41 votes
Accepted

Why the switch from “ihr” to “Sie” in the following speech from Band of Brothers?

This might not be a mistake, but very deliberately done. As comrades of war the general says du and ihr to his fellows. But at the very end of his speech, he wants to make clear that this is over and ...
user avatar
  • 4,727
40 votes
Accepted

How do you say “To whom it may concern” in German?

You are right. The correct translation of Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren is (dear) ladies and gentlemen So, »to whom it may concern« seems not to match with »Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren«. ...
user avatar
36 votes

How should I say something like "I'm" instead of "I am" in German?

The German ich bin is neither formal nor informal. It.. just is. So you can use ich bin in every situation - written or spoken. The same applies to Er ist, du bist etc. Nevertheless, as already ...
user avatar
  • 8,656
31 votes
Accepted

Why do Netflix German subtitles always make use of formal pronouns?

The answer is probably that the choice between du and Sie in productions translated from English is not always necessarily natural. Primarily, this is due to the fact that English does not make the ...
user avatar
  • 8,097
28 votes

What is the best way to say “gentle reminder” in German?

You can use "Freundliche Erinnerung". Anonther possibility often used is "Höfliche Erinnerung" (polite reminder). And I would suggest to use the verb: "Wir möchten Sie höflich erinnern,...".
user avatar
  • 11.4k
25 votes

Is ‘hallöchen’ appropriate between a professor and a student?

Generally speaking - no. I would only use this greeting in very informal situations, and the minimum requirement would be that I say "Du" to the other person. Nowadays, what is considered acceptable ...
user avatar
  • 2,434
19 votes

Should I use the "Sie" form or the "du" form for a thank you note to a customer?

The usual way of talking to people you don't personally know in any kind of business relationship would be "Sie". Even on eBay, eBay classifieds, other Craiglist-like marketplaces, or on ...
user avatar
  • 16.9k
18 votes
Accepted

Ist es schlechter Stil einen Satz mit "deshalb" zu beginnen?

Die Zeit hat vor einigen Jahren mal eine Reihe "Deutsch-Stilkunde" veröffentlicht. Lektion 11 war "Satzanfang". Dort wird der Einstieg mit "Deshalb" (eine Inversion) als "einfache und meist ...
user avatar
  • 1,440
15 votes

How do you say “To whom it may concern” in German?

Short answer: There is no direct equivalent for To whom it may concern in the German speaking part of the world. Of course there are other things to write on top of documents, but it depends on the ...
14 votes

How does a German say "Nice to meet you"?

I disagree with the previous answers, in part: I argue that in German there is no direct translation of "nice to meet you", because German speakers do not express it like that. Clearly, German-dubbed ...
user avatar
  • 506
13 votes
Accepted

When to use 'Entschuldigen Sie'

It depends. If you directly address a person, you'd use Entschuldigen (not: Entschuldigung) Sie. Yes, if you are not on familiar terms with them you'll usually use Sie, i.e. the polite form. (The ...
user avatar
  • 19.1k
13 votes

How do German job ads specify both female and male role types?

Just to add one more thing. You can also satisfy the legal requirement by hiring: Softwareentwickler (m/w) where the (m/w) indicates "männlich" (male) and "weiblich" (female) respectively. You can ...
12 votes
Accepted

Generisches Maskulinum

Ich halte das Binnen-I für eine ungrammatikalische Abomination. Je nach intendierter Zielgruppe wird man mit dem generischen Maskulinum das Auslangen finden, oder eben beide Geschlechter verwenden ...
user avatar
  • 19.1k
12 votes

How do you say “To whom it may concern” in German?

You're saying that you're sceptical because it's plural and you're addressing a single person. However, I think that's the actual misunderstanding, because in German formal writing there are basically ...
user avatar
12 votes

Should I use the "Sie" form or the "du" form for a thank you note to a customer?

Adding to HalvarF's fine answer: It might be worth to consider which of the options creates the least negative effect: addressing customers that are fine with "Du" as "Sie" will ...
user avatar
  • 338
11 votes
Accepted

"Thank you for your consideration" am Ende eines Bewerbungsschreibens

In der Regel drückt man am Ende eines deutschen Bewerbungsschreibens die Erwartung oder Hoffnung auf eine Einladung zu einem Vorstellungsgespräch aus: Ich würde mich freuen, Sie in einem ...
user avatar
  • 18.8k
11 votes

Grammatikalische Korrektheit von »was ich von der eurigen Arbeitsstelle erwarte«

Ich rate dringend davon ab, von der eurigen Arbeitsstelle irgendwo und speziell in einem aktuellen Bewerbungsschreiben zu verwenden. Eurig wird als Fürwort verwendet, nicht adjektivisch: Wir haben ...
user avatar
11 votes

How should I say something like "I'm" instead of "I am" in German?

There is something similar. In colloquial language you can omit the "ich", so you can say Bin gerade sehr beschäftigt. instead of Ich bin gerade sehr beschäftigt.
user avatar
  • 38.8k
11 votes

What is the best way to say “gentle reminder” in German?

In the context of a business relation with a customer you'd usually ask if they require additional information before they can reply. That way you don't pressure them, but really remind them gently, ...
user avatar
  • 510
10 votes
Accepted

How do German job ads specify both female and male role types?

By law, if you want to employ someone, you can't decide wich gender the person will be. That means it is forbidden to send out a job ad only for males or females. The /in Notation is just short for ...
user avatar
  • 932
10 votes

Should a letter to a future host family be formal or informal?

I'd say that if this is the initial letter you're writing, I'd certainly go for the formal version when addressing the parents and for the informal version when addressing the kids. You can refer to ...
user avatar
10 votes

„Danke für Ihre Bemühungen/Mühe“ in Brief oder E-Mail

Ich persönlich finde es sehr schwer hier pauschalisierend einen Rat zu geben, das hängt immer vom Kontext ab. Bedankung ist immer gut; "Mühe" bevorzugt, "Bemühungen" haben immer etwas gezwungenes, ...
user avatar
  • 2,953
10 votes

The correct ways to use Sie in nominative?

The "Sie" with a capital "s" is used to formally address someone directly. That means that it has the same function as the informal "du". However, grammaticaly "Sie" is used differently than the "du",...
user avatar
  • 432
9 votes

How should I say something like "I'm" instead of "I am" in German?

Even in colloquial conversation with German friends, you hear "ich bin" all the time.
user avatar
  • 225
9 votes
Accepted

Hast du eine App, die Google Maps heißt oder die heißt Google Maps?

In your variation, only the first is correct, interpretable and likely to be heard that way, no matter how formal or informal the situation. Moving the finite verb to the end of a subordinate clause ...
user avatar
  • 38.1k
9 votes
Accepted

Formal greeting without specific recipient

The best choice is Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, Nothing can go wrong if you use this standard salutation. This is not necessary: Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren der Firma Müller & Mayer, ...
user avatar
9 votes

Why do Netflix German subtitles always make use of formal pronouns?

Your assumption that it is not a slip-up because it is Netflix may be wrong. If it was too expensive to put effort in proper dubs or subtitle, or if it does not pay off otherwise they simply will not ...
user avatar
  • 69.8k
8 votes

Generisches Maskulinum

darf ich immer noch das generische Maskulinum nutzen? Natürlich, außer wenn der (i.d.R. geschriebene und ggf. vorgetragene) Text bestimmten Richtlinien entsprechen muss, die etwa eine Redaktion oder ...
user avatar
  • 9,023

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible