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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

May 2, 2013
Originally published on May 3, 2013 8:52 am



Now, ready or not, here are our next two contestants, Juliette Guarino Berg and Alanna Miller, settling in behind their puzzle podiums.


EISENBERG: Welcome to you both. Juliette, you love creating word puzzles for your family.

JULIETTE GUARINO BERG: I do. I don't know if they enjoy it as much as I do.


BERG: I tend to put them as attachments in emails and then get emails back that say "are you sending me viruses?" So that tends to be an interesting experience for everybody.

EISENBERG: You're like, no, I'm sending you something I love that I made.

BERG: Exactly.

EISENBERG: And Alanna, you're a college professor who teaches news writing and public speaking.


EISENBERG: Do you have a public speaking tip I could use?

MILLER: Oh, goodness. Don't talk with your back to the audience.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's a good one.


EISENBERG: How do you get people started, like to like break the ice? Is there anything that you...

MILLER: I ask them what TV shows they like, what movies they like, and then usually I judge them for it.


EISENBERG: Based on their answers?


EISENBERG: Okay, perfect. Our next game is called Sprechen Sie Deutsch. Mary, I speak languages of romance, so this game is all yours.

MARY TOBLER: Thank you, Ophira. Contestants, for this game, the challenge is quite simple. Well, I should say it's simple for you but maybe not for me, because I will say or attempt to say a word in German, and you must determine whether it's real or fake. I will provide real definitions for the real words and fake ones for the fake words.

We'll alternate between contestants for this, so there's no need to ring in. The winner will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. So we'll start with you, Juliette.

(German spoken). Known to Americans as windshield wipers.

BERG: I'm going to say that's real.

TOBLER: Correct, that is real. Nicely done.


TOBLER: Alanna. (German spoken), a word that you might be tempted to say slowly because it means speed limit.


TOBLER: Yes, it is real. Nicely done.


TOBLER: Juliette. (German spoken), or a children's toy that provides no developmental benefit.


BERG: I happen to be a teacher, and I hear kinder in there, so I'm going to say that that's real.

TOBLER: Good guess, but it is fake. It's not. I'm sorry.

EISENBERG: There is no such thing as a toy in Germany. That is not good for development.



TOBLER: Alanna. (German spoken), a word that refers to those handy tips for using the escalator.

MILLER: I'm going to say real.

TOBLER: Yes, that is real. Nicely done.


TOBLER: Juliette. (German spoken), or the sound a dog makes when hanging out of a car window.


BERG: I'm going to say that's fake.

TOBLER: Yes, that is fake. Well done.


TOBLER: Alanna. (German spoken), or a mistake made by a local television news reporter.

MILLER: Oh. I'm going to say fake.

TOBLER: Yes, it is fake. Correct.


TOBLER: Juliette. (German spoken), that's a word that refers to the law on the delegation of duties for supervision of beef labeling.

BERG: I'm going to say that's fake.

TOBLER: I'm sorry, that's real.


TOBLER: And that word was named the longest German word of 1999.


EISENBERG: Not anymore. Not anymore.

TOBLER: Alanna. (German spoken), which refers to the suspicion that your sibling is the favored child of your father.


MILLER: I definitely think that's real.

TOBLER: I'm sorry, that's fake.


EISENBERG: Congratulations, Alanna, you are the winner of this round. You'll be moving on to our final showdown at the end.


EISENBERG: Thank you so much, Juliette. You were a great contestant. Mary, how long have you been speaking German? That was fantastic.

TOBLER: Thank you. It's like I was born speaking it, wasn't it?

EISENBERG: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TOBLER: Isn't it?

EISENBERG: Do you speak it?


(LAUGHTER) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.