Pack your socks and sandals, and hold on to your Bretzel. We’re going to Germany – the land of beer and sausages!
Whether you’ve booked a trip to go to the Oktoberfest in Munich, the carnival in Cologne, or just a nice, relaxing hiking trip around the Black Forest, knowing how to get by in Germany will make your stay much more enjoyable.
We’ve gathered the most essential, basic German words and phrases that’ll help you get by on your travels.
From basic German greetings to pleas for help when you get stuck, we’ve got you covered.
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Try these phrases out when Google Maps (or the paper version, if you’re that retro!) lets you down.
Wining and dining out on the town? Whip out this list to hold your own in any German restaurant.
The service at restaurants or cafes usually isn’t included in the bill. Tipping is welcomed and should reflect how happy you were with food and service – 10% of the bill is the norm.
You never know who you might meet on your travels… open yourself up to meeting new people with these basic German conversation-starters.
Did you know this?
Besides hip places like urban Berlin, it’s still most common to approach people you don’t know with the polite Sie instead of the personal du, which we use with friends, family or children.
Though if you’ve been chatting with someone for a while, they might ask if you want to use the informal du – especially after you’ve been trying all these new phrases out on them. They might ask: Wollen wir uns duzen? (Should we use “du”?) Of course, you’ll want to say: Ja!
That’s all from us! Just one last thing: remember that being able to communicate always also means being able to connect.
Knowing the local lingo is not only useful for navigating around unfamiliar places. Speaking German will also open many cultural doors for you. Even if it’s just a friendly danke (thanks), you’ll have shown you’ve made an effort.
And who knows? You might even make a German smile!
Learn more common German phrases – or common phrases in 13 other languages – with Busuu, the app that makes learning a language easier for everyone.
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