50 Most Common German Words and Phrases For Beginners

Updated:26 Oct, 2022

Did you ever consider studying German? 

It is among Europe's most frequently used languages, with a rich heritage and distinct sound. In reality, it is the world's 13th most prevalent language, with over 105 million native practitioners. Understanding the primary German language will help you experience more ease when traveling to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and other German-speaking nations. Furthermore, it will allow you to openly converse with your German-speaking family, friends, or co-workers, as well as listen to German music and podcasts. 

Therefore, in this post, we'll go over the local German words and most frequently-used German phrases that will undoubtedly be helpful. So, as the Germans say, "Los geht's!" (All right, let's go!)

Basics of German Language:

1. Mir geht’s gut - I'm ok.

2. Hallo, wie geht’s? - Hello, how're you doing?

3. Freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen! - It's a pleasure meeting you!

4. Bitte schön! / Gern geschehen! - You are quite welcome.

5. Vielen Dank - Thank you for everything.

6. Wie heißen Sie? - What is your given name?

7. Willkommen! - Welcome!

8. Ich heiße… - My name is…

9. Es tut mir leid - I apologize.

10. Tschüß! - Goodbye!

11. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! - Congratulations on your birthday!

12. Bis später! - I'll see you soon!

Important Travel German Phrases:

When a visitor makes an attempt to communicate in the native tongue of the place they are visiting, it is always appreciated. It displays your genuine desire to reach and interact with others while overseas, which is essential for a unique local encounter. Another prevalent myth is that every German speaker can communicate in English. In Germany's largest cities, several individuals speak little English. Avoid becoming a visitor who needs to seek out a speaker of English whenever you have a query. If you wish to get a head start on your forthcoming trip to a German-speaking nation, learn the following crucial German phrases in traveling:

13. Flughafen / Bahnhof - Airport/Railway Station

14. Entschuldigung, wo ist…? - Pardon me, but where is...?

15. Krankenhaus / Apotheke - The hospital/pharmacy

16. Zum Stadtzentrum, bitter - Take me to the downtown area, please.

17. Ist es weit weg? - It's a long distance away?

18. Darf ich bitte einen Stadtplan haben? - Can you please provide me with a map of the city?

19. Können Sie mir das auf der Karte zeigen? - Can you kindly locate it on a map for me?

20. Fährt dieser Zug nach…? - Is this train going to...?

21. Wie viel kostet das? - What does it cost?

22. Um wieviel Uhr öffnet/ schließt das Geschäft? - When does the business open/close?

23. Haben Sie etwas Billigeres? - Have you got something less expensive?

24. Kann ich bitte die Speisekarte/ Weinkarte sehen? - Can you please show me the menu and wine catalog?

25. Darf ich mit Kreditkarte/Bargeld bezahlen? - Could I pay with a credit card/cash?

26. Ich hätte gern… - I'd want...

27. Ein Glas Leitungswasser, bitter - Bring me a glass of tap water, please

28. Haben Sie vegetarisches Essen? - Do you offer any vegetarian choices?

29. Prost! - Kudos!

30. Die Rechnung, bitter - The receipt, please

Humorous German Words & Phrases:

31. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof

  • Literal: I just comprehend the railroad stations.
  • Meaning: I'm not sure what you mean.

32. Du bist ein Erbsenzähler

  • Literal: You are a pea collector
  • Meaning: You are really fussy.

33. Hüftgold

  • Literal: Thigh gold
  • Meaning: loves touches

34. Du hast nen Sprung in der Schüssel

  • Literal: You got a break in your plate
  • Meaning: You are insane.

35. Drachenfutter

  • Literal: Dragon food
  • Meaning: A present purchased by a husband to apologize to his wife for committing something disrespectful.

36. Ich glaub mein Schwein pfeift

  • Literal: I believe my pig sings.
  • Meaning: I think I have a dream.

37. Holla die Waldfee

  • Literal: Hurrah at the timber fairy!
  • Meaning: That's surprising, to say the least.

38. Faultier

  • Literal: Lazy creature
  • Meaning: Sloth

39. Weichei

  • Literal: A squishy egg
  • Meaning: A timid

40. Komm schon, spring über deinen Schatten

  • Literal: Jump through your reflection
  • Meaning: Step outside of your safety zone.

41. Feierabend

  • Literal: Evening of celebration
  • Meaning: Once you've finished your work for the day and get the evening left to do anything you desire.

42. Tut mir leid, aber mein Englisch ist unter aller Sau

  • Literal: Apologies; however, my English is entirely pig-headed.
  • Meaning: Apologies, although my English is really terrible.

43. Schadenfreude

  • Literal: Destroy joy
  • Meaning: Someone's pleasure derives from another individual's suffering.

44. Handschuhe

  • Literal: Hands sneakers
  • Meaning: Glove

45. Fernweh

  • Literal: Pain from a distant
  • Meaning: The reverse of homesickness is the desire to travel elsewhere.

Other Important German Phrases:

If a local confuses your faultless German for a native speaker, here are some handy German words to use when that Swiss guy begins running off in fast German!

46. Können Sie das übersetzen? - Could you kindly translate that for me?

47. Können Sie das bitte wiederholen? - Could you kindly say that again?

48. Ich verstehe nicht - I cannot comprehend it.

49. Ich spreche nur ein wenig Deutsch - I just know a little German.

50. Sprechen Sie Englisch? - Do you speak English?

If you're still learning German, you might feel intimidated after going through this article. That is normal, given the length of the list. However, if you understand core German vocabulary and grammar, memorizing such basic German phrases would be much easier.

Wrapping Up:

Try to integrate the most often-used German words into your conversations, whether you're talking with a German discussion companion or practicing with a private coach. Again, it's better to focus on only a handful of German words at a moment unless you feel comfortable with them. Are you prepared to progress in your language studies? Practice is essential for perfecting your talents. So, do not be scared to use some of the German phrases and words from this list when conversing with German residents. Begin with the fundamentals and gradually build your vocabulary by acquiring new words each day. There are a plethora of interesting German words awaiting you!


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