"Please call me by my first name"

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Is there a respectful way to request somebody who you know quite well but with whom you are on "Sie" terms, to use your first name? I loathe always being called 'Frau xxx'. (It's just somehow, well, so frowsty!) I would not expect to use their first name in return or want to be over-familiar in any way. Or is it just a big cultural no-no until you've reached the "du" level of friendship?

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I don't do "sie" and I am sure it pisses people off, but I wasn't raised that way. Just tell them to stop it with the sie and do the du. Seriously, they will do the sie until you tell them otherwise.

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I usually say something along the lines

"ich bin kein deutscher, ich komme aus Kanada (or whatever country you are from), und wir sind nicht so abhängig vom formalitaten!"

I find that works- and I do not care if I made grammatical errors, its not my mother tongue and until all non english speakers can say 'v' and 'th' properly I will happily go along.

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Whilst I find the Du and Sie thing unnecessarily complicated, I think that if the poster is talking about using Du in a business situation it could make things a bit complicated if for instance one colleague uses the Du form to start with, then others might feel left out, or that you have a special relationship with that one person.

It´s definitely an all or nothing job!

Where I work, the boss is absolutely forbidden to use "Du" when speaking to his "underlings", so we have found a happy compromise - he uses me nickname within the company with "Sie"... we are all happy now!

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Eurovol, dude, you weren't raised that way, but you weren't raised here either. When in Rome and all that... :rolleyes: Wouldn't it be a problem if some 'rupean moved to Tennissee and started saying, Mr. Vol, thou shallst bring the business proposal? Playing the foreigner card only goes over well the first 5 years or so.

 

Robinson - I've heard of that practice working well, and have had people propose it at work (but then the entire department decided to just move to "du")

 

Feierabend - You could just say "Nennen Sie mich einfach Jane"* (with the explanation that Frau Feierabend is your mother ;) )Then you have the Sie in there (no implication of the du, however normally when the first name is addressed then that is an invitation to "du")

 

*your profile doesn't say if you are a man or woman

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Where I work, the boss is absolutely forbidden to use "Du" when speaking to his "underlings",

When I joined my current employer 11+ years ago it was made clear from the start that its "Du/<first name>" between all levels within the organisation (its the German GmbH within a global company...)

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Or is it just a big cultural no-no until you've reached the "du" level of friendship?

Being on a first name basis is the same thing as being at the "du" level of a relationship. If you want them to address you in the informal you can do one of two things:

 

  • Introdouce yourself using your firstname only.
    When they call you Frau X, stop them and just say "Sally" (or whatever)

 

 

They'll get the message. You might want to read a short article I wrote on this: http://german-way.com/blog/2009/02/21/you-...u-sie-question/

 

In short, some people will readily accept your wish, some may be a little uncomfortable with it.

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Why even use names at all? Seriously. If it's someone you see every day at work, repeated use of their name shows either that you're a bit thick and/or you're being patronizing.

 

Along with "didn't your mother teach you that it's impolite to stare", it should be our mission to introduce "that's my name, don't wear it out" into common parlance.

 

I literally have five identical-looking guys in my office named "Andreas", and since I can't tell most German apart anyway, trying to use their first names would be about as useful as using "Mr. Kim" in Korea where pretty much everyone has one of four last names. If you're standing in front of someone wagging your gums at them, they should get the hint that you're talking to them and not someone else.

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I did this when I worked for a big German multinational, got my boss to call me by my first name, other people picked up on it and called me by my first name without asking me or offering their first names and I still had to call the Herr this or that. It really pissed me off. I recommend staying with Herr/Frau X (your name) and doing it the German way, it really is the best to do what all the others are doing. When you get to know people very well and it is du then it means something.

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I have come across a few occasions where people would use my first name and still use the Sie, it's perfectly acceptable and might be a good compromise here.

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Reminds me of my flatmate (a German) telling me about his boss.

 

She comes into his office room and starts like "why did you not send this report, that report". No good morning, nothing.

 

He: 'Guten Morgen Frau xxx'.

she: 'es ist Doktor'.

he: 'Guten Morgen Frau Doktor xxx'.

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"Herr Beggs ist mein Fater, mein name ist Derek"

So I would say that Frau Landes is my mother in law but she is dead.

 

This doesn't work so well for married folks who have taken on their spouse's family name.

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Herr Beggs!

my car has those.

 

we've a colleague called Herr Lipp which always makes me think of 'allo 'allo.

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we've a colleague called Herr Lipp which always makes me think of 'allo 'allo.

Does he have a dog named "Mark"?

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LOL, Moonboot, it took a minute to work that out but thats great.

 

Tanja has a name badge at work which read T Beggs. I kept asking her Tetleys or PG tips.

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I usually say something along the lines

"ich bin kein deutscher, ich komme aus Kanada (or whatever country you are from), und wir sind nicht so abhängig vom formalitaten!"

I find that works- and I do not care if I made grammatical errors, its not my mother tongue and until all non english speakers can say 'v' and 'th' properly I will happily go along.

This really did go over well? No long lectures about how things are different in Germany and how you should 'anpassen'? Not even 'Zis is Germany. Ve don't 'du' here'?

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Is there a respectful way to request somebody who you know quite well but with whom you are on "Sie" terms, to use your first name?

If the person in question has at least basic knowledge of the english language, tell him/her the following sentence the next time:

"You can say you to me!" ;)

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Has nobody else experienced the curious hybrid of forename plus Sie? It's used on TV as a translation all the time.

 

I've also experienced it first hand from colleagues fitting the criteria (1) "of a certain age" (2) not miles above me in the organisation and (3) have dealings with me about once a month.

 

It confuses the hell out of me, because in my head, Sie -> Mr Surname (which I'm comfortable with) and Du -> Forename (which I'm more comfortable with). Being Mr Forename (in most countries in an easterly direction) I find quite funny, but in a cute way. But any German who tries just the Surname route with me gets short shrift... they call me MISTER grampus ;)

 

Anyway, you can say thou to me :D

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