Learn 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?)

EnglishDeutsch
Ariesder Widder
Taurusder Stier (the bull)
Geminidie Zwillinge (the twins)
Cancerder Krebs
Leoder Löwe (the lion)
Virgodie Jungfrau (the virgin)
Libradie Waage (the scale)
Scorpioder Skorpion (the scorpion)
Sagittariusder Schütze (the shooter)
Capricornder Steinbock
Aquariusder Wassermann (the waterman)
Piscesdie 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.

EnglishDeutsch
zodiacder Tierkreis
sign of the zodiacdas Tierkreiszeichen
das Sternzeichen
horoscope(s)das Horotskop(-e)
constellation(s)der Sternbild(-er)
die Konstellation(-en)
astrologydie Astrologie
astronomydie Astronomie
star(s)der Stern(-e)
the four seasonsdie vier Jahreszeiten
What's your zodiac sign?Welches Sternzeichen sind Sie?
She cast his horoscope.Sie hat ihm das Horoskop gestellt.