German Vocabulary 101

Imagine landing in German or any other German-speaking country like Switzerland, Austria etc, and you have learnt the simply greetings but don’t know yet how to respond and to ask. Here I will highlight the first vocabulary you carry along with you.

How to say ‘Thank you’ or ‘Thanks’ in German

The full name would be danke schön or danke sehr but the short form that is normally used is danke. The e at the end almost sounds like ‘a’. Schön means nice, beautiful or pretty.

The ö remember in the sounds blog is done by starting with an short ‘e’ followed by rounding of the mouth as if you going to put your mouth on a straw. One would say Vielen dank to mean many thanks.

How are you in German

In formal situations, one would ask Wie geht es Ihnen? How about you? Or the direct translation ‘and you’ would be Und ihnen?

In informell setups, one would substitute ihnen with dir. The short form of how are you would be wie gehts?

How to respond to German greetings

Super would be mean super or great although the s sound would sound like a z.

Sehr gut – very well or very good

Nicht so gut– not so good

Es geht mir gut– I’m doing well

From the above you can tell night means not, und means and gut means good or well. Others include

Auch – also

Oder– or

die Frau – die Frauen

Women -Women

der Mann- die Männer

Man- Men

Das Beispiel – die beispiele

Example- Examples

If you have noticed the article die is used in plural and feminine nouns, der on male nouns and das in neutral nouns. The only hack to this different ‘the and a’ articles is learning together with the word.

Es ist 9:00 Uhr – It’s 9 0′ Clock

O clock is Uhr in the above das beispiel.

Die Tasche – bag

Ja– yes

Nein– No

Okay– okay

Polite German words

Enschuldigug – Excuse Me

Bitte– Please. This can also mean pardon or you’re welcome.

Danke– Thanks ( as explained above)

Vielen Dank für ihre Hilfe – When someone has help you. Now this sounds to me like ‘thank you very much for your help’

die Hilfe – help