Would you like to learn how to say ‘nice to meet you’ in German?
Maybe you have just arranged a call with a new language exchange partner, Sprachpartner, meeting some new people in a café, or new colleagues at work. One of the best things about learning German for me, is meeting new people and getting to know them. I’ve used these phrases countless times, in fact every time I meet a new language partner.
How about heading over to Tandem after reading this post, and trying some of these phrases out on the native speakers?
There are a number of different ways to say this commonly used phrase in German. How you say it depends on whether you need to use the formal or familiar form.
As a general rule, if you are speaking to anyone you consider a friend, family or anyone the same age or younger than you, you can use the familiar, du, form. For anyone else, shop workers, waiters, work colleagues, people older than you, stick with the formal, Sie, form.
Pleased To Meet You!
Es freut mich, dich kennen zu lernen! (informal) / Es freut mich, Sie kennen zu lernen! (formal)
Literally translated ‘It pleases me, to learn to know you’, the two forms are very similar. Aim to remember the phrase as a chunk, and just exchange the dich for Sie depending on whether you need to use the formal or informal form.
There are other ways of saying the same thing. It may seem like a lot to remember, but these variations are all used. It’s worth knowing in case you have them said to you.
Ich freue mich, dich kennen zu lernen (informal) / Ich freue mich, Sie kennen zu lernen (formal)
You can see a pattern forming here! Now let’s make things a bit easier and shorten the phrase a bit.
Freut mich, dich kennen zu lernen (informal) / Freut mich, Sie kennen zu lernen (formal)
Still a bit of a mouthful? Ok, let’s shorten even more!
Ohh why didn’t I just say that at the start? This is my go-to phrase whenever I meet a new person. Super easy, short, memorable. BUT it is worth remembering the other forms so that you recognise them if someone says them to you.
In fact, I remember blurting out freut mich when a German friend of mine unexpectedly introduced me to a neighbour of his. The introduction came as a bit of a surprise to me as I was just standing there listening to them talk amongst themselves. Luckily I’d remembered the phrase freut mich, casually said it and the guy carried on as normal. I took this as meaning that I’d not said anything wrong or impolite. I’m keeping that one on my ‘survival phrases’ list!
It’s So Nice To Meet You
Es ist so schön, dich kennen zu lernen (informal) / Es ist so schön, Sie kennen zu lernen (formal)
You can see here that the second half of the sentence stays the same, we exchange du for Sie depending on the situation. It’s so nice to meet you sounds a bit warmer and more friendly to me.
Again we can shorten the phrase.
Schön, dich kennen zu lernen (informal) / Schön, Sie kennen zu lernen (formal)
Nice to meet you too! (Responses)
So we’ve taken care of you starting the conversation. But what happens if someone gets in first and says to you ‘Freut mich, dich kennen zu lernen!’
How do you respond? The good news is that if you’ve memorised one or more of the above phrases, you just need to add one extra little word in, to create the response, and that little word is auch (also / too). Let me show you.
Ich freue mich auch, dich / Sie kennen zu lernen
Freut mich auch, dich / Sie kennen zu lernen
Es freut mich auch
Nice and simple eh? To make it even easier we can also say Ebenfalls or Gleichfalls which basically mean likewise, the same to you etc.
So there we have it, how to say ‘nice to meet you’ in German and how to respond. How about trying it out next time you meet a new language partner and make a note of how your partner responds.
If you enjoyed this post, there are many more posts in the How to Say … in German series.