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46
votes
13answers
2k views

How can a native English speaker know when it is appropriate to use the polite (Sie) or the familiar (Du)?

In a language such as English, where there are no "built-in" (so to say) polite and familiar forms, what are some simple tips or guidelines for when to use the polite or the familiar forms? Are there ...
3
votes
5answers
720 views

What does “Knallerfrauen” mean?

Google translate doesn't seem to make sense with this word. I found this comedy show that I think It's hilarious, which its name is this word. What does "Knallerfrauen" mean?
6
votes
3answers
674 views

What pronunciation is more influential, higher status or standard?

I was looking into different pronunciations, I saw there is a difference between regions within Germany and also with other German speaking countries, making me wonder which set of pronunciation rules ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What to say after someone sneezes?

I've heard Germans saying: Gesundheit But in a movie, someone sneezes and someone else saying: Heuschnupfen? Is it polite? Is it colloquial? What else could I say when talking to someone ...
10
votes
4answers
701 views

Can one say “Schönheit”/ “Bescheidenheit” instead of “Gesundheit”?

When somebody sneezes, we say "Gesundheit". Can this word be replaced by "Schönheit" or "Bescheidenheit"? One of my colleagues has suggested me these words. What do these words mean in this ...
7
votes
1answer
465 views

Which words or phrases should non-native speakers avoid to prevent unintentional offense?

When I studied German in the early 90s, we were taught that an unmarried woman is a Fräulein, but I recently learned that Fräulein is offensive. We aren't all ugly Americans, and I don't want to fall ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Wie heißt der bayrische „Kochenball“?

Ich habe gehört, dass es einen traditionellen Ball in Bayern gibt. Er heißt etwa „Kochenball“ und wird am Morgen gefeiert. Die Geschichte ist, dass der Ball für die Diener war, weil sie abends keine ...