January 11 marks International Thank You Day. From ABBA to ZZ Top, we look at the best songs expressing gratitude and revisit the most common ways to say "danke schön" in German.
"Thank you" is something most people say every day. But the simple words of gratitude are celebrated around the world every year on January 11.
The day was created in 1994 by American "eventologist" Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith, who claims to have created more than 1,900 "holidates" over the past 30 years.
Music to say danke
To inspire you on this special day, we have looked into songs that say thanks, whether sincerely or ironically, and often with a touch of nostalgia. The gallery above highlights some of them while our Spotify list below offers more titles, from Ariana Grande to Led Zeppelin.
A classic among them that'll get you swinging on a happy note for the rest of the day was performed by American singer Brenda Lee, Lee's cute American pronunciation of the words "danke schön" is bound to make any German smile.
Lee's interpretation might also inspire you to brush up your German vocabulary to say thanks.
Here are a few options:
- Danke is the most basic way to say thanks.
- Danke schön, literally "beautiful thanks," and danke sehr ("thanks a lot") are a variation adding a touch of formality to the initial form.
- Vielen Dank, or "many thanks," is often used in written and is even more formal than the above.
- Ich danke dir! / Ich danke Ihnen! is "I thank you," using the informal and the formal declinations of you.
- Tausend Dank, "thousand thanks," is the idiomatic equivalent of the English "thanks a million."
- If you want to go all the way to demonstrate your sincere gratitude, the options Vielen Herzlichen Dank and Herzliches Dankeschön refer to "heartfelt thanks."
And then, when you say danke, Germans might well answer with the same word they used to say please: bitte — but that's another story.