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SOS German: Last-Minute German Crash Course

Jennifer is a polyglot and the founder of Learn German with Jenny

Common Expressions Are Useful

Knowing some common and simple words and phrases can prove to be useful when spending some days or weeks in Germany, either for business or for leisure purposes. I have compiled a number of useful words and phrases for you to use during your stay in Germany which can really help you out in a variety of situations. When I use a comma, it means that I am suggesting more than one way of saying the same thing.

Tip: It is also recommendable to add “Entschuldigen Sie” (Excuse me) when asking Germans for directions. It already starts you off well and will probably determine if people are ready to help you or not.

General Phrases

EnglishGerman

Hello (informal)

Hallo, Hi

Hello (formal)

Guten Tag

Excuse me

Entschuldigen Sie

How are you? (formal)

Wie geht es Ihnen?

How are you? (informal)

Wie geht es dir?, Wie geht's?

I am fine.

Mir geht es gut.

Thank you

Danke

Thank you very much

Vielen Dank, Danke schön

You are welcome

Bitte!, gern geschehen!, keine Ursache!, Nichts zu danken!

What time is it?

Wie spät ist es?, Wieviel Uhr ist es?

Yes

Ja

No

Nein

What's your name? (formal)

Wie heißen Sie?

What's your name? (informal)

Wie heißt du?

Good-bye! (formal)

Auf Wiedersehen!

Bye!

Tschüß (ß is pronounced like ss)

At the Airport

Although in most German airports, signs are always bilingual English-German and it is hard to get lost as Germans just have very well organized airports, it can still be useful to communicate when you are stressed, running late or simply want to practice your German with some simple questions you can ask the airport staff.

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Frankfurt International Airport

Frankfurt International Airport

EnglishGerman

Airport

Flughafen

Airline company

Fluggesellschaft

Connecting flights

Anschlussflüge

Is the flight on schedule?

Ist der Flug pünktlich?

When will the flight depart?

Wann startet der Flug?

Is the flight delayed?

Hat der Flug Verspätung?

Public Transport System in Berlin

Public Transport System in Berlin

Taking Public Transport

Using public transport in Germany is not as easy as you might think. There is a great variety of tickets depending on the distance you want to travel, the destination, how many people are traveling and the days you travel. There are special tickets for the weekend, weekly tickets, monthly tickets, tickets valid starting at 9 am and many more. It is a jungle of tickets and on top of this, train stations are big and often have between 10 and 20 tracks that go in multiple directions. It can be hard to find your way around and if you don’t know one word or the other you might feel overwhelmed very quickly.

EnglishGerman

Where can I find a taxi?

Wo kann ich ein Taxi finden?

Where can I find the ticket office?

Wo kann ich den Fahrkartenschalter finden?

Where is Track 16?

Wo ist Gleis 16?

I want to go to Munich.

Ich möchte nach München fahren.

I want to buy a roundtrip ticket to Munich.

Ich möchte ein Hin- und Rückfahrticket nach München kaufen or simply ein Hin- und Rückfahrticket nach München bitte. or even easier: Einmal München hin und zurück, bitte.

Where is the subway station?

Wo ist die U-Bahn Haltestelle?

At the Hotel

EnglishGerman

I have a room reservation. What is the earliest I can check in?

Ich habe eine Hotelreservierung. Wann kann ich frühestens einchecken?

When do I have to check out?

Wann muss ich auschecken?

Is breakfast included in the room cost?

Ist das Zimmer inklusive Frühstück?

Where can I have breakfast?

Wo kann ich frühstücken?

At the Restaurant

EnglishGerman

A Coke please

Eine Cola bitte

Where is the rest room located?

Wo sind die Toiletten?

I would like to have the Schnitzel with fried potatoes

Ich hätte gern das Schnitzel mit Bratkartoffeln

The bill please

Die Rechnung bitte

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