German SLANG you will hear all the Time (and need to know)

German SLANG you will hear all the Time (and need to know)

Same as in every other country, young people tend to use an own sociolect. They have their own way of expressing themselves with new words. I will introduce 7 German slang terms to you in this video.Willkommen bei Spring German (Welcome to Spring German)! Ich bin Denisa. Los geht’s! (Let’s go!)

1. Gönnen (To allow yourself, to be happy for someone)

DENISA
Ich hab mir dieses neue Kleid gegönnt.
(I bought myself this new dress.)

VANESSA
Wow. Sieht super schön aus.
(Wow. It looks really great.)

DENISA
Danke. Eigentlich brauche ich es nicht, aber …
(Thanks. Actually, I don’t need it but…)

VANESSA
Manchmal muss man sich auch etwas gönnen.
(Sometimes you got to treat yourself.)

DENISA
Das stimmt. Ich hol mir jetzt ein Bier. Willst du auch eins?
(You’re right. I’m getting a beer. Do you want one, too?)

VANESSA
Nein, danke. Aber gönn es dir!
(No, thanks. But treat yourself!)

As you could see in the dialogue, “gönnen” (to treat oneself) is commonly used to express the idea of allowing oneself or someone else the enjoyment of something. It’s something that older people wouldn’t say but maybe people until their mid 30’s.

Chunk alert!

Gönn es dir! (Treat yourself!) is a chunk you can remember. When someone buys something, wants to take a break or just is treating oneself, you can encourage them by saying: Gönn es dir! (Treat yourself!). It also includes that you are happy for that person.

For more helpful chunks, check our free essential German chunking kit. The link is in the description.

2. Läuft bei dir (Things are going well for you)

DENISA
Ich muss dir unbedingt etwas erzählen.
(I really need to tell you something.)

VANESSA
Was denn?
(What is it?)

DENISA
Ich habe eine neue Wohnung gefunden.
(I found a new apartment.)

VANESSA
Wow, wie cool. In welchem Stadtteil?
(Wow, how cool. In which area?)

DENISA
In der Innenstadt. Und sie ist relativ billig. Und der Vermieter ist super nett.
(In the inner city. And it’s pretty cheap. And the landlord is super nice.)

VANESSA
Läuft bei dir!
(Things are going well for you!)

Läuft bei dir” (Things are going well for you) is an expression that is commonly used to convey a sense of positive or successful outcomes in someone’s life. When someone has passed their exams, found a cheap apartment, won the lottery and so on, you can answer: Läuft bei dir! (Things are going well for you!).

Now, let’s go over to number three.

3. Mukke (Music)

VANESSA
Hörst du das?
(Do you hear that?)

DENISA
Was meinst du?
(What do you mean?)

VANESSA
Die Mukke. Da kriegt man richtig Bock zu tanzen.
(The music. You really feel like dancing.)

DENISA
Ja, stimmt.
(Yes, you’re right.)

In German, “Mukke” (music) is a colloquial way to refer to music. In my opinion, it’s more often used by Millennials than by Gen Z. But if you have other experiences, let me know in the comments below.

Other examples are:

  • Ich höre gerne deutsche Mukke. (I like listening to German music.)
  • Die Mukke auf dem Konzert war echt super! (The music at the concert was really great!)
  • Lass uns etwas Mukke anmachen und tanzen! (Let’s put on some music and dance!)

4. Digga, Alter (Dude/Bro)

BEN
Hey Alter, wie geht’s?
(Hey bro, how are you?)

PAUL
Digga, mir geht’s gut, aber ich hab’ kaum geschlafen. Und dir?
(Dude, I’m fine, but I have barely slept. And you?)

BEN
Oh, Mann, okay. Was hast du heute vor?
(Oh, man okay. What are you doing today?)

PAUL
Ich weiß noch nicht, Digga. Du?
(I don’t know yet, dude. You?)

BEN
Ich muss noch ein paar Sachen erledigen, Alter. Sollen wir uns später treffen?
(I need to finish up a few tasks, bro. Should we meet up later?)

PAUL
Klingt gut, Alter. Wir sehen uns!
(Sounds good, bro. See you later!)

These two slang expressions can be used in informal settings with friends, among younger people. You can either say Digga (dude) or Alter (man, bro). They can both replace one another, too. The term “Bro” is also used in Germany. Mostly men will use it while women tend to not use them as much.

However, it’s important to note that their usage will be considered inappropriate or disrespectful in more formal or professional contexts.

Stay tuned because at the end of this video, I will introduce a three-letter-word that describes something that is really exciting.

5. Flexen (To flex, to show off)

DENISA
Darf ich kurz flexen?
(Can I show off for a moment?)

VANESSA
Klar, was hast du dir gegönnt?
(Of course, what did you treat yourself with?)

DENISA
Meiner Mutter hat mir diese Ohrringe geschenkt.
(My mum gifted me these earrings.)

VANESSA
Wow, damit darf man schon mal flexen. Die sind super schön!
(Wow, you can show off with this one. They are really pretty!)

Here’s what ChatGPT tells us about the word “flexen” (to show off):

“In German, “flexen” is a slang term that is derived from the English word “flex” and is commonly used in informal conversations, especially among young people. It is often used to describe showing off, boasting, or flaunting something, usually in a confident or arrogant manner.“

If you don’t know yet what ChatGPT is or how you can use it for your German learning journey, check this video here. I made a whole video about it for you.

The formal version of flexen in German is angeben (to show off). The last sentence in the dialogue would then be:

VANESSA
Wow, damit darf man schon mal angeben. Die sind super schön!
(Wow, you can show off with this one. They are really pretty!)

6. Ghosten (To ghost, to ignore)

VANESSA
Was ist eigentlich aus Paul geworden?
(What did actually happen to Paul?)

DENISA
Er hat mich geghostet.
(He ghosted me.)

VANESSA
Er hat sich einfach nicht mehr gemeldet?
(He just hasn’t reached out anymore?)

DENISA
Ja, genau. Aber das macht nichts. Ich treffe mich jetzt mit Ben.
(Yes, exactly. But that’s alright. I’m meeting Ben now.)

Ghosten” (to ghost, to ignore) is a slang term that has been borrowed from English and is commonly used in the context of modern dating or relationships. It refers to the act of abruptly cutting off communication with someone without explanation or warning.

The formal version of ghosten (to ghost) is ignorieren (to ignore). Some examples:

  • Er ignoriert mich. (He ignores me.)
  • Ich verstehe nicht, warum sie mich ignoriert. (I don’t understand why she ignores me.)
  • Wieso ignorierst du mich? (Why are you ignoring me?)

7. Lit (lit, cool, awesome)

Lit (lit, cool, awesome) is an English word that you can use the same in english. It’s used to describe something that is exciting or energetic. It conveys a sense of intense enjoyment or a vibrant atmosphere.

Do you know any other slang terms in German? Let me know in the comments below.

Now let’s look at the dialogue I prepared for you.

DENISA
Wie war’s auf dem Festival?
(How was the festival?)

VANESSA
Es war so lit! So viele coole Sänger und Sängerinnen sind da gewesen!
(It was so lit! So many cool singers were there!)

DENISA
Das hört sich gut an. Und die Mukke an sich?
(Sounds good. And what about the music?)

VANESSA
Es war alles lit. Die Menschen, die Mukke, das Wetter …
(Everything was lit. The people, the music, the weather…)

Lit (awesome) is used very commonly as a synonym to:

  • cool (cool)
  • großartig (great)
  • der Wahnsinn (insanity/madness)

Also, when talking to Germans, they will not only talk in slang but maybe also use proverbs that you are unfamiliar with. I introduce typical German proverbs in this video for you. See you there!

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