VW coolness

Very cool.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Poustinik1 says:

    Thanks Fr. Z-the coolest of cool. Hmmm…wonder how much the Phaeton costs? Leave it to the Germans. What does Truss mean? It was the last word the announcer spoke before driving off.

    [It looks as if the 2013 Phaeton had a base price of $65K.]

  2. Angie Mcs says:


    The narrator said “tschuess”, which means goodbye or see you, but he mispronounced the word, not properly expressing the Umlaut form of “u” ( the two dots over the vowel, which I showed here by adding an “e” since I dont have an Umlaut symbol on my Ipad.) Those Umlauts can be tricky!

    This word is very common, especially in Berlin and the North,but I think its use has spread all over Germany.

  3. Luvadoxi says:

    The video’s not showing up on my screen.

  4. Darren says:

    Very very cool.

    This is what you get when advanced technology is put to a good use.

    I was waiting for the Emperor and Darth Vader to walk around the corner, “Everything is going according to plan. The auto manufacturing plant is fully operational.”

  5. BTW… here is a shot of the Holy Father Pope Francis about to get into a Phaeton:

  6. majuscule says:

    Angie Mcs–

    My iPad has access to many of those letters and I don’t have an app installed for it. If you press and hold the u key you get a choice of ü ? ù û ú!

    I was surprised to come across this by accident last year, so maybe yours will do this too…?

  7. Bonomo says:

    Definitely very cool! I am in awe of the people who manage to design complex manufacturing systems like that. It takes an immense amount of planning and patience.

  8. jameeka says:

    I think it’s great that as a customer, you may work on your own car! And the Saudi Arabian women didn’t want to stop…wonder if they will be able to drive them when they go back home with the Phaetons..

  9. excalibur says:

    Most interesting. Probably only really useful for higher end cars though. Thanks Father Z.

  10. Angie Mcs says:

    majuscule- Many thanks for the Umlaut tip! I am still limping along with the first version of the IPad, and I have on occcasion switched to German mode. However, nobody at Apple pointed out this added function. I checked my IPad and found that I can indeed get a ü, ä, etc. , just as you said.

    I am getting a new IPad very soon and will see if the salespeople know about this capability. The world is continually shrinking in terms of correspondence, and the ability to use diacritics can be important. In any case, I am very grateful to you for the information!

  11. mamajen says:

    I would very much like to own a Volkswagen someday.

    One of my favorite commercials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXK63kvUi6U

  12. Luvadoxi says:

    It’s working now!

    I have a VW “New Beetle” (which isn’t actually the latest model, despite the word new) and I *love* it!

  13. OrthodoxChick says:

    Whoa!! Did you see those cars hanging from the ceiling??!!! I guess if you work in that plant, whatever you do, you definitely, never, ever, EVER wanna tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing!!!!!!!

  14. xavier217 says:

    Tschuess essentially should rhyme with juice. When in Bavaria in the 80s, I heard it in pretty common use. Also common was using the term “gruess Gott” (God greets you) as a greeting in the Catholic south. BTW Mamajen, I have an ’02 Passat with 200,000 miles on it–they’re great cars.

  15. Sonshine135 says:

    The parts system works very similar to the Amazon distribution center.

  16. Poustinik1 says:

    so Tschuess sounds like ‘juice’ (Thanks Angie and Xavier). But how does one pronounce Gruess Gott? Someone I know speaks German and it would be really great to be able to say this to him. Thanks for the price info Fr. Z. Wouldn’t this be fun on the Autobahn!

  17. danidunn says:

    xavier217–my ’02 Passat is at 160K miles…good to know I have a few more miles left in it.

  18. VexillaRegis says:

    Tschüss is pronunced like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tR3tNQf2xY
    and Grüss Gott! like this: http://vimeo.com/12941074

    BTW, “Tschüss” has a very interesting history – http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsch%C3%BCss
    Maybe you could use Google translate to read it in English, but it seems like the word derives from the Latin language: Ad Deum – Adieu – a’djüs – tschüss.

  19. VexillaRegis says:

    PS. And Volkswagen is pronunced “Folksvagen”. In German the car is often called VW “Fow-VEH”.

  20. Imrahil says:

    Hm, no, I regret, tschüß does not sound like juice, because the latter has to my knowledge just the normal u sound (oo in English). (I may say normal because it is not only German, but Latin also where this comes from, and all the Romance languages with the exception of French where this was the original sound having changed by a vowel shift, hence:) ü represents what u represents in French.

    The ü sound seems to be one of the few sounds absent in general English. It is in between u and i (oo and ee), with more similarity to the latter.

    So if you don’t know how to pronounce it (which is no shame!), then do pronounce ee. Some German dialects (the Silesian and Bohemian varieties, where they are still held up) do this also.

    Tschüß may be pronounced either with a long or a short vowel, which means btw. that according to the spelling reform of 1996, it is not certain whether it should be written with ß or ss. Dictionaries seem to have settled on ss. But the spelling reform, anyway, was something of reform for reform’s sake which did not much respect to aesthetics or tradition, and did not solve the one problem it was called for (that people got confused over writing daß, now dass, or rather das in some contexts). Now does that remind us of something…

    So, either long or short. Grüß Gott, on the other hand, has a long vowel of the same sort. Apart from that, it is just pronounced as an Englishman also would pronounce it (though the English r, while existing, is a rather rare variety among the ways to pronounce an r in German, and others are preferred).

  21. Sandy says:

    Leave it to the Germans! The very first car in the video is what my future husband owned when I met him (he’s from a German family!), and we owned VW’s till recent years. There’s nothing like the real VW’s of yesteryear when they were totally made in the old country :)

  22. UncleBlobb says:

    It seems remarkable that VW could get enough of a return on an investment like this factory.

  23. Carolina Geo says:

    Very interesting video; thanks, Fr. Z, for sharing!

    Speaking of the word gruss…not long ago I heard an interview with the drummer of the band Electric Light Orchestra. He was explaining that in their hit song “Don’t Bring Me Down,” the word that you hear in the chorus that sounds like Bruce, is actually the German word gruss. The drummer admitted that the word didn’t make any sense in the song, but they all liked the sound of it and so in it went!

  24. Joe in Canada says:

    I didn’t realize there were enough buildings left in Dresden after the bombing for the city to be known for them.

  25. Angie Mcs says:

    Carolina Geo,
    Just a final comment on the intricacies of the German language, the word you mentioned in the song may be the German noun ” Gruss”, which means greeting. ( btw, all nouns are capitalized in German, not just proper nouns, ie, names) So, you can say “I am sending a greeting to John ” and it would translate into ” Ich sende Johann einen Gruss”. In this case the “u” would be pronounced like the English “oo”, with no Umlaut.

    I am glad that VexillaRegis found good examples for Poustinik1 to listen to, although I can hear the Austrian dialect a bit in “Gruess Gott”. Depending on where one comes from in Germany as well, there can be quite a difference in word pronounciation, just as we can identify a New Yorker or a Southerner in the States.

    As far as driving on the Autobahn, it is totally crazy, as other cars pass you in a blur and everyone really does their own thing. I was sitting on a balcony outside my cousin’s house overlooking the Rhein and suddenly heard a loud siren blaring all around us. My cousin casually explained that this was common, a warning for drivers to avoid the Autobahn since there was probably a major delay due to a serious accident.

    Best to you all, and tschüss!

  26. AnAmericanMother says:

    My German teacher was from the rural fastnesses up above Graz (in Austria), and I seem to have acquired an ineradicable Steiermark accent. Most of my German-speaking friends are Austrians or Bavarians, so they don’t notice so much, but I do get a comment occasionally.
    My hairdresser shared a salon awhile back with a fellow from Hanover, where of course they pride themselves on the purity of their High German. So I thought, aha! I’ll ask him if I sound like I’m from Steiermark . . . he shook his head very sadly and said, “I’m afraid you do.”

  27. Unwilling says:

    You can “look through glass and see cars being made” in many places — I will mention Ford’s Dearborn/Rouge plant & museum, where Henry invented the assembly line for cars (adapting the idea from meat processing – carcasses hung from tracks). In fact I took a group on tour through there last spring. Many plants, especially Toyota (if arranged in advance, with waivers signed), take you on tour right in among the machines and processes. Toyota learned how from Henry.

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