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The 5 Longest Words in German and Their Meanings

Longest Words in German

The German language is currently the 15th most spoken language in the world. The number of first language speakers according to the 21st edition of Ethnologue is 76 million. Speakers of German are found in 28 countries, located in 6 continents. German has official language status in Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria. You’ll also find German speakers in Kazakhstan, Russia, Brazil, Namibia, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, South Africa and Australia.

Being part of the Indo European language family, the English language and the German language share around 60% of their lexicon. Like most languages, the German language has its own set of quirks and unique features, which at times add to the confusion of German language learners.

Quirky German Language

1. Quirky German language

  • German is a language that is known for being logical. However, the language also has many characteristics that make it confusing as well as inspiring. Here are some of these interesting characteristics.
  • Among the languages in Europe, German is the most spoken. It still ranks first among the most common European languages, besting English, Spanish, French and Italian. German is spoken as a first language by 16% of the population in Europe.
  • In the past, German and English have three genders, but with the changes in English grammar, it uses masculine and feminine and use a gender-neutral nouns and pronouns for persons of undetermined gender. German on the other hand retained the old rule, so it has masculine, feminine and neuter genders.
  • Telling time in German is a bit tricky for language learners. When a German tells you that it’s halb drei or half-three, this does not mean that it is half past the hour of two. Rather, this means that it is 30 minutes to three.
  • Germans are also known for their propensity in creating compound words – words that contain several consonants. Here are a few examples:
    1. der Kühlschrank. The literal meaning of this is cool cupboard, but technically, this refers to a refrigerator.
    2. das Weichei. This is not a very complimentary word. Literally, it’s translated as soft egg, but wimp is its real meaning.
    3. der Tagedieb. You might have guessed correctly. This translates to day thief, but it does not really mean that someone is stealing the day. What it actually means is someone who dawdles, someone who is a layabout or somebody who wastes the day doing nothing.
    4. der Handschuh.This is somewhat understandable, isn’t it. If you guessed that it meant the hand shoe, you got it right! But your hands do not wear shoes. Instead you wear gloves, which is the correct translation of the term.
    5. das Fingerspitzengefühl. This is definitely not the last in the list of German compound word, but this one is quite meaningful. Its literal meaning isthe fingertip feeling. The accurate translation of this phrase is intuitive instinct or flair. It also means tactfulness.
  • Depending on which study results you are looking at, German can be the third or the seventh most studied language in the world. It is safe to say that it belongs to the world’s top 10 most taught languages.
  • The Koreans may have invented the movable printing type but Germany introduced mechanical printing to the world. It printed the first book in movable metal type – the Gutenberg Bible. Contrary to what some people believe, the Gutenberg Bible is not German but rather written in Latin.
  • The German alphabet has 26 letters just like the English language, but it has three umlauted (letters with two dots on top) letters, ä, ö, ü as well as a ligature, ß that is called ein scharfes (sharp S or double S). It is a peculiar letter. If you use double S for ‘Masse‘ when you do not have a German keyboard, it translates to mass. But if you write Maße, it refers to dimensions.

Despite the confusion that is natural to the German language, do not let this deter you from learning German.

Because Germans love using compound words, it is easy for them to construct very long words by combining these compound texts, resulting in words that could be about 30 to over 60 letters in length. At the same time, expect to see lengthy meanings for these words.

Longest Word

2. Longest words in German

Creating compound words is not exclusive to the German language. There are several more languages where you’ll encounter compound words, although German is legendary for having very long words. Even Mark Twain said that due to their length, some of the German words have their own perspective.

1- Siebenhundertsiebenundsiebzigtausendsiebenhundertsiebenundsiebzig

This word contains 65 letters and looks like you’ll run out of breath before you finish saying it. If you look carefully, you might have a clue as to what it actually is. That’s right; it’s about numbers and number 7 to be precise. Because all numbers can be expressed in long words in German, this one is the compound word for seven hundred seventy-seven thousand, seven hundred seventy-seven or 777,777.

2- Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz

This 63-letter term refers to the law for the delegation of monitoring beef labeling. It is officially the longest word that appears in government documents. The law which was passed in 1999 was meant to protect beef consumers from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease. However, the law has been dropped as the EU declared that testing is not needed anymore. Hence the word will now be a part of history.

3- Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften

There are only 39 letters in Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften, which translates to insurance companies providing legal protection. It’s included here because it holds a Guinness Book of World Records recognition as German’s longest word that is commonly used.

4- Kaftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung

At 36 letters, it is one of the shortest compound words in German. Kaftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung equates to motor vehicle liability insurance. It is the longest word that is included in the Duden German dictionary.

5- Sozialversicherungsfachangestelltenauszubildender

This 49-letter word is a modern term. It refers to a trainee assistant social insurance broker.
Some of these are not even the longest words Germans ever came up with, but they are quite distinct. Several more are truly unique and tongue twisting.

For example, Betäubungsmittelverschreibungsverordnung (regulation for requiring a prescription for an anesthetic), Massenkommunikationsdienstleistungsunternehmen (companies providing mass communications services) and Nahrungsmittelunverträglichkeit (food intolerance).

Keep Learning

3. Keep Learning German!

Don’t stop learning a new language. German is similar to English so in time you’ll be able to pick up the pace as you learn to recognize the German words and their English equivalent. Find the most suitable online lessons on the German language to support your formal language learning. If you need language translation services, find the best translation company that will meet your requirements.

Author’s bio:
Sean Patrick Hopwood is a polyglot whose interests include technology, the Internet, education, and positive thinking. He is the President and CEO of Day Translations, Inc., a company serving international clients with a wide range of language services including translating, interpreting and website and app localization.

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How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in German

How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in German!

Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

Table of Contents

  1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
  2. German Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
  3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
  4. How Can GermanPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?
  5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in German - Testing New Technology

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1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in German? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million German words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

  1. funny - lustig
  2. joke - scherzen
  3. sneaky - hinterlistig
  4. prankster - Witzbold
  5. prank - Streich
  6. humor - Humor
  7. fool - Depp
  8. deceptive - trügerisch
  9. surprise - überraschen
  10. lie - lügen
  11. play a joke - einen Streich spielen

2. German Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

German Phrases for April Fools' Day

Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in German to prank your favorite German friend or colleague!

  1. I learned German in 1 month.
    • Ich habe in einem Monat Deutsch gelernt.
  2. All classes for today got canceled.
    • Der gesamte Unterricht fällt heute aus.
  3. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
    • Es tut mir leid, aber ich habe gerade deine Lieblingsbrille zerbrochen.
  4. Someone has just hit your car.
    • Jemand hat gerade dein Auto angefahren.
  5. I’m getting married.
    • Ich heirate.
  6. You won a free ticket.
    • Du hast eine Freikarte gewonnen.
  7. I saw your car being towed.
    • Ich habe gesehen, wie dein Auto abgeschleppt wurde.
  8. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
    • Sie verteilen kostenlose Geschenkgutscheine vor dem Gebäude.
  9. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
    • Ein gutaussehender Kerl wartet draußen auf dich.
  10. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
    • Eine schöne Dame bat mich, dir diese Telefonnummer zu geben.
  11. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
    • Kannst du runter kommen? Ich habe etwas Besonderes für dich.
  12. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
    • Vielen Dank für deinen Liebesbrief heute Morgen. Ich hätte deine Gefühle niemals erraten können.

Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

Choose Bad or Good

Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in German, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

Cockroach prank

1- Infestation

This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

3- Something Weird in the Restroom

At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

Funny Face

4- Call Me Funny

Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - 123-456-7890 - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

5- Minty Cookies

This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

6- Wild Shopping

At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

8- Sneeze On Me

Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

9- Word Play Repairs

Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

10- Scary Face

Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

11- Wake Up To Madness

Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

Computer Prank

12- Computer Prank

This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

13- Monster Under the Cup

This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

Door Prank

14- Prank Door

Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

4. How Can GermanPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

If you happen to visit Germany, or if you work for any German company, knowing the above German prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core German words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

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Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in German - bone up your German language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, GermanPod101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

Now, as a bonus, test our super-learning technology, and learn the Top 1000 most useful phrases in German below! But that’s not all. Read on to learn how you can be eligible for large enrollment discounts at GermanPod101.

5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in German - testing new technology

Help us by being a language guinea pig! Listen to this video above with embedded cutting-edge, frequency-based learning technology that enables you to learn large amounts of data in record time.

  • Note: This technology is in beta-phase of development, and we invite your input for fine-tuning.
  • To participate: Watch the video for instructions, and leave a comment to rate it. Your comment will make you eligible for large enrollment-fee discounts. To watch the video, please click the play button.

Thank you for helping GermanPod101! We’re serious about making learning German fun.

7 Outstanding Resources for Learning German

learning german

German is a beautiful, important and challenging language, but fluency is definitely within your reach if you go about learning it in an efficient and intelligent way.

Many people think they don’t have the time, money or dedication to learn a second language—especially a grammatically challenging language like German—but there are so many ways to avoid breaking the bank and reach fluency faster than ever before!

e-learning

Just by learning German through the intelligent use of these hand-picked online resources instead of paying for courses at a college or language school, you’ll save yourself literally thousands of dollars and also create the system that works best for you.

Ultimately, one of the biggest drawbacks to language study programs at schools is that they have to be a “one size fits all” method to help the most students.

This is a great way for many people to learn languages, but with these online resources you’ll sidestep the things that don’t help you learn and be speaking German sooner than you thought possible!

Below I’ve listed some great resources to help you get started on your self-taught language journey. They’re not arranged in any particular order, so make sure to check them all out and find which ones work best for you!

Speaking German

1. HelloTalk

HelloTalk is a fantastic language partner application that puts the world in the palm of your hand—literally!

Within minutes, you could be talking to native German speakers that will correct your German, help you learn in context and maybe even become your friends!

Establishing real, connected memories is half the battle in language learning, so why not start by making a new German friend?

The only payment necessary is that you share knowledge of your native language with the people you encounter in return. Not bad, right?

GermanPod101

2. GermanPod101

If you’ve been learning German for a while, you probably have previously stumbled upon some of GermanPod101’s widely-known daily podcasts or YouTube videos.

While doing dishes, slicing potatoes or driving to work, plug in your headphones and pick up an audio or video lesson from the whopping 1,400+ available at GermanPod101.

GermanPod101 shares only the finest German learning content on the internet. There you can find a variety of culturally relevant, fun and informational lessons.

Why settle for boring whiteboard, caveman-level lessons when you have free access to this up-to-date, fun and easy-to-understand German learning resource?

finding resources

3. Deutsch-Lernen

I don’t know if I’m the only one who has spent hours going from website to website trying to find just one or two helpful German sites.

If you’ve done the same thing, you know how good it feels to find a site where you actually have good learning materials. Deutsch-Lernen is definitely one of those “Aha!” moments because it has material that is actually helpful for learning, testing and exploring German.

You get access to free beginner and advanced courses as well as to tests that will assess your German level. No more wondering if you’re beginner, intermediate or advanced!

Each lesson has useful exercises for learners of all level that will help push your German studies to the next level.

4. FluentU

FluentU is probably the closest thing you can get to moving to Germany without ever leaving your couch.

Why?

On FluentU, you’ll find a collection of well-chosen, authentic content that will give you everything you need to advance to the next level.

There is a giant collection of videos, audio and other learning material in tons of different languages, so it’s the perfect place to go and jumpstart your German learning journey!

Not convinced? Then take advantage of their 15-day free trial and see for yourself. You’re going to love it.

talk

5. Babbel

If you’re looking for a one stop shop for everything you need to reach fluency from zero, Babbel would be a good place to start your search.

With the use of interactive conversations with the conversation bot, you can easily practice any new material at your own pace.

Essentially, Babbel does all the difficult leg work for you so you can take advantage of your lunch break to learn German without having to look at textbooks, boring grammar exercises or verb charts.

You can start learning German as it’s actually spoken and skip the difficult class work that you would inevitably run into in any university course.

6. italki

Whenever people tell me that they cannot learn a language because they don’t know anybody who speaks it, I always tell them about italki.

This is a website where you can hire language tutors that will connect with you over the internet to teach you their mother tongue.

Not only can you find a teacher that you like, but you can find one that doesn’t empty your wallet either.

There are hundreds of options for German teachers on the site, most of whom offer a discounted trial lesson so you can “shop around” before settling on a teacher.

If you’re trying to avoid paying to connect with a formal teacher, you can always just find a language partner and use italki’s messaging system to practice with each other and connect over Skype to practice your speaking ability.

With italki, you never have to worry about finding someone to talk to in German.

DW

7. Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle, a public broadcasting network in Germany, has actually developed a German course that is available completely free on their website.

This website is perfect for people of all levels who are looking for a different perspective on learning German.

By selecting your level at the link above, you can get material that is tailored for your level that will help you target the areas in German that you’ll most likely struggle with at each level.

What better way to start learning German than with an authentic German news station?

Whenever people tell me that they’re going to start studying German, I get excited about the prospect of having another German speaker in the world.

The German language is rich both culturally and linguistically and offers a genuinely interesting challenge for those who study it.

Hopefully, after seeing the plethora of available online sources, you’re convinced that learning German without enrolling in courses at a language school is definitely possible.

Using just the seven resources above you could reach fluency, but part of the fun of learning a language is experiencing the culture that comes with it.

So get out there, study German and find more websites. Give yourself the opportunity to grow linguistically and culturally that you would never get in a classroom.

Viel glück!

Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer, polyglot and co-founder of WriteWorldwide.

How to Say Happy New Year in German & New Year Wishes

Learn all the German New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join GermanPod101 for a special German New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in German

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in German? Let a native teach you! At GermanPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these German New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Germany
  2. Must-Know German Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in German
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How GermanPod101 Can Help You Learn German

But let’s start with some vocabulary for German New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Germany

Silvester is the German word for the last day of the year, in other words, December 31. The name “Silvester” dates back to Pope Silvester I, who died in Rome on the last day of the year – the 355th day.

What purpose did fireworks in Germany serve originally?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!

On December 31, shops are open till 2 pm. Those with jobs need to work, while others finish their shopping before noon for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, known as Neujahr, for the following celebrations. Some pass the time with parlor games and in the evening, they eat raclette or fondue together.

In the last days of the year, people wish each other a “good start for the New Year” which is known as Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr, and literally translates to “a good Head-Start into the new year.” At big public places such as the Brandenburg Gate or Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, many people celebrate the change of the year together. Church bells ring on New Year at midnight, and many people watch New Years Eve fireworks, which are called Neujahrsfeuerwerk. Others set off fireworks themselves, including rockets or firecrackers, or welcome the New Year with sparklers.

At midnight, most people clink glasses filled with champagne and wish each other a “Happy New Year” or Frohes neues Jahr in German. Some dress up and go to a New Year’s party and celebrate in high spirits until the early morning. Others celebrate quietly at home or watch the British comedy sketch Dinner for One on television, which has traditionally been broadcast since 1963.

On Silvester afternoon, people entertain themselves with the old fortune-telling custom of lead-pouring; to get one’s horoscope for the new year, lead is melted with a candle and poured into cold water. The lead hardens into a shape that is interpreted to have a certain meaning.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What purpose did fireworks in Germany serve originally?

The old Germans, who lived in the fourth and sixth century BC, expelled evil spirits with fire and noise. This tradition is a forerunner to today’s Silvester fireworks displays.

Happy New Year!
Frohes Neues Jahr!

2. Must-Know German Words & Phrases for the New Year!

German Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

Jahr

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Germany could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

Mitternacht

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

Neujahr

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

Party

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

Tanzen

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

Champagner

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

Feuerwerk

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

Countdown

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

Silvester-Urlaub

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

Konfetti

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

Silvester

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

Trinkspruch

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

Vorsatz

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

Parade

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At GermanPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what German New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the German word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at GermanPod101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your German friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Mehr lesen.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more German in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your German language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Mehr Zeit mit der Familie verbringen.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Abnehmen.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Geld sparen.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to GermanPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Mit dem Rauchen aufhören.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Etwas Neues lernen.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Weniger trinken.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Regelmäßig Sport treiben.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Mich gesund ernähren.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study German with GermanPod101

Deutsch lernen mit GermanPod101.com

Of course! You can only benefit from learning German, especially with us! Learning how to speak German can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. GermanPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special German new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in German, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read German incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with GermanPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in German could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in German - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with German - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with GermanPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn German! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that GermanPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning German at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with German that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning German with GermanPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

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How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in German

How to Say Merry Christmas in German

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in German? GermanPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of German Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native German speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, GermanPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in German!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Germany
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How GermanPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Germany

Christmas Words in German

Let’s talk about how Christmas Eve, or in German Heiligabend, is celebrated in Germany. This day commemorates the birth of Christ, known as Geburt Jesu Christi, and is always celebrated on December 24. This festival is one of the most important events in the Christian church.

Before we get into more detail, I’ve got a question for you-

What is it that most German children have to do before they get their Christmas gifts?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!

On Christmas Eve in Germany, shops remain open until around 2pm, and some people use this time for their last-minute Christmas shopping. Since this is not a holiday, employed people need to go to work if they have not taken paid vacation. The time until the distribution of presents serves as preparation time. Who do you think brings the presents? In Germany, it is either Christ Child, in German called Christkind, or Santa Claus, called Weihnachtsmann. Who it is varies from region to region.

December 24 is usually celebrated within the family circle. The proceedings start when the Christmas tree, or in German Weihnachtsbaum, is decorated, the candles are lit, and the gifts are unwrapped. Children wait with longing for this moment and look forward to the gift-giving. At Christmas Eve, some families prefer to have simple meals such as potato salad with sausages, while others prefer more lavish dishes such as goose or duck, well-known as Weihnachtsgans or Weihnachtsente.

Every year the Federal President of Germany provides an official Christmas message, which is televised. Many people attend a church service, which typically takes place at a Christmas mass called Weihnachtsgottesdienst held in the afternoon or with a nativity play in the evening, or at night. A festively decorated Christmas tree and lots of candles brightly illuminate the church, and many well-known carols are sung during the church service, for example: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, which means “From Heaven, I come here,” O Tannenbaum meaning “O Christmas tree,” Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht which is “Silent Night, Holy Night” and O du fröhliche meaning “O Holy Night.”

In some families, the time for giving gifts is announced by ringing a small bell, causing many children to wait anxiously for this sound on Christmas Eve.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What is it that most German children have to do before they get their gifts?

In many families it is common that children first have to recite a poem, sing a song, or play something on an instrument to Santa Claus or the Christ Child—only then are they allowed to unwrap their presents.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

Frohe Weihnachten!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in German? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

Glücklicher Kwanzaa!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

Haben Sie ein glückliches neues Jahr!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

Ein frohes Chanukka-Fest!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

Schönen Winterurlaub!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

Bis zum nächsten Jahr!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

Alles Gute!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in German Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

Frohe Feiertage!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in German, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

Genießen Sie die Feiertage!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in German, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

Die besten Wünsche für das neue Jahr!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in German! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At GermanPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

Weihnachten

This is the German word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in German will include this word!

2- Snow

Schnee

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

Schneeflocke

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

Schneemann

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

Truthahn

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

Kranz

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

Rentier

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

Weihnachtsmann

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

Elf

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolf, das kleine Rentier

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

Nordpol

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

Schlitten

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

Geschenk

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

Glocke

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

Schornstein

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

Kamin

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

Weihnachten

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

Dekoration

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

Strumpf

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

Stechpalme

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

Lebkuchenhaus

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

Zuckerstange

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

Mistelzweig

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in German, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in German! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. GermanPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From German for Absolute Beginners to Advanced German, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, GermanPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct German. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in GermanPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

3 Ways to Practice and Master German

3 Ways to practice and master German

When it comes to foreign languages German sometimes gets a bad rap. People are quick to highlight the most difficult parts of the language and write it off as being next to impossible to learn. There are some unique features of the German language that can be challenging to native English speakers, but that need not scare new learners away.

With the right focus, and a little persistence you can start speaking the German language correctly and comfortably. In this post we’ll take a look at how to master three of the most difficult parts of the German language.

Why it’s important to pinpoint the hard parts of learning German

As a new German learner the complexity of the language can seem pretty intimidating. It doesn’t help that everything about the language is new. On top of that you’re hit with German grammar which is not only new (compared to English), but also very complex.

After you have a foundation of phrases and basic words you’ll want specifically focus time and energy into practicing the difficult aspects of the language. This will help you focus your efforts and see quicker gains in your learning. To don’t want your German learning to feel like spinning plates.

So without further delay let’s take a look at what can be three of the common pain points in the German language.

3 Ways to practice and master German

1) Articles

Articles are arguably the hardest part of German to master, but they aren’t something you need to be afraid of. Yes their difficult and yes there are a lot exceptions; but don’t let the grizzly reputation of German articles keep you from learning German.

A great way to master the articles is to learn and practice all German nouns with their appropriate article. This will keep you in the habit of using the correct articles over and over again until you start to feel which ones go with which words.

If you think about it this isn’t far removed from how native Germans learned their articles. German children don’t sit at home memorizing word charts or tables. They spend their childhood using and practicing the articles until they know them by heart.

Another great way beginners can practice articles is to listen to German audio (like a podcast) and pick out as many nouns as they can, making note of the articles that are used. Hearing the article/noun combination in the context of a real conversation will help the correct pairing stick in your mind.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes when you practice with native speakers. You will inevitably misplace a few ( or a lot) of articles when you first start speaking German. Let those you practice with correct you. Take the feedback and keep the conversation going. You might make the same mistake 20 times but after the 21st you’ll never forget the correct way to say something.

2) Cases

Grammatical cases can be a hard concept for native English speakers to grasp, at least at first. The first time I realized I had to change nouns based on how they were used in a sentence it just about blew my mind (and not in a good way).

For those who may not know, grammatical cases are when nouns change form based on their position in a sentence. In a noun is the subject of a sentence it will be said one way. If it’s the object (the thing acted upon) it will be another, and if it shows possession still another, and so on. There are a total of four German cases.

There’s a temptation to throw in the towel or become discouraged after the first time you fumble your way through your first German sentences. Don’t be discouraged. Keep your head up because there is a method to overcome the madness.

In addition to your regular German learning regimen set aside a time to specifically practice grammatical cases. During this time pick one case and practice making sentences with it (you can write them out or practice them with a partner). Make sure you receive some sort of feedback on your work so you can correct your mistakes.

Just as you shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes when practicing German articles, you also shouldn’t be scared to make them while learning the grammatical cases.

Practice your chosen case until you’re comfortable with it, then move onto the next one. When you focus on one case at a time it takes a lot of the pressure off. You can relax and hone your skills quickly because you have less rules to think about.

3 Ways to practice and master German

3) Breakdown German pronunciation

Everyone knows German words can get long. Native speakers can also be hard to understand when they talk at normal speed. When words are spoken together sounds and syllables can morph or get dropped, confusing those new to the language.

One of the best ways to develop your listening skills and correct your German accent is to simply break everything down. Start with the letters and sounds of the German alphabet. Focus on the sounds that are the most difficult for you and practice pronouncing them while comparing your voice to native speakers.

Pay attention to common diphthongs (paired vowel sounds) and consonant clusters. Nailing down the correct pronunciation of each will be essential to developing your accent.

Once you get the basics of the alphabet down move onto phrases from dialogues or German music and TV. (GermanPod101’s playback feature is great for this). Select a phrase from your German audio. Then break the words down into their individual letters and syllables. Pronounce the syllables one by one and gradually link them together into words. Once you’re comfortable with the individual words try listening to how the native speaker says the entire phrase.

Most likely there will be some words or parts of the phrase that sound a little different from the way you would read or say them individually. When you notice this do your best to imitate the native speaker. Focus more on how the sounds link together and not only the individual words. This will go a long way toward helping you both pronounce and understand German.

Conclusion

German seems much less intimidating once you break it up into its individual parts. Focusing on the problem points in your learning helps you work more efficiently and effectively. After a while the language that once seemed so foreign will start to feel more natural. Just remember to be persistent and enjoy the journey toward fluency! Sometimes it’s a bumpy road but it is always worthwhile.

How To Say ‘Thank you’ in German

How to Say Thank You in German

In most cultures, it is custom to express gratitude in some way or another. The dictionary defines gratitude as follows: it is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Giving a sincere, thankful response to someone’s actions or words is often the ‘glue’ that keeps relationships together. This is true in most societies! Doing so in a foreign country also shows your respect and appreciation for the culture. Words have great power - use these ones sincerely and often!

Table of Contents

  1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in German
  2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes
  3. Infographic & Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases - Thank You
  4. Video Lesson: ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages
  5. How GermanPod101 Can Help You

So, how do you say ‘Thank you’ in German? You can learn easily! Below, GermanPod101 brings you perfect translations and pronunciation as you learn the most common ways German speakers say ‘Thanks’ in various situations.

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1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in German

1- Thank you.

Danke.

The magical words that can bring a smile to any face. For one day, truly mean it whenever you say these words, and see how this lifts your spirit too!

2- That’s very kind of you.

Das ist sehr nett von dir/Ihnen (informal/formal).

This phrase is appropriate when someone clearly goes out of their way to give good service, or to offer you a kindness.

3- Thanks for your kind words!

Danke für deine/ihre netten Worte!

Someone paid you a compliment and made you feel good? That is kind of him/her, so express your gratitude!

4- Thank you for coming today.

Danke, dass du heute gekommen bist.

This welcoming phrase should be part of your arsenal if you’re conducting more formal meetings with German speakers. If you’re hosting a party, this is also a good phrase when you greet your German guests!

5- Thank you for your consideration.

Danke für deine/ihre Berücksichtigung.

This is a more formal, almost solemn way to thank someone for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity towards you. It is also suitable to use when a native speaker has to consider something you submit, like a job application, a project or a proposal. You are thanking them, in essence, for time and effort they are about to, or have spent on your submission.

6- Thanks a lot!

Danke vielmals!

This means the same as ‘Thank you’, but with energy and enthusiasm added! It means almost the same as ‘thank you so much’ in German. Use this in an informal setting with your German friends or teachers.

7- Teachers like you are not easy to find.

Lehrer wie Sie sind nicht leicht zu finden.

Some phrases are compliments, which express gratitude by inference. This is one of them. If you’re particularly impressed with your GermanPod101 teacher, this is an excellent phrase to memorize!

8- Thank you for spending time with us.

Vielen Dank für die gemeinsame Zeit.

Any host at a gathering with German speakers, such as a meeting or a party, should have this under his/her belt! Use it when you’re saying goodbye or busy closing a meeting. It could also be another lovely way to thank your German language teacher for her time.

9- Thank you for being patient and helping me improve.

Vielen Dank für Ihre Geduld und die Unterstützung, mich zu verbessern.

This phrase is another sure way to melt any formal or informal German teacher’s heart! Teaching is not easy, and often a lot of patience is required from the teacher. Thank him/her for it! It’s also a good phrase to use if you work in Germany, and want to thank your trainer or employer. You will go a long way towards making yourself a popular employee - gratitude is the most attractive trait in any person!

10- You’re the best teacher ever!

Sie sind der beste Lehrer den es gibt!

This is also an enthusiastic way to thank your teacher by means of a compliment. It could just make their day!

11- Thank you for the gift.

Danke für das Geschenk.

This is a good phrase to remember when you’re the lucky recipient of a gift. Show your respect and gratitude with these words.

12- I have learned so much thanks to you.

Ich habe so viel durch sie gelernt

What a wonderful compliment to give a good teacher! It means they have succeeded in their goal, and you’re thankful for it.

2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes

In Germany manners and etiquette are very important. “Please,” “Thank You,” and “You’re Welcome” are parts of everyday interactions and should be used often. In most cases a simple danke will suffice however just like in English there are many ways to say thank you.

1- Dankeschön.
In Germany “Thank you.” is dankeschön. The first word of the phrase danke means thanks. This is followed by schön, which in German is “beautiful”. Now in German there are other ways to express one’s gratitude. There are more formal and more casual ways to do this.

2- Danke.
Let’s take a look at the casual way. In German the casual way of expressing gratitude, the equivalent of “Thanks” is danke. This phrase is used among friends, in other casual situations, continue on with more examples if possible.

3- Vielen Dank.
For very special occasions when someone goes above and beyond the call of being kind, when someone is extremely generous, or for any other time you’re extremely grateful, we have the following phrases to express extreme gratitude: The first one is vielen Dank or “many thanks”. The first word vielen means “many” in English.

4- Herzlichen Dank.
Next is Herzlichen Dank, which means “heart felt thanks” in English.

5- Ich Danke Ihnen.
In a formal situation it is important to address people in the formal Sie and Ihnen forms. This is especially important if you don’t know the person, in business settings, or any case when more distance is required. A good example would be meeting a professor, an employer, or in a business meeting. In these situations a simple danke is by no means , however using the formal Ich danke Ihnen is more common and more appropriate. Now let’s go over that one once more. The first word Ich is German for “I”. Then danke, and the last word Ihnen which is the formal form for the English “you”. To review the formal form of “thank you” is Ich danke Ihnen. These phrases are important and easy to use everyday. So wherever you go in Germany always remember to say danke.

Cultural Insights
It’s always a good thing to say danke or dankeschön after any helpful interaction. In formal situations because of the formal pronouns Sie and Ihnen the best way to say thank you is Ich danke Ihnen. You can use this form anytime you are not familiar with the person you are thanking. The German language has a set of vowels that we don’t have in English. These vowels are topped with two points above the letter called an Umlaut. We see this in the vowel ö in schön. You may be familiar with the song Danke Schoen by Wayne Newton where the word schön is mispronounced “shane” in order to rhyme with pain. The correct way to pronounce this vowel is with your lips slightly more closed like you’re about to whistle. The closest sound in English would be the word “earn”.

On the run to Germany? Wait! You can’t go without some basic language phrases under your belt! Especially if you’re heading to meet your prospective employer! Either in person or online, knowing how to say ‘Thank you’ in the German language will only improve their impression of you! GermanPod101 saves you time with this short lesson that nevertheless packs a punch. Learn to say ‘Thank you’ in German in no time!

3. Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases - Thank You

5 Ways to Say Thank You in German

Perhaps you think it’s unimportant that you don’t know what ‘Thank you’ is in German, or that it’s too difficult a language to learn. Yet, as a traveler or visitor, you will be surprised at how far you can go using a little bit of German in Germany!

Click Here to Listen to the Free Audio Lesson!

At GermanPod101, we offer you a few ways of saying ‘Thank you’ in German that you have no excuse not knowing, as they’re so simple and easy to learn. The lesson is geared to aid your ‘survival’ in formal and informal situations in Germany, so don’t wait! You will never have to google ‘How do you say thanks in German’ again…!

4. ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages

For the global traveler in a hurry, here are 31 ways to say ‘Thank you’! These are the first words you need to learn in any foreign language - it is sure to smooth your way with native speakers by showing your gratitude for services rendered, and your respect for their culture! Learn and know how to correctly say ‘Thank you’ in 31 different languages in this short video.

5. Why would GermanPod101 be the perfect choice to learn German?

However, you need not stop at ‘Thank you’ in German - why not learn to speak the language?! You have absolutely nothing to lose. Research has shown that learning a new language increases intelligence and combats brain-aging. Also, the ability to communicate with native speakers in their own language is an instant way to make friends and win respect! Or imagine you know how to write ‘Thank you’ to that special German friend after a date…he/she will be so impressed!

Thank You

GermanPod101 Has Special Lessons, Tools and Resources to Teach You How to Say Thank You and Other Key Phrases

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we have taught thousands of satisfied users to speak foreign languages. How do we do this? First, we take the pain out of learning! At GermanPod101, students are assisted as they master vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation through state-of-the-art and fun online learning methods. A library replete with learning resources allows for you to learn at your own pace and in your own space! Resources include thousands of video and audio recordings, downloadable PDF lessons and plenty of learning apps for your mobile devices. Each month, we add benefits with FREE bonuses and gifts to improve your experience.

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We accommodate all levels and types of learners, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and GermanPod101 is free for anyone to sign up. However, you can choose to fast track your fluency with lesson customization and increased interactive learning and practicing. Upgrade to Premium, or Premium PLUS to enhance your experience and greatly expedite your learning. With this type of assistance, and pleasurable effort on your part, you will speak German in a very short period of time!

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Best of all is that you’re never alone! We believe that practice is the holy grail of learning any new language, and we gear our courses to ensure lots of it. Enroll with us, and you gain immediate access to our lively forum where we meet and greet, and discuss your burning questions. Our certified teachers are friendly and helpful, and you are very likely to practice your first ‘Thanks!’ in German on him/her, AND mean it! Hurry up, and sign up now - you will thank us for it.

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How to Start Thinking in German

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in German

Going through German lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of German, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in German. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between German and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the German vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in German

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through GermanPod101.com.

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1. Surround yourself with German

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with German constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a German radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of GermanPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then German words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in German.

GermanPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach German.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in German not only gets you in the mindset of German, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With GermanPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native German speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but GermanPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with GermanPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that GermanPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

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Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

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Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Your learning is about to get a whole lot easier.

More than ever, learners are choosing mobile as the platform to study German. Mobile has always been a part of our DNA. We began our life on your iPod, and have remained by your side ever since.

In our 11th year, we’re returning to our roots as a way to learn German on-the-go. How? With a brand-new lesson interface just for you.

Hint: It will launch in beta later this month!

If you want to secure access to this brand new upgrade, take advantage of the upcoming All Access Pass Sale! Click Here to Get 25% OFF All GermanPod101 Subscriptions!

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

It’s built from the ground-up to be a great experience on your phone, tablet, and computer.

You don’t have to compromise anymore.

Take the whole lesson experience with you wherever you go.

Our lessons are the heart of our learning system and now they’re the heart of the interface as well. Just tap the big play button to start learning right away.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

As you scroll through the lesson contents, the player sticks with you at the bottom of your screen.

Pause, rewind or adjust your speed and volume without losing your place.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

Navigation is also just a tap away.

Quickly jump to the dialogue, vocabulary, or lesson notes with our new lesson navigation bar. Available at the top of your screen wherever you are.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

And for the first time ever, you don’t need to download a PDF or jump between tabs to read the lesson notes and transcript. Read it all on your mobile browser as you listen.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

There are many more small improvements but the end result is this: a drastically improved lesson experience on mobile and desktop.

Spend less time squinting at your screen and more time reaching your German goals.

The new lesson interface will launch in beta this month.

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Keep on studying!

Sneak peek! And if you take advantage of our upcoming 25% OFF All Access Pass Sale, you secure full access to this new update! You unlock our complete German learning program – ALL Audio/Video Courses from Beginner to Advanced, Premium Study Tools, Bonus Apps and much more!

Click Here to Get 25% OFF All Plans until March 31st, 2017.

To your fluency,

Team GermanPod101

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The 5 Review Tactics that Will Sharpen Your German

top 5 review tactics to boost your german

Have you ever returned to GermanPod101 lessons you’ve completed?

Accessing a lesson once is enough to learn more German. But to master what you’ve learned, to understand German the second you hear it, to read with just a quick glance, and to speak smoothly, without thinking… you need to review.

In this blog post, you’ll learn the 5 review tactics and learning tools that will truly sharpen your German (all of which I’ve been able to resources for on GermanPod101.com).

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1. Listen to lines over and over again!

One of the best ways to learn German (or any language) is to listen to native speakers over and over again until you understand what they are saying. By listening closely and often, you start to pick up the rhythm of a language and pronunciation from a native speaker. It’s not surprising, then, that Innovative Language offers a great line-by-line feature that lets you listen (and read along!) as many times as you’d like. I really recommend taking advantage of this feature— aside from moving to Germany, it is the best way to immerse yourself in the language.

2. Use a voice-recording tool to perfect pronunciation.

No one likes to hear themselves recorded, but it is a great way to perfect your pronunciation! Record yourself and compare against a fluent speaker. If you sound different, repeat after the fluent speaker until your pronunciation matches. Innovative Language has a great voice-recording feature that makes recording super easy. Never hesitate or be shy about your pronunciation again.

review tactics

3. Master recorded conversations.

Another excellent way to review your German is to record conversations and go over them again and again until you have the entire conversation mastered and can repeat it line by line. Now, it might be kind of awkward trying to explain to someone why you are recording them speak so it is fortunate that Innovative Language has dialogues available for download right off of their website. I found these also come with transcripts of the entire conversation, which is great if you don’t want to spend tons of time translating the conversation yourself.

4. Use mobile devices to reinforce previously learned conversations.

It might sound redundant at this point, but constant review is the best, and only, way to perfect German. In that spirit, I strongly recommend downloading the recorded dialogue to your mobile device and incorporating it into your music playlist. You’ll be amazed how effectively quick reviews throughout a day can reinforce what you’ve learned.

review tactics

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5. Read with line by line notes.

The guaranteed accurate transcript of the recorded dialogues is one of the most useful features Innovative Language offers. You can read along with a fluent speaker to really master pronunciation and natural conversation. You should start slow at first, then slowly increase the speed with each pass through. Every time you read through, your pronunciation will become more intuitive and your ability to understand fluent speakers will greatly increase.

Imagine a child who just learned how to read. At first, they slowly struggle through a sentence, but on the second try, they know what the most of the words sound like and so they read a bit faster and easier and on the third try, they read that sentence at normal, native speed.

review tactics

Improve Now your Reading Skills by Learning More Vocabulary

Using these five simple review techniques the most challenging parts of learning German will become your areas of comfort. Conversations will no longer be excruciating and embarrassing, but rather offer a chance to show off your new skills and communicate with someone from a different culture in their natural language. You will be able to casually listen to German and understand everything. Reading, too, will become natural and enjoyable.

Learning any language takes time and dedication. With the right focus, however, you can ensure the maximum impact of your efforts. Consistently listening to fluent speakers, recording your own voice and comparing it against fluent speakers, mastering conversations, listening to them on go, and following along with written transcripts will put you on the path to becoming fluent in German. Learn from the mistakes that so many have made, myself included, don’t let what you’ve already learned slip away.

Review, review, review!

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