Where are you from? Speak about your Origin In German

Where are you from? Speak about your Origin In German

DENISA
(filming a video about herself)
Hallo. Mein Name ist Denisa. Ich bin in Deutschland geboren. Meine Mutter kommt aus der Slowakei. Mein Vater kommt aus der Türkei.
(Hello. My name is Denisa. I am born in Germany. My mother is from Slovakia. My father is from Turkey.)

In this video we will learn how to talk about our origin. What are the chunks you need to know? Let’s start with the basics. Ich bin Denisa von Spring German. Los geht’s! (Let’s go!)

1. Woher kommst du? (Where are you from?)

DENISA
Woher kommst du?
(Where are you from?)

SELMA
Ich komme aus der Türkei. Und  woher kommst du?
(I’m from Turkey. And where are you from?)

DENISA
Ich komme aus Deutschland.
(I’m from Germany.)

Chunk alert!

Woher kommst du? (Where are you from?) is the most used question when talking about the origin. I wouldn’t necessarily ask about the origin from the start, but if you know the person better and you think they wouldn’t bother the question, you can do that. Most of the time they will answer with Ich komme aus … (I’m from…) which means literally “I’m coming from…” but can be translated as “I’m from…”

If you check the link in the description, you’ll get our free German essential chunking kit for the most important chunks you will need in a German conversation.

Another option to answer the question is to say Ich bin … (I am…) and then your nationality. That would look like this:

DENISA
Woher kommst du?
(Where are you from?)

SELMA
Ich bin Türkin. Und woher kommst du?
(I’m Turkish. And where are you from?)

DENISA
Ich bin Deutsche.
(I’m German.)

2. Über Nationalitäten sprechen (Talking about nationalities)

Let’s translate some countries in German:

  • Türkei (Turkey)
  • Deutschland (Germany)
  • Brasilien (Brazil)
  • Ukraine (Ukraine)
  • Syrien (Syria)
  • Spanien (Spain)
  • Frankreich (France)
  • Polen (Poland)
  • Russland (Russia)

If I haven’t named your home country, write it in the comments and I’ll help you out.

If you now want to say “I’m Spanish” for example, you say Ich bin Spanier (I’m Spanish (masculine)) when you are male or Ich bin Spanierin (I’m Spanish (feminine)) when you are female.

JUAN
Ich bin Mexikaner.
(I’m Mexican.)

Amelie
Ich bin Französin.
(I’m French.)

ALEX
Ich bin Russe.
(I’m Russian.)

PAULA
Ich bin Spanierin.
(I’m Spanish.)

What if it’s a bit more complicated? When you are from one country but your roots are from another country, just like in my case? Stay tuned, at the end of this video we will talk about phrases that you can use then.

3.  Über Städte sprechen (Talking about cities)

JUAN
Ich komme aus Mexico-Stadt.
(I’m from Mexico City.)

AMELIE
Ich komme aus Paris.
(I’m from Paris.)

ALEX
Ich komme aus Moskau.
(I’m from Moscow.)

PAULA
Ich komme aus Madrid.
(I’m from Madrid.)

Of course you can also talk about your home city, not only about the country. Here are some capitals in German:

  • Berlin (Berlin)
  • Ankara (Ankara)
  • Moskau (Moscow)
  • Damaskus (Damascus)
  • Madrid (Madrid)
  • Mexico-Stadt (Mexico City)
  • Paris (Paris)

Also, maybe you were born in a city but you’re living in another one now? Same for Paula.

PAULA
Ich bin in Madrid geboren, aber lebe jetzt in Berlin.
(I was born in Madrid but I live in Berlin now.)

DENISA
Seit wann lebst du in Berlin?
(Since when do you live in Berlin?)

PAULA
Ich wohne in Berlin seit zwei Jahren.
(I’ve lived in Berlin for 2 years.)

Helpful phrases are:

  • Ich bin in Madrid geboren, aber lebe in Berlin (I was born in… but I live in…)
  • Ich lebe in Berlin seit zwei Jahren (I live in… since…)
  • Ich wohne in Berlin seit zwei Jahren (I live in… since…)

Ich wohne in … (I live in…) includes that you have an apartment or house in the new city. You can also say “reside” in English. These phrases can also be used with countries.

PAULA
Ich wohne in Deutschland seit 2021.
( I’ve lived in Germany since 2021.)

4. Where I’m from vs. where my parents are from?

DENISA
Du kommst aus der Türkei oder?
(You’re from Turkey, right?)

SELMA
Nein, ich bin in Deutschland geboren. Meine Eltern stammen aus der Türkei. Meine Wurzeln liegen in der Türkei.
(No, I was born in Germany. My parents are from Turkey. My roots are in Turkey.)

DENISA
Ach so. Cool. Wann sind deine Eltern nach Deutschland gekommen?
(Alright. Cool. When did your parents come to Germany?)

SELMA
Sie sind 1970 hierher gekommen.
(They came here in 1970.)

A lot of people get labeled because of their looks even tough they were born and raised in Germany.

If you want to talk more about how you came to Germany or why you are here, here are some phrases that can help you.

  • Ich bin in Paris geboren. (I was born in Paris.)
  • Meine Eltern stammen aus Frankreich. (My parents are from France.)
  • Mein Vater kommt aus der Türkei. (My father is from Turkey.)
  • Meine Mutter kommt aus Syrien. (My mother is from Syria.)
  • Meine Wurzeln liegen in Russland. (My roots are in Russia.)
  • Ich bin seit zwei Jahren hier.  (I’ve been here for two years.)
  • Ich bin hier, weil in meiner Heimat Krieg herrscht. (I’m here because there’s war in my home country.)
  • Ich vermisse meine Heimat. (I miss my home.)

Some are here for business, education or family. Others have fled from war, searched for better paid jobs or had to leave their homes because of natural disasters, so please be sensitive when talking about other’s origins.

Before I introduce myself, leave me a comment and tell me about where you are from!

DENISA
(filming a video about herself)
Hallo. Mein Name ist Denisa. Ich bin in Deutschland geboren. Meine Mutter kommt aus der Slowakei. Mein Vater kommt aus der Türkei.  Ich habe zwei Schwestern und einen Bruder.
(Hello. My name is Denisa. I am born in Germany. My mum is from Slovakia. My dad is from Turkey. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother.)

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