The Signs of the Zodiac in German

A Vocabulary Lesson About Your Horoscope

Astronomical clock tower (1520), Town Hall of Ulm, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
De Agostini / C. Sappa / Getty Images

The old pick-up line “What’s your sign?” probably doesn’t work any better in German (Welches Sternzeichen sind Sie?) than it does in English. That shouldn't stop you from learning to speak about the zodiac in German. 

After studying this lesson, you’ll know the German for the twelve signs of the zodiac as well as some basic horoscope vocabulary to help you in conversations. It's a rather short lesson and many of the words resemble their English counterparts, making them easier to commit to memory.

Signs of the Zodiac (das Tierkreiszeichen)

The German word for the astrological and astronomical zodiac, der Tierkreis (“animal circle”), tells you a lot. The German words for each "sign of the zodiac" (das Tierkreiszeichen) represent the animal or symbol of that sign.

While the English sign of the bull is called "Taurus," the German word is der Stier, the bull itself. English uses Latin-based words like "taurus" (bull), but German sticks with the Germanic words (Stier, related to "steer"). There are exceptions to this, however. In the cases of Aries, Cancer, and Capricorn, the literal translation from German to English is the actual sign, not the symbol that represents it. 

Remember, too, that the names of the signs are also the names of constellations (Sternbilder, literally "star picture") you can see in the night sky of the northern hemisphere. If you keep all this in mind, it will make learning the words much easier.

Nun, welches Sternzeichen bist du? (Well, what sign are you?)

English Deutsch
Aries der Widder
Taurus der Stier (the bull)
Gemini die Zwillinge (the twins)
Cancer der Krebs
Leo der Löwe (the lion)
Virgo die Jungfrau (the virgin)
Libra die Waage (the scale)
Scorpio der Skorpion (the scorpion)
Sagittarius der Schütze (the shooter)
Capricorn der Steinbock
Aquarius der Wassermann (the waterman)
Pisces die Fische (the fish)

German Zodiac Vocabulary

To get into deeper conversations about the zodiac, you will also need some German vocabulary beyond the signs. These are relatively easy to memorize because they often resemble their English translations.

English Deutsch
zodiac der Tierkreis
sign of the zodiac das Tierkreiszeichen
das Sternzeichen
horoscope(s) das Horotskop(-e)
constellation(s) der Sternbild(-er)
die Konstellation(-en)
astrology die Astrologie
astronomy die Astronomie
star(s) der Stern(-e)
the four seasons die vier Jahreszeiten
What's your zodiac sign? Welches Sternzeichen sind Sie?
She cast his horoscope. Sie hat ihm das Horoskop gestellt.
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Your Citation
Flippo, Hyde. "The Signs of the Zodiac in German." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Flippo, Hyde. (2020, August 27). The Signs of the Zodiac in German. Retrieved from Flippo, Hyde. "The Signs of the Zodiac in German." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 31, 2023).