When visiting Berlin or any other place with a foreign language it’s very important to learn the phrase “I’m so sorry, do you speak English?” in the local tongue, because it is considered very rude to start speaking to a local in English and assume that they will understand you. So in Berlin the first thing we learned to say (with an apologetic tone and face) is:
Entschuldigung, sprechen Sie English?
And the sight of a tourist trying to speak some local language will magically open doors and have locals being super helpful and kind. This works not just with shy Germans but in any other place.
PRACTICING OUT LOUD
My tip is to listen to these survival phrases in the morning while getting ready to go out. Say and repeat it out loud – 20 times or until you are comfortable with saying it.
I always recommend learning a few Survival Phrases in German when visiting Germany for the first time.
Ich komme aus den Philippinen.
I am from the Philippines.
Wie viel kostet das?
How much is that?
Ein Glas Wasser, bitte. Ohne Sprudel, bitte.
A glass of water, please. Not sparkling, please.[
Ein Glas Leitungswasser, bitte.
A glass of tap water, please.K
Die Rechnung, bitte.
The check, please.
Enjoy your meal!
Noch eine, bitte!
Another one, please!
Wo ist die Toilette?
Where is the bathroom?
Wo ist die Bushaltestelle?
Where is the bus stop?
Wo ist die U-Bahn?
Where is the underground train (subway/metro)?
I personally find it hard to read foreign languages, so the best way to learn is to download the podcast or sign up for Survival Phrases in German, or search for how to pronounce it on YouTube or Google Translate.
Wherever I would travel, I would also download the language on the World Lens app, so that even if I was offline
– I can say something and translate it to the local language in text and audio
– I can take a picture of a sign or menu and it would translate the words
However Google bought World Lens and incorporated the same features to their Google Translate app, so I recommend downloading this app and the languages you will be using for travel so that you can use it even while offline. It’s super handy with menus and signs! You can download it here: