Hallo ToddS12 und sfpugh,
If you translate the word gefallen
literally, it means “to please“ or “to be pleasing“. Like you said, you wouldn’t say “The Oktoberfest pleases me a lot.“ in English. Basically, gefallen
both mean “to like“.
Have a look at lesson 4.7 “To Like and To Love“ which explains gefallen
in detail and covers the difference between these two.
is used for something that we like but don’t have strong feelings about as well as for first impressions whereas mögen
is used for something familiar to us which we feel more emotional about. In other words, it feels closer to our heart rather than just liking something.
For example, you could say:
“Das Oktoberfest gefällt mir wirklich gut.“
- “I like the Oktoberfest a lot.“
It means you like the Oktoberfest but it might be your first time being there and you don’t have strong feelings about it.
“Ich mag das Oktoberfest wirklich sehr.“
- “I like the Oktoberfest a lot.“ (Note: use “sehr“ instead of “gut“)
It means you really like the Oktoberfest and might feel quite passionate about it. You probably have been there before.
I hope this has cleared things up.
Let me know if you have any further questions!