i have'th a complaint or a question
ok so im learning German again because i wanted to refresh my memory, since i haven't spoken German in 4 years. and i have realized that 'guten tag' is 'hello' in duolingo, but isnt 'guten tag' good day in german?
Sure, but sometimes (quite often, actually) Duo lets you or even wants you to change the wording slightly to make it sound natural.
It's quite uncommon to say "Good day!" in English these days, but people say "Hello!" all the time. If someone learns that Guten Tag! means "Good day!" then they might be left wondering if that also sounds old-fashioned or uncommon in German, which it doesn't really (not to the same extent, anyway).
So on the various sentences Duo is usually trying to teach either something about the meaning (if the sentence sounds sensible) or something about the grammar (sometimes these sentences are a bit silly to make you concentrate on the words), or both. I think from even a simple translation like Guten Tag! you can learn something from both.
the main problem in languages is, that, depending on the language and the culture, some words became arbitrary phrases.
for example in english "how are you?" always expects a "fine" as answer. germans would answer that with an actual answer, how they are... not knowing that it is just a greeting.
so, "guten tag" is a form of greeting, and it is expected to answer it with "guten tag". so in some way, it's "hello" - "hello", even if that good day is stormy as hell. ;-)
so, english speaking persons are often surprised, when a "how are you?" is answered by "hello, thanks for asking, I haven't slept well, my neighbors dog was barking all night long, etc", because the question of how somebody is doing, isn't just a greeting, it's a question about the actual wellbeing of the other person.
so, what duolingo is doing: comparing and connecting standard greeting phrases to each other. this is a good approach, as someone who wants to greet somebody else, will just use the expected phrase. but everyone should be reminded, there is a deeper meaning within each of these phrases.
Guten Tag means "Good day" but can be used as "Hello". Just like you would say to someone "Good day/morning/afternoon/evening!" instead of "Hello!" though they mean the same thing.
Hallo means "Hello".
I hope this makes sense, and good luck with German! :)
Have a nice day!
From living in Germany years ago, I understand the language this way:
- Hallo = casual, for peers
Wie geht's ? = casual, for peers
Guten Tag, - Morgen, - Abend = formal, for strangers or acquaintances. Hotel, Store Clerks, Restaurants, Neighbours.
Wie geht es Ihnen? = formal, for strangers or acquaintances. Hotel, Store Clerks, Restaurants, Neighbours
Walking down the street passing a neighbour or entering a hotel, or a store the greeting is formal as in "Guten Tag".
One would NEVER greet a professional or one's elder with "Hallo" nor with "Wie geht's?" = way too chummy and actually likely to be taken as disrespectful!
ALSO: One would only ask 'how are you doing' in this formal way: "Wie geht es Ihnen?" ONLY IF you genuinely want to show you care how this person is doing.
such as in a genuine caring way towards an acquaintance who has been sick.
as a semi-formal greeting to whom you are acquainted, such as a neighbour, store clerk where no one expects a discussion. To which they'd answer, "Danke, gut" and likely ask you "und Ihnen?" (and yourself?) and you'd most likely answer generic, and not go into details about your personal life either.
As peers we said Hallo or Hallole ;)
As peers we never greeted each other with a Guten Tag.
At school we'd wish a "Guten Morgen" or after a night out a " Gute Nacht", but not Guten Tag / - Abend as a greeting phrase. (to their parents, yes, giggle)
"Wie geht's" is perfect among peers (or at a bar, party, or other such very casual social situations).
And we'd ask "wie geht's?" but as above, not as a greeting, but a sincere: how are you doing... with the expectation to engage in some chit chat together.
Personally: I am going through this course to brush up on grammar skills.
i believe that when i lived in germany i actually said 'hallo' to people who worked in hotels and random people acroos the street, but its been like 4 years so i dont fully remember