How to say hello in German correctly? Does the greeting depend on the time of day and region? How to greet in an official environment? Deutsch wtf will tell you how!
Just say “hallo” and that’s all you need! You’re correct, however, the “hallo” is very generic and beginner level, let’s spice it up with the most interesting options you can choose to replace “hallo”.
Although the culture is changing in the direction of du’zing Germans are still formal with each other. This becomes obvious if we consider the many choices for German greetings, which can differ both in the time of day when they are used and in different regions where they are in use.
In Bavaria and southern Germany they usually say: Grüß Gott!… and in Berlin you often hear: Schönen Tag!
In the morning you should use:
“Guten Morgen“, or simply “Morgen“, that is, “Good morning”,
Or the universal phrase:
“Guten Tag“, means “Hello”. “Guten Tag” also means “Good afternoon” and therefore can be used all day long.
The German Tag usually starts at 12:00
After about six in the evening, the Germans greet each other with the phrase:
“Guten Abend ” – “Good evening”.
“Gute Nacht ” – “Good night”, is used either in parting at the end of the evening or when a person actually goes to bed. There is another greeting:
“Grüß dich“, literally “I greet you”. This phrase is used mainly by young people.
There are various regional variations of German greetings. For example, in Austria and southern Germany,
“Grüß Gott” is used as a greeting , literally “greet God”. And spread out “Servus!“, which literally means “greetings”.
Note, that if you are not sure what to use and you don’t want to f’up you can always say “Hallo” – “hello.”
It’s always best to Siezen and to Duzen only to those who you know.
Since the Germans pay great attention to formalities, they constantly use titles. When referring to someone who is not your friend, always use words like Herr, Frau, Dr (“mr.”, “mrs.”, “doctor”) combined with their last name – Herr, Frau, Dr Schmidt.