Essential German Vocabulary – Shopping

With Germany being such a decentralized country, you will find ample shopping opportunities in many German cities, not just Berlin. In fact, while the capital offers you a vast selection of shops (including famous department store KaDeWe), you will discover large shopping malls in cities like Düsseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt.

In addition, you will find some US-style shopping malls and outlet stores outside of the big cities, as well as all kinds of vintage and localized shops in smaller towns. Wertheim Village is an example of a large outlet mall in southern Germany, while the Kö (Königsallee) in Düsseldorf is your best bet for top-notch designer clothing. Markets, on the other hand, are mostly for grocery shopping, although you can always find a bargain on one of the ever-popular car trunk sales called “Flohmarkt” (flea-markets).

The following phrases will help you navigate your way through Germany’s shops. Note that the term “shopping” is also commonly used, but mostly in relation to shopping for clothes and lifestyle items rather than grocery shopping. It is also advisable to have some cash on you, as surprisingly many German stores don’t take credit cards, only “EC” cards (German bank cards). Foreign bank cards mostly don’t work; however, if your card has a Maestro or Giropay sign on the back, you might be lucky.

Phrase in German Phrase in English Pronunciation
Einkaufen/Shopping Shopping Ine-kow-fen
Rabatt Discount Rah-butt
Saldo/Ribasso Sale Sahl-doh/Ree-bahs-soh
Kleider/Kleidung Clothes Clai-der/Clai-doong
Schuhe Shoes Shoo-her
Teuer Expensive Toy-er
Billig/Günstig Cheap Bill-ig/Goons-tig
… Abteilung … Department Ub-tai-loont
Lebensmittel Groceries Lay-bens-mit-tel
Einkaufswagen Shopping cart Ain-kows-vah-gen
Geschenk Present Ge-shank
Wieviel/Was kostet… How much is… Vee-veel/Vuss cost-ed
Damenabteilung Women’s section Dah-men-ub-tai-loong
Herrenabteilung Men’s section Hair-ren-ub-tai-loong
Herrenanzüge Men’s suits Hair-ren-an-zoo-ger
Make-up Makeup Make-up
Portemonnaie/Geldbörse Wallet Pohr-ter-mon-nay/Gelt-bor-ser
Können Sie mir bitte helfen? Could you help me please? (Formal/Informal) Kon-nen zee meer bitt-er hel-fain?
Wo finde ich… Where can I find… Voe fin-der ich
Mir gefällt/gefallen… I like… (singular/plural) Meer ge-faellt/Ge-fal-len…
Mir gefällt/gefallen nicht… I don’t like… (singular/plural) Meer ge-faellt/ge-fal-len nicht…
Wann macht es auf?/Wann wird geöffnet? What time does it open? Vunn macht es owf?/Vunn veerd ge-off-net?
Danke Thank you Dan-ker
Guten Tag! Good day! Goo-ten tahg
Auf Wiedersehen! Good bye! Owf Vie-der-say-hen
Haben Sie… Do you have… Hah-ben zee
Klein Small Kline
Mittel Medium Mit-tel
Groß Large Groh-ss
Größe Size Groe-sser
Die Kasse The checkout (counter) Dee Kas-ser

Slang/Commonly Used Expressions:

Expression in German Expression in English Pronunciation
Ich sehe/Schaue mich nur um. I’m only browsing. Ich say-e/Show-er mich noor oom
Kann ich mit Karte bezahlen? Can I pay by card? Kunn ich meet car-ter be-tsah-len?
Nehmen Sie Visa/Mastercard/American Express/Kreditkarten? Do you take Visa/Mastercard/American Express/Credit cards? Nay-men zee Visa/Mastercard/American Express/Cray-deet-car-ten?
Es passt mir nicht. It doesn’t fit. Es pusst meer nicht
Ich nehme es nicht.