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55 votes

How offensive is Fachidiot?

It can be very offensive. The term (which could be literally translated as "Expertise Idiot") implies that the person is over-specialized in their expertise to the point of being dysfunctional. Not ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 1,287
45 votes

Is it okay to have an email address called "SS"?

It's not Ok, but not for the reasons you mention. Business emails need easy recognition, ss is not an email I can easily match with a person or department. If your company has such email naming ...
Commentless Righrs User's user avatar
42 votes

Is it okay to have an email address called "SS"?

German administration does take such issues seriously enough to not allow certain letter combinations as parts of car license numbers (which are made of two one-to-three letter codes and a number): SA,...
rackandboneman's user avatar
32 votes

Is it okay to have an email address called "SS"?

This might or might not be an issue if a German company chose such an abbreviation for business correspondence. Personally I would consider this a non-issue, but there is probably enough residual ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
  • 14.9k
21 votes
Accepted

Why do translations of German books read so differently from other books?

The answer to your question is actually simple: The books you are currently reading are books from late 19th (or early 20th) century; moreover they seem to tend to be written by statesmen (politicians ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Cultural context for "Abendland" and "Rettung" in this song lyric

While I agree on the core of Philipp's answer, I'd like to elaborate about the song context a little bit more: First about the context: As the page says, it is about Alice (Weidel) and Sarah (Bossard)...
Shegit Brahm's user avatar
  • 3,899
12 votes

Is it okay to have an email address called "SS"?

Another of our employees say that this would make it very hard to deal with germans, as they would be offended by the email address. Maybe it wouldn't be a good idea to use such an email address, if ...
Olafant's user avatar
  • 8,911
10 votes

Cultural context for "Abendland" and "Rettung" in this song lyric

This is just an extended comment to Shegit Brahm's fitting answer. The word "Abendland" is basically a synonyom for the Western world or simply "the West". Quotation from Wikipedia:...
Paul Frost's user avatar
  • 10.7k
9 votes

How offensive is Fachidiot?

Nein, ja, ja, kommt drauf an. Über den Betreffenden wird gesagt, dass er zwar Experte auf seinem Gebiet ist, aber ansonsten Scheuklappen aufhat. Ein Kompliment ist das nicht. Wenn man aber weiß, dass ...
user unknown's user avatar
  • 23.5k
9 votes

Polite way of asking for a discount?

There was one answer by @Marzipanherz yesterday which strangely was deleted later on. He or she suggested quite correctly Können Sie mir beim Preis entgegenkommen? Which is a good expression, as ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Käse aber auch Wurst

Use one food idiom, get one free! These are two idioms put together, which in itself forms a pun. The Cheese Das ist (totaler) Käse is colloquial and means it's (complete) nonsense This usage ...
infinitezero's user avatar
  • 18.4k
8 votes

Polite way of asking for a discount?

To get a better price you could ask the seller: Gewähren Sie Rabatt[, wenn ich 10 Stück bestelle]? (Do you offer discount[ if I order 10 pieces]?) Or even more polite: Würden Sie Rabatt ...
Pollitzer's user avatar
  • 16k
8 votes

Could a translation error lead to squares to not be considered as rectangles?

"Squares are not rectangles, if both are mentioned" I purposefully formulated it provocative, so take it with a grain of salt. Anyway: If someone were to show me1 a picture of two rectangles ...
infinitezero's user avatar
  • 18.4k
7 votes

How offensive is Fachidiot?

From my point of view: The idiot bit does not does not imply a lack of intelligence, but a lack of interest in dealing with issues ouside the person's specific field of expertise and may also imply ...
Gerd's user avatar
  • 281
7 votes

Cultural context for "Abendland" and "Rettung" in this song lyric

Rettung des Abendlandes originally refers to the Ottoman wars in Europe, particularly to the defeat of the Ottomans at the second siege of Vienna 1683. I think you can guess how modern speakers could ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 464
7 votes

Could a translation error lead to squares to not be considered as rectangles?

German language does not differentiate between oblong and rectangle - both are called "Rechteck". (There is actually a wikipedia entry for German Oblong, but having gone to school in Germany,...
Jonathan Herrera's user avatar
  • 16.9k
6 votes

Should a non native try to adapt his German when traveling to Austria?

From my own experience as a tourist in Austria I can confirm that all Austrian people I met were extremely friendly and open-minded. They will do all to make you feel welcome in their country. This ...
Takkat's user avatar
  • 70.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Gibt es deutsche Mythen über (superlative) Eigenschaften der deutschen Sprache?

Deutsch wird gemeinhin gern als Die Sprache der Dichter und Denker bezeichnet, da viele Poeten, Künstler und Gelehrte diese Sprache nutzten oder nutzen. Darüber hinaus ist Deutsch für seine ...
Liglo App's user avatar
  • 8,734
6 votes

Is it okay to have an email address called "SS"?

Since "Germans" includes "German Jews", you can bet that there are at least some people who will take serious offense. Imagine some Karl-Klaus Krüger using [email protected] in correspondence with a US ...
user11130854's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Pattern jokes in German culture?

I know two common German joke templates: The first and I think most common is the "alle Kinder" templates, there are probably hundreds of them and I could tell at least 20 right away. The second one ...
miep's user avatar
  • 2,343
6 votes

Why do translations of German books read so differently from other books?

While I am native in German, I still had problems to understand the English translation. The German sentence is definitive complicated, but not as brain damaging as the English one. It took me quite ...
Der Mops's user avatar
6 votes

Could a translation error lead to squares to not be considered as rectangles?

Yes, this happens in German. German does not have a separate word for a non-square rectangle (i.e. for an oblong). So what does the German word Rechteck [= rectangle] mean? We must distinguish between ...
Paul Frost's user avatar
  • 10.7k
5 votes

Gibt es deutsche Mythen über (superlative) Eigenschaften der deutschen Sprache?

die walisischste Wortsubstantivierungslängenmaximierungsgrenzwertfreiheit aller Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaften Deutsch = deutlichst, English = engelsgleichst, Francais = frankst und freist das ...
Roman Czyborra's user avatar
5 votes

Pattern jokes in German culture?

Two well-known "fill-the-pattern" traditions are the children songs 1) Meine Oma fährt im Hühnerstall Motorrad where there is something like a "standard" set of stanzas, but enthused singers may ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
5 votes

Käse aber auch Wurst

Das ist totaler Käse. means: it doesn't make sense 1 Es ist Wurst.(or Wurscht) means: it doesn't matter 2 So all together Das ist totaler Käse aber ist es auch Wurst? would be something like: ...
Olafant's user avatar
  • 8,911
5 votes

Is it normal to understand German but can't explain/translate it, as a third language (trilingual)

I don't think the described effect is related to the number of languages one understands, but typically devlops with higher proficiency. If you are understanding fast speech, it means you obviously ...
guidot's user avatar
  • 28.7k
4 votes

How offensive is Fachidiot?

There exists only one setting where you can use the term "Fachidiot" outside of bantering with (rather good) friends: when you are referring to yourself (hopefully in jest). Every other usage will be ...
guntbert's user avatar
  • 253
4 votes

Polite way of asking for a discount?

Germans usually don't ask for a discount that directly, we compare prices and directly go where it is cheapest. Or we say something like "Im anderen Laden habe ich das billiger gesehen." (I've seen ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 368
4 votes

Polite way of asking for a discount?

In such a situation, I would say something like: Gibt es vielleicht einen Rabatt, wenn ich 10 Stück davon bestelle? Is there perhaps a rebate, if I order 10 pieces? or Kriege ich vielleicht ...
Rudy Velthuis's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Nod and Shake Head

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 ...
puck's user avatar
  • 2,177

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