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10 German phrases you need to know

There are hundreds of thousands of google translation requests daily, and thousands about the German language. In this blog we will look at the 10 top German phrases you need to know when learning the language. 

1. Hello, how are you? Hallo, wie geht es dir?

The most obvious and basic phrase we learn in all languages. We cannot provide you with this phrase without adding in the answer - I am doing good (Mir geht es gut) or I’m not great (Mir geht es nicht gut) This phrase will get you through introductions and greetings in and outside class. 

2. Please and Thank you Bitte und Danke

Before we get into some phrases, it is important to show you have manners when speaking German. If you are beginning to learn German, or improving your German, it is always appreciated when you can act polite.

3. Where is the bathroom? Wo ist das Badezimmer? (in a private house) Wo finde ich die Toilette? (public place)

This essential phrase is needed all around the world, if you are speaking German in Ireland, or speaking German in Germany. 

4. Can I have two kilos of carrots, please? Kann ich bitte zwei Kilo Karotten bekommen?

This phrase can be swapped around with different food items, potatoes (Kartoffeln), mince meat (Hackfleisch) etc. You can also change kilos to lbs or ask for two items on their own - Can I have two bananas please? (Könnte ich bitte zwei Bananen haben?). Main thing is to understand the ‘Can I have’ and ‘please’ section of this phrase, essential when in the supermarket.

5. Happy Birthday! Herzlichen Glückwunsch 

Birthdays are a joyous occasion and it is always lovely to hear those words from family and friends. If you’re feeling courageous why not sing Happy Birthday in German

6. Would you like a coffee? Möchtest Du einen Kaffee trinken?

The ‘would you like’ question we encourage students to learn early on as you can ask fellow students for a coffee before class, our business German students can ask their customers what they would like help with etc. It is also important to understand the question being asked to you and how you will answer. Yes, I would like a coffee, please (Ja, ich hätte gerne einen Kaffee), or no thank you (Nein, danke). 

7. Can I have the bill please? Kann ich bitte die Rechnung bekommen?

When travelling to a foreign country, this is one of the most common questions people learn. Google what is ‘Can I have the bill please in German’, this question had over 600,000 requests on Google translate in 2019. If we can’t fully ask for our dinner in German, we can point to the menu, but it is always nice to try to speak the language in the country of origin, even if it is at the end of the meal. 

8. Merry Christmas Frohe Weihnachten

Another happy occasion where we celebrate with friends and family. A phrase said from early December onwards, and one we say daily as Christmas approaches in GermanMind. We cannot provide you with this phrase without adding Happy New Year (Frohes neues Jahr) to your German language set. Both phrases accompanied with perhaps ‘Could I have a beer, please’ (Könnte ich bitte ein Bier haben) will be sure to make the holidays even better. 

9. I love you Ich liebe dich

Some of our students join our German language classes to help them communicate with a loved one who speaks German. Although German is not known as the language of love, it is when a non German speaker tried their best to show their affection through the language. Maybe add in ‘You look beautiful’ (Du siehst wunderschön aus) too!

10. I don’t understand Ich verstehe das nicht. / Ich weiß nicht, was Sie meinen.

This is a popular phrase in our beginners course when students are starting off on their journey learning German. This is useful for conversations with native German speakers and in oral exams. Never be afraid to say you don’t understand, this is how you learn and develop your German language skill. No question is ever too simple to answer and no pronunciation can ever be repeated too many times. 

Next time you find yourself on Google translate looking up yet another German phrase, google GermanMind and see the array of courses we offer students. We have classes to suit all skill levels, with a timetable based around student needs. Check out our latest schedule and start your journey with GermanMind.

Bis zum nächsten Mal!

Read more blogs!

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10 German phrases you need to know

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