How to say good luck in German & good luck symbols

Learning German? Good luck with that!

Just like everywhere in the world, in German-speaking countries, you can always use some extra luck! That way, your day will go smoothly and everything just happens the way you want.

  • The Deutsche Bahn arrives at the station just at the same time as you
  • The weather is on your side and it stops raining right when your lunch break is coming up
  • At the florist, you find your favorite flowers half price

We all love days like that and we love talking about how lucky we are. So we’ll teach you how to say good luck in German, why pigs are considered lucky, and why Germans like to touch their chimney sweeper’s buttons.

You're having a lucky day when you find your favorite flowers are half price.

How to say good luck in German

“Luck” is “das Glück and “Good luck” in German is “Viel Glück.

Germans believe in personal responsibility though. The German expression “Jeder ist seines Glückes Schmied“ shows this. It means “Everyone is the smith of their own luck.” Because of this, there’s an expression, used just as often as “good luck.” It’s “viel Erfolg” meaning “good success.”

When someone goes out to prove themselves, it often makes more sense to use this as it lets the other person know they’re in control.

English German IPA
Good luck! Viel Glück! [fiːl ɡlʏk]
Good luck, my friend! Viel Glück, mein Freund! [fiːl ɡlʏk, maɪ̯n fʁɔɪ̯nt]
I wish you success (Good success)! Viel Erfolg! [fiːl ɛɐ̯ˈfɔlk]
Good luck and best wishes! Viel Glück und beste Wünsche! [fiːl ɡlʏk ʊnt ˈbɛstə ˈvʏnʃə]
I’ll keep my fingers crossed Ich drück die Daumen! [ɪç dʁʏk diː ˈdaʊ̯mən]
Break a leg (in theater) Hals- und Beinbruch! [ˌhals ʔʊnt ˈbaɪ̯nbʁʊx]
“Toi toi toi” (indicating three spits on the floor for good luck) Toi, toi, toi! [ˈtɔɪ̯ ˈtɔɪ̯ ˈtɔɪ̯]
Knock on wood Klopf auf Holz! [ˈklɔp͡fn̩ aʊ̯f ˈhɔlt͡s]
Go get ‘em Zeig’s ihnen [tsaɪ̯ks i:nən]

Words of encouragement in German

Whether your German friend has a medical checkup, an important game or is studying for a test - always make the time to offer some German words of encouragement. It’s just a nice thing to do and an easy way to practice your German.

Words of encouragement in German.

English German IPA
You are awesome! Du bist toll! [duː bɪst tɔl]
You’re going to do great! Du wirst das ganz toll machen! [du: vɪɐ̯st das gants tɔl ‘maxən]
Good luck today! Viel Glück heute! [fi:l glʏk ‘hɔʏ̯tə]
Good luck tomorrow! Viel Glück morgen! [fi:l glʏk ‘mɔɐ̯gən]
Good luck this semester! Viel Glück für dieses Semester! [fi:l glʏk fy:ɐ̯ di:zəs zɛmɛstɐ]
Good luck on your test! Viel Glück bei der Prüfung! [fi:l glʏk baɪ̯ de:ɐ̯ ‘pʁy:fʊŋ]
Good luck at the doctor's office! Viel Glück beim Arzt! [fi:l glʏk baɪ̯m aɐ̯t͡st]
Good luck at the game! Viel Glück bei dem Spiel! [fi:l glʏk baɪ̯ de:m ʃpi:l]
I’ll be there to cheer you on! Ich werde da sein und dich anfeuern! [ɪç ‘ve:ɐ̯də da: zaɪ̯n ʊnt dɪç ‘anfɔʏ̯ɐn]

Words of encouragement in German business contexts

There’s nothing better for a positive office culture than encouraging each other and celebrating your colleagues' successes. Here are some words of encouragement in German that will lift everyone’s work spirit.

Words of encouragement in German business contexts.

English German IPA
Good luck on your job interview! Viel Glück bei deinem Vorstellungsgespräch! [fi:l glʏk baɪ̯ ‘daɪ̯nəm ˈfoːɐ̯ʃtɛlʊŋsɡəˌʃpʁɛːç]
Good luck on your first day! Viel Glück an deinem ersten Tag! [fi:l glʏk an ‘daɪ̯nəm ˈeːɐ̯stn̩ taːk]
Good success with the presentation! Viel Erfolg bei der Präsentation! [fi:l ɛɐ̯ˈfɔlk baɪ̯ deːɐ pʁɛzɛntaˈt͡si̯oːn]
Good success with that new project! Viel Erfolg mit dem neuen Projekt! [fi:l ɛɐ̯ˈfɔlk mɪt de:m ‘nɔʏ̯ən pʁo:’jɛkt]
I hope you get that promotion! Ich hoffe, du bekommst die Beförderung! [ɪç hɔfə du: bəkɔmst di: bəfœɐ̯dəʁʊŋ]
Keep up the great work! Gute Arbeit, weiter so! [‘gu:tə ‘aɐ̯baɪ̯t ‘vaɪ̯tɐ zo:]
Hope you win that prize for your accomplishments! Hoffentlich gewinnst du die Auszeichnung für deine Leistungen! [‘hɔfəntlɪç gə’vɪnst du: di: ‘aʊ̯st͡saɪ̯çnʊŋ fy:ɐ̯ ‘daɪ̯nə ‘laɪ̯stʊŋən]

German good luck symbols

Piggies, clovers and chimney sweepers - There are many German good luck symbols and all of them taste good as marzipan figurines! Germans just love to eat little good luck charms made of marzipan, especially for New Year’s.

Some of them are widely known as lucky charms while others are unique to Germany. Another word for “being lucky” in German is “Schwein haben” (to have pig). Apparently, in the middle ages, if someone lost at gambling, they would sometimes receive a pig as a consolation prize. That way, they unexpectedly received something good. So they got lucky!

pexels-brett-sayles-7935967.jpg

Luck seemed to play an especially big role in the middle ages. Back then, houses used to catch fire easily but chimney sweepers did their job to prevent this and were therefore also considered lucky. Even today, when your chimney sweeper comes to clean your chimney in Germany, it’s common to touch his shoulder or his buttons and let his luck rub off on you.

Watch this lucky movie in German!

One fun way to learn a language is by watching movies or shows in it. Especially animated movies that are easy to follow will make sense to you in German. Another upside is that you won’t be irritated by seeing real actors with different voices in the dubbed version. Animations have to be dubbed anyway. So the German versions are often just as good as the original.

One great movie on the topic of “Glück” is “Luck” by Peggy Holmes. Watch the German trailer and test how much you already understand.

LUCK Trailer German Deutsch (2022) Apple TV+

For some inspiration on what to watch next if you’re learning different languages, check out our guide on multilingual Netflix shows!

Viel Erfolg!

When it comes to language learning, it’s more about success than luck since you’re gonna have to take control and put in the effort - but you’re in luck because you stumbled across our German language blog, which will make it both fun and easy for you!

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