2

I live in a place where there are a lot of cultural differences. So, I assume German may also have cultures or habit that may differ from mine and some that are the same. So, here are some questions about body languages:

  1. Nodding means to agree in my place but it means to disagree in some places, what about in German?
  2. What about head shake?
  3. Are there specific words for those action? If I use schütteln for head shake, would it be correct as shaking hand also use the same word.
4

Nodding means to agree in my place but it means to disagree in some places, what about in German?

The same, this means yes.

What about head shake?

This means no or disagreement.

Are there specific words for those action? If I use schütteln for head shake, would it be correct as shaking hand also use the same word.

Nod = nicken.
Shake head = Kopf schütteln. Simply "schütteln" is not enough as "sich schütteln" relates more to the whole body, such like a dog coming out of water and shaking himself to get dry.

  • 6
    Nodding can mean the person agrees but it can also mean the person acknowledges she is listening. That's a very grey area. – Janka Oct 8 '18 at 9:47
  • So, hand shake is Hand schütteln then? Is it considered as verb or noun? What if I say I shake hand with him? Will Ich Hand schüttle mit ihm would be correct or would it be Ich schüttle meine Hand mit seiner Hand? – Logos Oct 9 '18 at 0:25
  • 1
    @Logos There is no dedicated verb. "Hand schütteln" are two words - a verb and a noun. The expression is "Jemandem die Hand schütteln" but it is more common to say "jemandem die Hand geben" so you would say "ich gebe ihm die Hand" or (because it is used as a greeting) "ich begrüße ihn mit Handschlag" (I greet him with a handshake) or "wir begrüßen uns mit Handschlag". I consider this a rarely used phrase because if a greeting-situation is described then it's only the basics: people greet/greeted each other - but there is no information how exactly this happened. – puck Oct 9 '18 at 3:42
  • @puck, when one met the president and want to brag it to his/her friends then he/she said "You know what? I shook hand with the president!". – Logos Oct 10 '18 at 2:46
  • @Logos In this case you say "Ich habe dem Präsidenten die Hand geschüttelt" or reverse "der Präsident hat mir die Hand geschüttelt" or "wir haben (uns die) Hände geschüttelt" (the latter is not so common to me). – puck Oct 10 '18 at 3:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.