Förmlichkeit - Questions on formal speech or writing.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

71
votes
4answers
16k views

How rude is “Quatsch!”?

I've seen Quatsch! translated as Bullshit, which I was fine with as I had only heard it used among friends. Today, a university teacher used the Q-word in response to a student's serious suggestion in ...
44
votes
8answers
5k views

Is it still good form to use a capital D for Du or Dir in a letter?

This question also has an answer here (in German): Schriftliche Höflichkeitsformel – Du oder du I was taught (several decades ago) to write a capital D for all pronouns such as Du, ...
31
votes
6answers
50k views

Schlussformel für Beschwerdebrief?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: How to end a complaint letter in German Standardschlussformel für förmliche Briefe ist ja „Mit freundlichen Grüßen“. Wenn ich nun aber ...
29
votes
4answers
868 views

When is it OK to drop the first-person e, as in „Ich hab'“?

It seems common to drop the end-schwa of first-person verbs. I've both heard it and seen it written. Ich hab' eine Frage. Ich geh' zur Uni. I'm wondering: Does writing or talking like ...
24
votes
12answers
3k views

Is “dingsbums” offensive, rude, vulgar, etc?

I've heard that my favourite word "dingsbums" might not be acceptable in some circumstances due to it being related to "bumsen" which, I'm told, is some kind of a word for intimate relations. Yet ...
17
votes
12answers
228k views

What are informal ways to say “good bye”?

In German you may say Auf Wiedersehen or Guten Tag when leaving. Both seem rather formal and may be inappropriate in a non-formal context. What would be the alternatives? In what context can we use ...
16
votes
8answers
5k views

How should I say something like “I'm” instead of “I am” in German?

In English,we have "I'm" instead of "I am" . Is there something like that in German? I don't want to speak so formal!
16
votes
6answers
391 views

Redet man den Weihnachtsmann mit “Du” oder mit “Sie” an?

Hier in den USA gibt es eine Werbung für Rosetta Stone im Fernsehen. Ein deutscher Junge will mit Santa Claus reden und es stellt sich heraus, dass Santa auch Deutsch kann. Der Junge sagt, "Du ...
16
votes
3answers
348 views

If I'm on 'du' terms with the wife (my colleague), am I automatically on 'du' terms with the Husband too?

What do you understand the rules to be on using 'du' and 'Sie'? Is it usual to use 'Sie' until something else is offered? Confused in Germany
15
votes
7answers
77k views

How does a German say “Nice to meet you”?

In English it is common to reply with "Nice to meet you" when you were introduced to somebody. Likewise you say "Was nice to meet you" on leaving. Are there any similar phrases a German would use in ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to address more than one person in an E-mail?

I have to address my future German Au Pair family in an E-mail and until now have only been in contact with the woman. However the last E-mail was signed with both names, so I now feel I should ...
12
votes
5answers
746 views

“Duzen” or “Siezen”, when addressing two or more people

When talking to a mother (whom you would siezen) and her child which one would you use? Waren Sie beide in der Stadt? or Wart Ihr beide in der Stadt? Or is it uncommon to address several ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to add a “mal” after all verbs in imperative form?

I've heard the structure verb + mal a lot, like: Sag mal, schau mal, warte mal Is it a good style? does it sound more friendly? What's the difference between "warte" and "warte mal"? Is it ...
11
votes
3answers
314 views

Generisches Maskulinum

Ich benutze noch immer das generische Maskulinum. Da ich eine Frau bin, nimmt es mir auch keiner übel. Doch überall wo ich lese, erscheint ein anderer Ausdruck und Unterstreichung des Sexus. In ...
10
votes
3answers
481 views

How do German job ads specify both female and male role types?

I just saw an job ad on Stack-Overflow in German, and it said Software Entwickler/in Is the Entwickler/in referring to both genders of developers? And if so, do German job ads typically use ...
10
votes
1answer
151 views

Why isn't plural ihr used for Formal instead of Sie?

In most of the Indo-European languages that I know of, The T-V distinction applies, that the second plural form (referring to many people, vous, Bы, and you in English) is used in the singular as a ...
10
votes
2answers
570 views

When to use “Weltanschauung” vs. “Ideologie”? Do they basically have the same meaning?

Is Ideologie just a foreign word/scientific term for Weltanschauung? Where do you see nuances in meaning? Would you use Weltanschauung in an academic discussion? What is the correct context? For ...
9
votes
3answers
708 views

Telling your conversational partner they can use “du” instead of “Sie”

I have just read with interest this question and its answers which covers when it is appropriate to use "du" or "sie". My question is, is there something that is often said in German which translates ...
9
votes
3answers
110 views

Grußformel zwischen „Sehr geehrte(r)“ und „Liebe(r)“

Ich verfasse gerade eine E-Mail nach Deutschland, aber bin bereits an der Anrede hängengeblieben. Die/der Empfänger(in) habe ich nie getroffen, aber eine Wirtschaftsbrief sollte es nicht werden. Was ...
8
votes
3answers
618 views

Sie/du reciprocity?

If person A is addressing person B as 'Sie', is it always appropriate for person B to also address person 'A' as 'Sie'? For example, a student would address a professor as 'Sie'. Would the professor ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

“Lieber, sehr geehrter Herr X”: wie antworten?

Folgende Situation: Sie kontaktieren Firma A in einer geschäftlichen Angelegenheit. Der Telefonanruf wird an Frau B duchgestellt, gemeinsam mit ihrem Ehemann geschäftsführende Gesellschafterin des ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Wie sollte ich eine Lehrerin, die mich siezt, in einer E-Mail grüßen und verabschieden?

Meine Deutschlehrerin an der Universität siezt mich, aber kennt meinen Vornamen. Ich möchte ihr eine E-Mail schreiben. Sie hat mir noch nie geschrieben. Welche Begrüßung und welche Verabschiedung ...
7
votes
2answers
479 views

Should a letter to a future host family be formal or informal?

I'm writing a letter to the German family that will be hosting me over the summer, and am wondering if I should refer to them as "Sie" or "ihr"? If I was only talking to my host sister would that be ...
7
votes
2answers
758 views

Best way to address a business contact you're on a first name basis with in an email?

Our company culture is very informal. We all use first names, and everyone is per du with everyone else. But I'm not really comfortable addressing my boss as "Lieber Thomas" in an email or letter - ...
6
votes
2answers
325 views

I would like to give a book to a German friend as a gift, what is an appropriate dedication sentence?

I would like to give a book of classical literature of my country, Iran, to a German friend who is a professor of mathematics and philosophy at Berlin university. I want to write a good memorial ...
5
votes
2answers
211 views

Grammatikalische Korrektheit von »was ich von der eurigen Arbeitsstelle erwarte«

In einer Bewerbung möchte ich schreiben: Das ist, im Grunde genommen, was ich von der eurigen Arbeitsstelle erwarte. Ist dies grammatikalisch wohlgebildet? Dazu muss ich auch fragen, ob es ...
5
votes
3answers
139 views

Reminding of own identity at the beginning of correspondence

When sending (for example) an email to somebody who probably doesn’t have my current contact information, I would want to remind of who I am. So in English I would write something like: It’s (my ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between singular and plural formal form of address

When using the formal address, both you (sing.) and you (pl.) get translated to Sie, when in nominative case, of course. This question is more general. Are there any hints in the language (e.g. verb ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

When to use 'Entschuldigen Sie'

I know that when asking a favor from an adult that I am unfamiliar with, such as asking for directions, I should start with "Entschuldigen Sie..." but should I use the formal form when I am, for ...
4
votes
1answer
501 views

“Thank you for your consideration” am Ende eines Bewerbungsschreibens

So könnte das Ende eines englischen Bewerbungsschreibens aussehen: Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, John Doe Auf deutsch fällt mir nur ein Mit freundlichen Grüßen, ...
4
votes
2answers
281 views

What is the polite way to ask if I should talk in 'Sie' or 'du' terms with the Person

It frequently happens that I am unsure whether to talk to a person in Sie or du terms. Most of the time, I wait till the person himself gives some hint. Or I talk in Sie. But what is the polite way to ...
4
votes
3answers
638 views

Unter welchen Umständen kann man die Schlussformel “mit herzlichen Grüßen” schreiben?

Zur Frage nach einer Gruß- und Schlussform eines Briefes an eine Lehrerin wird in Kommentaren die Ansicht vertreten, dass die Schlussformel "Mit herzlichen Grüßen" nicht angebracht sei. Nun lese ich ...
4
votes
2answers
630 views

Formal “attaching to the e-mail” in German

On linguee.de I've found a very good translation for attach: ..., die Sie an E-Mail-Nachrichten anhängen möchten. So, anhängen is the translation for attach. In real life we usually type to ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is writing “Herr Prof. X” exaggerated/mandatory? Is it old-fashioned?

How necessary or exaggerated is the following Anrede? "Sehr geehrter Herr Prof. X" bzw. "Sehr geehrte Frau Dr. Z" I mean, should I write Herr Prof. X, or is Prof. X enough? Also, is it old-...
3
votes
1answer
435 views

How to end a complaint letter in German

This question also has an answer here (in German): Schlussformel für Beschwerdebrief? I am writing a complaint letter and want to know how to end it. The issue was pretty bad and I'm very ...
2
votes
2answers
169 views

Liturgical or church German

In a church setting, Is there a liturgical form of German for a pastor or priest to use during the service? Is it more appropriate to use formal or poetic forms of speech for everyone, anyone, or no ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

“Sollten Sie…” Questions

Taken from a job description: Sollten Sie momentan nicht verfügbar sein, aber jemanden aus Ihrem Umfeld kennen? Sollten Sie an diesem Projekt interessiert sein, dann freuen wir uns auf ihre ...
2
votes
3answers
224 views

What is the formal way to say “to say” in German?

My mom asks me whether I want to go to my friend's house and I said yes. Meine Mutter fragt, ob ich zu meiner Freundin gehen will und ich antworte mit "ja". What is the formal way to say "to ...
2
votes
2answers
566 views

How to say “Thank you for being a valued customer”?

I need to say the following in German: Thank you for being a valued customer. I got: Als geschätzter Kunde von [Name der Firma], möchten wir uns bei Ihnen herzlich bedanken. Please advise ...
2
votes
2answers
224 views

Case confusion: “der ausgefüllten Dokumente” or “die ausgefüllten Dokumente”

I would like to reply to an email in formal context. I have doubts regarding the German counterpart of the English phrase: Please find attached the completed documents. Is the German phrase ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Formal “The works were performed in full” in German

When drawing up documents it is necessary sometimes to state that The works were performed in full. I would translate it in the following way Die Leistungen (for example: unter Geltung des ...
2
votes
1answer
416 views

Formal “Thank you for your business” in german

When invoicing clients, a lot of people add Thank you for your business! at the end of the document. The linguee.de does not provide us with suggestions unfortunately. I would just translate ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Formal “total cost of services rendered” in german

When rendering the services to the clients, one usually deals with legal documents. In the post-soviet countries there is a document called protocol of delivery-acceptance of services rendered in ...
1
vote
2answers
176 views

Wie fragt man einen Chef Papiere zu unterzeichnen, aber ohne “du” oder “Sie” zu verwenden?

Mein aktuelles Problem ist sehr ähnlich zu meinem vorherigen. Es geht darum, einen Chef zu bitten, schneller Papiere zu unterzeichnen. Es sollte schon höflich sein, weil er ein Chef ist, aber nicht ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Formal “The Client has no claims as to the quality of works” in german

When drawing up documents it is also necessary sometimes to state that The Client has no claims as to the quality of works. My possible translation for it is Der Kunde hat keine Ansprüche ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

Past tense in the news [closed]

Ich frage nicht auf Deutsch, weil ich glaube es besser auf English zu können. To say that I'm not that comfortable with German yet, but I think that I can understand the answer in German, so here it ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

How to accept a contact request on a social networking site from higher ranked people?

My first idea were some like so: "Es ist eine große Ehre mit Ihnen in Kontakt zu treten." Is it ok? What would you say? P.s. he is much more older as me.
0
votes
1answer
305 views

Asking a question in german, when to use 'zu'

The example that I would like to use is: Um welche Uhr es ist möglich für uns zu treffen am Dienstag (Morgen)? Googling that question as well as using Google translate suggests that this is not the ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

Formal cover letter greeting in German

I am very new to the German language and am wondering what the proper formal greeting would be for a cover letter to a potential employer?
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Using “Ihr” as a formal singular “you” [duplicate]

I set the video game "Torchlight II" to the German language, and I noticed that the characters use "Ihr" as the singular second-person pronoun (for example, "Ihr habt eine neue Quest"). I read ...