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Politeness begins with proper salutation and ends with a kind goodbye. Written fragments of a conversation in a forum help little to understand the concept of being polite as pronounciation, gestures and facial expressions are an important factor - lookup: non-verbal communication. Example for a conversation without using "bitte": "Guten Morgen/Tag/...


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Grammatically "Fräulein" is totally fine. But this is more about history and current culture. For us Germans (and Austrians) the word "Fräulein" is more a link to the years around 1900 and second world war. Also for the times of the upcoming bourgeoisie. Therefore this is far in the past for us and not modern at all. This is why we avoid such "old" words. ...


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Anderswo auf german.stackexchange gab es die Frage, wie man "grammar nazi" übersetzt. "Grammatiknazi" gibt Ärger. "Leader" mit "Führer" übersetzen ist auch problematisch aus historischen Gründen ("Anführer" ist in Ordnung).


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I am also a non-native speaker of German. One time, I have said human race (Menschenrasse) and a German friend of mine told me that I should not use this word because of its bad reputation from Hitler's time, even if this word is totally acceptable in English and other languages. I think there are couple of words, sentences, which you should avoid using ...


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In general: Germans mean what they say, and the polite white lie is - if the lie is identified at all in the first place - seen as insincere. Example: An invitation is an invitation the first time around. If you get an invitation, it is fully meant the first time, so if you turn it down to be polite, be prepared to be taken by your word and not be invited ...


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Any list is bound to be both incomplete and too broad. Approach people in a friendly manner, be nice. Mention casually that you are a foreigner (not necessary if your German has an accent of some sorts). If you accidentally said something wrong, a quick apology should do the job. Remember the trap you just fell in and don’t fall into it again. Continue ...


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More than the phrases themselves, I think that it is important that Anglo-Americans and Germans understand each other's "different mind sets." Using the guidelines below (and similar ones) will prevent many misunderstandings. The first thing is that any statement made by a German is "heavier," more serious and more definite than a similar statement made by ...



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