Learn New German Vocabulary Quickly Online With These Language Tips New German vocabulary isn't quite as hard to learn as you may think. If you've been struggling to learn to German words, here are a few easy tips to fix that!
As with English, Italian, and Spanish, German is a Romance language. Why does this matter? It means that English and German share a common root language, which in turn means that a lot of words are quite similar.
Here is a quick overview of four general rules to go by if you're looking to pump up your German vocab. Included in the video are examples as well as our tips!
Some words in English and German are actually the same, and all they require is a simple change in pronunciation. Words ending in -ion, -nt, or -er generally only need a slightly different pronunciation in German than they do in English.
Our second piece of advice is pretty straightforward. If you see a "c" in an English word, change it to a "k" and it will probably be German.
Another simple way to find the German counterpart of an English word is if the word ends in "e", generally you can drop that letter and you'll have the German equivalent.
Lastly, our final tip: more often than not, if an English word ends in -al, if you change it to -ell you will have the correct German word. This is, of course, taking into consideration the standard letter usage that German has rather than English - the video above details some of the standard letter and sound equivalents from English to German.
Common German Words and Phrases
There are many benefits of learning German, and if you've ever wanted to learn German, now is the time. Germany is one of the biggest producers of electronics and automobiles, which can translate to careers both in the United States and abroad. Conversational skills can help in job searches with foreign companies. Knowing how to speak German can also make traveling in Germany and other European countries easier and more enjoyable.
It's not always possible or necessary to become fluent, however. You may not have time to take full German language courses. When you simply need to respond correctly when introduced to someone, ask for directions, or understand prices when shopping, knowing a few common German words can come in handy. Learning a few basic German phrases can also help you build a foundation if you do want to pursue language studies to become fluent later on.
A few things to remember about German:
Nouns are capitalized
The ligature ß sometimes takes the place of a double s, i.e., the word for street is strasse which, in German, would be written straße. This is no longer as common as it once was, however, due to a country-wide change in spelling rules.
German uses a diacritical mark—the umlaut—on just three letters: Ä/ä, Ö/ö, and Ü/ü
The J in German is pronounced like the Y in English, as in the word yes
The V in German is sometimes pronounced like the F in English
The S in German is pronounced like the Z in English
The G in German is always pronounced like the G in the English word go, never like the G in the English word giraffe
The letters "eu" together in German are pronounced like the "oy" in the English word boy>
When learning how to speak German, it's a good idea to start with vocabulary related to travel. Here are some common German words and helpful German phrases. They're not difficult to learn, and they can come in handy if you're ever traveling in Germany, or any other European country where German is spoken. They can also be helpful in everyday conversation:
Hello! – Guten tag! (literally Good day!, but used as a general greeting)
Goodbye! – Auf Wiedersehen! or Tschüss! (informal)
It's nice to meet you. – Freut mich.
How are you? – Wie geht es Ihnen? or Wie geht's? (informal)
Yes. – Ja.
No. – Nein.
Please. – Bitte.
Thank you. – Danke.
Good morning. – Guten Morgen.
Good night. – Gute Nacht.
What time is it? – Wieviel Uhr is es?
What is your name? – Wie heißen Sie? or Wie heißt du? (informal)
My name is... – Ich heiße...
Happy birthday! – Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!
Merry Christmas! – Fröhliche Weihnachten!
Happy new year! – Pros(i)t Neujahr!
Where is...? Where are...? – Wo ist...? Wo sind...?
I need help. – Ich brauche Hilfe.
I don't speak German. – Ich spreche kein Deutsch.
I speak a little German. – Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch.
Do you speak English? – Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Where is the restroom? – Wo ist die Toilette?
I would like a glass of water – Ich möchte ein Glas Wasser.
I live in the United States. – Ich lebe in den Vereinigten Staaten.
I live in Canada. – Ich lebe in Kanada.
I am on vacation. – Ich bin im Urlaub.
I am lost. – Ich habe mich verlaufen (in a car: verfahren).
I lost my passport. – Ich habe meinen Reisepass verloren.
Taxi – Taxi
Bus – Bus
Train – Zug
Airplane – Flugzeug
Car – Auto or Wagen
Where can I catch a taxi? – Wo kann ich ein Taxi bekommen?
Common German Phrases of Love
German isn't really known for being a language of love like some other European languages such as French or Spanish. Still, if your significant other happens to be German, you may score a few extra points if you know a couple of romantic German phrases. This uses the informal version (Du) rather than the formal Sie.
I love you. – Ich liebe dich.
You are beautiful. – Du bist schön.
You are pretty. – Du bist hübsch.
You look good/You are handsome. – Du siehst gut aus.
Would you like to go out with me? – Willst du mit mir ausgehen?
Would you like to have dinner with me? – Willst du mit mir essen gehen?
You have beautiful eyes. – Du hast schöne Augen.
Will you marry me? – Willst du mich heiraten?
How to Say Numbers in German
Whether you're able to converse yet or not, you'll find the ability to say numbers in German very helpful, particularly in everyday situations like grocery shopping. Numbers are important German words. Knowing them will help you communicate with sales people, store employees, restaurant servers, or street vendors. More importantly, you need to be able to understand spoken prices. Here are some helpful German numbers:
one – eins
two – zwei
three – drei
four – vier
five – fünf
six – sechs
seven – sieben
eight – acht
nine – neun
ten – zehn
eleven – elf
twelve – zwölf
twenty – zwanzig
twenty-one – einundzwanzig ("one-and-twenty")
thirty – dreißig
forty – vierzig
fifty – fünfzig
sixty – sechzig
seventy – siebzig
eighty – achtzig
ninety – neunzig
one hundred – hundert or einhundert
one thousand – tausend or eintausend
How to Say Days and Months in German
When you learn German words, it's helpful to start with basics like days of the week, and months of the year. These German words can be very handy when planning travel, or just to make sure you meet your friends at a restaurant on the right day.
Monday – Montag
Tuesday – Dienstag
Wednesday – Mittwoch
Thursday – Donnerstag
Friday – Freitag
Saturday – Samstag
Sunday – Sonntag
How to Say Months in German
January – Januar
February – Februar
March – März
April – April
May – Mai
June – Juni
July – Juli
August – August
September – September
October – Oktober
November – November
December – Dezember
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