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Can a teacher greet his students with hallöchen? May I use this word to say hello to my German boss when he comes to our office? I see it’s informal but I would like to ask about the communicative strategy: what kind of people do we use this word for?

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  • Erstaunlich! 16 (sic!) Votes auf dieser Frage! :)
    – Beta
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 6:44

1 Answer 1

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Generally speaking - no.

I would only use this greeting in very informal situations, and the minimum requirement would be that I say "Du" to the other person.

Nowadays, what is considered acceptable varies a lot with company culture - this also goes for universities/individual professors - so there is no hard and fast rule here. But generally speaking, you would have to be quite comfortable and informal with the other person to use it. Typically, this would be your friends.

If German is not your native language, I would suggest not to use the expression, unless your boss/professor has used it towards you first - getting those cultural connotations right is tricky even for Germans :)

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    Even if my boss or professor used it, I would still greet them with "Hallo" and never with "Hallöchen". "Hallöchen" sounds far too silly for a professional relationship.
    – Iris
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 11:36
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    @Iris "Hallöchen" sounds silly in general. :)) Would consider myself "dämlich" using it to whoever.
    – user21586
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 11:55
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    @BruceWayne: "Howdily Doodily" or something inane like that. " 'sup?" is more for "Was geht ab?"/"Was ist los?"/"Wie geht's?"
    – yatima2975
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 15:52
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    @yatima2975 - Thanks for that! And jaaaaaa, now I can be Ned Flanders auf Deutsch!
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 15:58
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    @BruceWayne, you could also say "Halli hallo hallöchen"
    – Iris
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 16:39

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