Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Fun and Easy German by GermanPod101.com!
Did you know that most common greetings in German are related to the time of day, just like in English?
Hallo, ich bin Anja!
Hi everyone! I’m Anja.
And I’m (name.)
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to introduce yourself in German.
Greetings are part of every culture, and German culture is no exception. In German, there are plenty of ways to greet someone and knowing how and when to use them properly can surely help you make a lot of new friends.
In this video, you'll learn how to greet others in German, how to introduce yourself, how to ask for someone's name, how greetings may differ depending on the German speaking country you’re visiting, and how to greet friends in a casual conversation.
Let’s start by looking at how greetings may change throughout the day.
In German, the words we use to greet people depend on the time of day. Unlike people in some other countries, Germans tend to be early risers, so it’s common to see people out and about at around seven o’clock.
During the morning, you may want to use the following greeting:
Guten Morgen!
"Good morning!"
[SLOW] Guten Morgen!
Guten Morgen!
Later on, the words change a bit, like so:
Guten Tag!
"Good day/hello!"
[SLOW] Guten Tag!
Guten Tag!
Guten Abend!
"Good evening!"
[SLOW] Guten Abend!
Guten Abend!
You also have to remember a couple of things when it comes to German pronunciation. In German, when words end in b, d, z, or g, those letters are sometimes 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.
When pronouncing the word "guten", meaning good, that final e is kind of swallowed and the u is lengthened. So it’s pronounced as "Guutn Taak!"
Speaking of swallowing sounds, these three greetings are usually clipped and shortened.
For example, morg’n, which comes from morgen, is a shorter way of saying Guten morgen
Similarly, ‘Tag is short for Guten Tag,
‘n abn’d, which comes from "‘n abend," and is the short form of Guten abend.
Lastly, we have,
Gute Nacht
[SLOW] Gute Nacht
Gute Nacht
Just like in English, this is the direct equivalent of good night, used just before going to sleep.
Another thing you need to remember is that not everyone in Europe exchanges cheek kisses when they meet. Germans, for instance, tend to just shake hands.
Let’s now look at some other basic greetings.
You will, later on, notice that most of the common ways to say hello in German sound awfully like English in a funny accent. This is because English is a Germanic Language.
As it turns out, the simplest way to greet someone in German is just,
[SLOW] Hallo!
You can use this when you know the person you are talking to. If you want to greet a stranger, it would be better to use Guten Tag or the appropriate time-related expression.
A real-life example would be if you’re asking about available rooms at a Hotel in Germany. Every such interaction would open with a nice, clear, pleasant Guten Abend.
Guten Abend! Haben Sie Zimmer frei?
"Good evening! Do you have any free rooms?"
[SLOW] Guten Abend! Haben Sie Zimmer frei?
Guten Abend! Haben Sie Zimmer frei?
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?"
[SLOW] Wie kann ich Ihnen helfen?
Wie kann ich Ihnen helfen?
Next let’s talk about how to tell your name in German.
When you want to ask someone for their name, you can say:
Wie heißen Sie?
"What’s your name?"
[SLOW] Wie heißen Sie?
Wie heißen Sie?
You could then answer this question with a sentence like,
Ich heiße Yassir.
"My name is Yassir."
[SLOW] Ich heiße Yassir.
Ich heiße Yassir.
Or simply:
Ich bin Yassir.
"I’m Yassir."
[SLOW] Ich bin Yassir.
Ich bin Yassir.
Do you know how to say "Nice to meet you!" in German?
In a formal setting, one of the most common things to say is:
Es freut mich sehr, Sie kennenzulernen.
"I’m very glad to meet you."
[SLOW] Es freut mich sehr, Sie kennenzulernen.
Es freut mich sehr, Sie kennenzulernen.
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."
By sticking these words together, you can express the idea of "to get to know somebody," or "to make somebody’s acquaintance."
If you would prefer a shorter yet still relatively formal variant, you can say:
Sehr erfreut. / Freut mich.
"Nice to meet you."
[SLOW] Sehr erfreut. / Freut mich.
Sehr erfreut. / Freut mich.
Freuen is a verb meaning "to please," as in "I’m very pleased, and in fact, that is all Sehr erfreut means.
"Servus", "Moin Moin," and "Hallo" all mean "hello" in German, so which one should you use?
Germany is a big country, so you will notice that there are differences when it comes to the way people from different regions greet each other.
In Northern Germany, you’ll hear Moin all the time. "Moin" is a short form of "morgen", meaning "morning," and is used as a way to say "Hello." Sometimes it’s doubled up as Moin moin—to which the only response, naturally, is a third Moin. This works at any time of the day.
[SLOW] Moin
You also may hear Na, spoken with a question intonation and often written "Na?" You’ll mostly hear "na" in combination with "How are you?" It’s unusual to use this word by itself.
[SLOW] Na?
Next, let’s move further south to Southern Germany.
This is where you’ll encounter the greeting,
Grüß dich!
which literally means "Greet you!"
[SLOW] Grüß dich
Grüß dich
Also popular in Southern Germany is
Grüß Gott!
which directly translates to "Greet god!"
[SLOW] Grüß Gott!
Grüß Gott!
Many Austrians on the other hand say,
[SLOW] Servus
As for German speakers in Switzerland, you may often hear them say,
[SLOW] Grüetzi!
It’s a little bit less common, but another Swiss German greeting you could run into is
[SLOW] Hoi
Lastly, let’s learn how to hold a casual conversation.
The most common informal way to start a conversation with someone is by saying,
Wie geht es dir? / Wie geht’s?
"How’s it going?"
[SLOW] Wie geht es dir? / Wie geht’s?
Wie geht es dir? / Wie geht’s?
The formal version of this is said by simply replacing the informal pronoun dir with the formal Ihnen.
You can then respond with,
Gut, danke! Und dir/Ihnen?
"Good, thanks! And you?"
[SLOW] Gut, danke! Und dir/Ihnen?
Gut, danke! Und dir/Ihnen?
Es geht mir sehr gut.
"I’m doing very well."
[SLOW] Es geht mir sehr gut.
Es geht mir sehr gut.
Here are some other ways to casually greet someone:
Hey, Alter!
"Hey, man" or "Hey, dude!"
[SLOW] Hey, Alter!
Hey, Alter!
Was geht ab?
"What’s up?"
[SLOW] Was geht ab?
Was geht ab?
Hallo zusammen!
"Hey everybody!"
[SLOW] Hallo zusammen!
Hallo zusammen!
You can also say,
Alles klar?
"Is everything good?"
[SLOW] Alles klar?
Alles klar?
One way you can answer is by saying
Danke, alles bestens!
"Thank you, everything is going well!"
[SLOW] Danke, alles bestens!
Danke, alles bestens!
In this lesson, you learned how to say hello in German in accordance with the time of the day, how to exchange names, how to say nice to meet you, how to say hello in different German-speaking areas, how to casually greet someone, and also some of the basics of the German language.
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That’s it for today! See you next time!
Bis bald wieder!