Basic Austrian German Words You Need To Know

22 November 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House
The Sound of Music

Austria. Not Australia. And this is apparently where the hills come alive with the sound of music. Quite possibly, of course, with the help of yodel-lay-ee–odl-lay-ee-odl-lay-hee-hoo.

Let’s be honest, that yodel sounds a bit tricky. But it is still fun to say it out loud. Maybe that’s the charm of this yodel-lay-ee–odl-lay-ee-odl-lay-hee-hoo taught to us by the von Trapp family, right? Okay, that was surely something of a read, wasn’t it? In short, that was me trying to sound off a famous yodel from one of the very famous Rodgers & Hammerstein collections called The Sound of Music. This musical film is a bit old. But it doesn’t matter because the movie is an enduring classic.

Its story is easy to follow and its songs are really catchy. Like head bobbing catchy, with lyrics written in English and some with hints of German. Wondering why the songs were written in English and some with hints of German? Well, maybe R&H thought that doing so was good for aesthetic purposes. However, that might just be partially true. The more fitting reasoning behind this would actually be because German was spoken in Austria. Specifically Austrian German – a particular version of German used in Austria. Here’s a short list of Austrian German words to get you acquainted with the language.

  • good morning: guten Morgen (gu-ten mor-gen)
  • good morning: gua Moang (gu-ah mo-ahng)
  • good night: gute Nacht (gu-teh nakt)
  • goodbye: auf Wiedersehen (awf vee-der-zehn)
  • goodbye: baba (bah-bah)
  • bye: pfiat di (pfee-yat di)
  • hello there: griaß di (gri-as di)
  • hello: hallo (ha-lo)
  • hello: servus (ser-fus)
  • hello: grüß Gott (grus got)
  • how are you: wie geht’s (vee geyhts)
  • thank you: dankeschön (dang-keh-sheuhn)
  • thank you: danke (dang-ke)
  • thank you: daungschee (dohng-shee)
  • you’re welcome: bitteschön (bit-teh scheun)
  • I don’t know: I waß net (ee vas net)
  • let’s go: gemma (gem-ma)
  • excuse me: entschuldigung
  • yes: jo (yo)
  • yes, yes: oja (oh-ya)
  • no: na (nah)
  • okay: passt (paast)
  • that’s okay: passt (passt)
  • that’s okay: passt scho (passt sho)
  • that’s awesome: das ist krass (das ist kras)
  • that’s awful: das ist krass (das ist kras)