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1.10 Spelling your name Includes sound files!

To help you in these conversations, you may wish to open our guide to pronouncing the letters of the German alphabet.

Click here to listen to the conversation!Conversation 7. Anna Müller is uncertain how Natascha Schäfer spells her Christian name, and decides to ask her. Click here or on the sound icon to listen to their conversation:

Frau Müller    Natascha Schäfer
Anna Müller Wie heißt du?
Natascha Schäfer Natascha.
Anna Müller Wie schreibt man das?
Natascha Schäfer Großes n, a, t, a, s, c, h, a.

Wie schreibt man das?  How do you write that? 
Großes s  "Capital s." Or literally "big s". If you wanted to say "small s", you would say "kleines s".

Conversation 8. Maria Strauß goes to the bank to withdraw some money. She tries to give her details to Herr Klein behind the counter, but he needs to be certain how to spell her name. How does he ask her to do this?

Outside the bank    In the bank

Maria Strauß Guten Morgen. Mein Name ist Maria Strauß.
Herr Klein Wie buchstabiert man das?
Maria Strauß Das buchstabiert man: großes s, t, r, a, u, scharfes s.
Herr Klein Bitte wiederholen Sie das, langsam.
Maria Strauß Großes s, t, r, a, u, scharfes s.

die Bank  the bank 
Wie buchstabiert man das?  How do you spell that?
Das buchstabiert man...  It's spelt...
scharfes s  "scharfes s" (literally "sharp s") is the name for the "ß" symbol. It sounds exactly like the "ss" sound.
Bitte wiederholen Sie das, langsam  Could you repeat that, slowly?

InformationThe pronoun "man" equates to "on" in French, in that it is used when talking about what people in general do - i.e. "one", "you", "they" etc. It takes the third person singular ("er/sie/es") verb endings.

I didn't quite catch that!
There are a number of other useful phrases which you can use if you haven't quite understood and would like somebody to repeat something:

Wie bitte?
  ("What did you say?")
Noch mal langsam bitte!
  ("Say that again please, slowly.")
Bitte wiederholen Sie das, langsam.
  ("Could you repeat that slowly?")

Weiter!Chapter 1.11: Audio - Spelling German names

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