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Learning German - Basic Travel Phrases For Sightseeing, Money Exchange and Disabilities

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 6/29/2014

You want to know about interesting places, you need some cash, or you require travel assistance. Learn how to express your needs in German with short sentences and phrases.

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    Quick Phrases for Travel

    Here are a helpful few phrases for that long stopover in a German speaking nation, or an overnight stay before you fly to your actual destination. Print out the article, tuck it in your carry on bag, and be prepared.

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    Organized tours, trains, buses, coaches and taxis run regularly and frequently in Germany. Taxis are white and have a meter running, Germany which starts at a set price.

    How far is it to...? - Wie weit ist es nach....

    Can I walk? - Kann ich laufen?

    Are you free? - Sind Sie frei?

    No, occupied. - Nein, besetzt.

    Can you wait? - Koennen Sie warten?

    Timetable - Fahrplan (m)

    Exit - Ausgang (m)

    Entry - Eingang(m)

    Train - Zug or Bahn (m)

    Train station - Bahnhof (m)

    Return ticket - Rueckfahrkarte (f)

    Return - Hin und Zurueck

    Do I have to change? - Muss ich umsteigen?

    Window seat - Fensterplatz (m)

    Aisle seat - Gangplatz (m)

    Waiting Room - Wartesaal (m)

    Remark: If you are really in a pinch at a train station, you can turn to a charity called "Bahnhofsmission". They have an office at every major train station.

    What is worth visiting? - Was ist sehenswert?

    Where is...? - Wo ist...?

    A cinema - ein Kino

    A museum - ein Museum

    Sightseeing Tour - Stadtrundfahrt (f)

    Map - Plan (m)

    Remark: many expressions related to sightseeing are used in English in Germany. Words like: sightseeing tour, tourist, tour, discount, daytrip or ticket will be perfectly understood.

    Discount for children - Kinderermaessigung (difficult to pronounce but if you see the word you know what it means)

    Opening times - Oeffnungszeiten (f)

    Open - offen

    Closed - geschlossen

    Tour guide - Fremdenfuehrer (m)

    Bank holiday - Feiertag (m)

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    Post Office, Bank, Money Exchange

    Post offices and letter boxes are yellow. Stamps are available at the post office but also at every shop which sells postcards.

    Letter - Brief (m)

    Registered Post - Einschreiben (n)

    Postcard - Postkarte (f)

    Parcel - Packet (n)

    Stamps - Briefmarken (f)

    Air Mail - Luftpost (f)

    Urgent Delivery - Eilzustellung (f)

    Remark: Money can be changed at banks, post offices and hotels. Rates in hotels are not so good.

    Signature - Unterschrift (f)

    Passport - Pass (m)

    Driving License - Fueherschein (m)

    Remark: Your driving license is not recognized as sufficient identification in Germany. You have to show your passport. Depending on nationality you may need an international driving license to rent a car.

    I would like to change money - Ich moechte Geld wechseln

    Money - Geld (n)

    Coins - Muenzen (f)

    Bills - Scheine (f)

    small - klein

    big - gross

    Transfer - Ueberweisung (f)

    ATM - Geldautomat (m)

    The ATM has swallowed my card! - Der Automat hat meine Karte geschluckt!

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    Bigger cities have access ramps and facilities for wheelchair drivers and special parking. But not all buses and trains 'bend at the knee'.

    Wheelchair access - Rollstuhlzugang (m)

    Wheelchair - Rollstuhl (m)

    Ramp - Rampe (f)

    Can you help me push, please? - Koennen Sie mir bitte schieben helfen?

    Is there wheelchair access? - Gibt es Rollstuhlzugang?

    Crutch - Kruecke (f)

    I am disabled - Ich bin behindert

    blind - blind

    deaf - taub

    dumb - stumm

    amputated - amputiert

    Can I sit please - Kann ich bitte sitzen

    Seat - Sitzplatz (m)

    Seat for disabled - Behindertenplatz (m)

    Blanket - Decke (f)

    Pillow - Kissen (n)

    Foot rest - Fusstuetze (f)

    Head rest - Kopfstuetze (f)

    paralyzed - gelaehmt

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    For online help pronouncing German words, try LEO, a German translator with pronunciation. Just type in the word you want to hear, and click on the speaker.