Questions tagged [culture]

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77
votes
14answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What pronunciation is more influential, higher status or standard?

I was looking into different pronunciations, I saw there is a difference between regions within Germany and also with other German speaking countries, making me wonder which set of pronunciation rules ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What to say after someone sneezes?

I've heard Germans saying: Gesundheit But in a movie, someone sneezes and someone else saying: Heuschnupfen? Is it polite? Is it colloquial? What else could I say when talking to someone and ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Which words or phrases should non-native speakers avoid to prevent unintentional offense?

When I studied German in the early 90s, we were taught that an unmarried woman is a Fräulein, but I recently learned that Fräulein is offensive. We aren't all ugly Americans, and I don't want to fall ...