No matter where you travel in the world, making the effort to learn some of the local lingo certainly goes a long way. In a world where English-speaking tourists all too commonly assume that everyone else on the planet can and should speak their language, travellers who make the effort to learn basic phrases and use them in their interactions with locals quickly find that their efforts are not only highly appreciated, but that it also often results in a smoother journey overall.
In Berlin, the vast majority of people speak English quite well. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t be polite and attempt to speak ein bisschen Deutsch (a little German)! Outside of the capital, English speakers are less common, particularly amongst the older proportion of the population. Whatever region you intend to travel to in Germany, show some courtesy and politeness by using some common German phrases.
Here are some of the most useful German phrases for tourists:
Guten Tag (formal): Good day (formal)
Hallo: Hello (informal)
Bitteschön: You’re welcome
Dankeschön: Thank you
Auf Wiedersehen: Goodbye (formal)
Tschüss: Bye (informal)
Entschuldigung: Excuse me / sorry
Kein problem: No problem
Guten Morgen: Good morning
Guten Abend: Good evening
Wie geht’s: How are you? (informal)
Wie heißen Sie? What is your name?
Ich heiße…: My name is….
Ich komme aus…: I come from…
Sprechen Sie Englisch? Do you speak English?
Wie viel Kostet das? How much does that cost?
Wo ist die Toilette? Where is the toilet?
Ich verstehe nicht: I don’t understand.
Ich hatte gern…: I would like to have…
Ich möchte bezahlen: I would like the check, please.
Können Sie mir helfen? Can you help me?
Deutschland ist wunderschön: Germany is a wonderful country.
Mein Deutsch ist schlect: My German is bad.