100+ Useful Basic German Phrases for Travel - Inspire Your Trip (2023)

Are you planning a trip to Germany or a German speaking country? Or have you always wanted to learn German?

We have put together a guide to the most useful basic German words and phrases that will allow you pick up the basics on the language and really help you to survive visiting a German speaking country.

Do I Need to Speak German in Germany?

In the major cities and tourist destinations in Germany you will find a lot of local people can speak English, especially younger people, so visiting the country can be done without knowing any German. But not everyone does speak or understand English, especially in non-touristy locations so it is important to at least learn the basics. Also local people will appreciate if you put the effort into learning a bit of their language, even if just hello, please and thank you.

Is German a Difficult Language to Learn?

German is considered a one of the most difficult European languages to learn especially compared to French, Spanish and Portuguese. German is regarded as hard due to the long words, pronunciation, four noun case endings and three grammatical genders. But it is still a lot easier than a lot of other worldwide languages like Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Like with any language, practise really helps to improve your fluency.

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Greetings in German

Here are some of the word you will probably use the most and the good news is they. are very easy to pick up.

Hello – Hallo (learn how to say hello in other languages)
Good morning – Guten Morge
Good day – Guten Tag
Good evening – Guten Abend
Goodbye – Auf Wiedersehen
Good night – Gute Nacht
See you later – Bis später

Basics

These are some of the most common words and phrases you are likely to use.

Please / You’re welcome – Bitte
Thank you – Danke (here’s how to say thanks in other languages)
Yes – Ja (yah)
No – Nein (nine)
Excuse me – Entschuldigen Sie
I’m sorry – Es tut mir leid
What does that mean? – Was bedeutet das?
I’m sorry – Es tut mir leid
I do not know – Ich weiß nicht

Conversational Phrases in German

These are some basic German phrases when meeting people for the first time.

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How are you? (formal) – Wie geht es Ihnen?
How are you? (informal) – Wie geht`s?
Nice to meet you – Es freut mich
What’s your name? – Wie ist dein Name?
My name is… – Ich heiße…
I am fine – Mir geht es gut
Do you speak English? – Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Could you please repeat that again? – Können Sie das bitte nochmal wiederholen?
I don’t speak German – Ich spreche kein Deutsch
What did you say? – Was hast du gesagt?
I don’t understand you – Ich verstehe Sie nicht
What’s your name? (formal) – Wie heißen Sie?
I’m doing well. – Mir geht’s gut
Very good – Sehr gut
Bad – Schlecht
Where are you from? – Wo kommst du her?
I am from … – Ich komme aus …
USA / Canada / Australia / UK – USA / Kanada / Australien / Großbritannien
Do you speak English? – Sprechen Sie Englisch?
I don’t understand – Ich verstehe nicht
I can’t speak German – Ich kann kein Deutsch
I do not speak German very well – Ich spreche nicht gut Deutsch
I’m sorry, but I do not understand – Es tut mir leid, aber ich verstehe nicht
Could you say that again please? – Können Sie das bitte wiederholen?
Could you say that more slowly please? – Können Sie bitte langsamer sprechen?
Please write that down for me – Schreiben Sie das bitte für mich auf
How old are you? – Wie alt bist du?
What’s your phone number? – Wie lautet deine Telefonnumer?
My phone number is… – Meine Telefonnumer lautet…
Where do you work? – Wo arbeitest du?
I work at… – Ich arbeite bei…

Shopping

These phrases are good for when you are out and about buying things.

Supermarket – Supermarkt
City center – Stadtzentrum
Bank – Bank
How much does that cost? – Wieviel kostet das?
I would like… – Ich hätte gern…
Do you have…. – Haben Sie… Rechts
Excuse me, where is the – Entschuldigung, wo ist die
Is it far from here? – Ist es noch weit von hier

Food & Drink

These phrases are perfect for visiting restaurants and ordering food.

A table for two, bitte – Einen Tisch für zwei, please
We have a reservation – Wir haben eine Reservierung
The menu, please – Die Speisekarte, bitte
Can you recommend something? – Können Sie etwas empfehlen?
What is this? – Was ist das?
I would like – Ich hätte gerne
Steak with fries – Steak mit Pommes
Do you have a vegan meal? – Haben Sie ein veganes Gericht?
Another glass of water, please – Noch ein Glas Wasser, bitte
Enjoy your meal – Guten Appetit
What is your favorite food? – Was ist dein Lieblingsessen?
My favorite food is… – Ich esse am liebsten…
The check, please – Die Rechnung, bitte
Cheers! – Prost!
Where is the bathroom? – Wo ist die Toilette

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Hotels & Accommodation

We have a reservation – Wir haben eine Reservierung
Do you have free rooms available? – Haben Sie noch freie Zimmer?
How much is a room per night? – Wie viel kostet ein Zimmer pro Nacht?
I would like to reserve a room – Ich möchte ein Zimmer reservieren
Is the breakfast inclusive? – Ist das Frühstück inklusive?
Room service – Zimmerservice
What time is the check out? – Wie viel uhr ist check-out?

Transport & Directions

These are the most common German travel phrases related to getting around, These are some of the most important words and phrases to have:

Where? – Wo?
Left / Right – Links / Rechts
Entrance and Exit – Eingang and Ausgang
In which direction can I find … ? – In welcher Richtung finde ich … ?
Bus – Bus
Subway – Metro
Gas station – Tankstelle
Train station – Bahnhof
The airport – Flughafen
North / South / West / East – Norden / Süden / Westen / Osten
Upstairs / Downstairs – Oben / Unte
Can I get there on foot? – Kann ich dorthin zu Fuß laufen?
You have to turn left / right.
Which underground or bus do I have to take? – Welche Straßenbahn, Metro oder Bus muss ich nehmen?
Airport – Flughafen
Train station, please – Bahnhof, bitte
Is it close to … ? – Ist es in der Nähe von … ?
Around the corner – Um die Ecke
Where is the exit / entrance? – Wo ist der Ausgang / Eingang?
Stop here, please – Halten Sie hier an, bitte.
Where is the station? – Wo ist die Haltestelle?
Where can I buy a ticket? – Wo kann ich eine Fahrkarte kaufen?
Is this train / bus going to … ? – Fährt dieser Zug / Bus nach … ?
Can you show me on the map? – Können Sie es mir auf der Karte zeigen?
Do I have to change? – Muss ich umsteigen?

Emergencies

Here are some useful phrases to use if you find yourself in a difficult situation:

Could you please translate this for me? – Können Sie das bitte übersetzen?
Help! – Hilfe!
Police – Polizei
Ambulance – Ambulanz
Hospital – Krankenhaus

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German Numbers

One – Eins
Two – Zwei
Three – Drei
Four – Vier
Five – Fünf
Six – Sechs
Seven – Sieben
Eight – Acht
Nine – Neun
Ten – Zehn
Eleven – Elf
Twelve – Zwölf
Thirteen – Dreizehn
Fourteen – Vierzehn
Fifteen – Fünfzehn –
Sixteen – Sechzehn
Seventeen – Siebzehn
Eighteen – Achtzehn
Nineteen – Neunzehn
Twenty – Zwanzig
Thirty – Dreißig
Forty – Vierzig
Fifty – Fünfzig
Sixty – Sechzig
Seventy – Siebzig
Eighty – Achtzig
Ninety – Neunzig
One hundred – Hundert
Two hundred and fifty – Zweihundertfünfzig
Five hundred – Fünfhundert
One thousand – Tausend

Days of the Week in German

Monday – Montag
Tuesday – Dienstag
Wednesday – Mittwoch
Thursday – Donnertag
Friday – Freitag
Saturday – Samstag
Sunday – Sonntag

Months of the Year in German

January – Januar
February – Februar
March – März
April – April
May – Mai
June – Juni
July – Juli
August – August
September – September
October – Oktober
November – November
December – Dezember

We hope our list of the best German travel phrases for tourists and travelers has been useful to you. You could download the article as a PDF and print it out, or write down some of the most important ones.

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Related Articles

FAQs

How do you say basic phrases in German? ›

Here's how to say a few basic German phrases.
  1. Guten Tag = Good morning.
  2. Hallo = Hello.
  3. Ich heiße … = My name is …
  4. Sprechen Sie Englisch? = Do you speak English?
  5. Wie heißt du? = What's your name?
  6. Wie geht es dir? = How are you?
  7. Gut, danke = Fine, thank you.
  8. Nett, Sie kennen zu lernen = Nice to meet you.

How do you memorize German phrases? ›

Hey German learner!
  1. Use repetition: reading, writing and speaking words over and over again.
  2. Associate words with drawings, pictures and funny scenes.
  3. Try to use the language routinely in the context of daily life.
  4. Reading as much as possible, especially the newspaper, helps you to remember words.
28 Apr 2016

What is the German phrase I am feeling visited enough? ›

Conversation. Yesterday I learned there's a phrase in German meaning "I am feeling visited enough" that you can say when you want company to go and this is brilliant. It's "ich fühle mich jetzt genug besucht" and it's very regional, not widely common :) Interesting, how does it go in German?

What is the longest word in German? ›

The longest word in the standard German dictionary is Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung – which is the word for motor vehicle liability insurance. But at 36 letters, it's rather puny. Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften, a touch longer at 39 letters, is the language's longest non-dictionary word.

What German word starts with D? ›

  • Doofi.
  • Doofkopp.
  • Dopamin.
  • Dope.
  • dopen.
  • Doping.
  • Dopingkontrolle.
  • Dopingmittel.

Is German vocabulary easy? ›

The language has often been considered hard to learn due to its 3 genders and long, winding words. It holds many similarities to English, too, though. German vocab will actually bear many resemblances to English.

How do you pronounce ß? ›

GERMAN PRONUNCIATION 10: The special letter ß (sharp s) - YouTube

How many German words should I learn a day? ›

A better tactic is to learn 3-6 new German words every day and invest time in understanding them very well. This way, you can learn almost 2000 words a year - 5 words per day x 365 days = 1800+ new words. Think about it. Within 2 years, you will know enough words to communicate freely in any context.

How many German words should I learn? ›

How many words do you need to be fluent in German? To be fluent in German, a speaker needs to know around 10,000 words.

How many German words are there? ›

The German language consists of about 5.3 million words – with a rising trend. About one third of those words was added in the last 100 years.

Do Germans say I love you a lot? ›

GERMANS DON'T SAY I LOVE YOU. They have each other's love – sie haben sich lieb. It means less than I love you, which they really save for special occasions. The thing is, this is what you have to realize: the English words “I love you” literally mean less than the German words ich liebe dich.

What are some German quotes? ›

German Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
  • “All beginnings are hard.” ...
  • “He who chases two rabbits at once will catch none.” ...
  • “Starting is easy, persistence is an art.” ...
  • “Adversity is the mother of wisdom.” ...
  • “Gluttony kills more than the sword.” ...
  • “Experience is the mother of wisdom.”

How do you respond to ist los? ›

The saying is "Vas ist los?" The answer was always "Nicht ist los, alles kaput" (Nothing is happening, everything is broken).

Why do Germans say for sure? ›

"For sure" is probably the German, "sicher" which can start a sentence in agreement to a proposition by another speaker. A British-English speaker would say "Yes, but ..."

How do Germans express surprise? ›

10 ways to express surprise in German
  • Alter Schwede! ...
  • Holla, die Waldfee! ...
  • Das ist ja ein dicker Hund! ...
  • Ich glaube, ich spinne! ...
  • Ich glaube, mein Schwein pfeift! ...
  • Meine Güte! ...
  • Oha! ...
  • heilige Blechle!
1 Jun 2022

How do you say okay in Germany? ›

How to say 'I'm okay' in German. If someone asks how you are doing, you would basically reply that you're doing well. In German, this would be 'Mir gehts es gut', or 'Ich bin ok'. If it's something they are asking about and you want to say that it's ok, then you say 'Es ist ok'.

What is the shortest word? ›

The shortest word is a. Some might wonder about the word I since it consists of one letter, too. In sound, a is shorter because it is a monophthong (consists of one vowel), while I is a diphthong. Both do consist of one letter in the English writing system, and in most fonts I is the narrowest letter.

What is the slang name for Germans? ›

Boche (pejorative)

Pronounced [boʃ], boche is a derisive term used by the Allies during World War I, often collectively ("the Boche" meaning "the Germans"). It is a shortened form of the French slang portmanteau alboche, itself derived from Allemand ("German") and caboche ("head" or "cabbage").

Where is the purest German spoken? ›

On the other hand, Northern Germany is considered to be the region that speaks the purest Standard German, and in everyday life, little influence of dialect is heard.

How is D pronounced in German? ›

In German, the pronunciation of the letter “D” is as in “Dresden” or “Deutsch” or the English word “dance.” Examples: Dach.

What is the coolest German word? ›

10 beautiful and memorable German words
  • Sehnsucht. Amid different definitions, which vary from yearning, desire and/or craving, Sehnsucht is a feeling of longing for something unknown and indefinite. ...
  • Weltschmerz. ...
  • Torschlusspanik. ...
  • Fernweh. ...
  • Zweisamkeit. ...
  • Backpfeifengesicht. ...
  • Feierabend. ...
  • Reisefieber.
9 Feb 2021

What is the hardest German word? ›

10 Difficult German Words and How to Pronounce Them
  • Freundschaftsbeziehungen (Friendship relations) ...
  • Rührei (Scrambled eggs) ...
  • Arbeitslosigkeitsversicherung (Unemployment insurance) ...
  • Röntgen (X-ray) ...
  • Quietscheentchen (Rubber duck) ...
  • Tschechien (Czechia) ...
  • Kreuzschlitzschraubenzieher (Screwdriver) ...
  • Schlittschuhlaufen (Ice skating)

What do Germans call their girlfriend? ›

Schatz is the most common German term of endearment, according to surveys. Couples all over the country call each other this pet name or one of its many cute forms, such as Schätzchen (little treasure) or Schatzi (little treasure).

What is the Ü symbol called? ›

U-umlaut. A glyph, U with umlaut, appears in the German alphabet. It represents the umlauted form of u, which results in [yː] when long and [ʏ] when short. The letter is collated together with U, or as UE.

What does Ö sound like? ›

– “ö” as in blöd is like an English person saying “burn” Make the sound “a” as in the word “may” and then make your lips into an “o” shape.

Can I learn 100 words a day? ›

But you can certainly learn 100 words in a day. Sure, you can't learn everything you could ever need to know about these 100 words, and memorise all that information, but you can certainly get a basic understanding of 100 words in a day.

How many words are in A1 in German? ›

The official German A1 vocabulary includes, according to the German Goethe Institut, 650 words – that's the bad news. Wow, that's a lot, you may think. The good news is: You're already on the way, and we're am here to help you.

How do I start learning German by myself? ›

The best way to learn German at home for beginners: 6 steps to get you started
  1. Set yourself a goal. ...
  2. Start off on the right foot. ...
  3. Turn learning German into a habit. ...
  4. Practise speaking German with online tutoring. ...
  5. Learn new vocab in meaningful chunks. ...
  6. Make studying German rewarding. ...
  7. Dive into German culture with TV.
27 Mar 2020

Is learning German easy? ›

Getting Great at German

German might not be as familiar to English speakers as Spanish, but it's still one of the easiest languages to learn. Like Spanish, it's also a phonetic language, which makes pronunciation easy to figure out.

Is German hard to learn? ›

With plenty of straightforward rules, German is not actually as hard to learn as most people think. And since English and German stem from the same language family, you might actually be surprised at the things you pick up without even trying! And on top of it all, it's definitely a useful one, too.

How do you say sorry in German? ›

In German, you can say “Entschuldigung” or use the more informal abbreviation “'Tschuldigung”. The English word “Sorry” works, too. You'll hear it a lot, especially among younger people.

Is German a pretty language? ›

German also has a rich history that can be traced back hundreds of years. It is widely spoken in countries like Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Because of its beauty and uniqueness, many people believe that German is the most beautiful language in the world.

Is there a German word for everything? ›

English and German Translation Search Results for everything

alles; ganz; vollkommen; völlig; gänzlich; komplett; total; vollständig.

Do Germans say I love you easily? ›

Germans don't say it rashly. It is something they must feel sure about. So if you're in a relationship with a German-speaker and waiting to hear those three little words, don't despair. Many would rather avoid using such a strong expression until they are completely sure it's true.

How do you say baby in German? ›

Translations
  1. Baby, das ~ Noun.
  2. Kindchen, das ~ Noun.
  3. Dingelchen, das ~ Noun.

How do you call your boyfriend in German? ›

10 German nicknames to call your sweetheart
  1. Maus (mouse) Mice aren't exactly the sweetest creatures around. ...
  2. Hase (bunny) ...
  3. Bärchen (little bear) ...
  4. Mausebär (mouse bear) ...
  5. Schnecke (snail) ...
  6. Schnucki (no English translation) ...
  7. Perle (pearl) ...
  8. Liebling (darling)

How do you say hey what's up in German? ›

Was geht ab? “Was geht ab?” is the German equivalent of “What's up?” or “What's happening?”. It is used as a greeting and to inquire after the other person's wellbeing in a very informal way.

How are you doing answer in German? ›

Mir geht es auch gut. “I'm fine too.” Oh yeah, that's also like the response in this typical conversation, “Hey, how are you?” “I'm fine. And you?” “Oh, I'm fine too." Mir geht es auch gut.

What's your name in German language? ›

How to Say What Is Your Name in German. If you want to say “What is your name?” in German, you would either say, “Wie heißen sie?” (formal) or “Wie heißt du?” (informal).

How do you pronounce ß? ›

GERMAN PRONUNCIATION 10: The special letter ß (sharp s) - YouTube

How do you say sorry in German? ›

In German, you can say “Entschuldigung” or use the more informal abbreviation “'Tschuldigung”. The English word “Sorry” works, too. You'll hear it a lot, especially among younger people.

How is Bitte pronounced? ›

How to Pronounce Bitte How to Say 'Please' in German - YouTube

What do Germans call their girlfriend? ›

Schatz is the most common German term of endearment, according to surveys. Couples all over the country call each other this pet name or one of its many cute forms, such as Schätzchen (little treasure) or Schatzi (little treasure).

What is the Ü symbol called? ›

U-umlaut. A glyph, U with umlaut, appears in the German alphabet. It represents the umlauted form of u, which results in [yː] when long and [ʏ] when short. The letter is collated together with U, or as UE.

What does Ö sound like? ›

– “ö” as in blöd is like an English person saying “burn” Make the sound “a” as in the word “may” and then make your lips into an “o” shape.

Does Bitte mean sorry? ›

We say “Bitte” (Please).

The German word bitte means so much more than “please” or “you're welcome.” In some ways, it's a go-to word like “pardon.”

What does OK mean in German? ›

In German, this would be 'Mir gehts es gut', or 'Ich bin ok'. If it's something they are asking about and you want to say that it's ok, then you say 'Es ist ok'. Mir gehts gut – I'm ok.

Does Bitte mean pardon? ›

Bitte is an essential word in German etiquette and in everyday life in German-speaking areas. It can mean “please”, “pardon”, “go ahead”, “here you go”, “you're welcome”, and even “yes, please”.

How do you introduce yourself in German? ›

Another common way to introduce yourself in German is: I'm Yassir. (Ich bin Yassir.)

How do u say good morning in German? ›

How to Say "Good Morning" in German | German Lessons - YouTube

How do you show respect in German? ›

German Etiquette & Manners
  1. Greetings are formal.
  2. A quick, firm handshake is the traditional greeting.
  3. Titles are very important and denote respect.
  4. Use a person's title and their surname until invited to use their first name.
  5. You should say Herr or Frau and the person's title and their surname.

What is Bitte Schon? ›

[ˈbɪtəʃøːn] neuter noun Word forms: Bitteschöns genitive , Bitteschöns plural. (bittend, auffordernd) please; (Dank erwidernd) not at all; (anbietend) (von Verkäufer) can I help you?; (von Kellner) what would you like?

How do Germans respond to Danke? ›

When someone says danke, the standard response is bitte. This normally means 'please', but within the context of responding to a 'thank you', it means 'you're welcome'. If instead they say danke schön, then you should reply by saying bitte schön.

How do you say please in German? ›

How to Say "Please" in German | German Lessons - YouTube

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