How to Say “English” in German: Formal and Informal Ways

Learning how to say “English” in German is an essential step for anyone interested in the German language. Whether you are planning a trip to Germany or simply want to engage in conversations with German speakers, it’s important to know the appropriate terms to use. In this guide, we will explore the formal and informal ways to say “English” in German, along with some tips, examples, and regional variations.

Formal Ways to Say “English” in German

When it comes to formal situations, such as business meetings, official documents, or academic settings, you should use the word “Englisch.” This is the standard, formal term accepted and understood by all German speakers across different regions. Here are a few examples of how to use it:

Example 1: Mein Hauptfach an der Universität ist Englisch. (My major at the university is English.)

Example 2: Ich habe einen Geschäftsbrief auf Englisch verfasst. (I have written a business letter in English.)

Informal Ways to Say “English” in German

In informal settings, such as casual conversations with friends, family, or peers, there are several ways to refer to the English language. Let’s explore a few of them:

1. “Englisch”

Although “Englisch” is commonly used in formal settings, it can also be used in informal contexts. German speakers often switch between formal and informal language without any significant difference in meaning. For instance:

Example 1: Ich habe gerade einen englischen Film gesehen. (I just watched an English movie.)

Example 2: Kannst du Englisch sprechen? (Can you speak English?)

2. “English”

Another informal way to say “English” is to simply use the English term itself. Many German speakers, especially younger generations, incorporate English words into their conversations. Here are a couple of examples:

Example 1: Ich habe ein Buch über English Grammar gekauft. (I bought a book about English Grammar.)

Example 2: Lass uns ins English Pub gehen. (Let’s go to the English pub.)

Regional Variations

While “Englisch” and “English” are universally understood across all German-speaking regions, there are some slight regional variations worth mentioning. In certain dialects or regional accents, you may come across alternative ways to say “English.” Let’s take a look at a few of them:

1. “Engländisch”

In some regions, especially in southern Germany, you may hear “Engländisch” being used instead of “Englisch.” While this variation is not as widespread, it’s good to be aware of its existence. Here’s an example:

Example: Ich verstehe kein Wort auf Engländisch. (I don’t understand a word in English.)

2. “Englischsprache”

Another variation you might come across is the use of the term “Englischsprache,” which translates to “English language.” This term emphasizes the focus on the language itself rather than the broader concept of “English.” Here’s an example:

Example: Ich habe mich auf die Englischsprache spezialisiert. (I have specialized in the English language.)

Additional Tips for Saying “English” in German

Here are a few additional tips to help you effectively communicate in German when referring to the English language:

1. Use Contextual Clues

Pay attention to the conversation’s context. If you are talking about the language itself, use “Englisch” or “Englischsprache.” If the context is less formal, you can also use “English” or “Engländisch.” Choosing the appropriate term will help you sound more natural and fluent.

2. Practice Proper Pronunciation

To sound more confident and accurate when saying “English” in German, practice the pronunciation. Pay attention to the sounds of the German language, such as the softer “ch” sound in “Englisch.” You can use online resources or language apps to help you improve your pronunciation.

3. Embrace the Language

Learning a new language is an exciting journey. Embrace the German language and its cultural nuances. Practice conversations with native German speakers, watch German movies, and explore German literature. The more you immerse yourself in the language, the better you will become at expressing yourself in German.


In conclusion, knowing how to say “English” in German is vital for effective communication in both formal and informal situations. While “Englisch” is the standard term used across all regions, you may come across variations such as “Engländisch” or “English” in certain dialects or informal conversations. Pay attention to context, practice proper pronunciation, and embrace the German language to enhance your language skills. Viel Erfolg (Good luck) with your German language journey!

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