German Abbreviations

When you begin to live in another country, you also start paying attention to the native speakers’ use of the language.

One of the first things that attracted my attention in Germany was the common use of abbreviations, especially acronyms, mostly formed with three letters. If you decide to live in Germany, it is better that you learn some of them.

Here is a song by the popular German band „Die Fantastischen Vier”, which can help you a lot. Below, you will also find the most important abbreviations in the song with an explanation:

  • MfG: mit freundlichen Grüßen
  • ARD: Allgemeine Rundfunkanstalten Deutschlands
  • ZDF: Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen
  • BRD: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
  • C&A: Clements & August
  • DDR: Deutsche Demokratische Republik
  • Gmbh: Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
  • Usw: und so weiter
  • Plz: Postleitzahl
  • FKK: Freikörperkultur
  • ADAC: Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil Club
  • Tüv: Technischer Überwachungsverein
  • AOK: Allegemeine Ortskrankenkasse
  • DPA: Deutsche Presseagentur
  • H&M: Hennes & Mauritz
  • FAZ: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • BWL: Betriebswirthaftslehre
  • EDV: Elektronische Datenverarbeitung

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5 thoughts on “German Abbreviations”

  1. Well … H&M, C&A are well known retailers, which are spread all over Europe … just a tradename,the same as many others.

    As for ARD, ZDF, … just think about BBC, NBC and many other TV networks … ADAC is just an automovile club
    So not really “native speaker’s use of the language, but just the current namesof some entreprises … like in any other country, common brands use such names.

    As for the others, yep, they are well worth knowing, I think any good textbook might provide at least a hint of some of them. When I studied French and Italian, we spent some time dealing with some common abbreviations.

  2. This is a very useful topic! I am a french guy living in Germany and I have several problems with these abbreviations, thank you!

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