The German language is spoken by approximately 200 million people around the world, with more learning the language every day. But Germany isn't the only country that uses it, just in case you were wondering whether or not this language would be useful to learn. German is also spoken in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and quite a few more European countries - not to mention others sprinkled here and there around the world. The German language is also the basis of what are known as Germanic languages, which include Dutch, Danish and, of course, English; it is the reason why some words in English and German mean the same thing. And we want to see how much you know - or at least how much you can try to figure out - in this quiz.
So allow us to give you more than a few German phrases and sayings. You'll then have to try to match them to their English counterparts and hope that you're right. If you get more than half of them correct, we'll be impressed. If you want to show off how much German you understand, this is the quiz for you. Grab a beer or your beverage of choice, and let's get started!
What does "Es tut mir leid" mean?
The German phrase "Es tut mir leid" is used when apologizing. It translates to "It causes me sorrow" and is used to express the sorrow or regret felt for some wrongdoing.
Can you tell us what "Ich spreche Englisch" means?
I speak English.
"Ich spreche Englisch" is a German phrase which means "I speak English." It lets others know that you are familiar with the English language. The expression can be adjusted to indicate knowledge of other languages by simply changing the end. For example, "Ich spreche Franzosisch" means "I speak French."
"Wohin gehen Sie?" is used to ask someone where they are going. "Gehen" here is the conjugated form of the verb gehen (going) for the second person formal. "Wohin" is the interrogative word for "where."
"Ich verstehe nicht" translates into "I understand not." This phrase is used to express a lack of understanding. The German verb for "understand" is "verstehe." It is followed by the adverb "nicht," which means not.
If you tell someone "Ich brauche Hilfe," what are you saying?
Do you have souvenirs?
I need some help.
This is a very important expression for tourists and foreign visitors to German-speaking countries. The phrase "Ich brauche Hilfe" means "I need help" and can be used to request assistance if you're confused or helpless.
"Wie heißen Sie?" is used to ask someone what their name is. It is a formal expression and so uses "Sie," which is the German formal pronoun for you. In a more friendly setting, the phrase "Wie heißt du?" can be used.
"Könnnen Sie langsamer sprechen?" is a phrase used to formally ask someone to speak slower. The first verb "können" (could) is conjugated, while the second, "sprechen" (speak) remains in the infinitive form.
What comes to mind when you see the phrase "Bis später"?
You're so silly!
See you later!
"Bis später" is a phrase used in place of "goodbye." It means "see you later" and is often used between individuals who are sure of crossing paths again at a later date. Other greetings used in place of "goodbye" or "see you later" are "bis bald" and "bis dann."
"Sprechen Sie Englisch?" is the formal way of asking someone whether they are familiar with the English language. This question comes in handy for tourists and foreigners visiting German-speaking countries.
What do you think "Ich habe mich verlaufen" translates to?
I’m doing well.
Can you translate that?
"Ich habe mich verlaufen" directly translates into "I have lost my way." It is used when you are physically lost and unaware of your location. By letting someone know that you are lost, you can receive help in the form of directions.
This German phrase is commonly used when shopping. "Wie viel kostet das?" is used to ask how much an item costs. "Wie" here is the interrogative word for "how," and "kostet" is the conjugated form of the verb "kosten," which means to cost.
When directly translated into English, "Wo kommst du her?" becomes "Where come you here?" The actual meaning is "Where are you from?" It is used to inquire about someone's background and is most often used to ask for someone's country of origin.
Quite a mouthful, but a necessary one, what does "Freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen" mean?
The museum isn’t open.
Nice to meet you.
"Freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen" is an expression which means "nice to meet you." It is a polite response, used after being introduced to someone new. "Kennenzulernen" is the verb "to know" (somebody).
This expression is used to inquire about the location of the nearby bathrooms. "Wo ist die Toilette?" means "Where is the bathroom?" "Toilette" here should not be confused with "Dusche," which is the shower.
The phrase "Ich brauche Auskunft" is used to request information or to let someone know that you are in need of information. It directly translates into "I need information" and can be a very useful phrase for tourists.