What do the Germans really think of the British?

Journalist requesting input for Sunday Times essay

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

maximumjoy
Dear All

I am a journalist (www.rjsj.demon.co.uk) writing an essay for the Sunday Times magazine in London on what the Germans make of the British. What do they think of our sense of humour? The Great Escape theme at football matches? Our obsession with the war? Any pointers? Any stories that I simply must include?

Many many thanks for your help,

Best wishes,
Richard Johnson
Nicole
Why not ask them Germans in London Forum
antistar
I find the Germans don't mind discussing the war, as long as I am sensitive about it. They do think we obsess about it, and I think they'd rather forget all about it, which is totally understandable. From the perspective of a British tourist, however, it means that it is hard to see all those cool World War II things you know about from movies, because the Germans tend to hide them away, and try and get you interested in all those other thousands of years of German history. Unfortunately the tour of the Wittelsbacher family home doesn't compare to Hitler's bunker.

When you want to go to places like Colditz and the Nuremberg Rally Grounds, it can be hard to find where they are or get to them, even though they still exist. Colditz Castle is stuck out in a little village near Leipzig and requires two bus journeys to get there. In Nuremberg the tourist office has nothing on its Nazi history, except for a tiny black and white booklet obliquely entitled "Germany 1933-1945". They seem more interested in pushing the Toy Museum and Business Tower than the Zeppelin Stadium and Courtroom 606.

Interestingly the modern Nuremburg football stadium, the Franken-Stadion, where England play Trinidad in their second game, is right next to the Zeppelin Stadium where Hitler made those mesmerizing speeches. It's still there, somewhat in ruins, but you can easily imagine Hitler standing at the podium and gesticulating wildly like a scene from Triumph of the Will. I wonder what the England fans will make of it when they arrive, especially if they take the walk from the tram stop through the rally grounds, past the unmistakeably Nazi Kongressbau, and up Grosser Strasse where Germans marched in their thousands.
kennya
The one thing that I find all Germans agree on about the Brits is they seriously dislike our food.

I was asked by a colleague recently why do you english put mint on your meat? He thought that mint sauce was peppermint.

I have educated a few friends with some home cooking.
antistar
Yeah, they think vinegar is what you wash dishes with.

I can't believe their cheek over English food, in truth, as German food is no better in my opinion. It's mostly meat and vegetables, and in Bavaria that's sausage and saurkraut. Even if it can be considered better, it's only marginally so, and not something to boast about or look down on others over.

I found it really funny when Chirac, Putin and Schroeder were giggling over British food. The French, well they have the right to mock, but the German food is largely bland and boring just like in Britain, and with way too much salt. And the Russians... I just can't see how they can have the nerve to mock British food when their idea of a celebratory slap up meal is to serve up plates of cold fatty unseasoned meat.
Sunnsa
As being a German I would like to add some things

Yeah, they think vinegar is what you wash dishes with.
???

I can't believe their cheek over English food, in truth, as German food is no better in my opinion. It's mostly meat and vegetables, and in Bavaria that's sausage and saurkraut.
Perhaps you should try German food first

Anyway, back to topic:

What Germans think about Brits:

1) they don´t like us
2) they love to queue
3) they are polite ( except football fans ), charming and very friendly
4) they drink a lot
5 ) they are outgoing

I just like them, I had a great time in England
jwn
I have been living in Germany for 35years and still haven´t found the food to be anything special, actually it´s very similar to English, somewhat bland and stodgy. Whenever we arrange to meet German friends for a meal they always choose, Greek , Italian or Thai, even Indian these days. The only time we get to eat at German Restaurants is when family or friends visit us from England and they want to try German food. And it rains a lot down in Southern Germany, surely more than Sussex where I visit a few times each year. But according to German friends it rains all the time in England so we have to carry an umbrella with us at all times.
Slackmack
After you've been here a good few years and established yourself in the community, it's only then that the Germans really show how warm and friendly they can be as a nation. I've heard it said so often from - well lets say the over 40's generations - that Brits tend to be your best friend or your worst enemy... but at least they are open and honest about things, and are less likely to stab you in the back, they'll look into your eyes!!! sounds a bit macabra, but its just a way of praising Brits in general. Also in my experience when it comes to talking about the war, the Germans tend to tell you how they lived it (obviously older generation), much similier to the same generation back in the UK. The one thing that all Germans agree on was the ball never crossed the line in '66!
Bombi
Very true, the Germans will never let us forget that "Wembley Goal"!!!
TT-Tripple Trouble
yep
Neil
Having lived here for 18 years I have to echo what Mac said, very true and I feel that a lot of Germans still seem to see the
Brits as a kind of stereo-type back in the 50's when anyone who worked in middle management wore a bowler hat to work,
did the times crossword on the train and carried an umbrella at all times and had Tea at 5 o'clock every day ...Little bit out
of date I think Sadly this is also echoed in the way pronunciation is taught in schools with the obsession to pronounce
all 'a' as 'e' ie. at McDonalds you order a Big Mec and not a Big Mac and if you're called Patrick
you will be addressed as Petrick ...may have been the way the upper classes spoke 50 years ago but it
doesn't reflect the way most people speak today I feel. The other thing the majority of Germans can't seem
to grasp is the concept of UK, most talk about England when they mean Great Britain or UK. the worst
offenders are the TV companies the one that always bugs me is Formula 1 ; The British Grand Prix
is almost always referred to as "Der Große Preis von England" (the English Grand Prix)
which always surprises me in a country where they take pride in attention to detail and being meticulous <_
sousey
I was talking to some of my fellow workers and they said that they thought England was a Land like Nord Rhein Westfalen. When I told them that Great Britain consisted of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and that they were all real countries in their own right (with their own laws) I recieved a bit of blank look. As for the pronunciation most people I find speak English with an American accent. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it is an accent and therefore not totally correct English.

As for what the Germans think of the English. My German tutor said "but the difference between the poor and the rich is much wider than in Germany stimmt". I am not sure if that is totally correct. I see a lot of homeless people here..
Neil
..don't wish to sound pedantic but Great Britain is: England, Scotland and Wales and the United Kingdom is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you look on the cover of your Passport is says

" UNITED KINGDOM OF
GREAT BRITAIN
AND NORTHERN IRELAND"
Diane
I can't believe their cheek over English food, in truth, as German food is no better in my opinion. It's mostly meat and vegetables, and in Bavaria that's sausage and saurkraut. Even if it can be considered better, it's only marginally so, and not something to boast about or look down on others over.
Hear, Hear!
jwn
Neil
you do sound pedantic
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
TT Logo
You are viewing a low fidelity version of this page. Click to view the full page.