There are over 100 million native German speakers in the world. That’s a lot of opportunity if you’re just starting out your German studies! With a little knowledge of the language, you can snag that dream job, talk to that handsome stranger, or at the very least order train tickets to Frankfurt! German may seem daunting however the language has so many grammar and word root connections to English that you may just find it easier to pick up than you’d expect!
So whether you want to learn German for a trip abroad, need a bit of a refresher course, or are just curious about the language, we’ve compiled a list of key phrases that will help guide you along.
This will come in handy while exploring Berlin and Munich! Use it to ask for directions to das Badezimmer (the bathroom), die Apotheke (the pharmacy), or die Kneipe (the pub)!
This can get a little tricky if you don’t know your numbers, but when in doubt, gesticulation always helps. That being said- we’re here to help!
1- eins (“eyns”), 2-zwei (“zwai”), 3-drei (“dry”), 4-vier (“fear”), 5- fünf (“founf”), 6-sechs (“sex”), 7-sieben (“seebin”), 8-acht (“aughcht”), 9-neun (“noin”), 10- zehn (“tzayn”).
This phrase is used when you want to get past someone on a busy train, or when you accidently bump into someone in Lidl. It’s a mouthful but even just mumbling through it will go a long way.
The Sie is the more formal pronoun and it’s important to use this with people that are older than you and people that you don’t know. The closer you get to a person, the bigger the chance of reaching the dutzen point, or the point where you can call them du, the more informal ‘you’.
Both of these phrases will come in handy if you find yourself in a German class or speaking with someone conversationally and you find your vocabulary or language skills lacking. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as most germans learn English in school, so they should be able to help. And, for curiosity’s sake, peanuts is Erdnüsse.
You’ll hear this after saying thank you (dankeschӧn) instead of hearing you’re welcome (bitteschӧn) in a lot of cases and you may hear it just in passing. It’s used a little bit like “No worries!” and it’s a bit informal but also quite friendly.
Naturally these phrases will keep you afloat if you’re travelling, but is that really all you want? If you think your German is better than these simple phrases, or if they triggered some long forgotten German knowledge, try one of our level tests to see how good you really are. And if you find yourself fascinated with the German language and the possibilities that it could have in store for you, see what courses we have available near you now!