking for a different place or location, just hearing and practicing “Excuse me, where is…?” will be useful. It certainly has been for us. But we’ve found that asking “Where is…?” questions in a foreign language is particularly useful, if you can also understand the common directional responses, such as “left”, “right”, “straight ahead”, etc. We’ll add these and others for Turkish and Polish in the coming weeks.
E.g. Dutch 3 and Swedish 3 For Travel
In Dutch 3 for Travel and Swedish 3 for Travel , we’ve added 13 phrases, which include answers you may hear as a response to your “Where is…” questions. Except for the first and last sentence, you may actually not have to say them. Understanding their meaning , however, will certainly be important.
Can you please talk more slowly?
Take a left/Go left!
The second street on the right!
Go past the traffic light!
At the next intersection, turn right!
Across the bridge/on the other side of the bridge.
Turn left at the first canal! (useful in Amsterdam)
Turn right after the coffee shop!
Cross the square!
Behind the subway station.
The ATM is beside the pharmacy.
Many thanks for your help!
E.g. French 4 For Travel
In French 4 for Travel we’ve added 14 words and phrases of “Restaurant basics” (as we’ve also done for German 4 for Travel). In fact, over the next weeks and months, we’re planning to add restaurant basics for all the languages. This fourth lesson will bring the total word/phrase count to 50 for each language. The restaurant habits in Europe differ from country to country, and it will take a us a little longer to find the most useful phrases for each language. You’ll note that the French list include other phrases than the German one:
A table for two people, please.
The menu please!
Excuse me, can I order?
I would like a beer.
For me, a glass of red wine.
I would like that! (pointing to a Menu item)
I’ll take the daily special.
For me, the set menu, with the soup, but without dessert,
Enjoy your meal!
Excuse me, the check, please! (Calling the waiter to pay.)
Can I pay with a credit card?
Excuse me, where is the bathroom?
Practicing with Quizlet
Our original idea was to have you the traveler learn the 11-14 words and phrases of each lesson by reading and hearing them several times. Then, by recording your voice and playing it back, you can improve your pronunciation by comparing yourself to the “native voice”. Later on, we added a Quizlet study set for each lesson. For many, using the Quizlet flashcard, match, spell and test games are fun to practice with. (You may have to adjust your audio setting by using the Quizlet icon for certain games.)
To generate the audios for our lessons, we are currently using the synthesized voices of Amazon Polly. Only Russian, Welsh and Norwegian remain to be added to Lingo-Late from the languages available on Amazon Polly. We’d like to add all European languages, including Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovakian, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Greek, as well as languages such as Catalan and Basque. We’re inviting anybody interested in working on those languages to contact us. What also remains is to be done is adding further resources to our resource list, for those who would like to continue with the language. For example, learning basic numbers in each language is high on our list. (We do have Quick Games for French, German, Spanish, and Italian on our Games for Language site and can link those, but there we don’t have the other languages.)
If you’ve already learned and practiced Turkish 1 For Travel , you’ll be ready to tackle the next 12 essentials. These are words and phrases that’ll help you ask “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM. You may also want to know if the person you’re talking with speaks German, or English – that is, one of the languages you may speak as well.
The Next 12 Turkish Phrases: “Nerede…?”
Learn and Practice Tips
Click the black arrow to hear the Turkish speaker.
Click the red dot once to record yourself, click the black square to stop recording.
When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the native speaker and then yourself.
Do it several times until you sound like the Turkish speaker
Then “Choose a Study Mode” and test yourself with one of the Quizlet games! (You may need to adjust your Audio Options with the top right icon .)
Did you notice?
In Turkish the question word “nerede” (Where is…?) appears at the end of a question.
On Lingo-Late the word “nerede” is pronounced “nerde” (common in normal speech), while on Quizlet you clearly hear the middle “e” in “nerede” (the more “proper” pronunciation).
Some Modern Turkish History…
The history of Modern Turkey begins with the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. The first World War had also led to the end of the Ottoman empire that saw its beginnings in the 14th century. At the height of its power, in the 16th and 17th century, the multilingual, multinational empire controlled most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of the Eastern Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
(see Wikimedia.org map) Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk), the first President of the new Republic, implemented substantial and far-reaching changes between 1924 and 1938 (his death), to secularize and westernize the country. His reforms included: unifying education; reforming the language by introducing a Latin-based alphabet; discontinuing religious and other titles; closing Islamic courts; using Switzerland’s secular Civil Code as a model for replacing Islamic Canon law; instituting a new Penal Code based on Italy’s laws; and many others. Moreover, the equality between the sexes was recognized and women were granted full political rights in 1934. Atatürk’s successor, Ismet Inönü, was a respected figure of the Independence Wars. He faced internal struggles and lost some of his popularity as Turkey navigated through World War 2 period as a neutral country. In 1946 Inönü’s government agreed to multi-party elections. His party won and Inönü remained President until 1950, when his Republican People’s Party (CHP) lost the second free elections. Beside Atatürk, Inönü is still remembered as one of the key figures of Turkey. (see Turkey in 2019 below)
The election of the Democratic Party and the government of Adnan Menderes from 1950-1960 could reap initial success with a booming economy. But high inflation and public debt, coupled with new censorship laws and other restrictions led to dissatisfaction with the government and to a military coup by General Cemal Gürsel. Until 2002, unstable government coalitions and more military coups, as well as Turkey’s invasion of Cyorus made the international news. In 2002, new elections brought the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) under the leadership of Istanbul’s mayor, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to power. An attempted but failed coup by factions of the Turkish military led to major purges of military officials, judges, civil servants. The coup was blamed on the influence of the vast network led by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. While a member of NATO since 1952, with the second largest standing military force after the US, its relationship with the US and NATO has been called “strange” by many observers. Undoing many of Atatürk’s secular achievements, limiting the freedom of the press and the rights of the Kurdish minority, and most recently, the invasion of Syria’s border area cause concern for western governments. Erdogan’s AKP again won the general election in 2018 with 52.6 % of the vote. Following the approval of constitutional changes in a 2017 referendum, Erdogan now combines the positions of President and Prime Minister.
Asking “Nerede…?” questions could let the person you are asking assume that you speak Turkish. The result will often be an answer and a stream of Turkishwords you may not understand. It would therefore be good to know some basic directional words and phrases in Turkish – left, right, straight ahead, etc. Check back with us for next 13 Turkish phrases in a few weeks.
If you’ve already learned and practiced Polish 1 For Travel , you’ll be ready to tackle the next 12 essentials. These are words and phrases that’ll help you ask “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM. You may also want to know if the person you’re talking with speaks German, or English – that is, one of the languages you may speak as well. And now you can also practice with the Quizlet flashcards and games.
The Next 12 Polish Phrases: “Gdzie jest…?”
Learn and Practice Tips
Click the black arrow to hear the Polish speaker.
Click the red dot once to record yourself, click the black square to stop recording.
When you click the black arrow again, you’ll hear the native speaker and then yourself.
Do it several times until you sound like the Polish speaker
Then “Choose a Study Mode” and test yourself with one of the Quizlet games! (You may need to adjust your Options with the top right icon .)
Some Polish History…
Poland’s beginning can be traced back to 966, when Duke Mieszko I, ruler of several Slavic tribes, married a Bohemian princess. His son Boleslav consolidated his power, acquired more territory and became the first legitimate king of Poland in 1025. However, the Mieszko line died out in the 14th century. An alliance between Poland and Lithuania was eventually created through the marriage of the Polish Queen Jadwiga and the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the establishment of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth win 1569. The Polish Golden Age lasted into the first decades of the 17th century. The Commonwealth became one of the largest and first multicultural states in Europe, with laws that protected minorities’ rights. By mid 17th century, conflicts with Poland’s neighbors, Prussia and Russia as well as Sweden and the Ukraine, depleted the Commonwealth’s coffers and destabilized the country. In 1764 Stanislav August Poniatowski was elected the new king and tried to implement reforms including a new Constitution. However, resistance by Russia and its neighbors to those reforms doomed them to failure. The Commonwealth ceased to exist in 1795 when Russia, Prussia and Austria invaded and split up the country. From 1795 to 1918 no truly independent Poland existed. The Second Polish Republic was established at the end of World War I, and existed as an independent state until 1939, when German and Russian troops invaded the country from both sides.
After the end of World War 2, Poland expanded to the West, while it lost territory in the east to Russia as negotiated by the Allies during the Yalta conference. (Churchill had introduced his “Matchstick solution” during his meeting with Roosevelt and Stalin in Teheran already in 1943. see Map above , courtesy of Wikipedia) It’s estimated that over 5 million Poles (among them many Jews) lost their lives during the war. The required resettling of about 2 million people, the inefficient communist system and its status as a vassal state of the Soviet Union resulted in more difficult times for Poland thereafter. In the 1980’s the Polish Solidarity movement started to push for changes. With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end off the Cold War in 1989 the Third Republic was formed. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2014. As the title picture shows Warsaw has become a modern city in the last 30 years. The 2019 election saw the populist Law and Justice party (PiS) keep it’s comfortable majority in parliament. The party’s leader, Jaroslav Kaczynski, has repeatedly cited Viktor Urban’s Hungary and Erdogan’s Turkey as models to follow. His “illiberal revolution”, may create further headaches for the EU.
In Swedish 2 For Travel we added “Where is …?” questions – if you’re looking for the bathroom, a pharmacy, a bus stop, or the subway or railway station, a bank or an ATM. Asking such questions in Swedish – especially if you’ve practiced your pronunciation a bit – may let your conversation partner assume that you understand Swedish quite well. The result will be an answer and a stream of words that’ll fly right by you. So, asking the person to speak more slowly could be your first reply in such a case: “Kan du tala långsammare, snälla!” And it would be good to also know some basic directional words and phrases in Swedish – left, right, straight ahead – as the typical answers may well include them.
The Next 13 Swedish Phrases
Why These phrases?
In Essential Swedish 1 and 2, we listed greetings and typical “where is…?” questions. Even if you’ve never studied Swedish before, it’ll be useful to learn and practice saying them. In Essential Swedish 3, there are only two sentences you may want to practice saying: “Could you please speak more slowly?” and “Many thanks for your help.” The other 11 phrases and sentences will be useful to simply understand, as they may be answers to your “where is…?” questions. You still may want to record yourself saying them, and playing the Quizlet games. That way you can confirm what you thought you understood. You’ll also remember them better that way. And, you’ll become familiar with Swedish words such as “gatan” (street), “torget” (square), “bron” (bridge), “kaféet” (coffee shop), etc.
Food, Drinks, Restaurants
Finding a recommended restaurant, café, or bar has been made much easier with GPS-equipped smart phones and mobile devices. And finding a good place to eat in Sweden has to be part of your travel adventure. Once you’ve arrived at the restaurant, you may have to ask for a table and the menu, then tell the waiter what you’d like, and later ask for and pay the check. Yes, most Swedes will know English better than you’ll ever speak Swedish. But just knowing a few key phrases in Swedish may still be helpful in the countryside or in a crowded restaurant. You’ll find those among the next 14 Phrases in Essential Swedish 4. (Check back in a few weeks.) If you’re used to giving a 15-20% tip, generally expected in US restaurants, you’ll be pleasantly surprised: In Sweden, as in nearly all West-European countries, tips are included in your check. But for good service 5-10% tips are always welcome.
You’ve learned to ask for and understand directions in French 3 For travel. Now, you’ve found the restaurant you were looking for. These few phrases may be useful to you in a French restaurant.
The Next 14 Phrases
French Restaurant Customs…
We’ve found that restaurant customs in France vary some. We remember that in a typical Parisian bistrot or brasserie, we could just go find a table we liked; in less casual restaurants, a maitre’d or hostess would suggest a table. Recently in the Bordeaux area, we found that even in the more casual restaurants, we were expected to wait for the waiter to assign us a table. Often the weather was warm enough so we could ask for a table “dehors”. There are too many French dishes for us to list, and for you to remember and practice. In the larger or more “touristy” cities, restaurant menus usually have an English translation. Or you simply get an English version, unless you say “en français, s’il vous plaît”. In the countryside you often have to decipher the daily menu on a chalk board. And the daily menu may also list a “prix fixe” menu, which includes an hors d’oeuvre and a dessert. These typically are a good deal.
Essential Swedish words and phrases before you travel
If you’re planning to visit Sweden, you can learn and practice 36 essential Swedish words and phrases here. Starting in Swedish 1 with greetings, you’ll learn to ask “Where is ….” questions in Swedish 2 , and in Swedish 3 you’ll hear some possible answers.