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Austrian Vocab: Know Before You Go

Published: February 20, 2019

Grüß Gott, Waldsee!

The kind of German taught at Waldsee and in schools is Hochdeutsch or Standarddeutsch (High German or Standard German). Even though Deutschland (Germany) and Österreich (Austria) are neighboring countries, there are certain words used in Österreich that are not used in Deutschland. Want to test out your Austrian vocabulary this summer at Waldsee or in Austria with Waldsee Abroad? Here are some to get you started!

It might be confusing at first when an Austrian counselor asks you at Abendessen (dinner) if they can have the Erdäpfelsalat. During the Essensvorstellung (presentation of the food), this dish was probably introduced as the Kartoffelsalat. In Germany, the word for potato is Kartoffel, but in Austria it is Erdäpfel. There are a lot of words for food that are different in Austria and Germany. Another big example is tomatoes: in Germany, they are known as Tomaten, and in Austria, they are known as Paradeiser.



There are lots of other words used in daily life that are different in Austria than in Germany. Like instead of saying Guten Tag to greet someone, Austrians will say Grüß Gott! In Austria, when you go shopping at a big department store and need to go upstairs, you will see signs for the Stiege instead of the Treppe (stairs). When you go to pay, you will need to look for the Kassa instead of the Kasse (cash register). If you want a bag to carry your purchases out of the store, ask for a Sackerl instead of a Tütte (plastic shopping bag). There are a lot of fun new words to discover in Österreich!


Practice your new Austrian vocabulary this summer at Waldsee in our one-, two- and four-week programs, or join us for two weeks in Waldsee and two weeks in Austria with Waldsee Abroad!

Applications for Waldsee Abroad must be started by Wednesday, February 27 and completed by Friday, March 1.