Can You Translate All of These Simple German Phrases?

Kennita Leon

Image: Juergen Bosse/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The German language is spoken by approximately 200 million people around the world, with more learning the language every day. But Germany isn't the only country that uses it, just in case you were wondering whether or not this language would be useful to learn. German is also spoken in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and quite a few more European countries - not to mention others sprinkled here and there around the world. The German language is also the basis of what are known as Germanic languages, which include Dutch, Danish and, of course, English; it is the reason why some words in English and German mean the same thing. And we want to see how much you know - or at least how much you can try to figure out - in this quiz.

So allow us to give you more than a few German phrases and sayings. You'll then have to try to match them to their English counterparts and hope that you're right. If you get more than half of them correct, we'll be impressed. If you want to show off how much German you understand, this is the quiz for you. Grab a beer or your beverage of choice, and let's get started!

What does "Es tut mir leid" mean?

The German phrase "Es tut mir leid" is used when apologizing. It translates to "It causes me sorrow" and is used to express the sorrow or regret felt for some wrongdoing.

Can you tell us what "Vielen Dank" means in English?

"Vielen Dank" is an expression of gratitude. Regularly, "Dank," meaning "thank you," is used. However, to express extreme gratitude, "vielen" is added to the phrase to mean "thank you very much."

Do you know what is meant when one says "kein Problem"?

As in English, the phrase "no problem" is often used in place of "you're welcome." In German, this is said as "kein Problem." It is used in response to "Dank," "Dank schön" and "vielen Dank."

Do you know what the exclamation "Entschuldigung!" means?

"Entschuldigung" can be used both to request pardoning and to request someone's attention. The more polite form of this expression is "Entschuldigung Sie."

When someone says "Ich weiß nicht," what are they saying?

"Ich weiß nicht" directly translates to "I know not." However, in English, it means "I don't know." It is used when someone lacks the knowledge or is not well informed on a topic.

Can you tell us what "Ich spreche Englisch" means?

"Ich spreche Englisch" is a German phrase which means "I speak English." It lets others know that you are familiar with the English language. The expression can be adjusted to indicate knowledge of other languages by simply changing the end. For example, "Ich spreche Franzosisch" means "I speak French."

Which of the expressions below is the translation of "Bitte schön"?

The words "bitte" and "schön" separately mean "please" and "beautiful." When placed together, however, they mean "you're welcome." The phrase can be used in response to "thank you."

Wohin gehen Sie?

"Wohin gehen Sie?" is used to ask someone where they are going. "Gehen" here is the conjugated form of the verb gehen (going) for the second person formal. "Wohin" is the interrogative word for "where."

A greeting of sorts, do you know the definition of "Guten Morgen"?

"Guten Morgen" is a form of greeting. It means "good morning" and can be used until noon. Another way of greeting someone during the day is "Guten Tag."

Which of the options means "Ich verstehe nicht"?

"Ich verstehe nicht" translates into "I understand not." This phrase is used to express a lack of understanding. The German verb for "understand" is "verstehe." It is followed by the adverb "nicht," which means not.

If you tell someone "Ich brauche Hilfe," what are you saying?

This is a very important expression for tourists and foreign visitors to German-speaking countries. The phrase "Ich brauche Hilfe" means "I need help" and can be used to request assistance if you're confused or helpless.

Wie heißen Sie?

"Wie heißen Sie?" is used to ask someone what their name is. It is a formal expression and so uses "Sie," which is the German formal pronoun for you. In a more friendly setting, the phrase "Wie heißt du?" can be used.

Wie geht's?

"Wie geht's?" is a shortened form of the phrase "Wie geht es?" The expression is used to ask someone how they are doing. The response may be "Mir geht's gut" or simply "gut," which means "I am ok."

Bitte wiederholen Sie?

"Bitte wiederholen Sie?" is a formal question, requesting someone to repeat themselves. "Wiederholen" is the verb "to repeat," while "bitte" is the German word for "please."

What does the line "Ich spreche nicht viel Deutsch" explain?

The expression "Ich spreche nicht viel Deutsch" is used to let someone know that you are not very fluent in the German language. It translates into "I don't speak much German."

Können Sie langsamer sprechen?

"Könnnen Sie langsamer sprechen?" is a phrase used to formally ask someone to speak slower. The first verb "können" (could) is conjugated, while the second, "sprechen" (speak) remains in the infinitive form.

What comes to mind when you see the phrase "Bis später"?

"Bis später" is a phrase used in place of "goodbye." It means "see you later" and is often used between individuals who are sure of crossing paths again at a later date. Other greetings used in place of "goodbye" or "see you later" are "bis bald" and "bis dann."

Sprechen Sie Englisch?

"Sprechen Sie Englisch?" is the formal way of asking someone whether they are familiar with the English language. This question comes in handy for tourists and foreigners visiting German-speaking countries.

What do you think "Ich habe mich verlaufen" translates to?

"Ich habe mich verlaufen" directly translates into "I have lost my way." It is used when you are physically lost and unaware of your location. By letting someone know that you are lost, you can receive help in the form of directions.

Wie viel kostet das?

This German phrase is commonly used when shopping. "Wie viel kostet das?" is used to ask how much an item costs. "Wie" here is the interrogative word for "how," and "kostet" is the conjugated form of the verb "kosten," which means to cost.

Wo kommst du her?

When directly translated into English, "Wo kommst du her?" becomes "Where come you here?" The actual meaning is "Where are you from?" It is used to inquire about someone's background and is most often used to ask for someone's country of origin.

Quite a mouthful, but a necessary one, what does "Freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen" mean?

"Freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen" is an expression which means "nice to meet you." It is a polite response, used after being introduced to someone new. "Kennenzulernen" is the verb "to know" (somebody).

Was möchten Sie?

"Was möchten Sie?" translates into "What would you like?" in English. This phrase can be used to inquire about someone's choice at a restaurant, store or in general.

Darf ich mir einen Stadtplan ansehen?

The German expression "Darf ich mir einen Stadtplan ansehen?" is used to request a map. This could be a very useful phrase for tourists when they become lost or don't know where something is located.

Probably the most well-known German saying is "auf Wiedersehen." What does it mean?

"Auf Wiedersehen" is a formal way of saying "goodbye." Directly translated, it means "at the next seeing." It can be used interchangeably with the phrase "tschuss," which means "bye."

Was brauchen Sie?

"Was brauchen Sie?" is used to formally ask someone what they need. The verb for "need" here is "brauchen," while "was" is the interrogative word for "what."

Wo ist die Bank?

Another useful phrase for tourists, "Wo ist die Bank?" means "Where is the bank?" "Wo" is the interrogative word for "where" in German.

What is the English translation of "Ja, bitte"?

"Ja, bitte" is the German expression meaning "yes, please." It is the formal response when responding positively to an offer. Simply saying "ja" comes off as being impolite.

Wo ist die Toilette?

This expression is used to inquire about the location of the nearby bathrooms. "Wo ist die Toilette?" means "Where is the bathroom?" "Toilette" here should not be confused with "Dusche," which is the shower.

Kann ich bitte die Speisekarte sehen?

"Kann ich bitte die Speisekarte sehen?" is an expression most heard in restaurants. It is used to politely request a menu.

Often followed by good news, what does the word "Glückwünsche" mean?

The German expression "Glückwünsche" means "congratulations." It can be used to congratulate someone on an achievement or event, such as a graduation, pregnancy or marriage.

If someone says "Lassen Sie mich in Ruhe!" what warning are they giving you?

This German phrase is used when someone is bothered or irritated and is asking someone else to go away. "Lassen Sie mich in Ruhe" means "Leave me alone" or "Leave me in peace."

Usually shouted or said loudly, what does "Achtung!" mean?

The German word "Achtung" on its own means "attention." It can be used as a call for attention or as a warning to be careful. It can be seen in danger zones.

Was suchen Sie?

"Was suchen Sie?" means "What are you looking for?" It is a simple structured sentence using a pronoun and verb. The verb "suchen" means "to look" and "was" means "what."

What does the term "Ich brauche Auskunft" say?

The phrase "Ich brauche Auskunft" is used to request information or to let someone know that you are in need of information. It directly translates into "I need information" and can be a very useful phrase for tourists.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes