While we hope that you won’t ever have to give testimony to a crime in Germany, the ability to accurately describe a person in German can still come in handy. Being able to describe physical attributes and personality traits makes communicating with locals easier — and it may even make you some new friends.
Whether you’ve just started to learn German or you want to refresh your memory, here is the most important vocabulary to describe the physical attributes, clothing and character traits of a person in German.
- How to describe physical attributes in German
- How to describe clothing in German
- How to describe personality traits in German
- German slang words and double meanings
How to describe physical attributes in German
Describing a person’s appearance can be a delicate task even in your mother tongue. Kudos to you for trying to do it in German! Because looks can be a sensitive topic for a lot of people, the words you choose matter. Here are some of the words that can help you hit the mark when describing someone’s physical features in German.
|blaue Augen||blue eyes|
|grüne Augen||green eyes|
|braune Augen||brown eyes|
|graue Augen||gray eyes|
|lange Haare||long hair|
|kurze Haare||short hair|
|glatte Haare||straight hair|
|wellige Haare||wavy hair|
|lockige Haare||curly hair|
|blonde Haare||blonde hair|
|braune Haare||brown hair|
|rote Haare||red hair|
|schwarze Haare||black hair|
How to describe clothing in German
When describing a person, you may need to talk about what they are wearing. In the following list, we provide an overview of some pieces of clothing and some general characteristics that can help you to capture a person’s style and manner of dress.
|das Tanktop||tank top|
How to describe personality traits in German
Of course, looks are not all that matter. Being able to describe your landlord’s despicable personality is just as important as being able to praise your partner’s appearance. Here are some of the words that will come in handy when you want to describe personality traits in German.
German slang words and double meanings
The German words in the tables above are mostly neutral, and you can use the majority in professional and social settings. However, young Germans frequently use other descriptors in casual conversation that can change drastically in their meaning depending on the context.
For example, if using schön does not suffice to express your excitement for your friend’s new haircut, you could also use geil. Geil means “awesome,” but it was originally used to describe sexual arousal. In order to avoid any misunderstandings, make sure the context leaves no doubt regarding which meaning you intend to express!
The same goes for fett. The expression is commonly used to describe something positive, for example: Die Musik im Club war fett. (“The club’s music was amazing.”) However, fett also means “fat” and is often used as a derogatory term for overweight people.
Describing a person in German: An important skill
Whether you’re gushing about your new crush or venting about the person who cut you in line today, being able to describe someone is an important skill in any language. When you’re starting to learn German, it’s one of the first things you’ll come across. You’ll soon find that the vocabulary in this article will come in handy when you start forming simple sentences in German. When you’re able to describe physical features and personality traits, you’re already well on your way to answering basic German questions — a big success for anyone learning a new language!