What to Say at Oktoberfest: German Phrases for Revelers

Whether you’re celebrating Oktoberfest in Munich or at the bar down the street, here are some key phrases to help you enjoy this beer-soaked holiday, wherever you are.

Prost!  [prohst]

O’zapft is! [oh-tsahpft ees]
It’s tapped! (The phrase used right after the ceremonial tapping of the very first keg.)

Noch ein Bier, bitte.  [nokh eyn beer bee-teh]
Another beer, please. 

Ist hier noch frei?  [eest heer nokh frey]
Are these seats taken? 

The infamous Hippodrom tent at Oktoberfest. Attribution: Andreas Steinhoff. Wikipedia Commons.

Wie komme ich zur Wiesn?  [vee koh-meh ikh tsoor veesn]
Which way is the Wiesn?
(Wiesn is the local lingo for the Theresienwiese, the large field where Oktoberfest takes place in Munich named after Princess Therese, whose marriage celebration in 1810 was the original Oktoberfest).

Wie heißen Sie?  [vee hey-sehn see]
What’s your name? 

Woher kommen Sie?  [voh-hehr koh-mehn see]
Where are you from? 

Welches Zelt gefällt Ihnen am besten?  [vehl-khes tsehlt geh-fehlt ih-nehn ahm behs-tehn]
Which is your favorite tent? 

Die nächste Runde zahlen Sie!  [dee nekh-steh roon-deh tsah-lehn see]
Next round is on him/her! 

Halt deine Lederhosen fest!  [hahlt dey-neh leh-dehr-hoh sehn fest]
Hold onto your Lederhosen! 

Gestern Abend war sie eine echte Bierleiche.  [gehs-tern ah-bend vahr see ey-neh ekh-teh beer- ley-khe]
Last night s/he was a complete Bierleiche! 
(If you’ve had too much to drink, Munich locals might call you a Bierleiche, or “beer corpse”!)

For more Oktoberfest coverage, read previous posts on the event’s history as well as fast facts from last year’s fete.