Picture of a dictionary entry.

The official German A1 vocabulary includes, according to the German Goethe Institut, 650 words – that’s the bad news. Wow, that’s a lot, you may think. The good news is: You’re already on the way, and we’re am here to help you.

Now, you may assume that you will be fluent in German if you learn all the words on this list. But if this is your question, then our answer to this would be:

“Hold the horses, my friend, slow down. One step after the other, we’ll get there.”

To begin with, memorizing 650 words by heart would be extremely repetitive, boring, and ineffective. To put it another way, you’ll forget them more quickly than you’ll learn them. Your brain needs to create connections (bridges) to those words first, and simply repeating the word-translation pair will not assist you in retrieving these words when you need them.

Learning in-depth and building upon know-how is much more enjoyable and efficient. Here’s what we’re here for.

We want to give you a few tips on how to deal with your A1 vocabulary list in the most effective way that would be beneficial for the actual use. One way to approach this is to go online and look for the most commonly used words. There are lists for all different levels, so you can always find something that suits you. For example, feel free to look for “The 500 Most Frequently Used German Words” and learn a few of those each day or each week.

How To Learn German A1 Vocabulary Most Effectively:

  1. When you come across a word you’ve seen before, you won’t be able to memorize it if you look up the translation right away. The chances of learning this word are much higher if you try to remember what the word means before checking the translation.
    On the other hand, when you encounter a new term, look up its meaning (or different meanings), usage information, and sample sentences apart from the translation – this will help you build a bridge to that word.
  2. Pick a word you have a hard time memorizing and then put it in every learning session you have. Flashcards are a really great tool for that purpose. By repeating new words, we put them into our long-term memory. Moreover, if you’re using traditional flashcards, you can practice written German as well as improve your reading skills. And remember – flashcards can be used both for learning vocabulary and grammar, so try to use them to the fullest.
  3. Sometimes, it can really help to see a word in context – for example, in a sentence. If a word is new to you, type it into a search bar and check example sentences. There are many platforms on the internet that can help you with that – for example, an amazing website to help you find sentence examples is http://tatoeba.org/. On the other hand, if you’re using a good language learning app, it should provide you with the translation of new words right away.
A woman holding folders.

The Top 10 Most Frequently Used Words In the German Language:

1. ich
• I
• me

2. sie
• they
• she
• them
• her

3. das
• the
• that
• this
• it

4. ist
• be

5. du
• you

6. nicht
• not
• no

7. die
• the
• which
• that
• who

8. und
• and

9. es
• it

10. der
• the
• which

This is Just a Start

A person writing in a notebook.

Of course, these are just a few common German words. If you want to become fluent, visit Germany, or make friends among native speakers, you need to learn other words as well and constantly try to improve your vocabulary.

You can create your own list of words that interest you, or you can choose those that you feel you might need the most. A fun way to learn vocabulary is to choose 5 to 10 words each day in your own language you think you will need that day, look up the German word for it, write them both down, and learn them throughout the day. Here are our top-7 words:

Words Of The Day For You:

  1. Hallo = Hello. Every conversation starts with a “Hallo!”, which means “Hello” in German.
  2. Liebe = Love. It’s all about love. Love is a universal feeling, and we should all talk about it, feel it and give it each day. Are we right?
  3. Blume = Flower. Flowers are beautiful – we love all kinds of flowers. Which one is your favorite?
  4. Katze = Cat. They can be cute, and they can be evil. Are you a cat or a dog person?
  5. Hund = Dog. A human’s best friend – this is what they say about dogs. Do you have dogs? Do you want to get one?
  6. Lächeln = Smile. The world is more friendly if you put a smile on your face. A smile can also help you communicate with people better and get all the answers you need.
  7. Ja = Yes. People say “no” so often, so it’s pretty thoughtful to cultivate saying “yes” more. Say “yes” to learning German.

Fun Facts!

Did you know that the German language is well known for having some of the world’s longest words? This is due to the fact that Germans use compound terms to express whole sentences – especially when it comes to commercial and government terms. As a result, the typical German word has more than ten letters.

Do­nau­dampf­schif­fahrtselek­tri­zi­tä­ten­haupt­be­triebs­werk­bau­un­ter­be­am­ten­ge­sell­schaft” is the longest German word in history, and it has letters. Lucky enough, this is not one of the most common German words. In any other language, the word would refer to the Association for officials subordinated to the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services, which consists of over ten terms.

Are Germans crazy? Don’t ask us. We didn’t come up with this idea.

However, this is one of the most uncommon German words. So breathe easy, you can already forget this one again. On the other hand, there is one pretty long word, which is unfortunately used quite a lot, and it is the word “Rechts­schutz­ver­si­che­rungs­ge­sell­schaf­ten.” It refers to the legal security provided by insurance companies. The word has, believe it or not, 40 letters – and it is the longest German word in daily usage, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

With terms like these, it’s no surprise that Mark Twain made a joke once, saying that “some German words are so long that they even have a perspective.” Well, touché. Can’t argue this one.

A picture of Scrabble.

Soul Food For Your Brain

Mastering a language surely requires more than just basic vocabulary. If you want to learn German and become fluent in it, you need to acquire several skills that draw on one another. In that situation, learning by yourself can be challenging, unstructured, and simply boring, but have you tried the Readle App yet?

There, you can not only find interesting stories for every level, from beginner to advanced, but you can also find the translation of each and every word just by clicking on it. Moreover, you get audio recorded by native speakers, so you can practice your listening and pronunciation skills. Readle is fun and effective, even if you learn only for a couple of minutes each day. Just remember – it’s all about regularity and persistence. Üben, üben, üben – practice, practice, practice, and you will get there.