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Secret Revealed: The Best Way to Learn a Language on Your Own

Learning A Language on Your Own

Can You Really Learn German Alone?

Learning a language on your own or without traditional classroom instruction may seem quite daunting at first. What if you run into questions? How do you stay motivated and on track to achieving goals?

Don’t worry, not only is it possible to learn German or any language without traditional classroom instruction: GermanPod101 has created the world’s most advanced and extensive online language learning system. Not only is GermanPod101 specifically designed to help you with learning a language on your own, it’s actually faster, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom options!

Let’s look at some of the benefits of learning German or any language alone.

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3 Reasons to Learn a Language Alone

Learning Alone

1. Learn at Your Own Pace and On Your Schedule

In today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t time for traditional classroom instruction. Between getting to class and studying on some professor or teacher’s schedule, traditional classroom learning is simply impossible to fit in. But when you learn German alone, you can study in bed if you like and whenever suits your schedule best, making it far easier to actually reach your goal of learning and mastering the language.

2. Learning a Language on Your Own Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Speaking in front of a class, pop quizzes, and tests are just a few of the stressors you will encounter when you learn a language in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, these are external stressors that often derail most people’s dream of learning a new language. But when you learn German alone, there are no external stressors. Without the external stress and anxiety, it becomes much easier and more exciting to study German and reach your very own goals—all on your own!

3. Learning German Alone Helps Improve Cognitive Function and Overall Success

Learning a language on your own is indeed more challenging in some ways than being taught in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, while classroom instruction requires more rote memorization and following instructions, studying a language on your own requires more problem-solving and higher cognitive function to self-teach lessons and hit goals. So while it’s more challenging and requires higher levels of cognition, teaching yourself a language pays dividends throughout life by better preparing you for social/work opportunities that arise.

How to Learn a Language on Your Own with GermanPod101

Learning with GermanPod101

1. Access to the World’s Largest Collection of German Audio & Video Lessons

The best way to learn a language on your own is to study from native speaking instructors. Ideally, you want audio and/or video lessons that teach vocabulary, grammar, and provide actual German conversations and dialogue to help you with pronunciation. GermanPod101 has hundreds of hours of HD audio and video lessons created by real German instructors and every lesson is presented by professional German actors for perfect pronunciation. Plus, all lessons can be accessed 24/7 via any mobile device with Internet access. And, if you download the PDF versions of each lesson, you can even study without Internet access once the lesson is stored on your device!

2. “Learning Paths” with German Courses Based Upon Your Exact Needs & Goals

Although GermanPod101 has more than thousands of video and audio lessons, you need not review each and every one to learn the language. In fact, GermanPod101 has developed a feature called “Learning Paths”. You simply tell us your goals and we will identify the best courses and study plan to help you reach them in the shortest time possible. So even though you are technically learning a language on your own, our team is always here to help and make sure you reach your goals FAST!

3. Advanced Learning Tools Reduce Learning Time and Boost Retention

When you have the right tools and German learning resources, it’s actually easy to teach yourself a language! In the past 10+ years, GermanPod101 has developed, tested, and refined more than 20 advanced learning tools to boost retention and reduce learning time, including:

  • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
  • Line-by-Line Dialogue Breakdown
  • Review Quizzes
  • Voice Recording Tools to Help Perfect Pronunciation
  • Teacher Feedback and Comments for Each Lesson
  • German Dictionary with Pronunciation
  • Free PDF Cheat Sheets
  • And Much More!

Armed with our growing collection of advanced learning tools, it’s truly a breeze to learn German alone and reach your goals!

Conclusion

Learning a language on your own is not only possible, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for you than traditional classroom instruction. In fact, when you learn German on your own you can study at your own pace, eliminate stress, and actually increase cognitive function.

GermanPod101 is the world’s most advanced online language learning system and a great resource to help you teach yourself a new language. With the world’s largest collection of HD audio and video lessons, more than 20 advanced learning tools, and customized “Learning Paths”, GermanPod101 makes learning a new language easier, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom instruction.

And the best part is: With GermanPod101, you can study in bed, your car, or wherever you have a few spare minutes of time. Create your Free Lifetime Account now and get a FREE ebook to help “kickstart” your dream of learning a language on your own below!

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Language Learning Tips: How to Avoid Awkward Silences

Avoid Awkward Silences

Yes, even beginners can quickly learn conversational German well enough to carry on real conversations with native speakers. Of course, beginners won’t be able to carry a conversation the same way they could in their native language. But, just knowing a few tips like which questions to ask to keep a conversation going are all you need to speak and interact with real native speakers! But before we get to specific suggestions, let’s first take a closer look at how having real German conversations is so vital to your mastery of the language.

Learning to Carry a Conversation is Vital to Mastery of Any Language

Communicating with other people is the very point of language and conversation is almost second nature in our native tongue. For beginners or anyone learning a new language, conversations aren’t easy at all and even simple German greetings can be intimidating and awkward.

However, there are 3 vital reasons why you should learn conversational German as quickly as possible:

  • Avoid Awkward Silences: Nothing kills a conversation faster than long periods of awkward silence, so you need practice and specific strategies to avoid them.
  • Improve the Flow of Conversation to Make a Better Impression: When you know what to say to keep a conversation going, communication becomes much easier and you make a better impression on your listener.
  • Master the Language Faster: Nothing will help you learn to speak German faster and truly master the language than having real conversations with native speakers. Conversations quickly expose you to slang, cultural expressions, and vocabulary that force you to absorb and assimilate information faster than any educational setting—and that’s a great thing!

But how can you possibly have real conversations with real German people if you are just starting out?

3 Conversation Strategies for Beginners

Conversation

1. Ask Questions to Keep a Conversation Going

For beginners and even more advanced speakers, the key is to learn to ask questions to keep a conversation going. Of course, they can’t be just random questions or else you may confuse the listener. But, by memorizing a few key questions and the appropriate time to use them, you can easily carry a conversation with minimal vocabulary or experience. And remember, the more German conversations you have, the quicker you will learn and master the language!

2. Learn Core Vocabulary Terms as Quickly as Possible

You don’t need to memorize 10,000’s of words to learn conversational German. In fact, with just a couple hundred German words you could have a very basic German conversation. And by learning maybe 1,000-2,000 words, you could carry a conversation with a native speaker about current events, ordering in restaurants, and even getting directions.

3. Study Videos or Audio Lessons that You Can Play and Replay Again and Again

If you want to know how to carry a conversation in German, then you need exposure to native speakers—and the more the better. Ideally, studying video or audio lessons is ideal because they provide contextualized learning in your native language and you can play them again and again until mastery.

GermanPod101 Makes it Easier and More Convenient Than Ever to Learn Conversational German

Learning German

For more than 10 years, GermanPod101 has been helping students learn to speak German by creating the world’s most advanced online language learning system. Here are just a few of the specific features that will help you learn conversational German fast using our proven system:

  • The Largest Collection of HD Video & Audio Lessons from Real German Instructors: GermanPod101 instructors have created hundreds of video and audio lessons that you can play again and again. And the best part is: They don’t just teach you German vocabulary and grammar, they are designed to help you learn to speak German and teach you practical everyday topics like shopping, ordering, etc!
  • Pronunciation Tools: Use this feature to record and compare yourself with native speakers to quickly improve your pronunciation and fluency!
  • 2000 Common German Words: Also known as our Core List, these 2,000 words are all you need to learn to speak fluently and carry a conversation with a native speaker!

In all, more than 20 advanced learning tools help you quickly build vocabulary and learn how to carry a conversation with native speakers—starting with your very first lesson.

Conclusion

Although it may seem intimidating for a beginner, the truth is that it is very easy to learn conversational German. By learning a few core vocabulary terms and which questions to ask to keep a conversation going, just a little practice and exposure to real German conversations or lessons is all it really takes. GermanPod101 has created the world’s largest online collection of video and audio lessons by real instructors plus loads of advanced tools to help you learn to speak German and carry a conversation quickly.

Act now and we’ll also include a list of the most commonly used questions to keep a conversation going so you can literally get started immediately!

How to Transform Your Daily Commute Into Learning a Language

Learn a language during your commute!

Today, classrooms are no longer the only or even best place to learn a new language like German. More and more people are finding that they can easily learn a language just about anywhere they have a few minutes of spare time, including their daily commute to work. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends over 50 minutes a day commuting to and from work, or over 300 hours a year.

Rethinking Your Daily Commute to Work

But rather than simply sitting in traffic and wasting the time, you can instead use your daily commute to literally learn German in just a few short months! GermanPod101 has developed specialized learning tools that you can use on your commute to work (and home again) to master the language in your spare time. Keep reading to learn how to get your free audiobook to use on your next commute so you can see for yourself how easy it is to transform “dead time” into realizing your dream of learning a new language!

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But before we look at how to transform your commute home into a mini-classroom, let’s take a closer look at 4 reasons why traditional classroom settings just aren’t the best option for most people in today’s fast-paced world.

  • Difficulty Getting to and From Class
  • Learning on Someone Else’s Schedule
  • Very Expensive and May Cost $1,000’s to Complete
  • Can Take Years to Finally Complete Classes and Learn the Language

The simple truth is that traditional classroom instruction is simply not a viable option for most people in today’s very fast-paced, time-starved world. Now let’s examine how you can learn a language faster, more easily, and at far less expense than traditional classes—all during your commute to work and back home again!

Bus

3 Reasons Your Daily Commute Can Help You Master a Language

1. The Average Commute Time is More than 300 Hours Per Year

Between the commute to work and getting back home again, over 6 hours a week is completely wasted and not helping you reach any goals or objectives. But thanks to online language learning platforms with audiobooks and other resources that you can access during your commute, you can easily transform wasted time into tangible progress towards learning a new language. With over 300 hours available annually, your daily commute could provide you with enough time to literally master a new language each and every year!

2. Increase Your Earning Potential While Commuting to Work

How would you like to transform all those spare commuting hours each week into more money for a new car, house, or even a dream vacation? According to research, someone making $30,000 per year can boost their annual income by $600 or more per year by learning a second language. Added up over the course of a lifetime, you can boost your total earnings by $70,000 or more while achieving your dream of learning a new language during your daily commute!

How? From work-at-home translation jobs to working overseas, there are many ways to leverage your second language into more money in your bank account! So instead of wasting your precious time, you can make your commute more productive and profitable and the more languages you learn, the higher your income potential.

3. Repetition is Key to Mastering a New Language

Not sure if it’s practical to learn another language while commuting to and from work each day? Well not only is it possible—learning in your car on the way to and from work each day can actually help you learn and master German or any language much faster! The simple truth is that repetition is absolutely vital to truly internalizing and mastering any language. So, if you listen to audiobooks or even audio lessons on your commute to work and then repeat the same lesson on your commute home, the information is more likely to be “locked-in” to your long-term memory!

Learning

5 Ways GermanPod101 Makes It Easy to Learn a Language On Your Commute

GermanPod101 has been helping people just like yourself learn and master German in the comfort of their home, during their daily commute, or any place they have a few minutes of spare time. Here are five features provided by GermanPod101 that make it easy to learn a new language while commuting to and from work:

1. The Largest Collection of Audio Lessons on Planet by Native Speaking Instructors
Every single week, GermanPod101 creates new audio lessons by native speaking instructors. All lessons are short, to the point, and guaranteed to improve your mastery of German.

2. Word of the Day
Simply exposing yourself to new information and vocabulary terms helps increase your fluency and mastery of German. So every single day, GermanPod101 adds a new Word of the Day for you to learn and memorize during your commute.

3. Daily Dose Mini-Lessons
Have a short commute to work but still want to make progress towards learning and mastering German? Not a problem! Our Daily Dose Mini-Lessons are 1-minute or less and designed to improve your grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

4. All Content Available on a Convenient Mobile App
You don’t need a PC or tablet to learn German during your daily commute. At GermanPod101, all of our lessons, tools, and resources are available 24/7 via our Mobile App. That means you can access all of our audio lessons and other tools during your commute to work or any time you have a few spare moments!

5. Audiobooks and Other Supplemental Resources
In addition to the world’s largest online collection of HD audio lessons, GermanPod101 has also created several audiobooks to enhance your understanding and make it more convenient than ever to learn a language during your commute!

Conclusion

The average commute time of most Americans is over 300 hours each year and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn and master a new language. In fact, you can use the “dead time” during your daily commute to learn a new language and potentially boost your lifetime earnings by up to $70,000 or more! Whatever your motivation, GermanPod101 has the tools and resources necessary to help you learn a new language each year during your commute to and from work. Act now and we’ll even provide you with a free audiobook to try out on your next commute!

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Hi, What’s Up, and Beyond: How to Say Hello In German

How to Say Hello in German

It’s a beautiful morning in Hamburg. You’re enjoying a nice piece of bread and a coffee at a streetside cafe.

Suddenly a German friend of yours enters and you’d like to say hello. But this time, you’ll do it in German.

So how exactly do you say “Hello” in German?

Greetings are part of every culture, and no matter where you find yourself on the globe, there are plenty of different ways to do it. Each one has its own subtleties, ranging from formality to time of day to location.

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Fortunately, it’s not confusing in the least. Pretty much everything can be accurately mapped to a phrase or concept we’re familiar with in English.

“Hello” in learning German is one of the most important things you’ll learn, so let’s delve into this concept and explore the different ways to greet in German with GermanPod101.com.

1. Morning, Noon, and Night

There are several German words to say hello. Keep in mind that just like in English, we greet people a little bit differently when it comes to different times of day. In fact, some of the most common greetings in German are related to the time of day, and these are often the best way to say hello in German.

Germans tend to be early risers compared to some other countries. It’s not uncommon to see lots of people out and about at around seven o’clock—out for a walk, headed to work, or getting breakfast. When it’s before noon, you’ll probably want to use:

  • Guten Morgen!
    “Good morning!”

Later on, the words change a bit, like so:

  • Guten Tag!
    “Good day/hello!”
  • Guten Abend!
    “Good evening!”

1- Additional Notes

1. Devoicing and More

A couple of notes on the pronunciation here. Remember that in Germany, a b, d, z, or g at the end of a word is pronounced as p, t, s, and k respectively. This is called devoicing, and you can think of it as kind of like whispering the very last sound of the word.

Also, when it comes to the word guten, meaning “good,” that final e is kind of swallowed and the u is lengthened. Guutn Taak!

Speaking of swallowing sounds, these three greetings are very frequently clipped into something like morg’n, ‘tag, or ‘n abn’d.

What about Gute Nacht? Just like in English, that’s the direct equivalent of good night, used just before going to sleep!

2. Cheek Kisses

You may have heard that in Europe, people exchange cheek kisses when they meet. That’s not entirely true—you’re not supposed to actually kiss the cheek, and it’s not everywhere in Europe.

Germans, for instance, tend to just shake hands. I won’t come out and say that nobody in Germany does cheek kisses, but it’s certainly a move you shouldn’t be the first to make.

German Greetings

2. Back to Basics

English is a Germanic language, so German really isn’t very far away. Don’t be surprised if some of the simplest, most common ways to say hello in German sound awfully like English in a funny accent.

So what’s the simplest, easiest way to greet someone in German?

  • Hallo!
    “Hello!”

This is actually used more often between people that sort of know each other or who are around the same age. I wouldn’t use it when buying something at a train station or a shop. It’s not particularly informal, just a little bit too friendly of an opener for two strangers to use.

In those cases, it’s more common for both you and the clerk to say Guten Tag or the appropriate time-related expression.

A great real-life example would be if you walked from hotel to hotel inquiring about free rooms in a German-speaking country. Every single interaction opens with a nice, clear, pleasant Guten Abend.

  • Guten Abend! Haben Sie Zimmer frei?
    “Good evening! Do you have any free rooms?”

As you go from place to place in German-speaking areas, one of the most common things you’ll hear right after Guten Tag when you go into a shop is:

  • Wie kann ich Ihnen helfen?
    “How can I help you?”

It’s good to be able to recognize that when you hear it. However, I don’t know what you’re looking for, so the rest of that conversation is up to you!

3. Exchanging Names

When you get introduced to someone, you’ll likely tell them your name. After all, a name is an incredibly important part of a person’s identity.

To ask for a name, say:

  • Wie heißen Sie?
    “What’s your name?”

Literally, you’re saying, “What do you call?” which doesn’t make a lick of sense in English. It really helps to think of it in terms of, “What do you call yourself?” This is, as you’ll guess, a common greeting in German, and the answer follows pretty logically:

  • Ich heiße Yassir.
    “My name is Yassir.”

Or even:

  • Ich bin Yassir.
    “I’m Yassir.”

And the obvious next step after that?

4. Nice to Meet You!

Nice To Meet You
There’s a particularly formal way to express this idea, perfect for a business meeting or some kind of official gathering, and it’s one of the most common ways to say hello in German.

  • Es freut mich sehr, Sie kennenzulernen.
    “I’m very glad to meet you.”

The German word kennenlernen is a crystal-clear example of word formation in the German language. Lernen means “to learn,” and kennen means “to know somebody” (as opposed to knowing information).

By sticking these words together, you can now express the idea “to get to know somebody,” or “to make somebody’s acquaintance.”

That’s a bit of a long phrase, though. Fortunately, there do exist slightly shorter variants that have the advantage of being relatively formal.

  • Sehr erfreut. / Freut mich.
    “Nice to meet you.”

What’s the deal with freut here? Freuen is a verb meaning “to please,” as in “I’m very pleased.” In fact, that’s all that sehr erfreut means. The “I’m” bit is implied because this is a set phrase.

5. Where are You Now?

1- Germany

German Flag
When learning about the common greetings in German, keep in mind that Germany is a big place—with more than eighty million people, there’s bound to be some regional variation.

Although everybody in the German-speaking countries are educated using Standard German or Hochdeutsch, lots of people (especially older generations) are more comfortable speaking Dialekte, or local dialects.

Words and phrases from these dialects color the standard language of each area, lending it a comfortable and local feeling.

And greetings are no exception.

1. Northern Germany

In Northern Germany, you’ll hear Moin all the time to mean, “Hello.” Sometimes it’s doubled up as Moin moin—to which the only response, naturally, is a third Moin! This works any time of the day.

You also may hear Na, spoken with a question intonation and often written “Na?” It’s a quick and efficient greeting that somehow manages to capture the English “Hey, what’s up, how’s it going?” all in one syllable.

2. Southern Germany

Now let’s move further south and see what we hear as different people say hello.

In Southern Germany you’ll encounter Grüß dich! Like lots of greetings, this is a shortened form or a reference to something else—in this case, it comes from a phrase meaning, “Be blessed by God.”

2- Austria

Austria Flag
Over the border in Austria (and even before it) you’ll often hear something that sounds a little strange to English ears.

  • Servus!
    “Hello!”

There’s not really any special meaning here, though it might take a bit before you stop hearing “service” and start interpreting it as “Hello!”

Another really common one is Grüß Gott, which literally translates to “greet God,” but just means “hello” like all the rest. It’s true that the further south you go in German-speaking Europe, the more religious people you’ll find. However, these greetings can and are used by people of all faiths.

3- Switzerland

Switzerland Flag

Swiss German is its own separate language that’s quite distinct from Standard German. All German-speaking Swiss people understand Standard German and most speak it very well, but there’s an even stronger cultural connection with the dialects than there is in Germany.

Travelers to Switzerland sometimes report that Swiss people greet them automatically in Swiss German even if they know the visitor is a foreigner.

So that’s why these words are a little different:

  • Grüetzi! Guetzach! Grüessech!
    “Hello!”

Nobody’s sneezing at you, they’re just saying hello in Swiss German!

Actually, it’s not super far off from what we’ve seen in Germany. That root verb grüssen is cognate with the English “to greet.”

When time is of the essence—or you’re just passing someone on a hiking path—you can cut down grüetzi to just zi.

It’s a little bit less common, but another Swiss German greeting you could run into is Hoi. Fortunately, it sounds close enough to the English “Hey,” or even “Ahoy,” so you won’t need to rack your brain for the definition.

6. Let’s Take it Easy: Casual Greetings

Casual Greetings

  • Wie geht es dir?/Wie geht’s?
    “How’s it going?”

Although this is relatively slangy and informal, it’s extremely common. There’s even a formal version—simply replace the informal pronoun dir with the formal Ihnen.

You’re asking literally, “How goes it to you?” The polite response, as in English, is gut—meaning “good.” But you can do better than that! Try out these:

  • Gut, danke! Und dir/Ihnen?
    “Good, thanks! And you?”
  • Es geht mir sehr gut.
    “I’m doing very well.”

Those are excellent all-purpose answers, and the level of formality is carried over well in the translation. If you haven’t seen someone for a while, you might ask more earnestly how they’ve been, and the response “I’m doing very well,” perfectly matches that tone.

Now for some more:

  • Hey, Alter!
    “Hey, man!”

Yes, Germans say “hey” too. English is everywhere! Alter is a very casual and laid-back way of addressing a male friend. You can shout it across the room to get his attention or deliver it with a smile and a handshake when you see each other.

  • Was geht ab?
    “What’s up?”

Just as with its English equivalent, this phrase is super-slangy and really shouldn’t be used in a formal situation.

  • Hallo zusammen!
    “Hey everybody!”

If you watch any German YouTubers, you might pick up this phrase quickly. Zusammen literally means “together,” but this phrase can be used whether you’re greeting a group of friends or are at a large casual gathering.

  • Alles klar?
    “How are you?”

This phrase might be even more confusing if you’re familiar with German. “All clear,” in English sounds like you’re about to launch a rocket or start demolishing a building.

But in German, it’s just a simple way to ask how you’re doing. Just like with Wie geht’s, a simple gut, danke (“Fine, thanks!”) is the correct answer.

7. The Conversation Doesn’t Stop at Hello

Or at least I hope not!

A greeting is just the beginning. You might have heard that Germans are too reserved for small talk, but that’s not true at all.

Sometimes you’ll wish people hadn’t been ahead of you in line at shops when they exchange banter with clerks like it was primetime TV.

So what are some things Germans chat about?

Weather

Well, all over the world people like to complain about the weather.

  • Es ist bitterkalt!
    “It’s ice-cold!”
  • Da draußen ist es furchtbar heiß! Dreiunddreizig Grad!
    “It’s so hot outside! Thirty-three degrees!”

But that might not be enough to go on. If you’re feeling up to a short conversation, you can fire away with this excellent starter:

  • Was hast du heute vor?
    “What have you got going on today?”

Now, there are as many answers to that as there are people in Germany. But there’s one answer that might be the most satisfying of them all.

  • Heute habe ich gar nichts vor.
    “I don’t have anything going on today.”

What an excellent phrase! And it has two interesting grammar points to dissect as well.

First, that word vor is a preposition meaning “before.” Thus the question is something like “What lies before you today?” if you allow a little bit of poetic license in translation.

And second, the phrase gar nichts is a beautiful and idiomatic way to say “nothing at all.” Nichts on its own means “nothing,” but it can sound a little abrupt and rude to just say “nothing” when asked what you’re doing that day.

Conclusion

How to say hello in the German language is of the utmost importance. I hope that in this article you’ve seen that you can get pretty far in a German conversation just by carefully using some key phrases.

I’ve always found it helpful to memorize some set phrases and use them in patterns later on. As I get better and learn more grammar, I can come back to those as examples and figure out what was actually going on linguistically as I was saying them.

With that in mind, you should take the first opportunity to go out and strike up a chat with some German speakers. It all starts with hello!

If you want to learn additional words and phrases in German, as well as important cultural information, be sure to visit GermanPod101.com! We provide you with everything you need to excel in the German language so that you can make the most out of your time in Germany (or conversations with German friends!).

Also keep in mind that If you prefer one-on-one help and teaching, be sure to check out our MyTeacher program to get the most out of your learning experience!

Best of luck with your language-learning journey!

Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

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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.

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 HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

German Word of the Day – forearm (noun)

Learn a little German everyday with the free German Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

Unterarm forearm (noun)

Ich habe ein Herz auf meinen Unterarm tätowiert, knapp über meinem Handgelenk.
I have a heart tattooed on my forearm just above the wrist.

Unterarm und Faust
forearm and fist

mein haariger Unterarm
my hairy forearm

Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the German Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize this free widget!

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

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