literally means “How’s it going?” but unlike in English, it’s almost never used in casual conversation, and usually not as a greeting. If you’ve eaten out in the US, you may know how difficult it can be to get separate checks for one group at a restaurant.
You’d think that a culture that’s so down for getting naked and drinking booze would correspondingly have a freewheeling, party-loving reputation. For taking leave, the word Tschüss (bye) can work in many situations. I used to think that the first English word that German schoolchildren learned was “superficial,” so that they could say the phrase “Americans are so superficial”—since many people declared that to me when I lived there. People tend to look sharp at work, at school and even at play. Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store or Google Play store. You shouldn’t touch someone’s arm to maintain their attention in a conversation, for example, and you may also find that people have a different perception of appropriate “personal space.”. If you’re using du, though, you’d have to ask, Isst du Fisch? If a person is introduced to you with those titles, use them, unless the person tells you it’s not necessary. If you’re speaking less formally or with a friend or family member, you’ll use the pronoun du, and the action is called duzen. You may ask that to a friend who you’ve not seen in months, but definitely not to a stranger you happen to sit next to on the bus. If you’re talking on the phone, you’re not actually seeing or looking at the other person, so then you should say Auf Wiederhören (until we hear each other again). Personally, watching that commercial just makes me wonder how they toasted the bread while camping out in the middle of nowhere.
You should normally say a generalized wish of “good appetite” to everyone at the table before someone starts eating, even if you didn’t actually prepare or serve the food. If, for some unavoidable reason out of your control, you find that you’ll be late to a meeting or a get-together, call to let the host or organizer know what’s going on and when you’ll be there. Although you don’t have to fully adapt to the traditional customs, it doesn’t hurt to try eating like a European. It has a lot to do with culture and relationships, and it’s also connected to the types of interactions you’re dealing with. You will notice that noise levels in German restaurants are a great deal lower than in US restaurants, no matter if you’re in casual or fine dining restaurants. Free PDF Downloads of these charts! The point is this: It may be harder to make friends at first in Germany, but if you try to be friendly without being overbearing, you’ll eventually meet some people. Get the latest recipes, news and special offers... German Foods North America, is an independent blogger, importer and retailer based in Washington, DC. (Do you eat fish?) Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. Starbucks also has a large presence in Germany. Certain sets of table manners emerged in many European countries in the 18th and 19th centuries as symbols of cultural development and class distinction. So get used to using das Messer (the knife), die Gabel (the fork) and der Löffel (the spoon), and don’t be afraid to ask for eine Serviette (a napkin) to keep things clean and orderly when you eat. But don’t forget the sauna towels (yes, of course there are towels specifically for saunas), since bare, sweaty skin on the sauna wood is definitely frowned upon, and dripping sweat onto the wood or, God forbid, another person in the sauna, is definitely a no-no. Germans are famously punctual, and proud of it. In fact, Germans consider that a rude manner, similar to putting both elbows on the table. In addition, unlike in the US, the Nazi party is banned in Germany, as are Nazi symbols like the swastika.
This means you need to make sure to let them know how much tip you want to leave. Plus, we’ll get in some good vocabulary to help you deal with social situations you’ll encounter in German-speaking countries. Here is a brief guide as to what to expect and how to behave when eating in Germany. All rights reserved. Guidelines Advertising Contact Site Policy Accessibility/Section 508, A marketing and advertising product of © 2020 Stars and Stripes, Budgeting for the hidden expenses of moving overseas. Facebook: Stars and Stripes Europe Don’t be surprised if you are charged for what you eat. That’s not to say that Germans are “cold”—again, we already put that stereotype to rest—but they’re much less likely to show outward displays of touching and affection, especially in business situations. If you’re not sure what to do, just knock. Click here to get a copy. In fact, there’s even a German saying about this: Warum einfach, wenn es auch kompliziert geht? As for whether or not to clink glasses or bottles together, there seems to be some disagreement about when it’s appropriate, so just play it safe and do what everyone else is doing. We’ll wrap it all up with a special look at eating etiquette, since that’s often the source of many cross-cultural misunderstandings or issues. First, let’s go over some tips about how to behave in general everyday situations, followed by what to do in work or professional situations. or Zum Wohl! Most people will strip down for public showers or to change, and many beaches have lots of topless women and even nude areas (called “FKK” areas, which stands for Freikörperkultur, or “free body culture”). They’re there for a reason. (Is this seat vacant?). FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, commercials, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into German learning experiences.
As the above post makes clear, real-life context matters when you’re learning a language. Forks a held in the left hand, knives in the right hand. The phrase Wie geht’s? When you arrive at a new place or leave it, you’ll normally have to interact with the people in that place, whether it’s a house, an office, a store or any other public or private area. When in Germany… Do eat with a fork and knife, shake hands when greeting people and be on time, always.. Don’t dress like a slob, compare anyone to Nazis or stare at the naked people..
Cash is still a common method to pay at restaurants. Germans are indeed friendly and warm, but not to everyone they happen to meet on the street. As with many issues surrounding German life, this can get unnecessarily complicated. You can simply find a table that is free and sit down. Meeting agendas are going to be set well ahead of time and will generally be adhered to closely. Make sure you compliment the home-cook or chef by saying “das schmeckt (gut/lecker/wunderbar)!” This means that the food tastes good/yummy/wonderful. More likely than not, you’ll hear a voice from inside say “Herein” (Come in). It’s also a phenomenon that’s changing and developing, to make things even more complicated—but at least it’s also a cause for concern for native speakers, so you’re not alone in your angst! That may fly in Los Angeles, but it won’t in Berlin. Don’t turn up late for an appointment or when meeting people. It’s not really formal, but if someone says it to you, you can certainly say it back. Instead, you should ask for the water you would like when ordering your drinks (still or sparkling).
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