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Questions tagged [culture]

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79 votes
14 answers

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 ...
Glen Wheeler's user avatar
  • 2,762
7 votes
3 answers

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 ...
michelpm's user avatar
  • 173
16 votes
5 answers

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 ...
user avatar
13 votes
7 answers

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 ...