The last time we were travelling by train in Germany we nearly missed our last train. There was an announcement that the train wasn’t arriving on the specified platform and that we had to go to a different platform. Unfortunately, the announcement sounded something like:”Der Zug von …. nicht …Gleis ….” By the time we worked out where the train was, we just had enough time to run to that platform!
So, whenever I hear the idiom “Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof” I’m thinking of our experience, because it really was ‘clear as mud’ to us.
Obviously, I can’t help you with understanding German train station announcements, but here is some vocabulary:
- die Bahn – railway/ train (there are lots of other meanings as well, just check out dict.cc )
- Deutsche Bahn (DB) – German Rail
- der Bahnhof – station
- der Hauptbahnhof – main station
- das Bahngleis – track
- das Gleis – platform
- das Reisezentrum – travel centre
- das Schließfach/ die Schließfächer – locker(s
- WLAN am Bahnhof – WiFi at the station
- stufenfreier Zugang – step-free access
- die Abfahrt – departure
- die Ankunft – arrival
- die Fahrkarte(n) – ticket(s)
- der Fundservice – lost property
- der Zug – train
The Deutsche Bahn has a lovely website where you can search for stations and then see a map of that station plus what’s available. You can even read all that in English. Go to DB Station & Service, choose your language top right and then write the name of a station in the box ‘Bahnhofsuche’ (or ‘Stationsearch’ if you’re searching in English)
I’ll leave you with some station pictures and 2 questions (answers below the infographic)
- What is ‘Gleis neundreiviertel’?
- What does ‘auf dem falschen Gleis sein’ mean?
- Platform Nine and Three Quarters (Harry Potter)
- to be on the wrong track
I bet you weren’t on the wrong track, right?