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46

In person-to-person contact the polite "Sie" is the standard way of addressing someone (in written contact even more so). Unless they are the same age as you (or younger) and you are pretty young yourself (say, under 30) - when this is the case an the setting is relaxed (at a party, in a bar, etc) you could venture to use "du" right away. Switching to the ...


43

I don't have hard evidence like studies for you, only personal experience (eastern Germany): Yes, we do start counting from the thumb. My kids and their friends in Kindergarten do it that way, my colleagues do, my friends and family count like that aswell. In fact my older daughter (5yo) was only today experimenting to count in different ways, and in the ...


23

This is not actually a grammar question. The usage of the Du vs Sie is mostly a question of social context and social standing and can differ a lot between situations. There are no strict rules connected with the choice of Du vs Sie. Following a few general guidelines: the younger you are, the more likely you use Du for persons within a similar age group ...


20

Unless you know someone well or are addressing a child it is safest to use the polite form. This way you don't risk causing offence. You can take cues from others too, if they address you in the informal form it is probably safe for you to do so in return.


18

Yes and no. No, because we don't count bedrooms but "all-purpose-rooms" excluding kitchen and bathroom. You will find terms like Dreizimmerwohnung meaning three rooms that could either be used as three separate bedrooms (like with college students sharing a flat), bedroom, guest room, office... whatever combination comes to mind or fits the life of ...


15

There is http://htwkbk.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/du-oder-sie-a-simple-visual-guide.pdf (via http://htwkbk.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/when-to-use-du-and-sie/) which actually is somewhat accurate despite the fact that it probably was written tongue in cheek.


14

I agree with what Emanuel said: Both "Bescheidenheit" and "Schönheit" are meant to be funny responses, but they are not. In this case, "Bescheidenheit" probably is intended to be ironic and refers to that you should not have sneezed as your are attracting attention. "Schönheit" ends with "heit" and therefore has a connection to "Gesundheit", which might be ...


14

Always order 5 beers! Could save your life ... When ordering beers, Germans use this, everything else feels weird :-) 4 is without thumb 3 is with thumb 2 is without thumb 1 is without thumb When counting 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, start at the thumb and add more fingers, then start at the thumb of the second hand. So yeah, the English spy skipped some classes ...


11

"Gesundheit" Yes, it is polite. "Heuschnupfen?" in the movie it could be a question. The person sneezes and the other one asks if it's due to hay fever.


10

Saying "Gesundheit" is the polite way. Asking if the sneezing person has hay fever is rude, but ok if you have a close relation to that person (close friend). Polite alternatives would be "Geht's wieder?" (Better now?) or "Wirst wohl krank?" (Getting ill?). This way you can show that you care for the person that sneezes. I personally do not agree with the ...


10

If both speakers are adults, this is supposed to be symmetric, so you can wait for the others. Unfortunately, native speakers have more practice to avoid the issue with complicated avoidance maneuvers in awkward social situations, so you might just want to ask and use your foreigner status as good excuse for asking. The younger the people, the more they use ...


9

In addition to what has been said there are situations where the informal Du still is generally inappropriate, e.g.: in a traditional (non-fashion) shop like a bakery, in a supermarket etc. in official institutions such as police stations, government departments etc. in a bank on the phone unless you know the person you talk to in hotel receptions when ...


9

As a rule of thumb in every day life, you can decide the correct form on how you would call a person in English: if you call someone by their first name or an informal phrase like 'you guys', you can use 'Du' in German. if you would approach someone by using 'Sir', 'Miss', or 'Mr. X' or 'Mrs. Y', you should use 'Sie' in German.


8

Basically, if you are an obvious foreigner, most women will assume that you call them Fräulein because you are using the conventions of your own country and not take offense. This might change if you insist on it after correction. The same thing applies to many other faux-pas in social etiquette as long as they are honest mistakes. It is not the same thing ...


8

For conversation (it's almost the same for letters and Emails): Using "Sie" is appropriate if you have a formal relationship to the other person, if the other person is older, in a higher position (e.g. your boss). It means you respect the other person. If a person tells you only the last name you should use "Sie". (I am a native german speaker and it's ...


8

Did you read the Wikipedia article yet? The newsreaders you hear on Deutsche Welle all speak standard German or at least they are supposed to. As a learner of German residing abroad, you should aim for "standard German" pronunciation. Most movies made in Germany have their actors speak standard German except when dialect is indicated by the script. Your ...


8

I'm pretty sure this is one of the wedding balloons. It works like this: On the party the guests write these wishes (like the one you read on the card) for the bridal pair. They attach them to balloons and let them go. If you find this, you are supposed to drop it in a mailbox (add a stamp if there is no stamp) so that it comes back to them. The address is ...


7

Can't say better than here: "Knaller"Frau is kind of a comedic approach. On one hand, it can mean a "hot" woman, but also a woman that is a little weird, in a loud, noisy and outgoing way. Alltogether, it is a mixture of "hot", "outgoing" and "strong". Frau, Plural: Frauen


6

No, you should not. To say "Schönheit" a lot used in a joking way. You should not use it because people you don't know could interpret it that you mean it mockingly. The full joke runs as follows: "Hatschi!", "Schönheit! Gesund bist du ja.", translates to "Achoo!", "Beauty! Since you are healthy, anyway!" -- only suitable in company that likes bad jokes. I ...


6

Good question. Basically, it depends completely on your conversational partner. But others already gave good answers to that. I would just want to amend one option: In case of doubt, simply avoid it. Examples: "Wollen Sie etwas essen?" > "Wollen wir etwas essen?" "Entschuldigen Sie, können Sie mir sagen, wie ich zum Bahnhof komme?" > "Entschuldigung, wo ...


6

By law, if you want to employ someone, you can't decide wich gender the person will be. That means it is forbidden to send out a job ad only for males or females. The /in Notation is just short for two words. "Software Entwickler/in" means "Software Entwickler oder Software Entwicklerin". Sometimes its just written with a capital I: "Software ...


6

Just to add one more thing. You can also satisfy the legal requirement by hiring: Softwareentwickler (m/w) where the (m/w) indicates "männlich" (male) and "weiblich" (female) respectively. You can find that also relatively often these days (but of course that, i.e. the perceived frequency, is my subjective view).


5

In Germany it's the German spoken in Hannover and Braunschweig that is traditionally said to be closest to what written German is supposed to be pronounced. It is, however, not some 'native Hannover dialect' which makes it that way, but the absence of local dialects that were spoken there in earlier centuries. Programme presenters of all nationwide public ...


5

Habe ein wenig experimentiert bei Google und den vermutlich von dir gesuchten Ball gefunden. Er heißt Kocherlball Das Suffix -erl ist übrigens eine Verkleinerungsform, die im süddeutschen Raum und in Österreich verbreitet ist. Unter einem Achterl versteht man beispielsweise in Wien ein (1/8 l) Glas Wein. Wikipedia-Eintrag zu Kocherlball: Der ...


5

The words mean what they always mean. If you say "Gesundheit", you imply, that the person isn't in best health state. If you say "Schönheit" instead, you imply she isn't beautiful, but ugly, and you wish him or her to improve in that field. The same is true with "Bescheidenheit" which is not even common as a joke, in my cultural context. As you can see, ...


5

There isn't a (good) alternative. The best you can say is simply Gesundheit. Some people add an additional pleasantry, like und ein langes Leben or whatever. But only a few people do so. Some people, especially women, modify Gesundheit to something terrible like Gesundi, what is not an actual word, but is understood. Knigge advises to ignore when someone ...


5

In my opinion the negotiation process is still missing from the answers so far. If both persons are adults, usually the older or socially higher ranking person gets to call the shots, for example an elderly person (in my opinion it's very rare that they allow Du) your boss the father of your new girlfriend ;) any situation where you are the "new one" in ...


4

Früher sagte man in der Tat Gesundheit, aber heute ist es am höflichsten gar nichts zu sagen. Den meisten Leuten ist es unangenehm, krank zu sein, und sie wünschen nicht daran erinnert oder bemitleidet zu werden. Entweder die Leute bekommen nur ein Staubkorn in die Nase, dann ist ein einzelnes Niesen kein Symptom mangelnder Gesundheit, und der Wunsch ...


4

Knaller and/or Kracher also have been used to describe a "joke", most commonly on parties (mainly in the past, I think. 70's? 80's?). This is highly informal and can be compared to "Schenkelklopfer", "Partykracher" etc. I don't know if it is part of "Knallerfrauen" or a comedy show itself, but there's also something called "Ladykracher" which does, in my ...


4

Auf bellelettres ist ein Oberlandesgerichtsurteil dokumentiert, welches in einem Fall die Notwendigkeit ausdrücklicher Beidnennung bejaht hat, aber der Autor zeigt, dass dieses Urteil zwar einen Kommentar zum Gesetz zitiert, jedoch einen entscheidenden Teil des Kommentars unterschlagen hat, um daraus eine Begründung zu zimmern. Fakt ist, dass die ...



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