Common German Conversational Idioms
Guten Morgen! Guten Tag! Gute Nacht!
Translates exactly the same as it sounds: "Good morning!", "Good day!" and "Good night!" respectively. Unlike in English, these tend to be used more often as greetings than goodbyes, though it's certainly possible to hear both.
Mrs/Miss and Mr respectively. Germans will often greet people by their last name following whichever title is appropriate. Be careful: “Fräulein", an old version of our “Miss", is now considered to be outdated and to some women even offensive, so you should use “Frau" for both “Mrs" and “Miss."
A shortening of “Wie geht es?", this literally translates as “How goes it?" which is similar to our English “How's it going?" or “How are you?" The more formal version is “Wie geht es Ihnen?" stretched out and using the formal indirect pronoun.
Ich bin.../Ich heiße...
“I am" and “I am called" respectively; either of these may be used to signify a name. When asking for someone else's name, however, it is better form to use “heißen" in the construction, though one can also simply ask, “Wie ist Ihr/dein Name?" (formal and informal constructions respectively.)
Literally “Myself delights", this can be used to say more elegantly in English “I'm delighted" in response to an introduction.
Mir ist es...
To reply to the above question, as well as to most others with regard to how someone is doing, one uses the indirect personal pronoun, “mir", not “ich", conjugated with the third person singular version of “sein". This is a common mistake for people just getting started on German conversations, since it sounds so strange to say “Myself is", as opposed to “I am".
Und dir? (informal) Und Ihnen? (formal)
“And you?" A quick, common way to reflect a question.
Dir auch! (informal) Ihnen auch! (formal)
Similarly, the indirect personal pronoun may be used to reflect a statement, typically one of wishing well, back at another person, like our “You too!"
Das tut mir Leid.
Translating as, “That does me misfortune", this is something one would say either in response to hearing the misfortunes of another, or to apologize for your own transgressions.
Auf gut Deutsch
Literally “in good German", this phrase translates more like, “in plain language", or “to put it plainly".
Das kommt mir spanisch vor, Das ist mir spanisch.
In the same way that we say “It's Greek to me", the Germans use Spanish for things that are difficult and strange to understand.
While the former is known fairly universally as “thanks", “bitte" may be used both as “please" and “you're welcome". This might take some getting used to. There are many variations on both of these phrases, from “Vielen Dank" (“many thanks") to “Bitte schön" (“You're very welcome", with the adjective “schön", “beautiful", being used for emphasis, similar to how we say “pretty good".)
While literally translating as, “How please?", this is an easy way to ask someone, “What did you say?" or even more simply, “What?"