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Basic German Phrases for Travelers

May 30, 2017

Guten Tag! Wie geht es Ihnen?

basic german words

Hallo liebe Leute! 

Deutsch für Reisende

Free german language lessons

I'm sure you guys have noticed I love learning languages and am fluent in German. If you haven't noticed, then you are so behind. I hope that I can share my love of language learning with you guys.

I am focusing on German for two reasons: I am fluent, so it is easy for me to teach, and it is widely used in Europe. German is an official language of several countries and areas, including Germany (dur), Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Lichtenstein. German is also recognized as a minority or common language in communities around the world. Many people in Poland, France, Russia, and other countries where the language is not German, also have some understanding of German as a language. Native speakers of Scandinavian languages & Dutch will also find that there are similarities in their language to German.

If you are nervous about starting German, don't be! It is considered one of the easier languages for native English speakers to learn.

If you're interested in my discounted course for travelers, shoot me an email! The course includes recordings, pronunciation guides, worksheets, printables, and more! 

Important Concepts to Remember: 

German has informal and formal versions of some greetings and pronouns. If you do not know the person, assume it is formal! I have included only the formal phrases and terms so you don't get confused too quickly.

Very Basics:


In German, W sounds like the English V

the German V sounds like the English F

In pronunciation rules, if you come across an "ie" or "ei" combination, use the name of the second letter for the pronunciation.

Greetings & Goodbyes: 

-Guten Tag: Good day, used as a greeting in daylight hours

-Guten Morgen: Good morning

-Guten Abend: Good evening

-Gute Nacht: Good night (only used as a good bye or when going to bed)

-auf Wiedersehen: Goodbye

-Tschüss (tschüß): see ya (informal, use only with people you know) 

Polite Conversation: 

-Ich heiße…: My name is...

-Wie heißen Sie?: What is your name?

-Ich komme aus…: I am from...

-Wie geht es Ihnen?: How are you?

-Mir geht es gut: I am doing well

-Danke: Thank you

-Ja/Nein: Yes/No

-Entschuldigung Sie: Excuse me

-Bitte: Please

-Freut mich: Nice to meet you

-Es tut mir leid: I’m sorry

Getting Around:

German phrases

-Die Stadt: The city/town

-Die Straße: The street

-Die U-Bahn: The train

-Der Bus: The bus

-Das Auto: The car

-Der Zebrastreifen: The crosswalk

-Der Radweg: The bike path

-Das Einkaufszentrum: The shopping center

-Nach links: To the left

-Nach rechts: To the right

-Um die Ecke: Around the corner

-Geradeaus: Straight ahead

-Zurück: Back

-Nord/Süd/Ost/West: North/South/East/West

-Oben/Unten: Upstairs/Downstairs

-Es ist da / Da ist es: It’s there/There it is

-Bringen Sie mich bitte zu dieser Adresse: Please bring me to this address

-Zum Stadtzentrum, bitte: To the city center, please

-Zum Bahnhof, bitte: To the train station, please

-Zum Flughafen, bitte: To the airport, please

-Halten Sie bitte hier an: Please stop here

-Ist es in der Nähe?: Is it nearby?

-In welcher Richtung ist...: In what direction is…?

-Fährt dieser Zug nach…?: Does this train go to….?

-Wohin fährt dieser Bus?: Where does this bus go to?

-Darf ich bitte einen Stadtplan/U-Bahnplan haben?: Can I please have a city/subway map?

-Können Sie mir das auf der Karte zeigen?: Can you please show me on the map?

german words
die Bushaltestelle

-Entschuldigung, wo ist…?: Excuse me, where is…?

-...der Eingang/Ausgang?: ...the entrance/exit?

-...der Supermarkt?: ...the super market?

-...die U-Bahn?: ...the metro/underground train?

-...die Bushaltestelle?: ...the bus stop?

-...die Bank?: ...the bank?

-...das Krankenhaus?: ….the hospital?

-...der Flughafen?: ...the airport?

-...das Stadtzentrum?: ….the city center?

In the Restaurant:

-Tasse: Cup

-Glas: Glass

-Löffel: Spoon

-Messer: Knife

-Gabel: Fork

-Serviette: Napkin

-Teller: Plate

-Das Restaurant: The restaurant

-das Frühstück: Breakfast

-das Mittagessen: Lunch

-das Abendessen: Dinner

-das Essen: Food

-das Hauptgericht: Main course

-die Vorspeise: Appetizer

-der Nachtisch: Dessert


-Kann ich einen Tisch reservieren, bitte?: Can I please reserve a table?

-die Speisekarte: The menu

-das Menü: A set meal

-Zum mitnehmen, bitte.: To take away, please

-die Rechnung: The bill

-Ich möchte zahlen: I would like to pay

-Bedienung, bitte!: Service, please! (this is not rude in Germany)

I would like...Ich möchte...

-Ich möchte etwas trinken: I would like something to drink

-Kaffee: Coffee

-Wasser: Water

-Bier: Beer

-Wein: Wine

-Tee: Tea

basic german

Ich möchte etwas essen: I would like something to eat

-das Rindfleisch: Beef

-der Fisch: Fish

-die Pute: Turkey

-das Hähnchen: Chicken

-das Lamm: Lamb

-das Schweinefleisch: Pork

-die Wurst: Sausage

-die Kartoffel: Potato

-die Karotte: Carrot

-die Bohnen: Beans

-der Pilz: Mushroom

-der Apfel: Apple

-die Orange: Orange

-das Kraut: Cabbage

-die Bratwurst: A grilled sausage typically served in a crispy bun

-der Senf: Mustard-very strong in Germany

-das Schnitzel: Thinly sliced meat covered in breadcrumbs and fried

-das Sauerkraut: Fermented cabbage

-die Bratkartoffeln: Side dish of fried potatoes

german words


-Der Markt/der Supermarkt: The market/the supermarket

-Das Einkaufszentrum: Shopping center

-Das Geschäft: Store

-Kaufen: To buy

-Verkaufen: To sell

-Geld: Money

-Geldautomat: ATM

-Die Bäckerei: Bakery

-Die Konditorei: Pastry shop

-Die Metzgerei: Butcher shop

-Das Modegeschäft: Clothing store

-die Apotheke: Pharmacy

-Haben Sie Andenken?: Do you have souvenirs?

-Verkaufen Sie…?: Do you sell...

-Wie viel kostet das?: How much does this cost?

-Darf ich mit Bargeld bezahlen?: Can I pay with cash?

-Darf ich mit Kreditkarte bezahlen?: Can I pay with card?

-Haben Sie das in einer kleineren/größeren Größe?: Do you have this in a smaller/bigger size?

-Ich sehe mich nur ein wenig um: I’m just looking

Ich suche- I'm looking for...

-Ein Kleid: A dress

-Ein Hemd: A shirt

-Kleidung: Clothes

-Eine Postkarte: A postcard

-Ein Geschenk: A gift

-Schuhe: Shoes

die Farben - Colors

-schwarz: black

-weiß: white

-grau: gray

-rot: red

-gelb: yellow

-blau: blue

-rosa: pink

-grün: green

-violett: purple

-orange: orange

Want the downloads? Here you go! 

Basics Sheet

Getting Around Sheet 1

In the Restaurant Sheet 1

Shopping Sheet 1

Interested in the rest of the sheets? Shoot me an email and let me know! I can give you access to my course that includes more phrase sheets, pronunciation guides and recordings, presentations, and more! 

German Phrases
Siggi Einarson

My name is Siggi-dubbed by my American friends because of the Icelandic yogurt-I am a writer, polyglot, and aspiring expat, not a cup of yogurt (unfortunately).

My love for travelling began with a trip to Iceland and Sweden to visit my family when I was just 15 years old. I spent so long dreaming of the possibilities of life abroad but I always figured these dreams were too far reached. Flash forward almost 10 years, here I am again, both cursing and thanking this damn travel bug.

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