Since every Extr@ episode doubles as a sitcom and a language lesson, I like to start every watchalong post by saying what we will learn. This time, however, I will do it in the body of the post. One of the topics, if I revealed it now, would spoil the ending! If you haven’t seen Episode 6 yet, here is your last chance to watch it in German, French, Spanish, and of course, English.
“Heute ist mein Glückstag!”
Let’s begin with the first topic: Luck. It may seem like an odd theme for a language lesson, but one of my B1 textbooks built a whole chapter around it. The actual grammar was Präteritum and Plusquamperfect. We practiced using these tenses to tell stories of when we had had had good or bad luck in the past. Then there is the fantastic One World Italiano video course, which uses “unlucky” Episode 17 to teach both local superstitions and l’Imperativo.
On the other hand, luck is a predictable source of jokes for a sitcom. During the first few minutes, I worried that the story would just be about silly coincidences. But these gags soon end and we get a proper comedy of errors instead. For once, Sam’s big mistake is not mixing up similar-sounding words!
This time he mixes up two similar-looking blue tickets. It’s a mistake anyone could make and is more believable than his usual gaffes. Everyone knows what it’s like to have a bit of bad luck like this.
“Wo seid ihr gewesen?”
In this episode, Nic provides not just a subplot, but also a “sub lesson.” When he and Sam talk about Nic’s own lucky day around town, they use many prepositions of place and direction. Did you notice?
“Ich habe fünf Zahlen aussuchen . . .”
Now for the big spoiler . . . The third topic is numbers. It’s a basic beginners’ lesson that even intermediate learners can still find challenging. At least this was my experience: I learned to count in German immediately — but when I talk too fast, I sometimes say “fünfzehn” (15) when I mean “fünfzig” (50). Ordinal numbers are even trickier for me. When I’m reading something like “5. Jahrhundert,” I often just say it as “fifth Jahrhundert” in my mind.
Accordingly, when Sascha was telling Sam her lucky numbers, I paid very little attention. And so the twist at the end was as surprising to me as it was to the characters. What about you? Did you see the ending coming? I’ve already described Episode 6 as a comedy of errors, but it’s also a lot like a detective story. If you pay attention to the details, you’ll get to be one step ahead of the characters.
I think this is the most cleverly written episode so far! Here the balance between plot and lesson tips strongly toward plot . . . And yet we still learn something!
We don’t get much cultural flavor here. Sasha’s superstitions are not German practices, but personal quirks. And so we see French Sascha, Spanish Lola, and British Bridget doing the exact same things. I see why the producers wanted to keep the story uniform, but this was a great opportunity to do something a little different.
On the other hand, all four countries really do have lotteries. Judging by the titles, however, only Germany, France and Spain have lottery days.
How lucky do you feel today?
- If you had to choose five numbers on a lottery ticket, how would you do it?
- What are some good luck or bad luck traditions that you learned along with your target language?
- Are numbers easy or tricky in your target language? Do you have any tips for remembering them?
Next Week: Episode 7, The Twin
Extra en espanol
Extra en français