Jonas @howwedu


additional ressources


The KING: 0. Hallo!

always works.

But there are many other ways to say hello in German. Most of them are predominantly used in a certain age group, at a certain time or in a certain region of Germany. If you’re learning German, it’s good to have already heard of them once to understand them when people are talking to you. But perhaps you will also like to adopt some examples that you fancy and make them part of your own active vocabulary.
We categorized the greetings into different groups and have prepared decodings [literal translations in square brackets] if helpful, and audio examples that show pronunciation and intonation, that correspond to the example situation in (brackets). These situations of course, are only examples, but nevertheless can give you a first idea about the use of the individual greetings.

time dependent

image by dalesbest

image by dalesbest

1. Guten Morgen!

[Good morning!]
(business partners meeting at the company; teacher to year 5 - year 5 to teacher)

2. Morgen!

(child still half at sleep; student greeting teacher passing by)

3. N’Morgen!

(man meets neighbour at the bakery)

4. Guten!

[Bon (appetit)]
(student enters the cafeteria and sees some friends of his that already eat)

5. Guten Abend!

[Good evening] {formal}
(ticket takers at a theater)

6. Abend!

(man meeting colleagues at the evening)

7. N’Abend!

(adults meeting in the evening at the supermarket)

8. guten Tag!

[Good day!] {rather formal}
(at a job interview between 9am and 4 pm)

9. Tag!

(business partners meet)


by toolmantim

by toolmantim

10. Hi!

(age: 6-30; 1. meeting your friends, 2. Meeting somebody new of your age)

11. Hey!

(12-30; (a) Answering a „Hi“, b) Hello here I am, 3. c) Hello, what’s wrong?)


youth slang

by Kamyar A

by Kamyar A

12. Joooo!

[Yoooo] (14-25, male) (1. Meeting your mates, 2. Answering a “Joo“/“Hallo“/…

13. Servoooz!

(16-22; young male adults meeting in Speyer (a German city; example for a local slang; basically an odd pronunciation of Servus!)

artificial, trilled

by Tony Alter

by Tony Alter

14. Hallihallo!

(animator to younger children)

15. Hallöchen!

(mother coming home in very good mood)



by Francisco Antunes

by Francisco Antunes

16. Moin!

(North Germany at every time of day (although it sounds a bit like a short form for Morgen! [Morning!] it's probably a derivate from the Dutch mo(o)i [good])

17. Moinsen!

(North Germany; younger people)

18. Servus!

(South Germany) (more standard German pronunciation; Bavarian)

19. Sers!

(South Germany)

20. Grüß dich!

(friends 30+ meet; rather South, also younger people)

21. Grüß Gott!

(40+, particularly towards local pastor; rather South)


just weird:

by Mark Roay

by Mark Roay

22. Tagchen.

(Weird people ;))

outside the box - especially saying hello back

by Andrea Allen

by Andrea Allen

23. Na?

(basically asking you to tell something that has happened lately, or just to tell how you are; father coming home from work)

24. Na, du?

(same as Na?, but more playful; mother to young child; a girl asking her boyfriend how he is)

25. Na, alles klar?

[Na, everything clear?]
(12-25: checking if everything is alright; male friends meet -
you would not expect a detailed answer, just something like "Ajo, und bei dir?" [Yeah, and at/with you?])

26. Na, alles fit?

[Na, everything fit?]
(14-25; same as "Na, alles klar" meeting a friend that has been away some days or the like)

27. Na, was geht?

[Na, what goes?]
(=Hey, what's up?, 14-22; esp. male; adolescents meeting)


Das war's.
[That was't]
That's it!

[But hello!]
Hell yeah!


Please note that age indications are very subjective and probably also region dependent. Please also note once again that this is called an additional ressource for a reason, it's totally sufficient to stick with the examples that we picked for you as part of the core content of the course; they are the most frequent. We just felt like you should be provided with a more detailed overview, in case that interests you. So we hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to leave a comment if you you want to, especially if you have any  further questions, or suggestions.

header image attribution: James Cridland "Crowd"

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