92 Basic German Phrases To Survive Your First Conversation With A Native Speaker

basic german phrasesHave you always wanted to learn German?

Or are you planning a trip to a German-speaking country?

In order to get started and have your first basic conversations in German, you’re going to need to learn some words!

In this post, you’ll learn about 92 basic German phrases and words that can help you have your first interactions in the language.

To make it easier for you, I’ve divided the phrases up into different categories based on the different situations they're used in:

  1. German Greetings & Introductions
  2. “I Don’t Understand!” – Getting Out Of Sticky Situations
  3. Numbers In German
  4. Visiting A German Restaurant
  5. Transport – Getting Around In Germany
  6. Asking For Directions
  7. Shopping In German
  8. Dealing With Medical Emergencies
  9. Finding Hidden Gems

Whether you are going to Germany or Austria or Switzerland, chances are you’ll find some of the locals can speak a pretty good English. But if you speak some German too, you’ll be able to have much more enjoyable and authentic experiences when you travel.

Having a few common German phrases up your sleeve when you are travelling or starting out in the language allows you to experience local culture and hospitality in a completely different way.

And even at home, learning German will allow you to learn more about German culture and even connect with German-speakers in your local community.

You don’t need to have a natural flair for languages. Learning a few key phrases and a being willing to speak the language is all you need to get started.

You never know, maybe learning these phrases will motivate you to go on and learn to speak German fluently.

To make it as easy as possible for you to practice these phrases in your German conversations, I’ve created audio of the phrases and a special PDF version of this article save on your phone to listen to and read anywhere, anytime and practice your German.

Note: The anglicised pronunciation’s listed for each phrase is approximate. There are certain aspects of German pronunciation (such as the ‘ch’ sound, for example) which are unique sounds not used in English. In order to get a clear understanding of how each of the words and phrases in this post are pronounced, I’ve created a set of free audio files to accompany the post. To download these for free, just click here.

German Greetings & Introductionsgerman greetings

If you want to make a good impression with German speakers, the least you can do is learn a few basic phrases to meet and greet people.

After all, you’re going to be using greetings every time you have a conversation in German!

These phrases are simple, easy to remember and will go a long way to help you make friends and have your first conversations in the language.

⬑ Jump back to the contents

“I Don’t Understand!” – Getting Out Of Sticky SituationsI don't understand

Not understanding things is a very normal part of learning a new language – something every new German learner will experience! This can seem frustrating and embarrassing at first but knowing these key phrases will help you remain in control of the situation and make a huge difference.

⬑ Jump back to the contents

Numbers In Germangerman numbers

Whether you’re at the supermarket, ordering in a restaurant, buying transport tickets or just having a normal conversation, it’s essential to know how to use numbers in German. Let's get to it!

⬑ Jump back to the contents

Visiting A German Restaurantgerman restaurant

One of most enjoyable cultural experiences you can have in German-speaking countries is visiting a restaurant and trying out some of the sumptuous local dishes.

The following phrases cover all the basic questions and statements you’re likely to need when eating out, from asking for a table to paying the bill!

⬑ Jump back to the contents

Transport – Getting Around In Germanygerman transport

There are lots of practicalities to consider when taking a trip to Germany, including finding your way around. Finding the right train or bus on time isn’t always easy and you don’t want to end up being the ‘foreigner’ who is holding up the ticket queue!

In this section, we’ll learn some key transport phrases that will help you quickly and easily navigate your way around any German-speaking city or country.

⬑ Jump back to the contents

Asking For Directionslooking for directions

Public transport in Germany is notoriously excellent, but there are still some places you’ll need to walk or drive to yourself. And for most us, that means occasionally getting lost and asking for directions!

Here are the phrases you need to ask for and receive directions in German:

⬑ Jump back to the contents

Shopping In Germangerman shop

Whether in the supermarket, the shopping centre or the local farmer’s market you’re going to want to buy things at some point or another!

To do this, you need to be able to ask questions [and even haggle a bit!] just like you would in English.

⬑ Jump back to the contents

Dealing With Medical Emergenciesgerman medical emergency

Hopefully, you’ll never need the phrases in this section! Nonetheless, it’s always good to know some basic medical vocabulary so that can handle an emergency if you’re unwell or suffer an accident.

⬑ Jump back to the contents

Finding Hidden Gemsgerman cafe

Finally, let’s learn a few additional German phrases that don’t fall into any particular category. These final phrases will allow you to sound more polite and natural. I’ve also included a couple of questions you can ask the locals, so you can find the hidden gems in their cities and have a more authentic German experience!

⬑ Jump back to the contents

So there you have it: a collection basic German phrases to help you get started on your new adventure!

With these phrases in your back pocket, you will soon find yourself having your first basic conversations and getting excited about continuing to improve your German.

So now that you’ve learned the basics, are you ready to take the next step in your German adventure?

One of my favourite ways to learn is through short-stories and that’s why I’ve written a book of short stories in German especially for beginners!

These short stories are enjoyable and interesting while at the same time providing all of the most important vocabulary and grammar you need to get started improving your German. You can get your copy here.

I’ve also created a special free audio of all of the phrases in this article which you can download and use to practice your German right away! The download also includes a PDF of all the phrases so you can listen and read along at the same time.

If you’re planning a trip to Germany and want to start using some basic German, this audio and PDF are ideal for bringing with you on your tablet or phone!

Click here to download the FREE audio and PDF of the article and receive more great language learning tips for free.


How many of these phrases did you know already? Which new phrases do you think will be most useful for you in your conversations? Let me know in the comments below.

Download FREE Audio Of These Phrases!

Download the FREE Audio and PDF of all of the phrases in this article and take your first steps in German today!

Powered by ConvertKit

Related Articles