Learning some simple German phrases is a good way to get a sense of the language while picking up some things that will be useful if you're traveling in Germany. Language courses will introduce phrases such as these to get the students conversing from the beginning of their language learning. It is important when learning a language to hear, see and speak the words. This type of reinforcement lodges information in different areas of your brain, making it easier to recall.
Tips for Learning German
The German alphabet is slightly different than the 26-letter alphabet used in romance languages. Pronunciations are also very different than their written English equivalents. For these reasons, it's a good idea to start out by learning the German alphabet and the phonetic pronunciations of common sounds. This will help you recognize and sound out any new words you encounter.
While you're learning German, take every opportunity to find courses that include audio or video instruction. Hearing German phrases repeatedly will help you avoid rookie mistakes in pronunciation. Courses that include pictures are also helpful, as this lets your brain attach German labels to things that you see. One of the keys to learning to speak a language is learning to think in that language.
Simple German phrases can be learned by practice. Good practice involves not only reading the phrases, but doing an action associated with the phrase to help the brain internalize the learning on a physical level. Reading, speaking and doing an action together are tools for learning a language well. The more senses you involve in learning, the more you'll retain.
Here are some German phrases to get you started speaking the language:
Good Day: Guten tag
Thank you: Danke
Thank you very much: Vielen dank
How are you?: Wie geht es ihnen?
I am happy: Ich bin glücklich
I don't know: Ich weiß nicht.
What is your name?: Wie heißen Sie?
My name is___: Ich heiße ___
Nice to meet you: Sehr erfreut.
Excuse me: Entschuldigung
Good morning: Guten morgen
Good evening: Guten abend
Where is…?: Wo ist…?
Can you help me?: Können sie mir helfen?
Do you speak English?: Sprechen sie Englisch?
I am hungry: Ich habe hunger.
I am tired: Ich bin müde.
I would like…: Ich móchte gern...
I am sorry: Es tut mir leid.
I am sick: Ich bin krank.
I am lost: Ich habe mich verlaufen.
A Note on Formality
German is a language that has both formal and informal constructions. Formal German requires particular verb forms and specific use of grammar.
Culturally, the difference between formal and informal communication is very significant to German people, although young people often disregard the rules when speaking to each other. Be sure you learn and master the formal versions of German phrases, and use them whenever you speak. The only time when informal language is appropriate is when you are in a private place with someone who has specifically given you the freedom to speak informally.
Wondering how do you say "I love you" in German? Before you start getting cozy with others, make sure you know the cultural rules that influence what you can say.
If you're wondering how to learn German, a great place to begin is on the Web. Some excellent free courses can teach you the basics, if you know what to look for in an online course.