Höflichkeit - how to "grease the wheels" of human discourse

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5
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5answers
154 views

How to ask your Boss politely to sign a document a little bit faster?

The paper is important. My current best version were: "Sehr geehrter Herrn ..., Dürfte ich die ... Dokument möglichst schnellsten bekommen?" But it seems a little bit rude for me. Practically, I ...
2
votes
5answers
164 views

Welche guten Tipps für den täglichen Gebrauch der deutschen Sprache gibt es? [closed]

Frage: Diese Frage zielt auf die, in der FAQ erwähnten, finer points of the language and translation der deutschen Sprache ab. Da dies eine eher fortgeschrittene Sammlung von Tipps sein soll, die ...
7
votes
2answers
112 views

German Equivalent of “Time Sensitivity”

I am looking for the German term that is equivalent to the English term "Time sensitivity" or "time sensitive nature" in a professional, business setting. I have considered two options, but am ...
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votes
9answers
4k views

How do Germans refer to people without caring about the gender

In German, a noun always has its own gender. However, there is a case I don't know. Suppose that there is a class with many students, both males and females, and then when I want to refer to all ...
13
votes
1answer
221 views

Vermeiden von Anredeformen

Wenn ich mit Leuten zu tun habe, bei denen ich mir nicht sicher bin, ob ich sie Duzen oder lieber Siezen sollte, verfalle ich gerne (und oft automatisch) in einen Satzbau, der keine Anredeform ...
4
votes
1answer
243 views

“Willst du mich für dumm verkaufen?” Is saying this rude?

I just want to know how to show skepticism towards something that, in my opinion, is obviously false (or a joke). I think that with friends, I would say Na, du willst mich verarschen. ...
9
votes
4answers
276 views

“Ich möchte..” als Antwort auf “Willst du..”?

Jemand hat mich gerade gefragt: "Willst du 'nen Kaffee?". Ich habe ihm geantwortet: "Ja ich will". Eine Dritte hat mich korrigiert: "Du solltest nicht mit ich will antworten, sondern mit ich möchte". ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What should one say when someone arrives from a quite long trip?

When you see a friend who is going to travel, you'd say: Gute Reise. What would you say to someone who has arrived from a quite long and exhausting trip?
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4answers
1k views

How to say “Thank you for teaching me that word” in German?

Using the polite form, I expect it to be something like: Vielen Dank für lehren mich dieses Wort. but I can't find any example thereof. What I have seen is "Vater, lehre mich..." translated to ...
8
votes
3answers
442 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
5k views

How should I ask politely for a moment of someone's time?

How should I politely ask for someone's time to interrupt them, like in English: Do you have a minute? May I bother you for a moment even though you're quite busy?
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7answers
1k views

How are we polite without using “bitte”?

When asking someone for a favour it is considered rude to omit "please" in English. This seems not to be the case in German. In a shop or a restaurant I can frequently hear: "Was bekommen Sie?" - ...
5
votes
4answers
791 views

If my professor says “du”, can I use “du”, too?

Some professors and university personal always address their students with "du". Should I as a student reply with "du"? If not, how can I ask them if its okay?
14
votes
6answers
769 views

Polite way of asking someone not to “duz”

I'm a native German speaker, but I still would like to know your opinion about this. What is the best and politest way to ask someone or tell someone to use "Sie" instead of "Du"? In some cases I ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “das wäre aber nicht nötig gewesen” mean?

As a thank you for the people hosting a party I brought them a little present. They said: "Danke schön! Das wäre aber nicht nötig gewesen." Shouldn't I have given them anything? Did I do ...
9
votes
5answers
520 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
474 views

Why is the title “Friseuse” considered as inappropriate?

I learned that I should not entitle a female hairdresser "Friseuse" as this may be considered as rude. Duden lists "Friseuse" as both, colloquial and antiquated, and recommends the usage of the ...
9
votes
1answer
811 views

Höfliche Anrede mit zweiter Person Plural: »Ihr solltet zugeben, dass Ihr ganz einfach Angst habt.«

Die zweite Person Plural wird ab und zu verwendet, um Höflichkeit auszudrücken. Folgendes Beispiel stammt aus dem Buch "Die unendliche Geschichte" von Michael Ende: »Held Hynreck«, sagte Bastian ...
11
votes
4answers
574 views

Do we use “Du” or “Sie” to address users in a German operation manual?

When writing or translating an operation manual for software (including game software) or hardware users are mostly addressed by the polite form "Sie". Increasingly however we can also find manuals ...
4
votes
1answer
507 views

Wie werden Namen von Adligen in Briefadressen korrekt angegeben?

Wie sieht die korrekte Namensangabe von Adligen in Adressfeldern und Briefanreden aus, so wie sie Geschäftsleute, Behörden und Krankenhäuser verwenden? Edit: Ich meine eher die Namenszusätze wie in ...
7
votes
1answer
479 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 ...
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votes
10answers
19k views

Why is “Fräulein” considered offensive, as opposed to “Frau”?

Does Fräulein imply that the woman being addressed is not fully a Frau? Does it imply a lower class status?
0
votes
1answer
473 views

Vermeiden Deutsche mit Niederländischkenntnissen die Redewendung “Kommst du klar?” [closed]

Kommst du klar? ist im Deutschen eine völlig harmlose Frage. „Kommst du zurecht? Schaffst du es? Brauchst du Hilfe?“ Gute Freunde haben mich gewarnt, sie gegenüber Niederländern zu verwenden, da ...
48
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 ...