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

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52
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13answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
35
votes
10answers
31k 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?
14
votes
1answer
290 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
357 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
630 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
539 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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?
4
votes
1answer
669 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 ...