Can You Translate These Basic German Phrases?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The German language is one of the closest to English, and yet is notoriously hard to learn and pronounce, even for English speakers. Test your rudimentary German knowledge with this fantastich HowStuffWorks quiz!


"Danke" translates to "Thank you." Keep this phrase on hand to be polite.


"Ja" translates to "Yes." Knowing how to say yes and no are key in any language.


Keep it friendly with this German greeting. This is one of the words where you can really tell how closely related English and German are.

Guten Morgen!

This friendly German greeting is morning appropriate. "Guten Abend," on the other hand, means good evening.


Almost every English speaker knows at least one or two German words. This is a common one of those.

Wo ist die Toilette?

This all important phrase is a good one to know in any language. Make sure you know it before venturing into a German-speaking country.

Ich habe Hunger.

If you love to eat you'll love this phrase. If you're thirsty instead, say "Ich habe Durst."

Ich heiße...

Introduce yourself in German with this phrase. To complete it, you might say, for example, "Ich heiße Beth."


"Bitte" translates to "please." It is important to be polite, regardless of where you are in the world.


German beer is second to none. Keep this phrase in mind if you have the chance to sample some of the country's world-famous offerings.


This German word can come in handy. Used in a sentence "Ich möchte so gerne" translates to "I would love to."

Ich liebe dich.

This romantic phrase is a great way to make any German speaker's heart glow. If you want something a little softer "Ich mag dich" is "I like you."

Es tut mir leid.

Everyone makes mistakes occasionally, especially while traveling or learning a new language. Smooth things over with this phrase.

Auf Wiedersehen

This German goodbye is longer than the casual "Tschüß." It is one of the more commonly known German words by English-speakers.

Wie heißen Sie?

Be ready to make friends with German speakers around the world when you have this phrase on hand. Get to know the names of those you meet.

Wie geht's?

Small talk is key, wherever you are in the world. Get the conversation started with this phrase.

Sprechen Sie Englisch?

Even with a handful of helpful phrases on hand, finding English speakers abroad can be helpful. Remember this one.

Ich komme aus...

This is how you tell someone where you are from. If you are from America, you might say to finish the phrase: "Ich komme aus den USA."

Bis später!

This common German goodbye is a great phrase to have on hand. It's a sure-fire way to seem friendly.

Ich bin krank.

If you don't feel well, this is how to let someone know. Whether you need to go to the hospital or simply lay down for a minute, this can get the conversation about your health started.

Darf ich mit Bargeld bezahlen?

When shopping or dining, knowing whether or not you can pay in cash is incredibly important. This phrase gets the job done.

Ich hätte gern…

When ordering in a restaurant this is how you get what you want. If you can't pronounce what you would like, try combining this phrase with some pointing at the menu to get the job done.

Wo ist der...?

You can't always rely on Google maps and may have to ask someone where something is. You can use this phrase to get the job done.

Wieviel kostet das?

If you love to shop or haggle, you will need this phrase during your travels. Always know just how much you spend.

Wo ist die Bushaltestelle?

Europe is well known for its efficient and far-reaching public transportation. If you ever have trouble finding a bus stop, you know just what to say.


If you need help while traveling in German country, whip out this phrase. It will get you the help you need in an emergency.

Wo ist das Krankenhaus?

If you've been hurt, or someone you are traveling with has been hurt, this is an important phrase to have on hand. "Wo ist die Apotheke?" is "Where is the pharmacy?"

Um die Ecke

When asking for directions or where something is, knowing this phrase can be helpful. "Nach links" is "to the left" and "nach rechts" is to the right.

Es freut mich.

First impressions are key. This a great phrase for keeping things friendly with German-speakers.

Ich bin müde.

At the end of a long day, whether it's of traveling or not, everyone can relate to this phrase. It is pronounced "ikh bin moo-duh.'

Das verstehe ich nicht.

When traveling or learning a new language, it is inevitable that you will come across this phrase. "Das verstehe ich nicht" translates to "I don't understand."


"Bitteschön" translates to "You're welcome." If a German speaker thanks you, this is what you say.

Kann ich helfen?

While traveling you may need help from time to time and may see others who could use a hand. Offering help can be a great way to make friends abroad.

Ich habe dich lieb.

This German expression of adoration doesn't have a perfect English translation. It sits somewhere between "I like you" and "I love you" and is commonly used between family members.


This short and sweet goodbye looks a lot harder to pronounce than it is. The Eszett character on the end of the word is pronounced like a sharp "s."

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