Oktoberfest is almost here--this year it's September 21st through Oktober 6th--only ten days away!
Pack up your Dirndl, your Lederhosen, your Maß and your Handy, and make sure you take enough cash with you. This year one liter of Bier costs anywhere from EUR 11,40 to EUR 15,90. A soda costs at least EUR 8 in any tent, plus you're going to need some fabulous Bavarian food to sustain you through all the rides and singing.
So what if you're going to Oktoberfest but you don't speak German?
Then, ladies and gents, all you need are the three phrases listed below.
1. Vielen Dank!
This is more than "danke," it's "Many thanks!" and it's a quick and easy way to get beyond the simple "Danke."
Skip the "danke schön," as most Amis have a hard time saying "schön" anyway. Just go for an enthusiastic "Vielen Dank!"
2. Zum ______ Hotel, bitte!
You're smart enough, you know not to drive when you've been drinking alcohol, so memorize the name of your Hotel so you can tell your taxi driver.
3. Stimmt so!
This is more than two words, this is a cultural tip. This is what you say when you pay your bill in a restaurant or cafe and you want the waitstaff to keep the change. All of my clients learn this in the first chapter and this phrase is even more important at Oktoberfest! Here's why:
The woman carrying your beers is working unbelievably long hours, doing hard physical labor, and not making a lot of money. Your Trinkgeld (tip) is going to make the difference for her.
When you pay, tip her generously. As in a couple of Euros per Maß. When you reach into your pocket and pull out that huge wad of Euros (and coins), look her in the eye and say "Stimmt so!"
Back in 2016 the Süddeutsche Zeitung already recommended a minimum of EUR 1 per Bier. Especially for the first round, it's a great idea, as the article recommends, to tip her more than you would for additional rounds. Besides, how often in your life will you actually be at Oktoberfest?