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Common German Expressions
As there are thousands of German expressions—ranging from the common to the more idiomatic. Here’s a mix of both:
Danke / Thank you
Ich weiß nicht / I don’t know
Bitte schön / You’re welcome
Guten Morgen / Good morning
Ich bin fix und fertig / I’m exhausted
Weggehen wie warme Semmeln / To sell like hotcakes
Wie geht’s? / How are you doing?
Wie viel kostet das? / How much is that?
Das ist ein Katzensprung / It’s a stone’s throw away
German is said to be among the least difficult languages for English speakers to learn. That’s because both languages stem from the same earlier Germanic language. In fact, about eighty of the hundred most commonly-used words in English speaking countries are of direct Germanic origin. That’s why the English “and” is “und” in German or why “book” in English is “Buch” in German. Plus, there are German words we use in English that aren’t just related, but identical: diesel, sauerkraut, poltergeist, angst, kindergarten, hamburger, gesundheit, and many more.
Learn German Words and Phrases
German is the second-most widely spoken language of the European Union. German comes just after English in its popularity in the EU. This makes sense when you take into consideration that German is one of the official languages of a number of European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Germany, parts of Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, and Switzerland. Around the globe, there are more than 229 million German speakers. The worldwide use of the German language makes it one of the most popular and practical languages to learn for reasons of business and travel.
Rosetta Stone German language lessons help beginning learners focus first on needed foundational language concepts. Every Rosetta Stone German lesson provides brief and practical exercises that help you learn to speak German with correct pronunciation, from the start. Language lessons begin with helping you understand and say everyday phrases like; nice to meet you, good day, how are you, pardon me, and excuse me. Then building on these basics, Rosetta Stone lessons will help you learn to understand and be understood in German. The language lessons are designed to help you learn to speak in German with confidence. So whether you have plans to travel across Northern Germany, ski through the Alps, or experience city life in Munich and Berlin, learning German with Rosetta Stone will serve you well.
One fun aspect of German is its tendency to combine multiple words into one word. So in English where you might use two or even three words, in German you might combine those two or three words into a single, compound word. As an example, the single word for orange juice in German is Orangensaft. Orangen + Saft = Orangensaft. And what’s more, these compounded German words also have a gender. Here’s how you determine a word’s gender: the gender of the word which comes last in the compound word (e.g., der, die, das) determines the gender of the compound word. For example, “die Orange” is feminine, but “der Saft” is masculine, so the resulting compound word “der Orangensaft” is also masculine.
The German language does include vocabulary that can be challenging to learn. Mark Twain is said to have famously taken issue with the “clumsy” German language practice of creating overly complicated, compound, multi-syllable words. As one example, let’s look at the German word Freundschaftsbezeugung. This lengthy word means “demonstrations of friendship.” Yes, the word is quite long, but it might help to try to break it into its recognizable and understandable parts. You can see that the compound word starts with the single word “Freund.” The word “Freund” is what is called a cognate, a counterpart with the same meaning of the English word “friend.”
Developing the skills to accurately pronounce German requires immediate feedback on your pronunciation efforts. Rosetta Stone helps you get the pronunciation right in a snap with our TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine. TruAccent compares your voice to native and non-native speakers—in real-time—so you get the feedback you need for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the German language.
After you have the basics of the German language under control, you can move onto learning the longer phrases that come into play in everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s quick, 10-minute lessons are built to lead you along the path of learning to confidently understand and correctly speak German. Rosetta Stone language lessons will help you learn German vocabulary and proper pronunciation for real-world situations.
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Surround yourself with German whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app.
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation.
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.