65+ Simple Ways To Say Greetings In German

Greetings In German

Did you know that the German language is one of the most popular languages on Earth? It’s spoken in over 22 countries worldwide but remains the most popular in Europe. Over 155 million people speak German, and they would surely be impressed if you knew any greetings in German!

Greeting people in their native language is always a polite thing to do. It creates an immediate level of respect. Learning German language greetings is sure to come in handy if you plan to travel to Germany, especially if you’re trying to impress business colleagues or any parents of your German partner.

Just like with any culture, there are, of course, right ways and wrong ways to greet people in German. Let’s take a look at the most common German greetings.

Greetings In German Properly Greet Dos and Donts

Dos And Don’ts: How To Greet People Properly In Germany (And Abroad)

Greetings in German may be quite different from what you’re used to. What is deemed proper etiquette in one culture can be considered to be completely disrespectful. You’ll want to make a great first impression and avoid looking silly or offensive when making German greetings.

For example, it’s normal etiquette to kiss everyone you meet on both cheeks in France. In Arab culture, it’s the norm to hug and kiss both males and females. Is that what’s expected in German culture? Let’s dive into the dos and don’ts of greeting etiquette.

Do You Shake Hands In Germany?

Handshakes – Do

Yes! When meeting someone for the first time, it is customary to greet them with a firm (but not too strong) handshake. You don’t want to give a meek handshake, which could say a lot about your character.

It’s common to shake hands with both men and women and if you want to go that extra mile to impress a woman, you could go for the kiss the back of the hand trick.

Greetings In German Do People Hug in Germany

Do People Hug In Germany?

Hugs – Don’t

Greetings in German do not often involve hugs. Germans are not overly affectionate with people they’ve just met. It’s best to avoid going in for a hug the first few times you meet and greet someone. Germans tend to reserve hugging for very close friends and family, and even then, hugs are given as more of a half-hug with a pat on the back.

Women are more open to the idea of hugs, but don’t get carried away! Hugs are reserved for people they know well, so don’t overstep your boundaries.

Do People Kiss In Germany?

Kisses – Don’t In Germany, Do In Austria

Kisses on the lips or cheeks as a way to greet someone in Germany is not a common practice at all. Even among close family and friends, it’s a rare occurrence. However, kissing on the cheeks is more culturally accepted in neighboring Austria but still reserved for close family and friends. Don’t greet a stranger by kissing them!

Should You Make Eye Contact With Germans?

Making Eye Contact – Do

Yes! Greetings in German should all involve eye contact. When greeting a German person, it’s polite and expected that you would look them in the eyes. Not a hard stare or anything. Just a polite look and a nod will do. Along with confident body language, eye contact shows confidence and friendliness.

Formal And Informal Greetings In German

In a German-speaking country, the general rule of thumb is that formal is better. You can’t go wrong with being formal, and people will appreciate the level of respect! We’ll go over different greetings in German, such as how to say hello, say goodbye, ask people how they are, and respond to such inquiries in formal situations or informal situations.

You’ll want to use formal German greetings in a formal setting. You can opt for casual greetings in an informal situation, especially among friends.

Greetings In German How to Say Hello

How To Say ‘Hello’ In German

Saying ‘hello’ in German can be achieved in many different ways. The German language offers lots of fun ways to say hello!

Hello In Formal German

English TranslationGerman PhraseSound
Good day!
(In southern Germany)
Grüß Gott!
Good dayGuten Tag
Good morningGuten Morgen
Good afternoonGuten Tag
Good eveningGuten Abend
Have a nice daySchöner Tag
At your serviceServus
God bless you!Grüß Gott!

Informal German

English TranslationGerman PhraseSound
Hi! (In northern Germany)Moin!
Good to see you!Schön dich zu sehen!
Long time no see!Lange nicht gesehen!
Hello there! (Literal meaning: “I greet you!”)Grüß dich!
Hey, dude!Alter!
How’s it going?Wie geht es dir?
What’s going on?Was geht?
Was ist los?
Was läuft?

What’s up?Was geht ab?
Was liegt an?
Was ist los?

Nice to see you again!Schön dich wiederzusehen!

How to Ask ‘How Are You?’ In German

A part of most cultures is checking in on the person you have met with a simple inquiry; ‘How are you?’ Like in the English language, the Germans’ have many ways to ask that question.

How Are You In Formal German

English TranslationGerman PhraseSound
How are you?Wie geht es ihnen?
Are you doing fine?Geht es gut?
Hi, how are you? Hallo, wie geht es ihr?
Fine, thanks, how are you?Gut, danke, und ihnen?

How Are You In Informal German

English TranslationGerman PhraseSound
How’s it going?Wie geht’s?
Is everything OK?Ist alles OK?
How’s it going?Wie geht es dir?
Everything alright?Alles gut?
Greetings In German How To say Goodbye

How to Say ‘Goodbye’ In German

Equally as saying hello, is knowing how to say goodbye in German! It can be rude not to say goodbye, and there are many forms to do so.

How To Say Goodbye In Formal German

English TranslationGerman PhraseSound
GoodbyeAuf Wiedersehen
Have a nice daySchönen Tag
Have a nice weekend!Schönes Wochenende!
See you againAuf Wiedersehen
Have a nice eveningAbend noch

Informal German

English TranslationGerman PhraseSound
Until next time!Bis zum nächsten mal!
See you soonBis bald /Auf bald
See you (Literal translation: “We see each other”)Wir sehen uns!
Take care!Mach’s gut!
See youBis dann
See you laterBis später
Good night!Gute Nacht!
Take care of yourself!Pass auf dich auf!
Greetings In German How To Respond

How To Respond To German Greetings

It’s important to know what to say when someone asks you how you are or says hello. You can use various sayings to respond to people on the street, people you’ve just met, or your friends.

Formal German Greetings

English TranslationGerman PhraseSound
Good day (literally means: “Greet God!”)Grüß Gott!
It’s nice to meet youEs freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen!
Pleased to meet you!Schön Sie zu treffen!
How are you?Wie geht es Ihnen?
Are you doing fine?Geht es gut?
I’m glad!Freut mich!
I greet you!Ich grüße Sie!
Very pleasedSehr erfreut

General Responses For Greetings In German

English TranslationGerman PhraseSound
I’m fineEs geht mir gut
I’m doing better/I’m feeling betterEs geht mir besser
It’s going so-soEs geht so
I’m not doing wellEs geht mir schlecht
It’s alrightPasst schon

Learn More Than Just Greetings In German With The Ling App

With all this new useful knowledge, you’re ready to head out and use these German greetings! It can be tough learning a foreign language, and we hope this article has made learning greetings, such as saying hello in German, much clearer.

Are you ready to dive in and learn German? The Ling app is a great language acquisition tool that you can carry around in your pocket. With just 5 to 15 minutes a day, Ling will help you learn the ins and outs of German. Go on! Try it out and be prepared for your travels, or be ready for a conversation with a friend or neighbor.

Don’t have time to attend German lessons online or physically? Then the Ling app is the best language learning app to use now. Download it on the Play Store or App Store.

Auf bald! See you soon!

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