These contain some examples of vulgar language.

DownloadDownload mp3 (file size 1,2 MB) - right click and choose 'save target as'
Print Get a print version of this page

Germans tend to answer questions about their mood quite honestly, so don't be surprised to listen to someone's life story after an innocent 'How is it going?'. So beware if you don't have much time or patience.
Asking the question Wie geht's? 'How are you?' you might hear one of the phrases listed in this section.


(* = familiar, ** = very familiar, *** = vulgar, s = slang, Lit. = Literally)


Ich bin super drauf (**) I'm very well.

Alles Banane (s) Everything is fine, Lit. Everything's banana. There is no point trying to figure out the link between feeling good and bananas, maybe it's the vitamins ...

Alles im grünen Bereich (**) Everything is fine, under control. Lit. Everything is in the green sector. The opposite of red alert.

Ich bin auf Wolke sieben (**) I'm on cloud nine. Lit. I'm on cloud seven. That's normal when you're in love.

Ich habe das große Los gezogen (**) I'm really happy with my life. Lit. I've won the lottery.

Alles paletti (s) Everything's fine. Sounds Italian but it's more likely to derive from the French word paletot, coat

back to the top


Ich bin total fertig (*) I'm totally exhausted.

Ich bin platt (**) I'm shattered. Lit. I'm flat.

Ich fühl' mich voll daneben (**) I'm not on track, I'm standing beside myself.

Ich bekomme es nicht auf die Reihe (**) I can't do it. I'm not able to get something going, to solve a problem. Lit. I cannot get it in a line.
Q: Was ist los mit dir? What's wrong with you?
A: Ich bin so fertig, ich bekomme nichts auf die Reihe. I'm so shattered, I can't get anything done.

back to the top


Ich bin nicht gut drauf (**) I'm not at my best, I'm feeling blue.

Ich bin total angepisst (s) I'm really pissed off.

Ich krieg den Hass (**) I'm extremely annoyed. Lit. I've got hatred. So don't mess with me today.

Mir schwillt der Kamm (**) I'm bristling. Lit. My comb is swelling.

Ich hab so'n Hals (**) I'm really angry. Lit. I'm having such a neck.
You're so angry your lymph nodes are swelling. The expression has to be accompanied by an appropriate gesture. Put your hands on both sides of your neck and demonstrate the enormous imaginary swollen lymph nodes poking out of your neck.

Durchgeknallt (**) When somebody just lost it. Lit. Blown.
Dem/Der ist eine Birne durchgeknallt (**) He/she just lost it. Lit. One of his/her bulbs blew.

back to the top


Das haut mich um (*) This is mind-blowing. Lit. That knocks me out.

Das erwischt mich kalt (**) I'm not prepared for that. I didn't expect this at all. Lit. It's catching me cold.

Das ist fett (**) That's quite a thing. Lit. That's fat.

back to the top

Argument Class Drinking Family
Food Football Friends Going out
Health Interjections Money Moods
Music Play up/Play down Politics Professions

More German from BBC Languages
More from BBC Languages

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.