The thought of travelling to a new country can be intimidating, especially if you are not familiar with the language. And, the best part about learning a new language is all of the interesting, unique, quirky and downright weird vocabulary that comes along with it!
Are you planning your trip to Germany? Or maybe planning to learn German? Well, even a little bit knowledge of basic communicative words in German can help you enjoy the whole travel experience. German (Deutsch) is a pretty logical language; it’s full of compound words. Plus, there are plenty of magical German travel words that just don’t exist in the English language. And the one thing which you might want to know about German is that the nouns in this language always start with a capital letter.
Numbers in German
Why You Should Learn German Travel Phrases?
Even if you are not fluent in conversation, native German speakers always appreciate when foreigners try to learn a bit of their language. It shows that you respect their culture and demonstrates that you truly want to reach out and connect with the local people.
Learning German from textbooks can help you know the vocabulary, but the actual test comes up when you converse with a local. Learning a few German travel phrases might help in various situations. If you can speak a few German phrases, you are less likely to be taken advantage by taxi drivers, souvenir shops and waiters!
The perception that all German speakers speak English is really not true. Even in the famous German cities, you’ll find people that know very little or no English. That’s why; it’s better to learn a few phrases in German because you don’t want to track down other English speakers every time you have a question or want to make a friend.
The pronunciation is quite easy to pick up since German is a very close relative of English. Here are some important tips on vowel pronunciation to keep in mind when speaking German:
- ei as in line
- ie as in lean
- ö as in worm (but without the r)
- ü as in tea (but with the lips rounded)
- ä as in get
- eu or äu as in boy
Here are some important tips on consonant pronunciation to keep in mind when speaking German:
- sch as in shoe
- sp and st as in shp and sht
- ß as in boss
- z as in cats
Keep reading to know 40 words that you need to know in German when travelling to Germany:
Greeting Phrases in German
2. Good day!
Guten Tag! (gooh-ten tahk!)
3. Good morning
Guten Morgen (GOO-ten MOR-gen)
4. Good evening!
Guten Abend! (gooh-ten ah-bent!)
Auf Wiedersehen! (ouf vee-der-zey-en!)
6. Please/You’re welcome
7. Thank you
8. Excuse me
Basic conversational phrases in German
9. My name is
Ich heiße…. (iH hays-e….)
10. Pleased to meet you
Freut mich (froyt miH)
13. I’m sorry
Es tut mir leid (ehs toot meer lite)
14. Do you speak English?
Sprechen Sie Englisch? (shprêH-en zee êng-lish?)
15. I can’t speak German (well)
Ich kann nicht [so gut] Deutsch sprechen (eesh kahn nikht [zo goot] doytsh shpreH-en)
16. How are you?
Wie geht es Ihnen? (vee geyt ês een-en?)
17. Would you help me please?
Würden Sie mir bitte helfen? (vuer-den zee meer bi-tehêl-fen?)
18. What’s your name?
Wie heißen Sie? (vee hays-en zee?)
19. What time is it?
Wie viel Uhr ist es? (vee feel oohr ist ês?)
20. I don’t understand
Ich verstehe nicht. (ixh fair-shtay-er nixht)
21. Could you please talk more slowly?
Können Sie bitte langsamer sprechen? (kern-en zee bi-te lâng-zâm-er shprêH-en?
22. Could you repeat that, please?
Können Sie das bitte wiederholen? (kern-en zee dâs bi-tevee-der-hoh-len?)
Transportation Phrases in Germany
23. Where can I find a taxi?
Wo bekomme ich ein Taxi? (voe be-komm-er ixh iyn taxi)
24. Can you take me to this address?
Können Sie mich zu dieser Adresse fahren? (kernen zee mixh tsoo dee-zer ad-ress-er far-en)
25. The airport, please
Zum Flugplatz, bitte (tsoom flook-plats bitt-er)
26. The station, please
Zum Bahnhof, bitte (tsoom barn-hoff bitt-er)
27. A ticket, please.
Eine Fahrkarte, bitte (iy-ner far-kar-ter, bitt-er)
Direction phrases in Germany
29. Where’s the restroom?
Wo ist die Toilette? (vo ist dee toy-LET-uh)
30. Left / Right
Links / Rechts (linx / rechts)
31. Entrance and Exit
Eingang and Ausgang (Eyen-Gong and Ow-S-Gang)
32. Where do I find . . .?
Wo finde ich . . .? (voh fin-de iH…?)
33. Where is…?
Wo ist…? (voh ist…?)
Shopping Phrases in German
34. How much does . . . cost?
Wie viel kostet . . .? (vee feel kos-tet…?)
35. Do you have…?
Haben Sie…? (hah-ben zee…?)
36. I would like…
Ich hätte gern… (Ish het-a Gar-en)
Restaurant phrases in German
37. The menu, please!
Die Speisekarte, bitte! (dee SHPY-se-Cart-uh, BITT-uh)
38. What do you recommend?
Was empfehlen Sie? (Vus emp-VAY-luhn see?)
40. The check, please!
Die Rechnung, bitte (dee RECH-nung, BITT-uh)
Bonus – Emergency Words in German
- Help! – Hilfe! (hilf-e!)
- Police! – Polizei! (po-li-tsay!)
- Fire! – Feuer! (foy-er!)
- Get a doctor! – Holen Sie einen Arzt! (hohl-en zee ayn-en ârtst!)
- I am sick – Ich bin krank (iH bin krânk)
- I don’t know my way around here – Ich kenne mich hier nicht aus (iH kên-e miH heer niHt ous)
Dialects in Germany
The German language has a very diverse set of dialects. Linguists say there are as many as 250 different German dialects. You can even find these dialects in places like Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. The vocabulary, accent and phrases are different from each other, and some native German speakers can’t even understand the language from different regions. However, everyone in Germany learns Hochdeutsch (High German) and should be able to converse by using these uniform words and pronunciation. For example, the pronunciation of “Ich” (“I”) depends on dialect you are using. In general, the sound is like “Ikh” in south Germany, while it is softer like “Ish” in north Germany, particularly in Berlin.
The above mention guide will surely help you in surviving your trip to Germany. From finding a place to making a friend, these words and phrases will help you navigate your prosperous journey in Germany. Practice beforehand and try to catch the correct pronunciation of each phrase.