Basic Phrases in German

German is one of the world's major languages and the most widely spoken first language in the European Union. Around the world, the German language is spoken by approximately 105 million native speakers and also by about 80 million non-native speakers. It is the official language in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and holds the official status in Belgium and Luxembourg. With this world-wide acceptance, it is one of the major business languages of the world.

Here are some useful German phrases.

Pronounce It Right!

Let's begin with learning how the pronunciation works.


A --- like 'u' in 'but'
au --- like 'ow' in 'vow'
ä --- like 'bat' as in 'hare'
äu --- : like 'oy' in 'toy'
e --- like 'set' or long as in 'obey'
ei --- like 'ai' in 'aisle'
eu --- like 'oy' in 'joy'
i --- like 'win' or long as in 'marine'
ie --- like 'siege'
o --- like 'got' or long as in 'vote'
ö --- like 'er' in 'fern'
u --- like “u” in 'pull'
ü --- similar to the 'u' in 'pull'


ch --- like 'loch'
 j --- like 'y' in 'yellow'
ng --- like 'long'
ng --- like 'long'
qu --- like 'kv'
r --- a guttural sound
s --- like 'see' or the 'z' in 'zoo'
sch --- like 'sh' in 'shore'
st --- pronounced 'sht'
sp --- pronounced 'shp'
v --- like the English 'f' 
w --- like the English 'v'
z --- like 'ts' in 'tsar'

Master the Basics

Ja --- Yes
Nein --- No
Hallo --- Hello
Guten Morgen --- Good Morning
Giten Abend --- Good Evening
Guten Tag --- Good Day
Auf Wiedersehen --- Goodbye
Tschüss --- Bye
Bitte --- Please
Sie sind willkommen --- You're welcome
Entschuldigung --- Excuse me / Apology
Wo? --- Where?
Warum? --- Why?
Wie? --- How?
Wie geht es Ihnen? --- How are you?
Es geht mir gut, danke --- I'm fine thanks
Sprechen Sie Englisch? --- Do you speak English?
Ich verstehe --- I understand
Ich verstehe nicht --- I don't understand
Was bedeutet __? --- What does __ mean?
Wie heissen Sie? --- What's your name?
Ich heisse --- My name is
Woher kommen Sie? --- Where are you from?
Ich komme aus --- I'm from __.   

Getting Around

Wo ist College? --- Where is the college?
Ich möchte nach.fahren --- I want to go to.
Wie erreicht man __? --- How do I get to ___?
Ist es weit vin heir? --- Is it far?
Die U-Bahnstation --- The metro station
Die Bushaltestelle --- The bus stop
Der Bahnhof --- The train station
Der Fulghafen --- The airport
Der/die/das nächste --- The next
Der/die/das letzte --- The last
Einfache Fahrkarte --- One-way ticket
Rückfahrkarte --- Return ticket
Fahrkartenschalter --- Ticket office

Ask for Directions

Nord --- North                                      
Süd --- South
Ost --- East
West --- West
Links --- Left
Rechts --- Right
Hinter --- Behind
Vor --- In front of
Gegenüber --- Opposite
Die Strasse --- The street
Die Stadt --- The town / city

Settling In

Wo findet man ein preiswertes hotel? --- Where is a low-priced hotel?
Wieviel kostet es pro nacht? --- How much is it per night?
Ich suche --- I'm looking for
Darf ich es sehen? --- May I see it?
Ein hotel --- A hotel
Ein pension --- A guesthouse
Ein Einzelzimmer --- A single room
Ein Doppelzimmer --- A double room
Für eine Nacht --- For one night
Für zwei Nächte --- For two nights

Time Travel

Heute --- Today
Morgen --- Tomorrow
Gestern --- Yesterday
Wann? --- When?
Morgens --- In the morning
Nachmittags --- In the afternoon
Abends --- In the evening
Wie spat ist es? --- What time is it?
Es ist zehn Uhr --- It's ten o'clock.

Grab a Bite

Ich bin Vegetarier(in) --- I'm vegetarian.
Die Rechnung, bitte --- The bill please
Gaststätte --- Restaurant
Frühstück --- Breakfast
Mittagessen --- Lunch
Abendessen --- Dinner
Speisekarte --- Menu
Supermarkt --- Supermarket
Kneipe --- Pub
Suppe --- Soup
Huhn --- Chicken
Fisch --- Fish
Lammfleisch --- Lamb
Kalbfleisch --- Veal
Rindfleisch --- Beef
Schinken --- Ham
Salat --- Salad
Milch --- Milk
Tee --- Tea
Kaffee --- Coffee
Saft --- Juice
Bier --- Beer
Wein --- Wine

Numbers Talk

1 --- Eins
2 --- Zwei/zwo
3 --- Drei
4 --- Veir
5 --- Fünf
6 --- sechs
7 --- Seiben
8 --- Acht
9 --- Neun
10 --- Zehn

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