Parts of the Body German for Beginners Lesson

Human anatomy chart
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The German words for many parts of the body are similar or identical to English: der Armdie Handder Fingerdas Haardas Kinn. (English is, after all, a Germanic language.) But of course they're not all that easy, and you still need to learn the genders of even the easy ones. (Don't ask me why a hand is feminine but a finger is masculine. It's pointless to worry about such things.)

German Expressions Using Parts of the Body

Hals- und Beinbruch!
Break a leg! (Neck and leg break!) (Although it adds the neck, the German expression actually wishes someone good luck, as in English.)

One element of this lesson relates to the way that German-speakers talk about the body. In the classic film "Casablanca," Humphrey Bogart's character says to Ingrid Bergman: "Here's lookin' at you, kid." In the German version, that Americanism became "Ich schau dir in die Augen, Kleines." Instead of saying "your eyes," German tends to be more like the English expression "I'm looking you in the eye," using the definite article with the dative to show personal possession. Let's learn the basic vocabulary of Körperteile (parts of the body).

German Glossary for Body Parts

In this glossary, the plural form is given only for those items that usually come in pairs or multiples (eyes, ears, fingers, etc.). You'll notice that our glossary runs from the top of the body (head) to the bottom (foot, von Kopf bis Fuß).

Englisch Deutsch
hair* das Haar/die Haare (pl.)
head der Kopf
ear, ears das Ohr, die Ohren (pl.)
face das Gesicht
forehead die Stirn
eyebrow, eyebrows die Augenbraue, die Augenbrauen
eyelash, eyelashes die Wimper, die Wimpern
eye, eyes das Auge, die Augen
nose die Nase
lip, lips die Lippe, die Lippen
mouth* der Mund
tooth, teeth der Zahn, die Zähne
chin das Kinn
neck der Hals
shoulder, shoulders die Schulter, die Schultern
back der Rücken
arm, arms der Arm, die Arme
elbow, elbows der Ell(en)bogen, die Ell(en)bogen
wrist, wrists das Handgelenk, die Handgelenke
hand, hands die Hand, die Hände
finger, fingers der Finger, die Finger
thumb, thumbs* der Daumen, die Daumen
index finger der Zeigefinger
finger nail (nails) der Fingernagel (-nägel)
chest die Brust
breast, breasts (bosom) die Brust, die Brüste (der Busen)
stomach, belly der Bauch