How do you make SMALL TALK in German?

How do you make SMALL TALK in German?

Hallo und Willkommen bei Spring German. Ich bin Denisa und deine Spring German Lehrerin. (Hello and welcome to Spring German. I’m Denisa and I am your Spring German teacher.)

Aaaand… yeah… (awkward silence). Oh right, this video is all about small talk in German. So if you want to get rid of those awkward silences, stay tuned for all the small talk chunks that you need to know. Los geht’s! (Let’s go!)

1. Vorstellungen (Introductions)

Small talk works wonders if you want to boost your confidence in a job interview or break the ice with someone you want to get to know better. To start small talk, you should be able to introduce yourself. Let’s learn some chunks in this dialogue.

DENISA
Hallo. Ich bin Denisa. Wie heißt du?
(Hello. I’m Denisa. What’s your name?)

VANESSA
Hi. Ich heiße Vanessa. Schön dich kennenzulernen.
(Hi. My name is Vanessa. Nice to meet you.)

DENISA
Ebenso.
(Likewise.)

Chunk alert!

An important chunk for small talk is Schön dich kennenzulernen (Nice to meet you). You can say it at the beginning, but also at the end of small talk, so the person knows that it was a pleasure to get to know them better.  The answer to it would be ebenso (likewise).

Chunks are word combinations that native speakers use all the time and that you can learn by heart as a whole. Get the most important German chunks in our free essential German chunking kit. The link is in the description.

Also remember the chunks:

  • Ich heiße Denisa. (My name is Denisa.)
  • Ich bin Denisa. ( I am Denisa.)
  • Wie heißt du? (What’s your name?)

2. Hobbys (Hobbies)

DENISA
Bist du verheiratet?
(Are you married?)

VANESSA
Entschuldige bitte. Das ist mir zu persönlich.
(Excuse me. That’s too personal for me.)

In a German small talk you wouldn’t necessarily talk about personal information like family, nationality or the problems that you have at the moment. It would be considered as too rude if you cross these boundaries.

In other countries, e.g. in Arabic countries it’s considered as polite to ask about the family.

So what Germans talk about is hobbies, sports or the weather.

DENISA
Was ist dein Hobby?
(What’s your hobby?)

VANESSA
Ich mache Yoga seit fünf Jahren. Was sind deine Hobbys?
(I’m doing yoga for 5 years. What are your hobbies? )

DENISA
Ich lese und tanze gerne.
( I like to read and dance.)

Here are some chunks for you:

  • Was ist dein Hobby? (What’s your hobby?)
  • Was sind deine Hobbys? (What are your hobbies?)
  • Ich mache gerne … (I like to…)

Here are some hobbies that you could mention:

  • Ich spiele gerne Golf. (I like to play golf.)
  • Mir macht Sprachenlernen Spaß. ( I have fun learning languages.)
  • Ich mache gerne Sport. (I like to do sport.)

3. Sport (Sports)

Apropos Yoga. Lass uns über Sport reden. (Mentioning Yoga. Let’s talk about sport.) In Germany, soccer is the most popular sport. There are many clubs in every city. So the Bundesliga (German soccer league) is a big topic to talk about.

DENISA
Hast du das Spiel gestern gesehen?
(Did you see the game yesterday?)

VANESSA
Ja. Es war so spannend.
(Yes. It was so exciting.)

DENISA
Ich hab’s verpasst. Wer hat gewonnen?
( I missed it. Who won?)

VANESSA
Der FC Bayern natürlich. Bist du auch ein Fan?
(FC Bayern of course. Are you a fan, too? )

DENISA
Ja. Ich freu’ mich. Wie ist das Spiel ausgegangen?
(Yes. I’m pleased. How did the game end?)

VANESSA
Zwei zu eins für FC Bayern. Sie haben gegen FC Schalke gespielt.
(2:1 in favor of FC Bayern. They played against FC Schalke.)

These phrases from the dialogue you can learn by heart:

  • Es war so spannend. (It was so exciting.)
  • Bist du ein Fan? (Are you a fan?)
  • Wie ist das Spiel ausgegangen? (How did the game end?)
  • Wer hat gewonnen? (Who won?)
  • Sie haben gewonnen. (They won.)
  • Sie haben verloren.  (They lost.)

4. Wetter (Weather)

An important topic for German small talk is the weather. Let’s learn some chunks in a dialogue about weather.

DENISA
Was findest du das Wetter heute?
(What do you think about the weather today?)

VANESSA
Schön. Die Sonne scheint.
(Beautiful. The sun is shining.)

DENISA
Ja, das stimmt. Aber später wird es regnen.
(Yes, that’s right. But it’s going to rain later.)

VANESSA
Oh nein. Ich habe meinen Regenschirm nicht dabei.
(Oh no. I don’t have my umbrella with me.)

To talk about the weather, these chunks can be helpful too:

  • Ich finde das Wetter schön / schlecht. (I think the weather is beautiful / bad.)
  • Schöner Tag heute, nicht? (Beautiful day today, isn’t it?)
  • Es ist heiß heute. (It’s hot today.)
  • Es ist kalt heute. (It’s cold today.)
  • Findest du nicht? (Don’t you think?)

5. Interaktives Smalltalk (Interactive small talk)

Now let’s have some interactive small talk together. I will ask you some questions about yourself, hobbies, the weather etc. and you can answer. Every time I do this motion, pause the video to think about an idea or rewind the video to search for the answer in the dialogues. Say the answer out loud of course. Then I will give you the answer that you can use in the future. Los geht’s (Let’s go).

Hallo. Wie heißt du? (Hello. What’s your name?)

Now here you can answer:

  • Ich heiße ... (My name is…) or
  • Ich bin … (I am…) and then your name.

If you want to carry on, ask und du? (and you?)

Ich heiße Denisa. Schön dich kennen zu lernen. (My name is Denisa. Nice to meet you.)

Here your answer would be

  • Ebenso. (Likewise.)

Now let’s talk about hobbies:

Was ist dein Hobby? (What’s your hobby?)

Here you can say:

  • Ich mache gerne … (I like to…) and then what you like to do.

Vielleicht Sport, lesen oder tanzen? (Maybe sports, reading or dancing?) If you don’t know the German word for your hobby, write it in the comments down below and I’ll help you out.

If someone asks you this about a sports game, what would be your response?

Hast du das Spiel gestern gesehen? (Did you see the game yesterday?)

You can answer with:

  • Ja. Es war so spannend. (Yes. It was so exciting.) or
  • Ja. Es war langweilig. (Yes. It was boring.) or simply
  • Nein, leider nicht. (No, unfortunately not.)

One question about the weather would be: Wie findest du das Wetter heute? (What do you think about the weather today?)

Your answer could be:

  • Ich finde das Wetter schön / schlecht. (I think the weather is beautiful / bad.)

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