The German joke!

Here’s a link to Henning Wehn sharing a German joke with Alan Davies on QI.  Stroodle gets a mention!




How old? – Wie alt?

Here’s your chance to practise your German numbers, by saying how old your children are.

First, the question:

Wie alt ist Ihr Sohn?   How old is your son?

Wie alt ist Ihre Tochter?   How old is your daughter?

Wie alt sind Ihre Kinder?   How old are your children?

Remember, you only need to learn the answer that’s right for you.

Mein Sohn ist … / meine Tochter ist … (Jahre alt)   My son is … / my daughter is … (years old)

Meine Töchter sind … und … .   My daughters are … and …

Here’s a link to the BBC course.  You can listen to people talking about their family:

Talking about your family – meine Familie

Your German colleagues will probably ask you about your family.  They might say:

Haben Sie eine Familie?    Do you have a family?

Haben Sie Kinder?    Do you have children?

Here are all the different possible answers.  You only need to remember the one that applies to you!

Ja, ich habe ein Kind / zwei Kinder   Yes, I have one child / two children

Nein, ich habe keine Kinder    No, I have no children

Ich habe eine Tochter   I have a daughter

or Ich habe vier Töchter   I have four daughters

Ich habe einen Sohn   I have a son

or Ich habe zwei Söhne   I have two sons

If, like Soo, you have one of each, say:

Ja, ich habe einen Sohn und eine Tochter.

Do you speak German? – Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Because we can now understand some basic German and answer some simple questions, we will be asked:

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?    Do you speak German?

Your answer will be: Ja, ein biβchen!    Yes, a bit

You can then go on to explain how you learned German.  For example:

Ich habe bei der Firma gelernt!    I learnt it at work


Wir haben ein paar Deutschstunden gehabt.    We’ve had a few German lessons

If you get a bit stuck, you can try one of these:

Entschuldigung!   Excuse me; sorry

Wie, bitte?  Pardon

Ich verstehe nicht.   I don’t understand

Nicht so schnell, bitte!    Not so fast, please

Session four: vocabulary

In session four we talked about ourselves and our family a little in German so that we can make small talk during our visit.

These are some of the words we might need:

die Familie   family

die Frau   woman/wife

der Mann   man/husband

der Sohn   son          Söhne  sons

die Tochter   daughter            Töchter    daughters

die Firma    company or firm

der Kollege    colleague

die Arbeit    work  

der Hund    dog

die Katze   cat

Session Three: vocabulary

In session three we learned to recognise words associated with an overnight stay in Germany.  These are:

das Hotel   hotel

der Gasthof   guest house

das Zimmer   room

das Bad   bath

die Dusche   shower

die Treppe   stairs

der Fahrstuhl   lift

das Bett   bed

das Fenster   window

die Tür   door

We also learned the word for breakfast.  It’s Das Frühstück.  

But can you remember what to expect for breakfast in your German hotel? 

The German Alphabet

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet              There are 30 letters in German

Here are the extra 4 letters:  β, ä, ö, ü

β as in Viel Spaβ (that means ‘have fun!’)

Umlauts:              ä              (das Bad, but spät)

                             ö             (schon or schön)

                            ü             (der Fuβ or die Füβe)

Common abbreviations to help you practise your German spelling:


Follow this link to the BBC German website to see Henning Wehn teaching the alphabet through song: : Henning Wehn introduces the alphabet

Here’s how to ask someone how to spell something, such as their name:

 Wie schreibt man das, bitte?

Now practise spelling your name in German!

Don’t forget: you can use your German numbers and letters to give someone your car registration number, too.