Signs at the station
Besides the big computerized boards that list trains departing or arriving within the next hour or so, there are white and yellow posters throughout the train station, and near the boarding platforms. The yellow ones list departures; arrivals are on the white ones.
Timetables and schedules
Timetables may be anywhere from one column long to two pages wide, but they're all set up more or less the same way. In the left columns, there'll be a train number (useful if you need to reserve a seat or a spot on an overnight train) and the train type (for more info about this, keep reading), followed by the arrival time in your station, and then a list of stops the train will make before reaching its destination (for example, the aforementioned Venice to Milan train stops in Padova, Verona, and other cities).
In the last column on the right, there may be symbols like crossed hammers - these indicate that that train operates only on certain days (weekends, holidays, in summer, etc.). To clarify, check the symbols key at the bottom of the page.
Timetables use the local names for each city, so Munich will be listed as München, Vienna as Wien, Prague as Praha, and so on.
A note about time
Europe also uses the 24-hour clock, which you may know as military time, so times past noon will be listed as 13:45 for 1:45 PM, or 20:17 for 8:17 PM—don't laugh, because if you forget this detail your travel companions will likely never let you live it down.
Next page: Types of trains