Do you have a trip planned to Germany? Traveling abroad is an exciting adventure as it can open your eyes to new customs, cultures, and people. While the experience is often amazing, there’s one thing many people don’t think about before they go—the language barrier.
You’ll find that there are many English-speaking people in Germany, but you won’t always be able to identify them. Instead, it’s best to have a few German expressions memorized or written down before you go. That way, if you find yourself in a jam, you can ask for assistance.
Below is a list of helpful German expressions you might not have thought to write down or memorize.
1. Ich habe mich verlaufen (I’m lost)
There’s a very good chance that you will get lost while exploring an unfamiliar town or city. If you find yourself confused by street names, or can’t seem to figure out where you are, say to a local “Ich habe mich verlaufe.” This particular expression means you’ve lost your way on foot and need assistance getting back on track.
2. Wieviel kostet es? (How much does this cost?)
Vendors will often take advantage of travelers and overcharge them for items. If you’re interested in purchasing goods, services or food, this phrase will come in handy. It’s also a good idea to refresh your German numbers before you go.
3. Wie sagt man … auf Deutsch? (How do you say “fill in word” in German?)
You can’t memorize every word in the German dictionary. There will mostly likely be times when you’re tongue tied. If you need to know how to pronounce a certain word, this phrase will help you.
4. Wo ist der Bahnhof? (Where is the train station?)
Public transportation is commonly used throughout Germany. If you’re planning on traveling to various cities or another country within Europe, you’ll want to know how to ask where the nearest train station is.
5. Wo ist das Krankenhaus? (Where is the hospital?)
No one wants to get sick or injured while on vacation, but that doesn’t stop it from happening. If you’re feeling under the weather or an emergency happens, it’s important to know how to find the nearest healthcare facility.
6. Konnen sie mir ein Taxi zu refen? (Can you call me a taxi?)
If it’s late or dark, a taxi is often the best and safest way to get back to your hotel. However, trying to communicate where you are via phone can be difficult if your German speaking skills are weak. Instead, use this phrase to ask someone to call a taxi for you.
7. Was ist die beste sache, um in Deutschland zu sehen? (What is the best thing to see in Germany?)
Travel off the beaten path. Get an insider’s perspective about the best things to see from a native. You might find a gem that no travel book will tell you about.
8. Haben Sie ein Menü auf englisch? (Do you have a menu in English?)
Hunger can slowly creep up, especially after walking or traveling all day. If you’re not familiar with German food vocabulary, you might want to consider adding this phrase to your list to avoid ordering something unfamiliar.
9. Ruf die Polizei! (Call the police!)
While the hope is that nothing will happen so that you have to call the police, things inevitably come up and it’s important that you know this expression.
10. Sprechen Sie Englisch? (Do you speak English?)
When all else fails, see if you can find someone to communicate with in your native language. It can ease anxiety, and you will most likely end up with a conversation that provides you with plenty of excellent tips.
Before your vacation, you might want to consider taking a few German lessons to help familiarize yourself with the proper pronunciation and common vocabulary words. While travel dictionaries are helpful, they don’t always give you all the information you need.