50 German Words and Phrases: The Ultimate Package
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!
1. volume_upHallo, wie geht’s?
Hello, how are you?
2. volume_upMir geht’s gut
I am good
3. volume_upFreut mich, Sie kennenzulernen!
Nice to meet you!
4. volume_upVielen Dank
Thank you very much!
5. volume_upBitte schön! / volume_upGern geschehen!
6. volume_upWie heißen Sie?
What’s your name?
7. volume_upIch heiße…
My name is...
9. volume_upAlles Gute zum Geburtstag!
10. volume_upEs tut mir leid
11. volume_upBis später!
See you later!
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!
13. volume_upEntschuldigung, wo ist…?
Excuse me, where is…?
14. volume_upFlughafen / volume_upBahnhof
Airport/ train station
15. volume_upKrankenhaus / volume_upApotheke
16. volume_upIst es weit weg?
Is it far away?
17. volume_upZum Stadtzentrum, bitte
To the city center, please
18. volume_upDarf ich bitte einen Stadtplan haben?
Could I please have a city map?
19. volume_upFährt dieser Zug nach…?
Does this train go to…?
20. volume_upKönnen Sie mir das auf der Karte zeigen?
Could you please show it to me on the map?
21. volume_upWie viel kostet das?
How much is it?
22. volume_upHaben Sie etwas Billigeres?
Do you have anything cheaper?
23. volume_upUm wieviel Uhr öffnet/ schließt das Geschäft?
What time does the shop open/ close?
24. volume_upDarf ich mit Kreditkarte/ Bargeld bezahlen?
Can I pay with card/ cash?
25. volume_upKann ich bitte die Speisekarte/ Weinkarte sehen?
Could I please see the menu/ wine list?
26. volume_upIch hätte gern…
I would like...
27. volume_upHaben Sie vegetarisches Essen?
Would you have any vegetarian dishes?
28. volume_upEin Glas Leitungswasser, bitte
A glass of tap water, please
29. volume_upDie Rechnung, bitte
The bill, please
Funny German Words and Phrases
31. volume_upIch verstehe nur Bahnhof
Literal: I only understand train station
Meaning: I don’t understand
32. volume_upDu bist ein Erbsenzähler
Literal: You’re a pea counter
Meaning: You are very nitpicky
Literal: Hip gold
Meaning: Love handles
34. volume_upDu hast nen Sprung in der Schüssel
Literal: You have a crack in your dish
Meaning: You’re crazy
Literal: Dragon feed
Meaning: A gift a husband buys his wife to apologize for doing something inconsiderate
36. volume_upIch glaub mein Schwein pfeift
Literal: I think my pig whistles
Meaning: I believe I’m dreaming
37. volume_upHolla die Waldfee
Literal: Holla the wood fairy
Meaning: Well, that's unexpected
Literal: Lazy animal
Literal: A soft egg
Meaning: A coward
40. volume_upKomm schon, spring über deinen Schatten
Literal: Come on, jump over your shadow
Meaning: Get out of your comfort zone
Literal: Celebration evening
Meaning: When the day's work is done and you have the evening free to do whatever you want — Feierabend!
42. volume_upTut 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
Literal: Damage happiness
Meaning: Pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune
Literal: Hand shoes
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!
46. volume_upKönnen Sie das übersetzen?
Can you please translate that?
47. volume_upIch verstehe nicht
I don’t understand
48. volume_upKönnen Sie das bitte wiederholen?
Could you please repeat that?
49. volume_upSprechen Sie Englisch?
Do you speak English?
50. volume_upIch 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.
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!
Download the Tandem app and master the German language now!
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