The German Word for Kind

Before you start studying foreign languages, you tend to think that every language has a way of saying the things that you currently say in your language. However this really isn’t true. What you will find when you learn another language Like German, is that it has ways of saying some things that simply cannot be expressed in English, and also that it lacks ways of saying things that we commonly say in English.

This affects how people actually behave. If you have a word for something, you can encourage it, promote it, and even write songs about it. You see, words are tools that we use for thinking, just like a hammers are tools that we use for pounding nails. If your language lacks a word for something, it is very hard to make that thing a big part of your life.

So what is the German word for kind, as in “Be kind to him”? Well there really isn’t one. There is a word for good hearted, but there really is no exact word for kind. When I was in Germany I had some Germans be very very kind to me, so it is a part of their lives, it’s just not part of their language. Because it’s not part of their language, it isn’t something that German society can focus on. It focuses, on efficiency, and on business and being right.

So when you learn German and or travel to Germany, people will be kind to you, but there is no German word that exactly describes it.

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    You’re right about this. I’ve made a lot of German friends while traveling, and they have been some of the kindest people I’ve met! One German girl I met in Scotland friended me on facebook and soon she came to visit me in Ireland! She says I can come visit her in Germany any time, and I believe it.

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    You can say:
    “Die Leute waren sehr nett zu mir und hilfsbereit”
    If you just say “sie ist nett” to a girl, that might be understood as “she is attractive”. But if you specify “sie ist nett zu mir”, then you are safe and it means pretty much the same as “being kind to someone”.

    • Brent Van Arsdell
      Brent Van Arsdell

      Fortunately there is plenty of kindness in Germany. Thanks for filling us in on a way to express it.


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    Thank you, Igor. I now know that I was unintentionally hitting on everyone in Deutschland! I will try my best to refrain in the future! lol


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