79 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

This is similar to my experience when I first moved to Spain. I was initially a bit miffed as well, until I asked a waiter one day why he replied in English when I spoke to him. It was because ...
Aaron F's user avatar
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69 votes
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Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

They do appreciate, however, in practical situations one resorts to the language that's more convenient for communication purposes. Most people mean it either practical or well intended, by making it ...
Dan's user avatar
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31 votes
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Are there any words in German that are never to be used in polite conversation?

This is a fundamental cultural difference between official American dogma and German everyday word usage. You might take the stance that in German conversation people despise profanities as much as ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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24 votes
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How to say "on me" (about a drink)?

Variants: Das geht (the drink) auf mich! Lass uns 'was trinken. Geht auf mich. Die Rechnung geht auf mich. Suspected origin: I suppose it is derived from a phrase you could use in a (hotel) ...
choXer's user avatar
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22 votes

Why do Germans invent English words for themselves?

Simple answer: Because they can. This might sound a bit blunt, but that is how a language works - Words are not invented by committees of linguists that think long and hard on how something new ...
tofro's user avatar
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16 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

Wir empfinden es oft als anstrengend, wenn wir raten müssen, wie viel oder wie wenig Deutsch unser Gegenüber versteht. Und wir sind schnell frustriert oder sogar genervt, wenn wir uns wiederholen ...
rackandboneman's user avatar
14 votes
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Ist »Hat es Ihnen geschmeckt?« rhetorisch?

„Hat es Ihnen geschmeckt?“, oder auch „War’s recht?“, erscheint mir wie eine ganz normale Zielfrage. Mehrfach schon habe ich auch erlebt, wie der Gast erwiderte „Ja schon, aber …“ oder „Naja unter ...
phil294's user avatar
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13 votes
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Steht der Name »Kevin« für etwas Besonderes? (z.B. in »Sei kein Kevin«)

Im Jahr 1990 kam der Film Kevin – Allein zu Haus in die Kinos, und tausende werdende Eltern fanden die Hauptfigur so süß, dass sie die eigenen Kinder danach benannten. Damit stieg der Anteil der ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
12 votes

Ist »Hat es Ihnen geschmeckt?« rhetorisch?

Meine Erfahrung ist, dass in guten Restaurants, wenige Minuten nachdem das Essen gebracht wurde, gefragt wird, ob das Essen schmeckt und/oder ob alles in Ordnung ist. An dieser Stelle ist eine ...
Iris's user avatar
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11 votes
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Why do Germans invent English words for themselves?

This answer is entirely conjectural and thus may easily be overruled by one that shows some actual research on the topic. Why do they do this? If they don't want to adopt the actual English terms ...
O. R. Mapper's user avatar
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9 votes

How to say "on me" (about a drink)?

Some propositions: Ich gebe einen aus (probably the omitted substantive is Drink, at least I can't come up with a generic masculine alternative) Der geht auf meine Rechnung Das übernehme ich Darf ich ...
guidot's user avatar
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8 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

As a former American exchange student to Germany, the best advice I got back then was to repeat to anyone constantly answering you in English (after you've tried your best to speak German) that the ...
Oozecandy's user avatar
8 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

As a Swiss but non-native German speaker living in Germany, I'd like to add a few things to the good points other answers and comments make so far. The central part of your wondering seems to be the ...
theSameTime's user avatar
8 votes

"Kein lieber Gott" - Westernhagen lyric ("Ganz und gar", 1987)

Being a second-language English speaker, I would say your second translation is more appropriate: Because no one gives you guarantees; no beloved God does either, unfortunately But actually, lieber ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
7 votes
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Historical linguistic origin of grammatical gender for nouns

In addition to the article cited by Veredomon, I suggest watching the video by the same author (Belles Lettres). Gist: Grammatical gender is less about actual, prescriptive 'rules' as such, but more ...
Mac's user avatar
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7 votes

Fernsehe(r/n) vs. TV

Google ngrams reports incidences of a word in printed books, with no regards as to what each incidence actually denotes. Virtually nobody uses 'TV' for the set standing in their living room, people ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
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7 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

Danke, dass Sie auf Englisch antworten. Wenn es Ihnen nichts ausmacht, würde ich gerne mein Deutsch verbessern.
Joachim Weiß's user avatar
6 votes

Are there any words in German that are never to be used in polite conversation?

Neger. I grew up in Germany in the 1970's, and the word Neger didn't seem to me to have a pejorative meaning. It was simply a word to refer to a person of African descent, much like the word Negro ...
retro.cycler's user avatar
6 votes

Are there any words in German that are never to be used in polite conversation?

Nein, gibt es nicht. Jedes Wort kann in einer freundlichen Konversation zum Beispiel zitierend benutzt werden, notfalls mit einer vorweggeschickten Entschuldigung für das Wort, welches aber aus ...
user unknown's user avatar
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6 votes
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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
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6 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

I've lived in Germany for 15 years, passed the B2 exam on the way to my permanent residence permit, and am an internal IT consultant for a big German auto parts company. I still get "Englished" in ...
Amanda Debler's user avatar
5 votes

Why do Germans invent English words for themselves?

If a concept does not previously exist in a language but suddenly turns up — often, because a gadget has been invented but previously also when a religion was introduced etc. — a new word is required. ...
Jan's user avatar
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5 votes

Historical linguistic origin of grammatical gender for nouns

Belles Lettres wrote a text about grammatical gender - ie. noun classes, albeit in German: http://www.belleslettres.eu/artikel/genus-gendersprech.php There is definitely no moment where gender ...
Veredomon's user avatar
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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
4 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

In East Germany people older than 50 or so learned Russian in school, not English, so your attempts to speak German will be more appreciated there. On a personal note, my American partner claims that ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

I'm born and living in Berlin. I spent part of my youth in Hanover. The dialect of German is basically the most normal German langue, Hanover has no dialect by definition. It never even crossed my ...
Volker Siegel's user avatar
4 votes

How to say "on me" (about a drink)?

I've mostly heard "Ich lade dich ein", which literally translates to "I invite you", but in a bar/restaurant, people can say this when they're offering to buy you a drink.
laur34's user avatar
  • 309
3 votes

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

Nicht notwendigerweise eine Eigenschaft der Sprache selbst, aber ein wichtiges Merkmal für den Umgang damit und die Kultur um sie herum: Während in englischsprachigen Ländern die Auffassung herrscht, ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 64.1k
3 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

First of all I´d like to confirm the other answers: I´ve met the same thing in Italy because people are usually doing their jobs - which goes faster in English than if they help me learning their ...
Jessica's user avatar
  • 139
2 votes

Speaking German abroad and feeling condescended to when people speak English back to me

… how to proceed in these situations? Start speaking terrible English with Spanish or Russian accent. That will heal them.
Janka's user avatar
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