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Business vocabulary in German (work and negotiations)

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This chapter will teach you some of the most useful words for talking business in German. The chapter will discuss vocabulary related to job titles, small talk, which is important in the Dutch business culture, and meetings. 

General German vocabulary related to business

Let's start with some general Vocabulary necessary for business related talk

  • Der Chef erwartet Ergebnisse - The boss is expecting results
  • Unser Chef hat viele Termine - Our boss has many appointments
  • Ich habe sehr nette Kollegen - I have very nice colleagues

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Job titles in German

When applying for a job it is important to know what position there are in a company. Below you will find some examples of job titles in Dutch. 

Head of DepartmentAbteilungsleiter
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)Geschäftsführer
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)


Supervisory BoardAufsichtsrat
Production ManagerProduktionsleiter
Managing PartnerGeschäftsführende Teilhaber
Partner ShareholderAktieninhaber
Division ManagerBereichsleiter
Senior ExecutiveLeitender Angestellter / Senior executive

Small Talk in German

Once you got a job socializing with your colleagues is an important part of everyday life.

Depending on how well you know your conversation partner, the German form of politeness is appropriate. In General you should use the form of politness always when you meet someone for the first time and when talking to higher-ups.

EnglishGermanGerman form of politeness
Nice to meet you.Schön dich kennen zu lernenFreut mich Sie kennen zu lernen
Please, take a seat.Nimm platz bitteBitte, nehmen Sie Platz
May I introduce you to...Darf ich dir *Name* vorstellen?Dürfte ich Ihnen *Name* vorstellen?
How was your vacation? Wie war dein Urlaub?Wie war Ihr Urlaub?
Can I get you something to drink?Kann ich dir etwas zu trinken anbieten? Kann ich Ihnen etwas zu trinken anbieten?
Lovely day today, isn’t it?Schöner Tag heute, nicht wahr?/
Did you have a pleasant flight?Hattest du einen angenehmen Flug?Hatten Sie einen angenehmen Flug?

Vocabulary related to meetings in German

'Eine Besprechung' (which means 'a meeting' - however, just saying 'a meeting' is also very common) in German can be an important moment to discuss certain issues or agenda points. Below you will find a list of vocabulary related to meetings. 

to hold a meetingEine Besprechung / Ein Meeting halten
to address an issueEin Problem ansprechen 
to attend a meetingAn einer Besprechung teilnehmen
the agendaDie Agenda
the minutes Die Minuten
to record the minutesDie Minuten zählen
at short noticekurzfristig
to take notesNotizen machen
the negotiationDie Verhandlung
to chairvorsitzen / den Vorsitz haben
to collaboratezusammen arbeiten
the absenteeDer Abwesende
  • Heute hatten die Angestellten schon 3 Besprechungen. - Today the staff hat 3 meetings already.
  • Es gab fast keine Abwesenden. - There were almost no absentees.
  • Jedes mal hatte der Chef den Vorsitz. - Everytime the boss chaired the meeting.

Presentations in German 

The German business vocabulary includes terms to describe and explain diagrams and graphs. 

the numbers / figuresDie Zahlen / Ziffern
the tableDie Tabelle
the pie chart Das Tortendiagramm
the rowDie Reihe
the columnDie Spalte
the bar chartDas Säulendiagramm
the line chartDas Liniendiagramm
the graphDie Grafik
the vertical / horizontal axisDie vertikale / horizontale Achse
the curveDie Kurve
to peakgipfeln
to dropfallen
annual / yearlyjährlich
year-on-yearJahr für Jahr
to fluctuatefluktuieren / schwanken
to remain stablestabil bleiben
to increasezunehmen
to decreaseabnehmen
to flatten out abflachen
  • Diese Zahlen gipfeln jährlich zur Sommerzeit - These numbers peak annually at summer time
  • Wie Sie in diesem Säulendiagramm sehen können - As you can see in this bar chart
  • Unsere Verkäufe schwanken von Jahr zu Jahr - Our sales fluctuate year-on-year

Train your skills by doing the exercises below!


  1. Translate the business vocabulary into German
  2. Complete the business small talk by matching the right phrases
  3. Type in the correct German business vocabulary

Translate the business vocabulary into German

Complete the business small talk by matching the right phrases

Type in the correct German business vocabulary

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