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HOW TO: Say "Hello" in Germany

It’s always important to know how to say „Hello“, when you come to another country. In German, there are many ways to greet people and fortunately they are easy to learn. Here are the most common ways to say “Hello” in Germany. “Hello” in German is “Hallo”, quite simple, I know. You can’t make a mistake by saying “Hallo” as a greeting. You can use it in a formal and casual way.

 

Formal greetings

Here in Germany we shake hands for a formal greeting. Cheek kissing is not so common and in some regions it could be very strange to do that. Depending on the time we say: - Guten Morgen - Guten Tag - Guten Abend

 

Informal greetings

Of course, we have a lot phrases for casual greetings. Matching the formal greetings on top the informal pendants are: 

 Morgen - Tag (Tach) - ‘n Abend

 

Other ways to say “Hello” between teens and young adults are “Hey” or “Was geht?” (What’s up?).

Saying “Na?” is the easiest question to ask about someone’s well being. You could also say “Na, du.”, or add “Wie gehts’s?” (How are you?).

 

Greeting with dialect

In Germany we have a lot of dialects. In Northern and Southern Germany greetings sound very different. I come from Northern Germany, so I say “Moin” as a greeting. Mostly people from Hamburg, East Frisia and the areas around say “Moin”.  There is actually no translation for “Moin”. You can say this at any time. 

 

In Southern Germany you may hear “Grüß Gott” instead of “Hallo”. It means “May God greet you”, and is mostly used in Bavaria. Another greeting in the South is “Servus”.

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