A woman stops to read a map in Germany
Essential Words And Phrases To Know Before Your Trip To Germany
"Hallo" (/ˈhaloː/, /haˈloː/) is German for "hello." You could say "guten morgen" for "good morning," "guten tag" for "good day," and "guten abend" for "good evening."
"Auf Wiedersehen" is a formal "goodbye." Say "Tschüss" for "bye" or "bis bald" for "see you soon." "Bis später" means "see you later," but literally later that same day.
Both "please" and "you're welcome" are translated as "bitte" (/BITT-uh/). “Thank you" is "danke" (/DAHN-kuh/), or say "nein, danke" for "no, thanks."
Being Polite
Each culture has its norms, and in Germany, small talk with strangers isn't really a thing, so informal chatting with a server or cashier is considered a little weird.
"Wie geht's" for "How's it going?" is a slang term though it's generally acceptable. If unsure, use the more formal "Wie geht es Ihnen" for “How are you."
The easiest ways to say "yes" in German are "ja" (/yah/) and "okay." "Kein problem" for "no problem" or "klar" for "of course" also work.
Variations Of Yes
When answering a shopkeeper or restaurant server, you could use "das klingt gut" or "that sounds good." "Natürlich" or "naturally" is a fun word to use in your conversations.
“No" in German is "nein" (/nine/). If you need a firm "no," you could say "Ich glaube nicht" or "I don't think so," or "absolut nicht" for "absolutely not."
Variations Of No
A softer letdown is "leider" for "unfortunately, no." These phrases can get the point across that you are final in your stance and that the situation is "kaputt" ("broken").
“Breakfast" is "frühstück" (/FRUU-shtuuk/), "lunch" is "mittagessen" (/mit-TAHK-ess-en/) and "dinner" is "abendessen" or "abendbrot" (/AH-bent-ess-en/ or /AH-bent-broht/).
For dietary needs, "I am a vegetarian" is "​​ich bin Vegetarier" (/ikh bin vay-gay-TAH-ree-er/). "I only eat Kosher food" is "Ich esse nur koscher" (/ikh ESS-uh noor KOH-sher/).
“Ich hätte gerne die Speisekarte" is "Can I look at the menu, please?" To ask if there is a house or local specialty, say, "Gibt es eine Spezialität des Hauses?"