Deutsch or German is the official language of Germany and Austria, and also one of the official languages of neighboring Switzerland. In 2020, about 1.54 million people, comprising students and adults were learning German. While the number of learners dropped in Europe, there is a remarkable increase in different parts of Africa such as Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, and Egypt. Subsequently, there is growth in German language learning in Asia, especially in China.
One of the things that students start to learn are German phrases so that they can start conversations with online friends.
Common German phrases you can learn
It is inevitable that you’ll encounter some difficulty when you’re learning a new language because it is not familiar to you. While German is a relative of English, and there are many German loanwords in English, learning the language formally is a different matter.
But you will be surprised to know that you may already know some German words, such as beer garden, dachshund, bratwurst, delicatessen, pretzel, and wanderlust.
One way to learn German is to do it smartly, meaning start with the common German expressions and phrases and build your vocabulary from there.
To start off, you can begin by learning these:
- Guten Morgen. Good morning.
- Guten Tag. Good afternoon.
- Mein Name ist … My name is …
- Es freut mich, dich kennenzulernen. I’m pleased to meet you.
- Wie geht’s? How are you?
- Sprechen Sie Englisch? Do you speak English?
- Es tut mir leid. I’m sorry.
- Tschüss. See you.
- Entschuldigen Sie mich. Excuse me.
- Thank you.
Can I learn German fast at home?
To answer the question, yes it is possible to learn German at home. As long as you are determined, get the right learning tools, and devote time to it regularly, you’ll be able to learn German. The speed in which you learn the language depends on your pace, but if German is a language that you want to learn for a specific reason, you’ll achieve it.
Gather the tools you need
You’ll need several resources to start your German language learning journey. You will need:
- A device to connect to the Internet
- German grammar books
- Connection to online radio, audio courses (free or paid)
- CD programs
- German books (beginners’ books, children’s books)
Two things to keep in while learning German: the grammar is the most difficult, and the sentence structure is different.
To learn German the right way:
- Start with the German alphabet. Listen to how each letter is pronounced singly and when combined with other letters. Pay closer attention to letters with two little dots above, called the ”umlaut.” They change the way the letter and eventually, the words, is pronounced.
- After mastering the alphabet, begin learning the foundation words to improve your vocabulary. It includes basic greetings, and short words that you use daily, such as thank you, sorry, yes, and no. Continue to build your vocabulary and learn how to use these words. Mix the words you learn, such as verbs, adjectives, and nouns. Set a goal on how many words to learn each day. Memorize phrases that are useful for daily use.
- Start learning how to create sentences. Begin with short and simple sentences to know the word order and how the sentence is structured.
- Watch dubbed or subbed German films. Listen to German podcasts and German music, and read German newspapers.
- Connect with fellow German language learners or find friends who are native speakers.
- Lastly, immerse yourself in the language. Think and live German. Label things around the house in German to improve language retention. Listen to German recordings even if it is not your study time. Even if they sound like background noise, your brain will retain those words, and help you recall and use them later.
What is the longest German word and what does it mean?
German is known for having many long words. However, many Germans lament the loss of one of their longest words, Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz. It contains 63 letters and means “the law for the delegation of monitoring beef labeling.” But now it is lost because the European Union removed the word from the law books.
The longest is probably Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, which has 80 letters, according to the modern spelling. This word means “association of subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services.”
What are the most essential German phrases for travel?
When you’re traveling, you want to mingle with the locals so that you can learn more about their culture. Thus, it is essential to learn at least some basic travel phrases. You can combine some phrases and pointing at things to be understood.
For example, if you want to order something to eat, you can say Ich hätte gern and point to the menu item. If you find someone trying hard to explain something to you in a hurry, tell the person Keine Eile! that means no rush, or you can say, Kein Problem, which means no problem.
If you want to say ”have a nice day” or ”goodbye” it is more common to say Tschüss! if you want to say ”bye” and Schönen Tag noch if you want to wish some to have a nice day. You can reply by using Ebenso or Gleichfalls that means likewise.
When you do not have any intention of buying and simply want to browse the shop, tell the staff that you are just looking, or Nur schauen.
It is more common for shops in Germany to accept cash payments. Thus, if you want to know if they take credit cards, ask Nehmen Sie Kreditkarte? But if you hear Nur Bar as the reply, you are out of luck as it means ‘cash only.
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