Everywhere you should be alright to use: Hallo, Guten Tag, Hi, Hey.

  • Guten Tag is the most formal greeting.
  • Hallo is more commonly used in formal settings nowadays too.
  • Hi and Hey are the most informal greetings.

North of Germany (Hamburg and north of Hamburg): moin

mid Germany: Guten Tag, Hallo

mid-west Germany: Tach

South Germany, particulary in Bavaria and Austria: Grüß Gott (often pronounced Griaß God), Servus, Griaß di/eich

Switzerland: Grüezi


Saying goodbye

Everywhere you should be alright to use: Auf Wiedersehen, Tschüss

  • Auf Wiedersehen is the most formal way auf saying goodbye.
  • Tschüss used to be very informal but is being used more frequently in formal settings, too.
  • There are a variety of other ways to say goodbye that aren’t linked to specific regions, such as
    • bis dann (“until then”)
    • machs/machts gut (“take care” sing/pl)
    • einen schönen Tag noch (“enjoy the rest of the day”)
    • man sieht sich (“see you”)

North of Germany (Hamburg and north of Hamburg): Adjüüs

mid Germany: Auf Wiedersehen, Tschüss, Tschau

South Germany, particularly Bavaria and Austria: Servus, Widaschaun, Pfiad di-eich, baba

Switzerland: Sali


Saying “thanks”

To say thank you, „Danke“ is generally used.

Near France, people also say “Merci”.

Around Bavaria and Austria, you’re likely to hear “Dang schee

Saying “you’re welcome”

North of Germany (Hamburg and north of Hamburg): Da nich(t) für

spread throughout: bitte, gern geschehen, gern(e), nichts zu danken, kein Problem, passt schon

more common in the south and Austria: gern geschehen, gern(e), bitte, bitt(e) schön

Switzerland: gern geschehen



Also: sorry is quite established as replacement for Entschuldigung-Tschuldigung.

If someone sneezes you say “Gesundheit”

To say “enjoy” when someone eats, guten Appetit or Mahlzeit (more informal, more common in south Germany and Austria)

To cheers you say prost, prosit, or, zum Wohl!


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