Don’t Know German? No Problem! Handy Phrases I Picked Up…

In Erin's Perspective by Erin L. Cox

By Erin L. Cox

Last year was my first year to attend The Frankfurt Book Fair. Being cocky (read: stupid) about my ability to communicate in a foreign country despite not knowing the language, I waited until the day I was leaving to run to the bookstore and pick up a German phrasebook. If you, like me, forgot to pick up a phrasebook or need some tips to get you through this week at Frankfurt, here are some phrases that will get you through the days (and the nights) in Germany:

Here’s my business card: Hier ist meine Karte.

I have an appointment with… :  Ich habe einen Termin bei…

It’s been great meeting with you:  Es war schon, Sie kennen zu lernen.

Nobody cares two hoots about it.:  Danach kraeht kein Hahn.
Just joking!:  Das war nur ein Schertz!

Before this goes any further, I must be upfront. I’m … :  Bevor wir uns naeher kennen lernen, muss ich etwas klarstellen. Ich bin…

I don’t mind watching, but I’d rather not join inIch sehe gerne zu, wuerde aber lieber nicht selbst mitmachen.

Let’s have a second drink: Auf einem Bein steht man schlecht.

What star sign are you?:  Was fur ein Sternzeichen bist du?

I didn’t realize I was doing anything wrong:  Ich war mir nicht bewusst, etwas Unrechtes getan zu haben.

Is there a fine we can pay to clear this?:  Koennen wir eine Geldbusse dafuer bezahlen?

I’ve got a hangover:  Ich habe einen Kater.

[Phrases courtesy of Lonely Planet German Phrasebook.]
About the Author

Erin L. Cox

Erin L. Cox has worked as Business Development Director for Publishing Perspectives. She is a Senior Associate at Rob Weisbach Creative Management, where she represents writers and handles publicity and advertising clients.