The world’s biggest celebration of beer, Oktoberfest, is right around the corner. In a couple of days, thousands of thirsty people will travel to Germany’s capital of Munich to celebrate all things beer.
Before you head off to Munich, you might want to learn some German. After all, you’re going to be mingling with locals and traveling throughout the city.
Learning a few useful German phrases will not only help you get around easier, but it will also enable you to make the most of your time in Germany.
So, if you’re planning to attend this year’s Oktoberfest festivities, brush up on your German language skills and impress your friends with these useful German phrases.
While ordering beer at Oktoberfest is fairly easy as each tent only offers one brand of beer, it doesn’t hurt to learn how to politely order a beverage. Here are a few useful German phrases for requesting a drink.
- “Ich trinke gerne…” (I would like to drink…)
- “Ein Bier, bitte.” ( A beer, please)
- “Welches Beir haben Sie?” (What kind of beer do you have?)
- “Wieviel kostet ein Bier?” (How much is a beer?)
Finding a Seat
Searching for an unoccupied seat in a packed beer tent is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So when you do find an open spot, you better grab it fast! Below are a few useful German phrases for seating.
- “Entschulding, ist dieser Platz frei?” (Excuse me, is this seat unoccupied?)
- “Entschulding, ist dieser Tisch frei?” (Excuse me, is this table unoccupied?)
- “Entschulding, könnten wir uns hier setzen?” (Excuse me, could we sit here?)
There are tons of delicious foods sold at Oktoberfest, such as pretzels, bratwurst, and the traditional roasted chicken. Most of the foods items are written in Bavarian, so use these useful German phrases to help you order.
- “Ich hatte gerne…” (I would like…)
- “Die Speisekarte, bitte.” (The food menu, please.)
- “Ich bin Vegetarier.” (I am a vegetarian.)
- “Was empfehlen sie?” (What do you recommend?)
Toasting and Greetings
There’s a lot of toasting that goes on at Oktoberfest. Chances are you’ll meet a group of new friends that will want to wish you well and vice versa. Below are some useful German phrases for cheersing your new friends.
- “Freut mich, dich kennenzulernen.” (Nice to meet you.)
- “Prost.” (Cheers)
- “Zum Wohl.” (To your health)
- “Wie geht es dir?” (How are you?)
- “Bis dann.” (See you later)
Asking for Help
Chances are you’re going to have a few questions while you’re at the festival; for example, where the bathroom is or what time the tents close. Use these German phrases to help you get the answers you’re looking for.
- “Wo ist die Toilette?” (Where is the bathroom?)
- “Ich brauche Richtungen.” (I need directions)
- “Kannst du mir helfen.” (Can you help me?)
- “Sprechen sie Englisch?” ( Do you speak English?)
When you’re on the plane or in the car en route to Oktoberfest, review these useful German phrases as they are sure to come in handy on your trip!
To learn more about the festival and it’s history-and why it takes place in September instead of October- check out this article from Argos Multilingual.
If you’re not very familiar with all the different types of German beer, check out the “The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Guide to German Beers [Infographic]“.