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Chancellor Merkel's Recent Appeal

After a relatively stable summer, the recent statistics from Germany related to the coronavirus are alarming, with record highs of new cases being reported in the last weeks. Recently, Chancellor Angela Merkel once again gave a televised address and was frank with the public about what is at stake as temperatures drop and it becomes more difficult to meet outdoors and maintain distance. Let's look at some key phrases from her speech.

Here is how the Chancellor describes the current situation: 

 

Tag für Tag steigt die Zahl der Neuinfektionen sprunghaft.

Day after day, the number of new infections is increasing by leaps and bounds.

Caption 4, Angela Merkel: Kanzlerin appelliert an die Bürgerinnen und Bürger

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Die Pandemie breitet sich wieder rapide aus.

The pandemic is again spreading rapidly.

Caption 5, Angela Merkel: Kanzlerin appelliert an die Bürgerinnen und Bürger

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The verb ausbreiten means "to spread," and in other contexts "to disperse" or "to extend." As she did in her speech at the beginning of the pandemic, she also uses the related noun die Ausbreitung. If you read our lessons on that speech, the noun die Begegnung in the following sentence may also be familiar to you:

 

Die Wissenschaft sagt uns klar: Die Ausbreitung des Virus hängt direkt an der Zahl der Kontakte, der Begegnungen, die jeder von uns hat.

The science tells us clearly that the spread of the virus depends directly on the number of contacts, of encounters, that each of us has.

Captions 31-33, Angela Merkel: Kanzlerin appelliert an die Bürgerinnen und Bürger

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You may remember the noun der Abstand from the first speech and the related lesson on talking about distance. In this speech, the more specific noun der Mindestabstand is used. 

 

Das Allermeiste schon einfach dadurch, dass jede und jeder Einzelne konsequent den Mindestabstand wahr.

Most of it is already accomplished simply by each and every individual consistently maintaining the minimum distance.

Captions 26-27, Angela Merkel: Kanzlerin appelliert an die Bürgerinnen und Bürger

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Chancellor Merkel then stresses the importance of contact tracing in the fight against the virus:

 

Dafür müssen die Kontaktpersonen jedes infizierten Menschen benachrichtigt werden, um die Ansteckungsketten zu unterbrechen.

For this, the personal contacts of each infected person must be notified in order to interrupt the chains of infection.

Captions 17-19, Angela Merkel: Kanzlerin appelliert an die Bürgerinnen und Bürger

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Another set of words to learn from this speech is the verb auf etwas verzichten ("to refrain" or "to abstain" from something, "to do without," "to forgo") and the related noun der Verzicht, which in this particular case is best translated as something one sacrifices. 

 

Ich bitte Sie, verzichten Sie auf jede Reise, die nicht wirklich zwingend notwendig ist.

I ask you: Refrain from any trip that is not really absolutely essential.

Captions 41-43, Angela Merkel: Kanzlerin appelliert an die Bürgerinnen und Bürger

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Ich weiß, das klingt nicht nur hart, das ist im Einzelfall auch ein schwerer Verzicht.

I know this not only sounds hard, but in individual cases it is also a difficult sacrifice.

Captions 47-48, Angela Merkel: Kanzlerin appelliert an die Bürgerinnen und Bürger

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Further Learning
Watch the speech in its entirety on Yabla German. In addition, you can listen to recent reports from Deutsche Welle's Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten to get more information about what is going on in Germany and around the world. 

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Sous-titre 48, 47, 43, 42, 41, 19, 18, 17, 27, 26, 28, 33, 32, 31, 5, 4
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