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Questions tagged [politeness]

Höflichkeit - how to "grease the wheels" of human discourse

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78
votes
14answers
9k 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 ...
45
votes
9answers
115k views

Why is "Fräulein" considered offensive, as opposed to "Frau"?

Does Fräulein imply that the woman being addressed is not fully a Frau? Does it imply a lower class status?
26
votes
13answers
9k views

How do Germans refer to people without caring about the gender

In German, a noun always has its own gender. However, there is a case I don't know. Suppose that there is a class with many students, both males and females, and then when I want to refer to all ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

Ist es unhöflich, Vornamen mit Artikel zu erwähnen?

Klingt es unhöflich die Vornamen, mit einem vorgestellten Artikeln zu sagen? z.B. Der Hans ist bei der Helga.
10
votes
1answer
15k views

What’s the difference between “möchte”, “will”, “lieber”, “würde”?

Each of the expressions möchte, will, lieber, würde seems to mean I want / I wish / I’d like. For example: Was würden Sie gern essen? Can you help me to understand the difference between them?
38
votes
3answers
4k views

Gute Anrede für Bedienungen

Ich suche eine gute Anrede für Bedienungen im Restaurant. Seit Fräulein in Verruf gebracht wurde, denke ich oft über eine Alternative nach. Ich habe bereits etliche Bedienungen gefragt und oft fanden ...
6
votes
3answers
299 views

„Was ist bitte daran hübsch?“ – Funktion von „bitte“

Ich verfolge in einem anderen Forum einen Shitstorm, der mit der Frage „Was ist bitte daran hübsch?“ unter einem Bild startet. Im Laufe der Diskussion hat sich jetzt rausgestellt, dass der Poster ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Do we use "Du" or "Sie" to address users in a German operation manual?

When writing or translating an operation manual for software (including game software) or hardware users are mostly addressed by the polite form "Sie". Increasingly however we can also find manuals ...
17
votes
1answer
823 views

Vermeiden von Anredeformen

Wenn ich mit Leuten zu tun habe, bei denen ich mir nicht sicher bin, ob ich sie duzen oder lieber siezen sollte, verfalle ich gerne (und oft automatisch) in einen Satzbau, der keine Anredeform ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Höflicher Begriff für eine junge Frau

Gibt es im Deutschen ein Wort, das eine junge Frau des Alters zwischen ungefähr 16 und 25 Jahren bezeichnet? Mädchen wird ja eher für Kinder benutzt, Fräulein ist veraltet und Mädel ist eher regional ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How to ask your Boss politely to sign a document a little bit faster?

The paper is important. My current best version were: "Sehr geehrter Herrn ..., Dürfte ich die ... Dokument möglichst schnellsten bekommen?" But it seems a little bit rude for me. Practically, I ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Polite way of asking someone not to "duz"

I'm a native German speaker, but I still would like to know your opinion about this. What is the best and politest way to ask someone or tell someone to use "Sie" instead of "Du"? In some cases I ...
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 ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is the title "Friseuse" considered as inappropriate?

I learned that I should not entitle a female hairdresser "Friseuse" as this may be considered as rude. Duden lists "Friseuse" as both, colloquial and antiquated, and recommends the usage of the ...
8
votes
5answers
8k views

How to say "Thank you for teaching me that word" in German?

Using the polite form, I expect it to be something like: Vielen Dank für lehren mich dieses Wort. but I can't find any example thereof. What I have seen is "Vater, lehre mich..." translated to "...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Wie werden Namen von Adligen in Briefadressen korrekt angegeben?

Wie sieht die korrekte Namensangabe von Adligen in Adressfeldern und Briefanreden aus, so wie sie Geschäftsleute, Behörden und Krankenhäuser verwenden? Edit: Ich meine eher die Namenszusätze wie in ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

If my professor says "du", can I use "du", too?

Some professors and university personal always address their students with "du". Should I as a student reply with "du"? If not, how can I ask them if its okay?