German Language Blog

Talking About Hobbies in German Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Language

Servus, I got my inspiration for this post over on the Greek blog (which you can find here if you’re also interested in learning Greek). Hobbies are an important part of everyday life and are a great way to start up a conversation, whether it’s horse riding, painting, reading, or just going to the cinema!

Magst du auch lesen? Do you also like reading? Photo by Kate Ter Haar on Flickr under CC BY 2.0

The German language has taken the English word “hobby”, making it one less German word for you to remember. If you wanted to ask “what are your hobbies?” in German it would be “Was sind deine Hobbys?”. However you could also say “Was sind deine Interessen?” – “What are your interests?”.

Here are a few hobbies I translated into German, if you have one that isn’t up here than leave me a comment and I can translate it for you!

Horse riding                                                        reiten

Reading                                                               lesen

Painting                                                                malen

Dancing                                                                tanzen

Going to the cinema                                       ins Kino gehen

Swimming                                                           schwimmen

Writing                                                                 schreiben

Meeting up with friends                                   mit Freunden treffen

Travelling                                                             reisen

Fishing                                                                 angeln

Doing sport                                                         Sport machen

If you want to ask someone what their favourite hobby is (maybe they’ve listed you a hundred hobbies already and you want to narrow it down) then ask “was ist dein Lieblingshobby?”/”was ist deine Lieblingsinteresse?”. The word lieblings means “favourite” so you can use this for other questions too, such as Lieblingsessen (favourite food), Lieblingsfach (favourite subject), Lieblingsbuch (favourite book) and so on.

When someone asks you what your hobbies are, you can reply by saying “Meine Hobbys sind…” (My hobbies are…) or if you just have one hobby then say “Mein Hobby ist…” (My hobby is…). In reply to your favourite hobby you can say “Mein Lieblingshobby ist…” (My favourite hobby is…), or if you’re indecisive and can’t pick one favourite hobby you can reply “Ich liebe alle meine Hobbys, ich kann mich nicht entscheiden!” (I love all of my hobbies, I can’t decide!).

Conversation. Photo by Daniel on Flickr under CC BY-ND 2.0

Now that you know what to say here is an example of how the conversation could go:

Person 1: Was sind deine Hobbys? / Was sind deine Interessen?

(Note that the question has „sind” instead of “ist” in it which means it is plural)

Person 2: Meine Hobbys sind Schwimmen und ins Kino gehen.

Person 1: Ich mag auch Schwimmen! Was ist dein Lieblingshobby?

Person 2: Mein Lieblingshobby ist Schwimmen, ich schwimme drei mal pro Woche.

I haven’t written the translation so see if you can understand what they’re saying to each other!

Thanks for reading 🙂



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About the Author: Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


  1. Alcazar:

    Nice article.
    Yes “hobby” has become the new german word for this, but there is actually an old german word for – “Steckenpferd”.
    (in english hobby-horse 🙂

    • Larissa:

      @Alcazar Hi Alcazar,
      I haven’t heard of “Steckenpferd” before so thank you for the info! 🙂

  2. Constantinus:

    Instead of “Sport machen”, it should be “Sport treiben”.

    • Larissa:

      @Constantinus Hi Constantinus,
      You’re right you can also say “Sport treiben” but both are correct 🙂 It’s completely normal to say “Ich mache sport” as well!
      Thanks for the comment,

    • Trish:

      @Constantinus Yes, I heard from a young adult German person recently that Sport ‘treiben’ is a little outdated and most say Sport ‘machen’ now 🙂

  3. Maier Alina:

    Yes “hobby” germani

  4. Lisa Gorrell:


    I have several hobbies:

    birdwatching = vogelbeobachten
    genealogy = Geneologie

    and model railroading. How do the Germans call modeling trains?

    • Larissa:

      @Lisa Gorrell Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for sharing your hobbies! A model railroad is “Eisenbahnmodel” in German. You could say “Ich habe eine Modelleisenbahn” – “I have a model railroad”.
      Hope this helps 🙂

  5. Neetu:


  6. Jeff:

    Look at ur hairline

  7. cupcake:

    would the gehen change acording to who you were adressing, for example du?

    • Larissa:

      @cupcake Hello!

      Yes it would:
      “du gehst”
      “Ich gehe”
      “wir gehen”

      Thanks for commenting, I hope that helps 🙂


    Hallo ich einen Deutsch Lehrer aus Uganda , ,lightning. Danke schön ich magge deine unterrichten…..

  9. rinea:

    super. das ist toll

  10. rinea:


  11. Avin:

    Nice… I had to refer to your website to understant how to express my hobbies to a potential employer in Germany.
    It was helpful. Thanks!