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Travel Tips: Deutsch Sprache in Österreich (Speaking German in Austria)

posted by Rose Mardit on April 01, 2013

Photo: Flag of Austria

Mayrhofen, Austria -- Happy first day of Snowbombing, and welcome to Mayrhofen! If you don’t speak German, you are in luck: nearly everyone in Austria speaks at least basic English and many people are actually fluent. Mayrhofen is a popular enough choice for international travelers that the staff in hotels, bars, and restaurants will usually speak other languages, but even so, it never hurts to be aware of local language customs.

Whether you are lost and need directions or want to ask for the elusive English menu at a restaurant, politeness goes a long way, and people who deal with tourists on a regular basis do appreciate when you make an effort. To kick off the week, here is a mini-guide for any non-German speakers at the fest.

Greetings

Hello - “Hallo” or “Servus”
Good morning - “Guten Morgen,” or simply “Morgen”
Good day - “Guten Tag,” or “Grüß Gott” for formal
Good evening - “Guten Abend”
Bye! - “Tschüß!” or “Servus!”
Goodbye (formal) - “Auf Wiedersehen”

Essential Words and Phrases

Please - “Bitte”
Thank you - “Danke”
Thank you very much - “Danke schön” or “Vielen Dank”
Do you speak English? - “Sprechen Sie Englisch?”
I don’t speak German. - “Ich spreche kein Deutsch”
My German is not very good. “Mein Deutsch is nicht sehr gut”

Helpful Phrases

Excuse me (to get someone’s attention) or Sorry - “Entschuldigung”
Where is the restroom? - “Wo ist die Toilette?”
Do you have an English menu? - “Haben Sie eine Speisekarte auf Englisch?”
The check, please. - “Zahlen, bitte”
Do you take credit cards? - “Akzepttieren Sie Kreditkarden?”

Customs: Austrian German vs. Standard German

Although the spoken language in Austria is German, there are some vocabulary words which are exclusive to Austria. Note that if you speak German but are not familiar with Austrian German language customs, don’t worry, most people will know what you are talking about anyway.

Bankomat is the Austrian version of Geldautomat (ATM)
Spital is the Austrian version of Krankenhaus (hospital)
Marille is the Austrian version of Aprikose (apricot)
Erdapfel is the Austrian version of Kartoffel (potato)
Semmel is the Austrian version of Brötchen (bread roll)
Schwammerl is the Austrian version of Pilz (mushroom)
Häferl is the Austrian version of Becher/Tasse (cup)

Don't forget to check out our Festival Guide to Snowbombing. Enjoy the festival!

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See Also:

Our Top Five Picks for Snowbombing
More Artists Get On Board for Snowbombing
Snowbombing Day Trip: Ambras Castle