Language

50 German Words and Phrases: The Ultimate Package

Muireann ClarkeOctober 13, 20195-min read

Planning a big trip to Germany? Or maybe you’re curious about the German language? Either way, German is a beautiful language (though it may not sound like it) and we thought we would share with you the ultimate package of 50 German words and phrases. We will go through the basics, key travel phrases, funny German words and phrases, and some emergency phrases in case you get stuck. Los gehts!

German Basics

1. Hallo, wie geht’s?

Hello, how are you?

hello english

2. Mir geht’s gut

I am good

3. Freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen!

Nice to meet you!

4. Vielen Dank

Thank you very much!

5. Bitte schön! / Gern geschehen!

You’re welcome

6. Wie heißen Sie?

What’s your name?

7. Ich heiße…

My name is…

8. Willkommen!

Welcome!

confetti celebration party

9. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

Happy Birthday!

10. Es tut mir leid

I’m sorry

11. Bis später!

See you later!

12. Tschüß!

Bye!

Key Travel Phrases

Why Should You Learn German Travel Phrases?

It never goes unappreciated when a foreigner makes an effort to speak the native language of the country they are visiting. It demonstrates that you truly want to reach out and connect with people while abroad — the key to having an authentic cultural experience.

It is also a common misconception that all German speakers can speak English. Even in Germany’s big cities, many people know very little English. Don’t be that tourist who has to track down an English speaker every time they have a question.

If you want a leg up on your upcoming travel to a German-speaking country, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following key German travel phrases!

germany countryside

13. Entschuldigung, wo ist…?

Excuse me, where is…?

14. Flughafen / Bahnhof

Airport/ train station

15. Krankenhaus / Apotheke

Hospital/ pharmacy

16. Ist es weit weg?

Is it far away?

17. Zum Stadtzentrum, bitte

To the city center, please

18. Darf ich bitte einen Stadtplan haben?

Could I please have a city map?

19. Fährt dieser Zug nach…?

Does this train go to…?

plane flying traveling

20. Können Sie mir das auf der Karte zeigen?

Could you please show it to me on the map?

21. Wie viel kostet das?

How much is it?

22. Haben Sie etwas Billigeres?

Do you have anything cheaper?

23. Um wieviel Uhr öffnet/ schließt das Geschäft?

What time does the shop open/ close?

open sign

24. Darf ich mit Kreditkarte/ Bargeld bezahlen?

Can I pay with card/ cash?

25. Kann ich bitte die Speisekarte/ Weinkarte sehen?

Could I please see the menu/ wine list?

26. Ich hätte gern…

I would like…

27. Haben Sie vegetarisches Essen?

Would you have any vegetarian dishes?

28. Ein Glas Leitungswasser, bitte

A glass of tap water, please

29. Die Rechnung, bitte

The bill, please

30. Prost!

Cheers!

cheers friends party

Funny German Words and Phrases

31. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof

Literal: I only understand train station

Meaning: I don’t understand

32. Du bist ein Erbsenzähler

Literal: You’re a pea counter

Meaning: You are very nitpicky

peas

33. Hüftgold

Literal: Hip gold

Meaning: Love handles

34. Du hast nen Sprung in der Schüssel

Literal: You have a crack in your dish

Meaning: You’re crazy

35. Drachenfutter

Literal: Dragon feed

Meaning: A gift a husband buys his wife to apologize for doing something inconsiderate

36. Ich glaub mein Schwein pfeift

Literal: I think my pig whistles

Meaning: I believe I’m dreaming

dreaming clouds

37. Holla die Waldfee

Literal: Holla the wood fairy

Meaning: Well, that's unexpected

38. Faultier

Literal: Lazy animal

Meaning: Sloth

39. Weichei

Literal: A soft egg

Meaning: A coward

40. Komm schon, spring über deinen Schatten

Literal: Come on, jump over your shadow

Meaning: Get out of your comfort zone

41. Feierabend

Literal: Celebration evening

Meaning: When the day's work is done and you have the evening free to do whatever you want — Feierabend!

42. Tut mir leid, aber mein Englisch ist unter aller Sau

Literal: Sorry, but my English is under all pig

Meaning: Sorry, but my English is just the worst

pig piglets

43. Schadenfreude

Literal: Damage happiness

Meaning: Pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune

44. Handschuhe

Literal: Hand shoes

Meaning: Gloves

45. Fernweh

Literal: Distance pain

Meaning: Opposite of homesickness — the feeling of wanting to be somewhere else

Haven’t gotten enough of these funny German expressions? Check out our blog on funny German words and phrases you need to know!

German Phrases for Emergencies

In case a local mistakes you for being a native speaker with your flawless German, here are some useful expressions for when that Swiss man starts going off in rapid German!

emergency

46. Können Sie das übersetzen?

Can you please translate that?

47. Ich verstehe nicht

I don’t understand

48. Können Sie das bitte wiederholen?

Could you please repeat that?

49. Sprechen Sie Englisch?

Do you speak English?

50. Ich spreche nur ein wenig Deutsch

I only speak a small bit of German

If you are still new to the German language, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed after reading this article, which is completely understandable — this list is, admittedly, a lot to take in. However, once you get a grasp of fundamental German grammar and German vocabulary, it will become a lot easier to commit these basic German phrases to memory.

lightbulb memory idea

Oh, One More Thing…

Try practicing some of these phrases out loud to perfect your pronunciation. Or what’s better, practice them with a native speaker!

The Tandem app is the best way to gain fluency in any language. With millions of members, Tandem is the largest global language learning community out there! Tandem lets you connect with native German speakers all over the world, and practice speaking German via text, voice notes, and video calling. Immerse yourself in the German language and culture, and speak your way to fluency, for free!

More of a traveler? Connect with native German speakers ahead of your trip by using the “search by city” Pro feature, or the “near me” Pro feature for when you are already there! Still getting your head around the German language? Use our in-app translation feature to help compose a message or translate an incoming one. Correct your Tandem partner's message or add a comment to help them learn and progress. Still not sure about German pronunciation? Simply tap on the message you want to hear and choose the “speak” option. Einfach!

Private lessons more your thing?

With Tandem Tutors, you can master the German language even quicker. Our Tutors are certified professionals who offer one-on-one lessons anytime, anywhere. With Tandem Tutors, it’s easy to find someone who matches your style and works around your schedule.

Download the Tandem app and master the German language now!

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