For members


Here’s the German vocabulary you need to get the Covid-19 vaccine

From setting up an appointment to asking about side effects, here's the key vocabulary you'll need to know to get vaccinated auf Deutsch.

Here's the German vocabulary you need to get the Covid-19 vaccine
A vaccine centre in Berlin on May 27th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soedern Erfurt on Friday. Photo: DPA

Originally Beeilt euch! (hurry up!) was the first phrase that came to mind when contemplating the German Covid-19 vaccine programme, which got off to a slower-than-anticipated start.

Yet now with nearly 45 percent of the German population having received at least one vaccine (as of Monday May 31st), and vaccine prioritisation set to end on June 7th, the campaign is clearly picking up speed.

READ ALSO: Germany to open up vaccines to all adults by June 7th: What you need to know

Here’s a quick guide to some of the medical vocabulary you might need. 

These are the phrases that could come in handy for booking the appointment and before getting the vaccine:

Die Corona-Impfung – the Covid vaccine

Ich möchte einen Termin zum Impfen ausmachen. – I would like to make an appointment to get vaccinated.

Welche Impfung werden sie mir geben? – Which vaccine will I be given?

Könnte ich eine allergische Reaktion haben? – Could I have an allergic reaction?

Welche Nebenwirkungen gibt es? – What are the side effects?

Wann bekomme ich meine zweite Dosis?– When will I have my second dose?

Wie werden Sie mich kontaktieren? – How will you contact me?

Kann ich mir aussuchen, in welchem Arm Sie mich impfen? – Can I choose which arm to get the vaccine in? 

(In this context, you might be asked if you are Linkshänder (left-handed) or Rechtshänder (right-handed).

When you arrive at your appointment, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire. Here are the main questions they might ask you:

Hatten Sie in den letzten drei Monaten Corona? – Have you had Covid-19 in the past three months?

Leiden Sie an schwere Allergien? – Do you have serious allergies?

Wurden Sie in den letzten beiden Wochen gegen Grippe geimpft? – Have you been vaccinated against the flu in the past two weeks?

Haben Sie Fieber oder andere Symptome? – Do you have fever or other symptoms?

Hatten Sie in letzter Zeit Kontakt mit einer infizierten Person? – Have you been in contact with someone infected recently?

Sind Sie schwanger? – Are you pregnant?

After you’ve finally received your vaccine, you might need to communicate how you’re feeling. Here’s some phrases:

Ich fühle mich gut. — I feel fine.

Das hat wehgetan. – That hurt.

Mir ist schwindlig. – I feel dizzy.

Ich glaube, ich muss mich übergeben. – I think I might throw up. 

Ich möchte mich hinsetzen. — I would like to sit down. 

Was muss ich tun, wenn ich Nebenwirkungen bekomme? – What do I need to do if I experience side effects?

Hopefully you won’t need these last few ones. Now that you’ve stocked up on vocabulary — you should be ready to get vaccinated, as soon as it’s available to you.

READ ALSO: German Health Minister predicts 90 percent of people who want vaccine will have one by mid-July

Member comments

  1. Thank you for this. I live close to Dortmund & I know I still have a wait, as they only just opened up reservations for people born in 1942 or 1943, & I was born in 1955. Plus I have no major medical problems, & in our area there are a lot of older people, massively overweight people, etc. etc. so I know calling my local Doctor is a waste of time right now.

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For members


The best podcasts for learning and perfecting your German

Once you've learned the basics of German, listening to podcasts is one of the best ways of increasing vocabulary and speeding up comprehension. Here are some of the best podcasts out there for German learners.

The best podcasts for learning and perfecting your German


Coffee Break German

Coffee Break German aims to take you through the basics of German in a casual lesson-like format. It is extremely easy to listen to. Each 20-minute episode acts as a mini-lesson, where German native Thomas teaches Mark Pendleton, the founder and CEO of Coffee Break Languages, the basics.

All phrases are broken down into individual words. After new phrases are introduced the listeners are encouraged to repeat them back to practise pronunciation.

The advantage of listening to this podcast is that the learner, Mark, begins at the same level as you. He is also a former high school French and Spanish teacher. He often asks for clarification of certain phrases, and it can feel as if he is asking the very questions you want answered.

You can also stream the podcast directly from the provider’s website, where they sell a supplementary package from the Coffee Break German Academy, which offers additional audio content, video flashcards and comprehensive lesson notes

German Pod 101

German Pod 101 aims to teach you all about the German language, from the basics in conversations and comprehension to the intricacies of German culture. German Pod 101 offers various levels for your German learning and starts with Absolute Beginner.

The hosts are made up of one German native and one American expat living in Germany, in order to provide you with true authentic language, but also explanations about the comparisons and contrasts with English. This podcast will, hopefully, get you speaking German from day one.

Their website offers more information and the option to create an account to access more learning materials.

Learn German by Podcast

This is a great podcast if you don’t have any previous knowledge of German. The hosts guide you through a series of scenarios in each episode and introduce you to new vocabulary based on the role-plays. Within just a few episodes, you will learn how to talk about your family, order something in a restaurant and discuss evening plans. Each phrase is uttered clearly and repeated several times, along with translations.


Learn German by Podcast provides the podcasts for free but any accompanying lesson guides must be purchased from their website. These guides include episode transcripts and some grammar tips. 


Easy German

This podcast takes the form of a casual conversation between hosts Manuel and Cari, who chat in a fairly free-form manner about aspects of their daily lives. Sometimes they invite guests onto the podcast, and they often talk about issues particularly interesting to expats, such as: “How do Germans see themselves?”. Targeted at young adults, the podcasters bring out a new episode very three or four days.

News in Slow German

This is a fantastic podcast to improve your German listening skills. What’s more, it helps you stay informed about the news in several different levels of fluency.

The speakers are extremely clear and aim to make the podcast enjoyable to listen to. For the first part of each episode the hosts talk about a current big news story, then the second part usually features a socially relevant topic. 

A new episode comes out once a week and subscriptions are available which unlock new learning tools.

SBS German

This podcast is somewhat interesting as it is run by an Australian broadcaster for the German-speaking community down under. Perhaps because ethnic Germans in Australia have become somewhat rusty in their mother tongue, the language is relatively simple but still has a completely natural feel.

There is a lot of news here, with regular pieces on German current affairs but also quite a bit of content looking at what ties Germany and Australia together. This lies somewhere between intermediate and advanced.

A woman puts on headphones in Gadebusch, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Photo: dpa | Jens Büttner


Auf Deutsche gesagt

This is another great podcast for people who have a high level of German. The host, Robin Meinert, talks in a completely natural way but still manages to keep it clear and comprehensible.

This podcast also explores a whole range of topics that are interesting to internationals in Germany, such as a recent episode on whether the band Rammstein are xenophobic. In other words, the podcast doesn’t just help you learn the language, it also gives you really good insights into what Germans think about a wide range of topics.


Bayern 2 present their podcast Sozusagen! for all those who are interested in the German language. This isn’t specifically directed at language learners and is likely to be just as interesting to Germans and foreigners because it talks about changes in the language like the debate over gender-sensitive nouns. Each episode explores a different linguistic question, from a discussion on German dialects to an analysis of political linguistics in Germany.