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Kannst du berlinern?

Have you ever seen "Berlin" as the verb berlinern? It means to speak with a Berlin dialect. Now you may not necessarily want to learn to speak like a waschechter Berliner (Berlin native), but it's good to get your ears around hearing it a bit so it's easier to understand! This week we'll go through some sample videos of people speaking Berlinerisch. Here are some of the main features of the dialect. 


Ick (or icke) instead of ich


Ick [ich] hab' die alle manipuliert, ick hab' die alle manipuliert.

I've manipulated them all, I've manipulated them all.

Caption 17, Rapucation - Lernen durch Rapmusik

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Wat instead of was


Und Bananen, so wat [so was] fressen bei uns nur die Affen, du Affe.

And bananas, only apes devour stuff like that where we live, you ape.

Caption 60, Die Klasse - Berlin '61

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Keen and weeß instead of kein and weiß; in fact, most standard German "ei" sounds are pronounced as "ee": 


Alle keen [kein] Zuhause oder wat [was]? -[„Die Anstalt“, Regie: Axel Bock]

All of you don't have a home or what? -["The Institution", directed by Axel Bock]

Caption 53, Alexander Hauff - Showreel

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Dett [dass] ick [ich] nicht deine Geliebte bin, weeß [weiß] ick [ich] och [auch].

I do know that I'm not your lover.

Caption 14, Mathieu Carriere - Ein Mann will nach oben

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You probably noticed too that dass in the above is spoken as dett and auch as och: a translation to standard German would be: Dass ich nicht deine Geliebte bin, weiß ich auch.


Another typical feature of Berlinerisch is that the hard German "g" is rendered as a soft German "j": janz jenau!


Sind janz [ganz] schön viele. -Bärbel.

That is a whole lot. -Bärbel.

Caption 12, Die Klasse - Berlin '61

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There are also a number of words that are unique to Berlin, such as der Kiez instead of die Nachbarschaft:


Gitarrist Jürgen Ehle wohnt seit fünfundzwanzig Jahren

Guitarist Jürgen Ehle has lived for twenty-five years

in dem Kiez und schwelgt in Erinnerungen.

in the neighborhood, and luxuriates in memories.

Captions 3-4, Pankow - Rolling Stones des Ostens

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Further Learning
Read the German Wikipedia page about the Berlin dialect and look for some of the unique Berlin words on Yabla German to accustom yourself to understanding it.

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