7 German Phrases You’ll Want to Know
During my stay in amazing Germany, I realized that it has far more to offer than just beer fests and bratwurst. My fondest memories are of the people I met in Germany. I remember desperately trying to learn German before my big move, but then being amazed by how many Germans spoke English fluently. Nevertheless, there are still a few German phrases that are worth learning before your next trip.
The friendly greeting is sure to put a smile on any Germna’s face. Different regions of Germany have their own greetings. For example, where I lived in Bavaria, we’d say Grüß Gott which translates to god greet (you). But guten tag is universal. If you’re looking for a more casual greeting, hallo (hello) works just as well.
How goes it?
Pronounced ve gates. In my German lessons, I was taught the phrase wir geht es dir? Which means, how are you? Geht’s is a shortened form of geht es, which directly translates to how goes it? Unless you’re in a formal setting, wie geht’s is usually the more popular term.
Arguably one of the most important phrases you’ll use on your trip to Deutschland. For good reason too! Germany is well known for its fantastic beer. So grab a weiss bier or a dunkel, find a spot on a fest bench, and prost!
Vielen dank is a formal way of saying you’re very thankful. But if a waitress brings you a beer, for example, a simple danke schön, pronounced don-keh schun, will do.
Pronounced end-shul-de-gehn. Whether you’re trying to maneuver through a crowd, apologize, or get someone’s attention, entschuldigen is an important word to know. It’s especially handy if you’re a former New York City resident with a need for speed.
A common phrase used before eating. Although there’s no similar phrase in English, the best comparison is the French bon appetit. Before you dig into your plate of pork knuckle, kartoffel salat, and sauerkraut, be sure to wish the table gutten appetit.
Pronounced tchoose. The more familiar term for goodbye is auf wiedersehen, but unless you’re a VonTrapp saying goodnight, most people stick to the casual tschüss.
Pronounced vunderbah. Without a doubt, my favorite Deutsch word. I would, however, advise against using it in a sarcastic manner to the polizai officer who’s writing you a ticket for parking your car in the street on a Sunday. He’ll conveniently find something else you did wrong and give you another ticket…wunderbar.