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Common German Phrases

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 3 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Common German Phrases Germany Fluent

Whether you plan to travel to Germany for business or pleasure a few common German phrases will always come in handy to help you out while you are there. While many Germans speak English, there are also many who do not.

In addition, when visiting someone else’s country it is polite and appreciated if you at least learn a few words and a few common German phrases. This way, people to whom you are speaking will know you have truly made an effort to get to know their country – however short your stay.


Germany has strong business links with the UK, so a few basic common German phrases are always needed, so that you can at least introduce yourself. Once you have made introductions, if you do not have a common language, a translator will take over, but at least you will have been able to make your first impression yourself.
  • Good morning – Guten Morgan
  • Good evening - Guten Abend
  • Good night – Gute Nacht
  • Do you speak English - Sprechen Sie Englisch?
  • What is your name? - Wie heißen Sie?
  • My name is… - Ich heiße ...
  • Please – bitte
  • Thankyou – Danke
  • Thankyou very much – Danke schön
  • You’re welcome - Bitte schön
  • How are you? - Wie geht es Ihnen?
  • Fine, thank you - Mir geht es gut, danke
  • Pleased to meet you - Ich bin froh, Sie kennenzulernen
  • Have a nice day - Einen schönen Tag noch


Whatever your reason for travelling to Germany, unless you are staying with friends, the chances are you will be eating out. When eating out you will need to know a few common German phrases for use in restaurants, bars and cafes.

The waiters in tourist areas usually speak English but there is always the chance you may come across someone who does not, or that you choose a restaurant not geared towards tourists.

  • I would like… - Ich hätte gern...
  • Menu – die Spisekatre
  • The bill please - Die Rechnung, bitte
  • Bread – das Brot
  • Fish – der Fisch
  • Meat - das Fleisch
  • Vegetables – das Gemüse
  • Soup - suppe
  • Chicken - huhn
  • Veal - Kalbfleisch
  • Lamb - Lammfleisch
  • Beef - Rindfleisch
  • Ham - Schinken
  • Salad - salat
  • Beer -bier
  • Coffee - Kaffee
  • Milk - Milch
  • Wine - wein


Whether you are in a big city like Berlin or Frankfurt, or staying in a more rural area, at some point you are bound to have the need to ask someone directions. There is no guarantee that the person you ask will be English, so it is always as well to know or have written down a few common German phrases so that you might ask someone the way – and that you might understand their reply.
  • Where is …? - Wo ist …?
  • How do I get to …? - Wie erreicht man…?
  • I want to go to… - Ich möchte nach…fahren
  • Is it far? - Ist es weit vin heir?
  • Left - links
  • Right - rechts
The German people are very polite but also very welcoming. Make the effort to speak a few words of German and they will repay you in hospitality. Many people learn a few words of German at least at school, so brush up these old skills and use them. Make sure your language skills do not become long-forgotten and you may even end fluent one day.

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It is a very handy website just for the few bits you need to know.
Melissa1234 - 20-Mar-11 @ 4:40 PM
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