If you’re booking a break to Germany’s historic capital city, you might want to know what language is spoken in Berlin. While German has a number of dialects, it’s the standard version that’s used in Berlin. A precise and structured language, German can seem a bit daunting for those who’ve never spoken it before. However, learning a few, choice phrases and greetings in the local language can give you a big advantage. Even giving it a go can help you get a warm welcome, wherever you go in this glorious city.
While learning to speak the language will certainly open doors for you on your city break to the German capital, it can also help with future breaks to other countries. In addition to Germany, you’ll find it spoken in destinations such as Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. One of the oldest and most prominent languages on the planet, it’s estimated that it’s spoken by around 100 million people, across the globe.
The earliest form of German can be traced back to around the 6th Century. Its various dialects weren’t standardised until the invention of the printing press in the 13th Century, and the later publication of the Lutheran Bible in 1543. However, the modern form of the language didn’t develop until the late 17th Century, when the Brothers Grimm compiled a multi-part dictionary, setting the grammatical rules in stone.
While German can be a difficult language to become fluent in, learning a little of the Berlin language will set you apart from other visitors, no matter how stumbling your efforts are to start with. Berliners are famous for their friendliness and being able to speak a little of the local lingo will ensure that you raise a smile at the very least. Also, being able to try out a few sentences has some practical benefits. Asking for directions, shopping and ordering food can all help to ensure that you receive great service and minimises the potential for any confusion.
To help visitors, we’ve put together a list of some of the most commonly-used and helpful phrases and translated them. Don’t worry about pronunciation, because we’ve even included sound files so you can listen to a native speaker take you through each phrase first. Click on the ‘play’ icon below the sentence you want to learn, and you’ll hear it spoken in the Berlin language, just as it should sound. From there, it’s a case of listening and repeating, until you’ve committed it to memory.
Part of the fun of going on holiday is meeting new people and making new friends. With the basics of the most common language in Berlin up your sleeve, you’ll find it easier to break the ice and make new friends. For very little effort, you’ll get to make the most of your time in this stunning destination.