When you’ve been learning German for a while, there comes a time when you decide to read some ‘real’ German books or articles and not just textbooks or stories designed for learners. That’s when you will also come across abbreviations. And just like many words they are not always recogniseable.
As you can imagine there are thousands of abbreviations. Wikipedia has a page with lists of German abbreviations, or you can try Abkürzungen.de to find the meaning of an abbreviation. Or you can start with the following 30 German abbreviations:
So what do they all mean?
Abbild – image. You might find it in a non fiction book where there is reference to an image.
beispielsweise – for example. Where you might see e.g. in an English text.
bezüglich – relating to/ regarding/ referring to
beziehungsweise – or rather/ more specifically
das heißt – that is. Or in English abbreviated as i.e.
eventuell – possibly. Careful: eventuell doesn’t mean eventually!
gemäß – according to
Herausgeber – publisher
im Auftrag – on behalf of. This you see often at the bottom of an official letter when somebody signs on behalf of somebody else. In English p.p.
inklusive – including
meines Erachtens – in my opinion
Millionen – millions
Milliarden – billions
Mehrwertsteuer – value added tax, English abbreviation VAT
Nummer – number
oder ähnlich (o.Ä. oder Ähnliches) – or similar
Seite – page
siehe auch – see also
siehe oben – see above
sogenannt – so-called
Telefon – telephone
Tausend – thousand
unter anderem – among other things
unter Umständen – possibly
und so weiter – etc/ and so on
und vieles mehr – and much more
vergleiche – compare
zum Beispiel – for example
zurzeit – currently
zuzüglich – plus/ in addition
There you are, 30 German abbreviations which you may or may not know. (How many did you know?)
Want more abbreviations?
Okay, but you’ll have to do some work for it. The following video is a listening exercise from my free German Alphabet course . It has 26 German/ Austrian companies or things, one abbreviation for each letter of the alphabet. Enjoy!