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Speak German Instantly

Updated on March 31, 2016



Germany is a place you must try to visit at least once. It's a spectacular country with breathtaking scenery and some of the most exciting cities in the world. Known worldwide for their precision and efficiency, the Germans have left behind their turbulant 20th century history and become a world power both economically and culturally.


German is a West Germanic language derived from the Indo-European family of languages. Spoken by about 100 million people, it is the official language of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. It's also one of the official languages of Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium. It's spoken in Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland and, surprisingly, the southern African republic of Namibia.

Speaking German

We are not going to learn the entire language in this article. We are going to learn 10 phrases that, based on my many visits to foreign countries, will help us, enormously, during our stay in Germany. We will be using English words to help us with the pronunciation and, where possible, listen to a native speaker. Speak German Instantly Using English Words To Help Pronunciation.

Exercise 1 : Hello

Let's begin with saying hello. I know there are formal greetings we can learn, but we are on vacation so we will use the informal word:


For pronunciation we will use English words to help, although this hardly needs any assistance.

German phrase : Hallo.

What it means : Hello.

English words : shallow

Pronounced : hallo

Good! We can now say hello in German and we will be able to use this greeting in our next phrase.

Exercise 2 : Where Are The Toilets?

At some stage on our holiday we will need to know where the toilets are. For me it's usually when we arrive at our destination at the airport. We already know how to say hello to someone. Now find out where the toilets are.

Wo ist die toilette?

The beauty of German is it's pronounced more or less as it written. Try these English words:


German phrase : Wo ist die toilette?

What it means : Where are the toilets?

English words : go-hissed-tee-boy-better.

Pronounced : voh-ist-dee-toy-letter.

Exercise 3 : Thank You

What a great phrase this is. It will help us in many situations. We've heard the german word for thanks many times in films or on TV, but here it is nonetheless.


German phrase : Danke.

What it means : Thank you.

English words : tanker.

Pronounced : danker.

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Exercise 4 : Excuse Me

This phrase is just one word and, like the previous phrase, can be applied to hundreds of different situations. To attract someones attention in a shop, to get past someone in a crowd or just to get ourselves noticed by the waiter.


German phrase : Entschuldigung.

What it means : Excuse me.

English words : bent-dull-big-hung.

Pronounced : ent-shull-dig-gung.

The video clips I show throughout these lessons are for reference of listening to the phrases we are learning, you need not master everything they have to offer, but it is still good practise to listen to a native speaker.

Exercise 5 : How Much Is It?

This phrase is essential for when we go shopping. We are bound to want to know the price of something sooner or later, especially on markets where you might end up bartering.

Wie viel kostet das?

Literally means: How much is that? Try these English words. wee-seal-boss-let-pass.

German phrase : Wie viel kostet das?

What it means : How much is it?

English words : wee-seal-boss-let-pass.

Pronounced : vee-feel-cost-tet-dass.

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Exercise 6 : I Would Like

This is a super phrase, because it allows us to ask for something even if we don't know the name of what it is we are asking for. We can simply say this phrase and then point to the item or draw a picture.

Ich möchte

Try using these English words: dish-search-the.

German phrase : Ich möchte.

What it means : I would like.

English words : dish-search-the.

Pronounced : ish-mearsh-ter

The Travel Linguists' Execllent Clip

Exercise 7 : Drinks

Obviously we can't learn every single item we might want to buy while we're on our holidays, so we will narrow it down to some drinks we may want in a cafe or a bar. Hence there is quite a few words and phrases to get through.

Eine tasse...Ein glas...Kaffee...Tee...Bier...Milch...Wein...Wasser

You can probably work out what each drink is without seeing a translation.

German phrase : Eine tasse kaffee...Eine tasse tee.

What it means : A cup of coffee...A cup of tea.

English words : minor-pass-cafe...minor-pass-day.

Pronounced : einer-tass-cafe...einer-tass-teh.

German phrase : Ein glas milch...wein...bier...wasser.

What it means : A glass of

English words : mine-class-zilch...line...fear...passer.

Pronounced :

GermanCourse, Daniel Deutschmann

Exercise 8 : Numbers

It is possible that you might want more than one drink or more than one cake. In this case we will learn to count from one to five.


German phrase : Eins...Zwei...Drei...Vier...Fünf.

What it means : One...Two...Three...Four...Five.

English words : heinz-spy-try-beer-nymph.

Pronounced : eins-svy-dry-feer-finf.


Exercise 9 : The Bill / The Check

Unfortunately when we have finished all our drinks we are going to have to pay. So we will need the bill.

Die rechnung, bitte

Try these English words: we-bake-lung-sitter.

German phrase : Die rechnung, bitte.

What it means : The bill, please / The check, please.

English words : we-bake-lung-sitter.

Pronounced : dee-rake-nung-bitter.

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Exercise 10 : Goodbye

We began with hello so why don't we end with goodbye? We have probably heard the german word for goodbye through the media, as is the case with a lot of foreign phrases. Spanish...Adios, French...Au Revoir, Italian...Ciao and German:

Auf Wiedersehen

German phrase : Auf weidersehen.

What it means : Goodbye.

English words : south-wee-the-main.

Pronounced : ouf-vee-der-zane.

There we go. Ten great phrases that will help us communicate while we travel around on our holidays. Should all else fail you can always ask if anyone can speak English.

Sprechen sie Englisch?


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    • MHiggins profile image

      Michael Higgins 3 years ago from Michigan

      Well done, Billy! Great hub! I used to be somewhat fluent with this language at one time. This hub will be very helpful to anyone traveling to Germany. Voted Up!