Greeting Others

Common Greetings
Guten Morgen! - Good morning!
Guten Abend! - Good evening!
Guten Tag! - This is the standard, greeting in most of Germany and can be used from sunrise to sunset.

Localized Greetings
Hallo! - The trend in Northern Germany is to say Hallo, just like the English word "hello."
Grüezi! - Hello!: This is the standard greeting in German-speaking Switzerland (die Schweiz).
Grüß Gott! - Hello!: This is a a shortened form of "God greet you!" heard mainly in Austria (Österreich) and Bavaria (Bayern). Among those who "duzen", you will also hear Grüß dich!
Servus! - Hello! / Farewell!: this common greeting is used like the Hawaiian aloha, a greeting and a farewell.
Pfiat di! - Farewell!: an expression heard mostly in Bavaria and Austria among family and friends.

Cultural Awareness

Meeting and Greeting

Greetings are formal with a quick, firm handshake. When entering a room with a group of people, shake hands with everyone, including the children. If you know a person's title and their surname use Herr (Sir, Mr.) or Frau (Madam, Mrs.) along with the person's title and their surname as titles are very important to a German and denote respect.

When to "duzen"

The verb duzen means, literally to you (informally) and siezen means, literally to you (formally). Contrary to English, German makes a distinction between the formal way of saying you (Sie) and the informal way (du). The formal Sie you would use when talking to a stranger, highly respected person, as for example in some circles ...
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Other German Resources

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•  Ten Minute German - Taking Leave - Saying Goodbye

•  Ten Minute German - Getting to Know you - Asking someone for their name and giving yours.

•  Speak Up! in German - Unit 1 - Lesson 1: Formal and Localized Greetings