Six ways Germans could learn to deal with foreigners better

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Here are a few more characteristics that Germans could change when dealing with foreign nationals:

 

1. Not be so easily insulted (includes but is not restricted to "arsehole" etc.).

2. Closely related with this is the ability to take jokes made about them personally AKA what Brits call slagging" or American call "taking the mickey". Simply put, I think Germans need to develop a thicker skin. It's what they tell us often enough: "If you dish it out, you've got to take it as well."

3. Also closely related (and admittedly this has been discussed elsewhere on TT) is being so "direct". Germans proudly claim they are only "telling the truth" when they are being uncomfortably direct to the point of rudeness (by our standards) but I frankly doubt whether they would never be as "direct" or as "honest" with - for example - their employers or the police etc. etc. I find this hypocritical. By contrast, I know that Germans can be as euphemistic as the Brits. Indeed, many Germans have a lovely sense of irony; pity not all of them do.

4. Further to Point 3 of the article about inviting people to events (or more to the point, taking longer to get to know people), they could usefully ease up on their definition of "privacy". We don't want to know all about their sex-lives (well, I don't anyway) but it wouldn't kill them to invite more people outside their immediate, i.e. really close, circle of friends into their homes, for example. In fairness, however, I have to admit I am welcome in a few German homes where I live but then, I've been here a bit longer and am involved in a couple of local organisations.

 

While Germans admittedly treat their fellow citizens this way as well (who are presumably more used to it), it would help to be aware that they rub many people up the wrong way. Or don't they give a sh*t?

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"Taking the mickey" is still British slang based on rhyming slang whereas "slipping someone a mickey" is American slang (ca. 1940) for giving someone a sleeping potion in their drink. Now this is commonly referred to as giving someone a roofie. Americans do not play the dozens with people they don't know very well or with people for whom it might be considered too aggressive and certainly not as adults with strangers or acquaintances.

 

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@ Answer to Life42: True enough: it is indeed their country. However, this comment would be better directed at the writer of the article.

 

@ AlexTR: I stand corrected.

 

@ snowing again: I agree.

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21 minutes ago, onemark said:

@ Answer to Life42: True enough: it is indeed their country. However, this comment would be better directed at the writer of the article.

 

 

 

- since you gave no credit to anybody else having written the article, one assumes that you did!

 

Personally, I take the "when in Rome" attitude...

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2 hours ago, onemark said:

Here are a few more characteristics that Germans could change when dealing with foreign nationals:

Believe it or not, British Empire is dead, and Brits are not the only foreign nationals in Germany.

 

 

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Because these are clichés, they are never universally true, you can only carefully say „significant number of Germans do this and that“ to remain correct.

 

I am not German and I do not invite anybody into my home. What I love in this country is that people inviting me to their homes do not expect to reciprocate. In the UK I would be „rude“, „unreasonable“ and violated 999 rules of good conduct.

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Evening, yourkeau! I remember a phase in my life in London in the 1980s...every Friday, one of us would invite friends to a home for dinner and the next person reciprocated the following Friday and it went on and on. Last on the reciprocal list was Howell, who said: " well, it´s been great the last couple of months, eating at all your places.. but I can´t cook! ". 

The ritual died out!:lol:

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I have been reading a lot of literature about WWII that recounts how crying, showing compassion, helping the "wrong person" or just looking the wrong way would get you beaten to death by the police.

I am trying to verify this, but I am reading a book that describes signs in apartment buildings that said "Crying Forbidden" in the cellars that were used as bomb shelters. So the bomb sirens would go off in the middle of the night, and people would need to spend hours in these basements, and there were signs everywhere to not cry. And honestly I think they probably needed to become rocks to survive the ordeal. 

 

An entire generation of people wasn't allowed to have emotions about the horrors taking place inside their own homes or in front of their children on the street.

That fucks you up. Those people aren't dead yet, the way they rose their children can still be felt on the currnet 40-60 years old population. 

 

And I am not sure if today's Germans forgive themselves, as a people I feel like they still carry the weight of their country's history. 

 

Or maybe I am full of shit, who knows.

 

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26 minutes ago, john g. said:

Evening, yourkeau! I remember a phase in my life in London in the 1980s...every Friday, one of us would invite friends to a home for dinner and the next person reciprocated the following Friday and it went on and on. Last on the reciprocal list was Howell, who said: " well, it´s been great the last couple of months, eating at all your places.. but I can´t cook! ". 

The ritual died out!:lol:

Haha!

 

Well, I bring some food/alcohol, so it's not that I am trying to freeload :)

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7. Or, the foreigners can learn to adapt and accept that things, many times, don't go their way in a foreign land. :)

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37 minutes ago, Erdmann said:

7. Or, the foreigners can learn to adapt and accept that things, many times, don't go their way in a foreign land. :)

There are things which are hard to accept, but can be easily fixed. German keyboard. I hated it. Used to set up US International layout at every computer I worked on. For many years. Ordered laptops from the UK because of keyboard*.

 

But at some point I accepted it, set up German layout at work and bought a German laptop. I accepted German keyboard as a new normal. Time will pass and US International layout will become weird to me.

 

The only thing I keep „foreign“ on my layout are locations of Y and Z letters, I changed them to match US QWERTY keyboard. But everything else is German.

 

This is to me the hardest part of integration into German society.

 

*I know, I know, it is possible to get US keyboard in Germany. But the model I wanted back then was only with German keyboard.

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11 hours ago, onemark said:

Here are a few more characteristics that Germans could change when dealing with foreign nationals:

 

1. Not be so easily insulted (includes but is not restricted to "arsehole" etc.).

2. Closely related with this is the ability to take jokes made about them personally AKA what Brits call slagging" or American call "taking the mickey". Simply put, I think Germans need to develop a thicker skin. It's what they tell us often enough: "If you dish it out, you've got to take it as well."

3. Also closely related (and admittedly this has been discussed elsewhere on TT) is being so "direct". Germans proudly claim they are only "telling the truth" when they are being uncomfortably direct to the point of rudeness (by our standards) but I frankly doubt whether they would never be as "direct" or as "honest" with - for example - their employers or the police etc. etc. I find this hypocritical. By contrast, I know that Germans can be as euphemistic as the Brits. Indeed, many Germans have a lovely sense of irony; pity not all of them do.

4. Further to Point 3 of the article about inviting people to events (or more to the point, taking longer to get to know people), they could usefully ease up on their definition of "privacy". We don't want to know all about their sex-lives (well, I don't anyway) but it wouldn't kill them to invite more people outside their immediate, i.e. really close, circle of friends into their homes, for example. In fairness, however, I have to admit I am welcome in a few German homes where I live but then, I've been here a bit longer and am involved in a couple of local organisations.

 

While Germans admittedly treat their fellow citizens this way as well (who are presumably more used to it), it would help to be aware that they rub many people up the wrong way. Or don't they give a sh*t?

Maybe it is the Brits who are the problem and not the Germans?

I have no issues with the "problems" on your list, but to each their own. :)

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10 hours ago, onemark said:

@ Answer to Life42: True enough: it is indeed their country. However, this comment would be better directed at the writer of the article.

 

The why did you not make it into quotation and give the source?

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I think the Germans could lighten up a bit about being accurate to the last cent.  At a restaurant where I was last night, there were a few Scotsmen that I talked to for a bit.  When their bill came, they each pulled out some bills and change, piled it up on the middle of the table and when they had enough, they had their bill and a good tip for the waiter.  It is the same in Canada.  A German group would have required the waiter to split the bill and for each person to pay separately as to make sure that nobody paid an extra 20 cents more than they ate.

 

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Splitting the bill is the best part of German culture ever. If you hate splitting the bill, say the magic sentence: „Ich lade Sie ein.“  Alternatively, there is an option to order one bottle and multiple glasses, then share the bottle, but it goes to your bill. The rest of the dinner is split.

 

And so on.

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