So you want to move to Germany? How Germans think

So you want to move to Germany? How Germans think

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American in Germany Georg Behrendt details his experiences of living in Germany in this fourth part of his series on moving to Germany. He looks at the German way of thinking, restaurants, service and environmentally friendliness.

When in Germany, remember that this is a country different from America; it has its own thoughts, feelings and emotions. Germany just like the States has its great deficiencies and screw-ups. Never get frustrated, have patience and learn; you will be the better off for it. Moreover, try not to become one of those people that constantly say ‘Well back in the States it is better because…’ I too would then tell you to go back home.

German mentality
I re-read this and now I have to pre-empt this section. What I write is true and factual. However, the negatives I mention are pointed to the 50+ populace and the populace that have not experienced anything other than Germany. The experienced German traveller understands manners and politeness.

German mentality or way of thinking I have come across within the last two plus years. You may want to be aware of and consider it while living here. Do not be offended or insulted, just deal with it with understanding.
Germans will be the first to tell you why something cannot be done or happen. They think straight ahead and do not consider a little to the left or right of a condition. In other words, they are very structured and not flexible. But if you make the time you might be able to show them a better way or more proficient way to do things.

Photo © ND Strupler


I must add to these seemingly adverse comments of mine, that there are also many Germans who will help you at no charge once they get to know who you are…..most of these particular Germans have spent much time in the States or Canada. One man lent me a EUR 40,000.00-euro machine to work with my product. He said use it until I can sell it… it will make your life easier. It has been close to a year now and we are still using it…thanks to him.

Another thing is that I find most Germans tend to be extremely private in nature. They do not want to talk about the money they have or make. On the other hand, they want to know all about you.  So the quickest way to shut down that double standard is to ask them about their salary or what their property is worth. Then, and only then, do they get the clue that double standards do not work with Americans.
 
Most Germans do not like to be shown a different or better way to do a project. They tend to block any changes, ideas, or alterations to the current thinking. This is partly because they have to keep people working and not machines and the other reason is the same old concept as we have in the older people in the States: It has been this way for the last 80 years so why should we change now.

German women:I will not even try to go there because I will be killed. Trust me though, they are unique and not always in a good way.

Germans in general tend to be rude (older generation and country people). They will walk in front of you, bump into you, step on your foot and look at you as if it was your fault. They tell you what to do and do not ask if you could do something.  For instance, ‘Get me a cup of coffee’ instead of ‘Would you please get me a cup of coffee,’ ‘Come, let’s go!’ instead of ‘Are you ready? Then let’s go.’

 

AFP PHOTO DDP/OLIVER LANG

 

Drinking and eating

Germans are great drinkers and can handle beers much better than Americans or Canadians. Yes, the beer is beer and not coloured water as in the Can-Am area of this world.

There are many restaurants in Germany just like, if not more, per capita in the States. Germans love to eat and drink.  However, not to worry, most Americans are still fatter than the average German. Germans seem to love to eat.  I find that Americans eat and then go out. When Germans get to where they are going, they have something to eat and drink, and then when they get home, they eat and drink again. It is sort of comical and nice, but damn you can gain weight fast too.


Restaurants

In general, restaurants are good and the normal restaurant is inexpensive. In addition, in small towns they will close Mondays. Another German attitude is that most all restaurants have all their lights on bright. Then do not seem to understand the cosiness that is involved in the business. Bars in restaurants seldom, if ever, place salty items on the bar to munch on, even though it would increase the liquor sales 10-15 percent.

Tips: Germans have a totally different system then we do. The wait staff earns EUR 10 to 15 an hour. Germans as a rule do not tip. If they do, most we would consider cheap tippers. My advice is to tip and tip in American style. The server will love you for it and from then on you will get great service.

 

Customer service (customer no-service)

This is a new concept in Germany … It used to be that if you bought something it was yours and that was it.  Well it is slowly (very slowly) changing to what we are used to having. Many times, you will find that you have to push the point to get the service. A perfect example of this is when a friend of mine took his mobile phone in for repair. He asked them to fix certain problems and upgrade the software. After 30 days-- yes an excessive amount of time-- they called and said it was ready. He asked what was done to fix it and the service agent said he had no idea (right there it raises a large red flag) but her it is, sign for it and it is yours. Guess what? Nothing had been done to the phone….nothing.  So be very cautious and demand service if you have to; get in there face and explain that they work in a service department and you would like service. Watch out for useless charges.  If you get an invoice or charge for administrative costs, do not be German and pay it. Ask why and for what! The German attitude for things like this is: Oh, it must be so, because they ask for it.  No!

AFP PHOTO DDP/ SASCHA SCHUERMANN

 

Environment

Environmental matters in Germany are strict. Germany is one of the few countries that really take environmental conditions to heart and try their best to have a green attitude.  Items are sorted into paper, glass-metal-plastic, food waste, and miscellaneous trash. Also in smaller towns, like where I live, there are burn days. Two days in the spring and two days in the fall where you are allowed to burn leaves and other items. The fire lit for these cases can only be a meter wide; you also need fire-extinguishing material near, like a water hose.

Hunting

The north central portion of Germany is fantastic…if you are a hunter. wild deer (rae) and wild boar abound. The catch is that if you own a weapon you need to have special certification to own it which involves special courses and tests.

Business hours

In large cities these are about the same as in the States, but if you live in a medium size to small town (Dorf), be prepared to have the businesses take a break from noon until 15:00 hours. Wednesdays, the medical industry and many others will close at noon. In addition, many businesses will close at noon Fridays. Plus, something America has not had for over fifty years, one person does one job. If Frau Schmidt is the purchasing department, and she is sick or goes on vacation, guess what? Nothing happens in that department until she returns. There seems to be a total lack of cross-training or understanding why two people should know the same job.

 

 

Over the next few weeks Georg Behrendt will offer his perspective on a variety of topics including transport, the German language, post office system, technology, medical care and dress and style. Stay tuned...  Georg Behrendt is happy for readers to contact him via BaronGeorg@gmx.net or leave your comment under this article. Georg is happy to respond to any questions either way.

 

 

Photo credits: slavin fpo;ND Strupler;Stübner;figlioDiOrfeo

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80 Comments To This Article

  • Joe posted:

    on 12th September 2016, 04:03:52 - Reply

    Take only the part on tipping and you get a clue how insightful this article is (Irony off). Normally a waiter gets 7-10EUR and hour and should expect a similar amount of money from tips, with an expected 10% average tip per customer. Anyone else would be considered a bad tipper or a really unsatisfied customer. A lot of the other descriptions purely read like a biased and arrogant view from someone who holds his own country higher than anything else and surely not from someone who really emerged into our culture. Of course there is good and bad in every country and yes Germans like their rules and structure, but that doesn't make us unflexible and stubborn and especially current generations are far from the stereotypical rude, cold Germans you are describing here. Germans tend to divide work and life very clearly, we like efficiency and hate wasting time with small talk for example. From an American viewpoint that might be considered rude, but only if you take your culture as a standard (which is wrong to begin with). In personal life we are far more easy going. Some of us can take some more time to warm up with strangers, but once you get an invitation to a Germans home you know that the invitation is meant serious and that you are on a good way to getting closer. Normally Germans do not discuss salary specifically and I would tell anyone who asks me out of the blue that this is none of his concern. We would normally only share detailed information with friends (not acquaintances) and family. And to the comments about Germany lacking behind the US in terms of innovation: Do your homework before throwing in those vague statements, its not like the US and Germany are worlds apart or that the US is doing remarkably good these days.
  • Jonas posted:

    on 9th September 2016, 00:16:08 - Reply

    It was year 1990 and I was driving around Europe (I am from Lithuania) and while driving around Germany Germans were kind to me and I did not notice anything except one guy showed me "crazy" finger to his head when I made a mistake on the road and almost hit him which i took with a laugh and showed him "Alles Gut" sign. But when I reached Austrian border (after unsuccessfully storming Swiss border without a visa) I decided to REALLY STORM the Austrian border and while I had no Austrian visa I had the desired to visit Austria, so I quickly got an idea to hide my front number plate behind the car in front of me and drive up to the border post, slow down and then storm it by speeding up. It worked, even if the border patrol was tryingto chase me (unsuccessfully) as I entered a 13 km tunnel and came out of it still alive. Then after enjoying Austria I took my car to the border with Slovakia and here the border patrol told me I was illegally in Austria and thus I muyst pay 1000 ATS (US$10) hahaha, it was funny how his hands were shaking but I told him here's your cash and he let me go into then gloomy Slovakia. What about Germans/Austrians? They are OK!
  • irrelevant posted:

    on 1st September 2016, 19:25:39 - Reply

    Yeah. And all Americans are fat and stupid. Hahah :D is this text serious? I mean it's weird how people can be so closed minded and stuff. Maybe all Germans are rude to you because you're not very kind? :D
  • Louisa posted:

    on 30th August 2016, 22:46:12 - Reply

    I think it's just very rude to talk about the country like it's one person. Yes, some of the things might be true but not for all of us.I live here and I don't enjoy the way some people talk to me neither but if you really lived there, talked to a lot of people and got real experience you'd know that saying ''the germans'' are unpolite and stuff like that is just not true. I mean, thats a part of the population yes, but not all of us. It's a whole country with 80 million people in it and you told about it like they are all the same. There are SO many germans who are different than what you said. We've also got A LOT of foreigns in our country and most people are usued to it. It's normal. My parents are british and we moved here when I was 5 years old. Do you think they regret it? No. I've never been treated wrong because I wasn't born here. Actually racism is something that isn't liked to see here. Something that you should have learned here.
    As a british woman I know, compared to each other there's a hug difference between us and german politeness but hasn't every country bad sides? Even yours,even England, some of us just won't admit it. Stop judging everyone as if they all were the same.
    And what if germans never learned to be different? How can you judge someone by something they never were raised to be? It's just the way they are and yes, why should they change just because you say so?
    And what you said about tipping, you always tip about 10 per sent of what you had to pay.
  • jyagger posted:

    on 23rd July 2016, 09:11:02 - Reply

    Reading many people's personal experiences with Germans made me understood my last relationship with this German guy so much better! His life was very structured and that is why we really didn't get along.

    We were seeing each other for a while, and whenever we have an argument he would always say "I am too German," as an excuse to defend himself. It seems like being the stereotypical German is a badge of honour (this also just explains their rigidity and close-mindedness) even though he knew that a lot of people had problems with him being 'too German', which just means not willing to accept other ways of doing things and very very inflexible. All our relationship was based on a plan, everything needed to be planned ahead; and travelling according to him needed to be very precisely planned as well. I have been a traveller since I was little and I have travelled extensively around the world, and I would hate to have plans and rules take away my freedom and flexibility to want different things at different time.

    Secondly, very accurate, money and career is super important for them, in a good way. But life is not all about work! He was happy working 70 hours a week, spending his whole summer vacation on this internship which he didn't even end up working for the company. Whenever I was doing something fun and enjoying life was seen as an act of slacking or being lazy. Yes, Germans are efficient, but they do not understand there is a whole new world outside of work. Learn to live a little.

    Very direct, very honest, to the point that it come across as very rude and cold. He was always judging and complaining, about the people he hangs out with (if you don't like them maybe don't be friends with them?). He makes very critical judgements as if there is absolutely no room for mistakes and flaws. He was very uptight and easily offended. He couldn't stand when people make fun of him and make jokes; if you criticised him, he was never able to accept them and apologise and move on; instead he runs away from all the problems and make everything seems like it's completely your fault. He was also a very very egoistic guy (he said it himself).

    Lastly, he was very oblivious and ignorant about other people's cultures. Without understanding the root of the problems, only seeing what is rather ostensible. Making ignorant judgements and acting like a know-it-all.

    Anyways, dating a German was not fun, it was only until the end I felt like I am trying to adapt to his living-in-a-box lifestyle; but I did meet a lot of very very lovely young Germans that are well travelled and very cultured and open-minded while I was travelling. But this guy I was dating hasn't travelled much and was very stubborn. Oh, also, very disappointed with German punctuality, he was always late and never felt bad about it!!!!!!

  • Orwa posted:

    on 17th July 2016, 12:26:07 - Reply

    I am working now in Germany in research and I can not agree more. I had an experience working in Norway and there is a huge difference. German mentality is very structural and they like rules. This is working for them but they still can not compete with the U.S where flexibility and questioning the authority of everything is a common sense. That is why, German are very good at making things but when you go to innovation, they are still lagging behind U.S, Sweden, Japan and the Netherlands despite the huge amount of money they invest in R&D.
  • BeckyS posted:

    on 26th June 2016, 12:24:49 - Reply

    actually i have a mixed feeling about this,German being my dream country,i hate it when people say rude things about germans,i have met lots of them but they dont act rude or look rude,but everytime i try to say something nice about them,some body comes out so negative and i end up saying...Oh no... aout tipping,i think its very wrong too. if given a chance,i could write a book about Germans. i love you guys. am a Ugandan. chao.
  • Manuel posted:

    on 18th May 2016, 00:10:32 - Reply

    Well, you "survived" 10 years in that country. So it cannot be that bad. In bigger German cities, especially in the western part, there are so many non-Germans that there are places and situations where Germans are in the minority. This shows again that there must be something appealing about this country.

    Some one that lives in a foreign country for 10 years should know more than most people here. History! To understand the present one needs to know the past! What do you know about the DDR? The differences between methalities? The difference in education system, 1968 BRD vs. DDR? Do you read? Have you read German literature (for example Hesse, Tucholsky, Goethe, Doeblin, Kaestner). You learn a lot about German culture, because culture is like a band that covers not only an area but also connects time.
  • Manuel posted:

    on 17th May 2016, 23:52:51 - Reply

    Every German complains about the Deutsche Bahn. They are commonly known to be overpriced and delayed etc.. I think you just don't get the culture yet, because you don't speak the language. It would happen in other countries as well. Language is key. If you are only visiting and are not able to learn it, be "open-minded" about it. BTW, I would not consider parts of Mannheim to be representative (anymore) of what I would consider typical German...
  • Manuel posted:

    on 17th May 2016, 23:15:12 - Reply

    Which Germany is he talking about? The Germany from 1987?
  • Katja posted:

    on 10th May 2016, 15:43:31 - Reply

    When I was only a tourist I thought Germany was a paradise, of course, when you consume a lot, buy a lot, that is leave money there. It is unbelievable how arrogant they are. I have been living here for 10 years and am working know in a way that I don't have to spend the next 5 years here. Germany knows no politeness, punctuality, teamwork, service, marketing, etc. I was so disappointed. They think they do everything better, although the rest of the world does differently and is more successful. This rigity has led many companies to death, because they refuse to change. Living here 10 years still give them the right to ask me about my private life, why and how long I hve been living here. They all deny this, because they don't see this anymore. it is rooted in the culture. You never belong to the country. you can go to the states and be successful and get rich if you work hard and have a vision. In Germany they will never allow a foreigner to be successful there. No matter how talented the person is. They literally boycott the person in all manners.
    When I was here for the first time, I had another completely different vision, but when you LIVE here, it is another different story. They see you as a manace, especially if you are good at something. You are stealing their opportunities.
  • ToshiyaYakamato posted:

    on 27th April 2016, 13:56:31 - Reply

    It is nice country. But I think in Germany no punctuality. You have to wait sometimes 15 minutes. Sometimes even more.
  • Tom posted:

    on 23rd April 2016, 09:51:47 - Reply

    We have lived in Germany since 2008. I was born in America and have lived and worked in France, Italy and now Germany.
    Based on the majority of comments here, it appears that most people are making unsubstantiated claims to defend their point of view and the chances that anybody will read these posts and the original article and actually act on the information contained therein is pretty slim. It appears the main scope of the replies posted here is entertainment and self-justification but It is however very entertaining to read when a German says "it is not true.....we are different" and then give justification for their behavior while at the same time off-handedly denegrating other cultures. It reminds me of the VolksWagen emmission story. The company installed software to modify the emmission results when the cars were being tested even after the Internation Council on Clean Transportation understood what they were doing. They did it from 2008 to 2015 so they thought they could continue to do it afterwards also....just like the German reply posts to this article which say "it is not true...we are different and you are wrong. "

    Georg Behrendt's article aligns with my 8 years of experience in Germany. Specifically, when somebody starts asking personal questions that he or she would not answer themselves, if you ask them the same question back and then drive the point home with a polite response of why would you think I would answer that when you will not answer it, they will eventually give up asking.
    Strangers in Germany tend to be rude. At the airport a 40 year old overweight German man ran into my ankle with a luggage carrier and took the skin off. He said nothing. I told him in German that he had hit me and it hurt alot. His response was, "do you think I did it on purpose?" This behavior and attitude is difficult to get used to when one was not born into this culture.

    The tipping in restaurants part of the article also aligns with my experience.....even though I don't go to restaurants that much anymore because it is usually a dissappointment because of the poor service and food quality and the prices tend to be extremely high. It is my experience that it is better to organize something privately and avoid the dissappointment. In short, a German restaurant is not the same as a restaurant from some other country simply relocated to Germany. .....even my Geman neighbors tell me that they do not go to Italian restaurants in Germany even though they love Italian food because Italian food served in a restaurant in Germany is different than that served in a restaurant in Italy.

    I agree with GMB to avoid stereotypes and approach with an open mind. Friendship can be found everywhere.
    I also agree with Villas that Germans have a Communist mentality and it is interesting that since our arrival in Germany we have discussed this.
  • Davide posted:

    on 21st April 2016, 12:38:22 - Reply

    I have got to agree that in Germany one can have the weirdest experiences and people in general lack interpersonal skills and are not very flexible. Also their trains are uber-expensive and often delayed. But whereas in Italy people complain all the time, them being a self-deprecating bunch, in Germany people never complain so the naive foreigner may think that everything works perfectly. I post this review I left to a German AirBnB host:" This was the strangest experience I have ever had. I would NOT recommend this place to anyone. The bed sheet had not been replaced since the last guest left, so they were dirty. The room was located in a very bad area of Mannheim, dirty, with trash everywhere and weird people. I booked the room on Monday for Tuesday. I was travelling abroad so I did not have internet connection with me (German trains say they offer internet but they DO NOT, despite being very costly and often late). Tuesday morning I get message from host via AirBnb app asking when I will arrive. I could not respond immediately because I did not know, so I left the room intending to reply to his message. I was on the train all day due to delays and also had a job interview, so I had no possibility of getting on the internet. Hermann sent me another message through the App (I got the messages because they were routed to my SMS service) asking to meet at 19 because he had to work. However, I tried to reply but they did not get to him. Finally I arrive at 19 and I see Hermann very angry, telling me to go back and that he will not give me the room keys. He did not believe me when I told him I had tried to reply to his messages, even if I show him my phone with the time when I sent the messages that did not go through. He also had no real reason to be so angry because I had showed up at the time he requested, I was there even 5 minutes early. He seemed very determined not to give me the keys, but suddenly changed mood when he realized there was a german friend with me. Then he started ignoring me altogether as if I had been some sort of alien jumped from space and talked only to her in German (very rude, as I do not speak German). In a typical German way, he kept ignoring me and talking to my friend as if she had been the guest, even though she was not. I do not know if this guy has issues with other nationalities but his behavior was very odd. I did nothing wrong because I showed up there at 19:00 as he had asked me. "
  • Julianne posted:

    on 12th April 2016, 16:37:05 - Reply

    This article is really accurate, the German culture is not easy and is certainly based on double standards.

    About the restaurants, I just wanted to add that if you go to a restaurant with small children and they start crying, running, laughing, one of those things that children "do", you should be ready to leave, they will tell you that the guests want their peace/Ruhe, but this can also happens if you use public transport with kids (trains, trams, buses).

    And one more thing, it is true that the Germans do not ask what your name is or where you come from, the first thing they ask is if you work and how much money you earn. I have learned to enjoy these questions, my answers generate discomfort on them, they cannot accept that a foreigner/ausl%uFFFDnder that is living in their country have a great job and can afford luxuries...see their faces, macht wirklich Spass!.
  • Anne posted:

    on 7th April 2016, 16:26:36 - Reply

    Woah that woman was rude. i am german and that is NOT a tradition! When i read things about Germans in the internet, it sounds like we don't have many friends and don't make friends with anyone, (and that we take like ten years to be friends with you)but that isn't true. maybe it is because of were i live, but everyone i know is really open minded and makes friends with many people :) regardless which country they are from ^^ well, maybe it's just like that were i live ^^
  • Moya posted:

    on 30th March 2016, 18:35:00 - Reply

    Levi, I only read your most insightful comment after posting my own. You have encapsulated the other kind of Germans so beautifully. Albeit, after over 30 years in Germany I still far prefer to go to America (stereotyped or not!). I am obliged to visit Germany every now and again, but I'm always so very glad to get back home to London! A shadow will always hang over Germany. I can never forget the words of President Gauck in his New Year address in 2015: "There is no German identity without the Holocaust".
  • Moya posted:

    on 30th March 2016, 18:20:14 - Reply

    This article is spot on in every respect. I am British and lived and in Germany for over 30 years (1960 - 1993) and worked in British liaison, liaising with all German authorities in the German language, so got to know the Germans like the back of my hand. Yes, their rudeness is breath-taking but they regard it being direct and honest. Older Germans and those in authority know, not suspect, know they are right about everything all the time. Our liaison organization developed techniques to deal with this possibly primordial characteristic. When thousands of Germans started travelling in the 1960s it made a big difference to their outlook and mentality. Outside Germany they were encountering other ways of thinking and doing things. Their children and certainly their children's children, the present generation of Germans are delightful. Those who do not travel continue with their doggedly unbending view that non-Germans and their ways of living are inferior in every way.
    You correspondent Linda above cannot every have been to Germany! Chancellor Merkel is typical of someone who does not travel a lot outside Germany. She knows she is right about everything all the time, and would not understand why the rest of the world is alarmed at her decision to open Germany's door wide to an influx of a new Ottoman Empire. Britain has some of the best advisor on the Middle East in the world. All she needed to have done is call David Cameron who would have directed her to the best of them. Merkel would have been advised to go about boosting Germany's workforce in a completely different way. As it is, Donald Trump, with all his failings is right. She is ruining a once successful country, even if German society leaves an awful lot to be desired! So, Mr Behrendt, many congratulation on your extremely accurate observations of the Germans who, poor souls, are now being led into yet another abyss by a totally irresponsible German Chancellor who did not do her homework.
  • Maria posted:

    on 23rd March 2016, 00:08:34 - Reply

    So someone needs to earn a German's person respect when in the country??? You see this is exactly where you and people with the same mind set go awfully wrong! The attitude is, respect each other, respect everyone. This is something that is not common here in Germany most Germans have this attitude that "foreigners, tourists" must bow down, here diversity is not respected no matter what you see on the news nowadays, don't fool yourself! Been here for years, speak the language and I still get that eye rolling because you know, I am a foreigner! Beautiful country but the mentality awful. btw - the article is spot on when it comes to lack of customer service, very rarely something ever gets done proper and with friendliness.
  • Maria posted:

    on 23rd March 2016, 00:12:54 - Reply

    Reading your comment is just like looking at my own experience here in Germany spot on.
  • Matt posted:

    on 9th February 2016, 14:36:27 - Reply

    I have just returned to Australia after visiting Germany and Switzerland for the first time. I did not get this impression at all....? Everyone was really nice. The only person who I felt was rude was the lady in the Apotheke who told me that I was stupid for not seeing a doctor - in theory, she was correct. I probably should have seen a doctor, but there were other ways to say it. Anyway, I can't wait to go back. Hopefully next time, for a long time :D
  • LucyDiez posted:

    on 5th February 2016, 21:53:13 - Reply

    We are not rude or cold. If you want to be noticed or be treated friendly from a german, do something to earn their respect first, like learning a little bit german. (We highly appreciate it, when a foreigner can talk our language.) If you don't, good luck with nothing.
    Anyways, this article is very rude.
    He lived in germany and now he writes such a thing.
    And you ask why we are called cold.

  • septico posted:

    on 8th January 2016, 07:46:06 - Reply

    I have lived and worked in Germany. I speak very good German (obviously with an accent) which not a single German ever missed the opportunity to point the finger at. I was treated as a lesser human being for being a foreigner. They ARE rude, arrogant and incredible racists. Oh, nobody tipped me despite of serving them with a big smile and taking all their $h1t. They lack basic interpersonal skills and compassion. just-plain-rude. Oh, and god forbid you ask for your rights or point out something wrong with a product or service THEY provided, you'll inevitably hear that "that's your problem". (yes, that's an accurate quote) even Germans have a saying "Deutschland service wuste" (meaning service desert....
  • Linda posted:

    on 17th December 2015, 20:04:48 - Reply

    "Germans in general tend to be rude" So you think YOU are kind?? Your article is disrespectful, generalizing, rude and (I dare say it) racist.
    I honestly feel insulted by your words and I'm not even German.
  • JJ posted:

    on 15th November 2015, 19:57:06 - Reply

    i totally agree about the comment on german ladies...way too true! i could not stand to stay for than a day actually. Too rude in my experience

  • Jean posted:

    on 27th October 2015, 18:21:16 - Reply

    Too many Germans ...want your money but don't think/feel they should treat you with respect/dignity. Some complain if you ask for change to  give a tip and they order you around or give you a mean look if you want to talk to them and ask directions and, yet, they are all too willing to take your money. They basically have disdain for Americans. I doubt I'll travel to Deutschland again. There is nothing superior about Germans!!!

  • GeorgeTyrebyter posted:

    on 21st October 2015, 18:13:57 - Reply

    You object to people blowing their noses? I assume they use tissues. The choices are: 1) allow them to sneeze or 2) allow them to blow their noses. Some, like myself, have a nose thing where it is necessary. So, when I am in a restaurant with you, I'll just sneeze away. That's apparently a better choice.

  • Corepuncher posted:

    on 15th October 2015, 06:02:12 - Reply

    I just got back from Munich, was my first time in Europe. Although I attempted to speak some simple German, without fail, the immediate response I always got was a correction from the person I was speaking to, THEN on to the actual point of the communication :-) I kinda thought it was funny. My take away is that they were helping me say it correctly. Which is good, but I can understand how someone else might have been offended.

    I was at a train station, and had to get my Eurail pass stamped. In the place where you write passport number, I had accidentally appended an extra digit. So, I scratched out the last digit, leaving the correct number. Well, the German guy about had a cow, as if the world was ending! I've never seen so much whining. I was just like, "whats the big deal"? It's not like I CHANGED the passport number, I simply marked through and EXTRA digit appended to the end. Anyway, after a few minutes of showing it to his superior, it was validated. All that fuss for nothing. Lighten up, I thought!

    I had another case where I wanted to check out of the hotel 30 min past the checkout time due to extenuating circumstances. The German lady at the front desk never caught my drift...and insisted that I must check out. I am convinced that her mind simply "did not go there" (bending a rule slightly).

    Overall, everyone was friendly, but in shoppes or restaurants, many times I felt like I was just standing there waiting for someone to help us, but nobody ever came. We had to go out of our way to get seated in some cases, or to get help at the clothing stores.

    Finally, at Oktoberfest I asked a waitress if she could get us in a tent because it was our 10th anniversary. She 100% ignored that request.

    So in the end, one thing became very clear...Germans love their rules! Somehow, I believe they must be part Vulcan :-) Or perhaps Spock was a German? At any rate, I liked and also respect their differences, just takes some adjusting.

  • Maria posted:

    on 27th September 2015, 03:22:52 - Reply

    This whole article is a mixture of stereotypes and prejudice. Almost everything in it is insulting and in addition most of it is clearly wrong. The only reason why americans consider germans rude is because the americans are always so face nice, trying to prtend they are your friend, even though rhey hate you. Germans are just honest and dont't pretend to be someone they're not...
  • Girisha posted:

    on 21st August 2015, 10:57:46 - Reply

    I too Agree that German are Honest however they won't trust .
    i major observation i found (it was similar)most Germans tend to be extremely private in nature. They do not want to talk about the money they have or make. On the other hand, they want to know all about you.
  • Anthony posted:

    on 4th July 2015, 03:02:38 - Reply

    If I was German, well I am but born in the states, I would be very offended. Don't put older Germans in the Rude Category. Get off my lawn Rude. Wow, old people telling you what to do or think, Ya, that is just Germans, NOT! I have travelled the world and what I found is that people are people no matter where you live. Now get off my lawn punk, Sorry, just turned 52 so it is time to tell you how to live your live.
  • private posted:

    on 4th July 2015, 03:36:38 - Reply

    In addition, the German men loves soccer and they are the greatest in the world... [edited]

  • Francis posted:

    on 16th June 2015, 21:27:19 - Reply

    Germans are one of the rudest people I've met; they state that they think this is honest but the hypocrisy is that they often are super sensitive on top of bring rude. Go to France at least they are friendlier
  • Jana posted:

    on 12th May 2015, 23:17:32 - Reply

    The author of this article seems to be a very arrogant american. He seems to be saying that all germans are rude, humorless, never smile, negative, never change etc. except they lived in the USA for ar long time. The autor just combines a bunch of stereotypes and is arrogant and ignorant and that just makes me mad. I lived almost my whole life in Germany and I know a lot of people who are not at all like that, but just the opposite, whereas I've also met a couple of unfriendly americans. I just can't stand that way of trivialization. If it's so bad here and if we're all so bad people, why are you still here?
  • GMB posted:

    on 26th April 2015, 17:45:29 - Reply

    I loved the authors writing style. It was funmy to read and i really had to laugh really hard, but his writing skills don't correlate with his knowledge of germany, its culture and people.
    So many people made that there first point so i'm going to do that as well
    Tipping: Going to a reataurant in considered to be something special for the average german. So when you are going to pay 20 percent for a steak then not only the steak has to be good, also the waiter needs to be nice and maybe a little bit funny and good to children. In most restaurants the tip of 10 percent is already included when you get the bill, so you only give a little bit more depending on the service and how much it costs - if you are eatimg alone  you are "supposed" to give 25%, in a group of 20 people every gives some change in a pot and the waiter gets it (than thats 10-30%)

    Another thing is, that the german wants quality for a good price. But if there are many people who want to help you(asking if you need help, bring your groceries to your car, watch for your childs etc you must pay them indirectly and the prices are higher) that's why you'll never find something like that in germany

    BUT in germany nearly everybody wants to buy regional, bio, the only reason TTIP is hated is because people fear american groceries, genetic changed animals or with genetic changed corn feeded animals

    Next topic: german friendship- it's easier to get friends when you are jounger, there isn't any mistrust but older generations(70 ) hadn't learned a second language and so can't communicate with people from other nations(excluding mallorca, austria and switzerland)
    younger generations learn 2 other languages in school (in most cases french and english) in east germany sometimes russian and english and like to improve their skills by talking to foreigners.
    Of course there are stereotypes for americans like arrogant, ignorant, naive, believing you are always right and there are german stereotypes like never laughing, always drinking beer, wearing stupid lederhosen (that's just one week a year sorry guys) and so on. But i met really intelligent americans and germans and no stereotype fits perfectly on a majority if people. That wouldn't be a world i want to live in if every stereotype would be correct.
    We germans love debating (or i love debating i don't really know if I could speak for the germans) and i would ask people from america about there positions like "do you want stricter gun laws" - "do you think obama is a good president" etc. and that's something an american person don't like to talk about - politicians? Answer: they seem to be all qualified people - gun laws: it is right that many people are killed by guns - but a real statement? No - so why do you(author) think that germans are resting in a grey zone? I think every nation has it's topics no one want to talk about. In germany it's salary and money you own.
    Another thing is the language. It's really difficult to learn. The articles der/die/does doesn't make sense in some/most cases for example: die frau (the women - article feminin) but das  (the girl - article neutral). So you must be really engaded to learn the words, the tenses, the articles,... But you'll find nice germans who will offer you help - and these people are just nice - they must not have visited canada or the us first to be nice. Most people are - but they seem to be a little shy - if you want something you are supposed to ask - nobody will do the first step and just go to you offering you help ^^
    History
    Germany is a country with a lot of history. The german tribe "germanen" fought against the romans and could stay indipendant, they got conquered by napoleon, and many medieval castles are still standing, nearly everybody knows Neuschwanstein, but there is more than just this great looking castle in germany. A whole landscape is called "Burgenland" cause of it's large density of castles.

    Kitchen
    The german kitchen is healthy and normaly don't consists out of schweinebraten or schnitzel. Why does everybody think that germany are bavarians? Schweinsbraten, lederhose, Oktoberfest, and beer fits best on a typical(50year old) bavarian. But every german has it's own heritage. In Baden-Wrttemberg you are Schwabe or Badner in Bavaria Franke or something else ^^ I hadn't discovered how the other fraction is called :)

    Sport
    Most popular sport is soccer. And after that? Nearly nothing - millions of supporters are cheering for there favorite team, for derbys there are over 10k police officers - maybe that's the bad side but the atmosphere is great :D
    So what's the message? Stereotypes are wrong because they doesn't fit and are just damaging your attitude towards people. When you walk towards a person and think bad about him before you even know him he will never be your friend. And german friendship is true friendship. As well as i think that there's true friendship in america :)

  • Char posted:

    on 5th March 2015, 12:01:45 - Reply

    I think your post is right on. As an American married to a German its culture shock. I still cant get over how Germans blow their noses in eating establishments. I gag and get that American loud OMG and eye roll everytime!!! My husband now giggles and says remember your in Germany!!! Obviously the spreading of personal juices isnt a thought factor here. I guess its the nurse in me!!!

  • jfpotvin posted:

    on 4th January 2015, 00:56:43 - Reply

    Wow, big lack of knowledge about the good real beer we have in Canada, in particular in Quebec...

  • Italian posted:

    on 10th December 2014, 11:30:22 - Reply

    The only mistake is probably the one on the tips. Germans give tips, probably not 10%, sometimes/often they are quite tight, but the tip.
    Liebe Gr

  • Jasmin posted:

    on 15th November 2014, 23:23:05 - Reply

    I am German and most of your "facts" about Germans are not true. We always give tip and what is it about German women?
  • Bonnie posted:

    on 10th October 2014, 07:16:36 - Reply

    North American here,
    Everything is a matter of personal perspective ,
    I like what Michael said


    "I have never been to the U.S. so far but definatly want to. And i am prepared to make new best friendships that wont last even a month ;)"

    We Americans are perhaps too friendly. We are so quick to point fingers at "a**holes"
  • jenn posted:

    on 27th September 2014, 15:34:39 - Reply

    I like Germans because of their hardworking culture, down to earth and sincerity. I can understand why Germans look cold or seem To restrain themselves. It might be the result of the history which make them careful with others, so they need time to study the situation, behaviour, and attitude of others. They need time to ensure that others are having the same sincerity, not giving a hit and run relation/friendship and having expected moral quality. Americans are different in this case.
  • Hans posted:

    on 11th September 2014, 12:40:41 - Reply

    I found this article and the comments to be very interesting. The problem I have is with the extremely narrow perspective represented by almost all the writers. I was born in USA but my family is German, I have many German relatives in Germany. I understand the German mind in general, but to say it is one thing or the other, is nonsense. People are people and everywhere in the world it is much the same: all kinds of different personalities, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and perspectives. I do believe language is the greatest barrier to understanding. When a German attempts to express themselves in English, it can come across as cold or rude, but it is not the person, it is the exchange taking place in the language translation. I speak several languages, but not fluently in all of them, and I have made many mistakes when traveling or speaking to people of other countries. When this is confusion, it can be disastrous. When the reason is understood, there is always laughter. I have lived in several places in USA also, and the people from one region to another are as well very different in culture, even in use of language. I have a hard time even understanding what a New Yorker means, let alone understanding the words, and English is my first language, followed by German as my second. Nowhere but in USA can I go into a restaurant, a store, or any business, and be called "brother, friend, buddy, pal, etc." These words are meaningless here unless you have a true relationship with someone. In the South USA I am "hun, honey, babe, sweetheart, sugar pie, etc" everywhere I go, and I do not know these people, and I am none of these things to them. I am now used to it but at first it was a source of great humor, and I admit it made the people "sound" less intelligent. It is only culture. If you travel and live from place to place and do not adapt to the culture and language, yet consistently compare everything to somewhere else, you fail to grow and appreciate the differences, as well as identify with the human beings and come to see we are all the same, we all bleed red, we all love, we all have hearts, we all have beliefs. Some of the finest manufacturing over the past 200 years has been born out of Germany. A very significant number of citizens in USA originated from Germany, from the early 1700's to today. You can go to some towns in USA and feel like you are in Germany. Rude people are everywhere, in all the earth, just the same as kind, loving and generous people. It is not the country, it is the person. And in my experience, in almost every place in my travels, the government does not represent the nature of the people. You cannot mix the two and make assumptions. And every place has rules and standards, if you do not know them it feels oppressive. If you know them or grew up with them, it is only normal. One should never compare one system to another, but learn to appreciate what is produced. About the cell phone repair, has anyone not heard the old joke about the New York shoe repair shop? Months and months and still no shoes repaired... again, it is different every place, every person, every shop. One poor experience does not define a culture, a people, or a country. One should never, ever travel if they are not open minded. Better to stay where you are, where everything and everyone is familiar and you know how to function. My German family tells me I am American, not German. They see the difference, and we make jokes about it. But I have never been loved as quickly by family, friend, or stranger as readily as I have experienced in Germany. And finally, if people think Americans are not direct, rude or threatening, they have never experienced the horror of a telephone call from an (American) collection agency.
  • Heike posted:

    on 3rd August 2014, 20:03:09 - Reply

    I am born and raised in Germany and live in the US since 1991. I read all of the articles posted here and was delighted to see some people having a universal understanding of our mother earth. especially the comment about viewing the earth from space and not seeing any borders. Having lived in both countries I do appreciate all the comments made about germans and americans.
    I understand where americans come from when they think germans are rude and impolite. My work mates here in the states warned everyone to ask me questions if they wanted a polite answer, but if you want an honest one, she is the right person to ask. they really appreciated my honesty after they got to know me and over time I learned to phrase my answer in a different way, less direct I suppose. I suffered greatly under the very politeness of the americans which I perceived as deception and lying in my face. But I learned to appreciate polite and kind words and learned that negative words can be said in a much kinder, positive way and be rewarded with more positive results. As someone stated earlier it is hard to shed the way you grow up with and this is true for germans and americans alilke and at the same time a combination of the two, an open heart and mind, will create long lasting and needed changes that benefit all.
    I used to work in a cafe on weekends and the best tips I ever got where the ones from old ladies, who I knew did not have much money and when there bill was 2.80 marks they would hold my hand and give me 3 marks and said to me very sweetly: keep the rest. I think everything is relative and with an open mind and heart and being more understanding it is good to make even the smallest changes for the benefit of all.
  • Mack posted:

    on 2nd August 2014, 13:18:46 - Reply

    Half the fun in getting to know people is in figuring out stuff about them without them telling you so this American mentality of asking and telling people about salaries is not only a sick way to categorise people by means of wealth but a shortcut to getting to know people that inevitably ends with you getting the wrong impression of someone or vice versa. I lolled hard at most of this article it is so backwards, especially the part where you try to show them a 'better' way of doing something.
  • snakela posted:

    on 25th July 2014, 02:59:41 - Reply

    The question with the salary and how much the property is worth cannot be compared to questions about oneself. It's no double standards. If someone asks you about your family, what your dreams are, what you like, what you hate... those are quite personal questions but they are not too personal, as you give them a bit about yourself and they can make a picture of how you are like and vice versa. To know how much money somebody makes doesn't tell you anything about them. "Oh you make so-and-so-much money a year. Thanks. You could still be the biggest arsehole as well as the nicest person in the world." To ask somebody how much they make is pretty rude considering that it's not anybody's business. What do you care about how much they make? You are not their boss or salary-supervisor or whatever... It won't give you a different picture of how their personality might be. (Except maybe that they are very greedy or something like that). Hence, no double-standards.
  • Nato posted:

    on 21st July 2014, 14:24:01 - Reply

    I've lived in Germany for about 8 months, and I share the author's impressions. Before any Germans yell at me, I've made some great German friends and I've had a wonderful time.

    I love the weather, bakeries, and the Muslims here are super friendly and generous. One of my foreigner friends here got super lost, and a Turkish guy walked with him across town to make sure he got where he was going. One of my best friends here is Moroccan and has helped me out tremendously.

    That said, I've met a ton of Besserwissers and Klugscheissers here. Re: customer service, most service workers treat me with indifference or disdain. I speak pretty good German, and most Germans can't tell I'm not German until I speak for a while, so I don't think that's just because I'm American.

    For instance, one time I asked a waiter where we should sit, he didn't make eye contact, just told me "wherever." When we sat down at an empty table he came over and explained that table was the wrong one, but wouldn't say why, and didn't ask us to leave. He just wanted to make sure we knew we were wrong.

    I asked a clerical lady once "Wie geht es Ihnen?" (what thought was a friendly "how are you?") and she just about ripped my head off. How dare I ask such an impertinent question to a stranger! We were not friends, and she wanted to make sure I knew that.

    Sure, they're friendly once you become friends with them, but in what country are people jerks to their friends? Is that really a high standard?

    Also, I don't like how people are born and raised here, but because their parents or grandparents were Turkish or Asian, they'll never be "real Germans."
  • erik posted:

    on 13th July 2014, 11:07:21 - Reply

    Oh, chill out! This guy didn't do anything but described his perception of Germany and how he sees things. I really thought you German people were more cool about things but it looks like you are just uptight and easily offended, which proves that the author was right. Nothing in his column sounds like an attack to the German society and culture, on the contrary, he explains from the very beginning that there is no comparison with America, as the two societies are just different. Interestingly, all the people who preach against Americans being unfairly critical to Germany, are doing exactly the same thing. Comments such as: no wonder Americans are detested everywhere they go, are nothing but a proof of how insecure you are and not capable of having an objective approach to a discussion meant to point out differences and educate people who are about to start a new life in a new country, and not a competitive, mean conflict of who is better. I have lived in both countries and in my opinion, they both suck!
  • Andrea posted:

    on 11th July 2014, 22:55:37 - Reply

    @ Arabella

    Right now the labour market offers good opportunities, but it also depends a lot on your education. These days we have a lot of immigration of high qualified young people from Spain and Italy, so there is a lot of competition. As a student, you should be able to find a typical student job: waitress, working in production or something of that kind. Good luck, I am sure you will make the right decision for you! If you choose to come to Germany have a great time!!
  • Andrea posted:

    on 11th July 2014, 22:49:52 - Reply

    @Tommy

    I completely agree with you. This article is nothing else than a summary of old stereotypes, no matter how stupid or absurd they may be.
    V e r y hard to believe that this person ever lived in Germany.....
  • arabella posted:

    on 24th May 2014, 11:43:06 - Reply

    Hi everyone,I am Nigerian,and planning to go to Germany for a degree,I want to know how employment is in Germany,and also what sort of part time job can be gotten over there as a student..l av an HND from a Nigerian polytechnic.....I just need advice whether to remain in Nigeria with my average paying job(but my friends and familysee it as a good pay) or still cosider travelling to Germany to equip myself more for a better future....please a quick response will be appreciated
  • tommy posted:

    on 3rd May 2014, 01:31:09 - Reply

    I was hesitating to comment on this, but I couldn't help myself. Most of the things in this article are simply made up and a huge lie. It ranges from attitude to wages (a waitress getting paid 15 euros per hour? most don't make half of that). I see this article is ment to be a light, entertaining piece of insight. But its brutally wrong in most parts.

    I think the author gathers its information from TV shows or vivid dreams while being high and you are really rendering a bad service and a load of misinformation to many ppl who are interested in the topic.

    As harsh as it sounds, but this article should really be removed or revised as it misleads its readers and might actually lead them into a conflict situation if they buy this.

    Best regards!
  • Mat DeNero posted:

    on 22nd February 2014, 18:04:10 - Reply

    Reading this column and responses makes me realize why American (and British) "expats" are detested everywhere they go!
  • John posted:

    on 19th February 2014, 02:14:37 - Reply

    I'm American and have lived in Germany for a year. The most repulsive difference I have found is the justification for saying a mean thing because it "is true". Some here will tell you you are lazy or wrong or stupid or always late or whatever horrible thing and then find their conscience entirely clean simply because they believed their statement to be a true fact. It doesn't matter if you are close friends or strangers. Not everyone is like this, but this is the extreme being lambasted here. You tell them what they said was mean and they say "but it is true" as if somehow honesty and kindness are the same thing. What baloney. And then of course you get labeled as overly sensitive. Mysteriously these folks don't consider themselves overly sensitive in any of the hundreds of tantrums they throw before lunch.

    This goes along with the aversion to over-friendliness. These truth worshipping extremists regard it as insulting to smile when you are not genuinely happy to see someone because that would be a lie. I've heard of German parents booing their little children after they put on a cute little play that wasn't particularly well delivered because clapping would have been dishonest and God forbid they should express false approval of a subpar children's play and forever mislead the poor kid into thinking he did a good job.
  • Jenny posted:

    on 17th February 2014, 10:25:58 - Reply

    I'm German and have lived in the US for many years. There are pros and cons to both. No doubt that Americans are more polite to strangers and freer thinkers. I've seen Germans try to tell my husband that he's not American that he's from the USA.He sarcastically replied, "I'm not a USAer!" Later in the same conversation, they said that he didn't speak English that he spoke American. He replied, "wouldn't that be USAian?" They weren't even consistent in their condescension.

    That said, it is true that for the most part Americans make acquaintances more than friends. But they do also make life long friends too. It varies greatly from region to region in both countries too.

    In general, going out in the US is more fun because you can actually interact and meet new people. Germans make much nicer cities and a better environment on the whole. American cities tend to be dirty, haphazard and rather depressing.

    It depends on what you are looking for. When I was younger, America was more fun. Now that I am older and more family focused, I think Germany is better. I do have an issue with indoctrination in both countries.

    American schools are for the most part awful but you have the option to homeschool. I don't like Germany's forced school laws. I see how they are afraid that fundamentalists will segregate their children but I do also believe that my husband and I are the best judges of what's good for our children. However, we are university educated caring parents. Many are not. How do you make a law that covers everyone?

    Unfortunately, you can't cherrypick what you like about each and create your own country. You have to weigh each on its merits and faults.

    Hmm... I wonder what it's like to live in Norway.
  • Villas posted:

    on 10th February 2014, 23:10:44 - Reply


    I've been living and work n Germany (Stuttgart) as scientist for 10 years. I am from Spain. Germans have the most "comunist" thinking from the word although the political system is not. They are also a "Police State". You are punished (bestraft) even for very insignificant delicts (for example you do not sort properly the garbage). They are rigid and they think and the live only in "templates". My luck is that in academic world where I work there are many foreigners. And all have the same impression about germans. I hope that soon to find a position in the USA (I lived for 1 year in Austin / Texas and it was wonderfull )
  • Terry posted:

    on 7th February 2014, 10:42:02 - Reply

    I've been living in Germany for 33 years, if it Would be possible to combine
    German and American Ideals Germany and America Would be a better Place to live. Like Health ,unemployment ,vacation,benifits are in Germany Alot better than in the US.
    Both Germans and Americans are to believe , Where they are is the best Way of Life. We're both being Kept alittle Dumb. Thats the Way both countries want it. Think about it?
  • mensur posted:

    on 31st January 2014, 11:01:23 - Reply

    I come from another part of Europe and I have been staying in Germany for some months... what I can say is that I am surprised how true this article is. Nothing is bad on this article, it just how Germans are. There are good and bed sides of it.
  • werwe posted:

    on 29th January 2014, 16:47:48 - Reply

    This seems funny to read as an open-minded, non-German, person. Trying not to stereotype, it seems clear that this American fellow is imposing his existing beliefs onto the German culture. He even did the typical "back in America.." or the "this way is better" mentality that is not cohesive to travelling and learning new cultures. I see this piece as a post with some factual knowledge, a lot of stereotyping, and an effort to impose one way of thinking on the German culture and those reading. I am taking it with a grain of salt, however thank you for sharing your experiences George Behrendt.
  • Peter posted:

    on 3rd January 2014, 01:36:38 - Reply

    Hi,

    I am German and live in a small town near to Cologne.
    In general I would say the article is not very good. Many things are correct, but a lot of the "facts" are simply wrong.

    - Germans dont tip??? What a nonsense, you only dont have to.
    - Charge for no service? Never had this experience. You were obviously in the wrong shop.
    - Hunting: Great... Just give people the idea it would be possible to hung here... It needs 6 to 12 month to get a licence. By the way it is one of the hardest exams. Then you can apply for a rifle and then you only need a rich friend who spends 20.000€ to 50.000€ every year for a hunting ground, who allows you to hunt...
    - "Most Germans do not like to be shown a different or better way to do a project. They tend to block any changes, ideas, or alterations to the current thinking. " yeah, this is maybe the reason why there are no innovations in Germany.... Most of our cars are still pulled by horses... Dont mix doing something structured with blocking ideas etc.
    - "Another thing is that I find most Germans tend to be extremely private in nature. They do not want to talk about the money they have or make. On the other hand, they want to know all about you." Wrong. It is considered rude to ask what you have or make. They wont ask you what you make or tell you what they make. Money is nice, but if you see a big house, big car and so on... These guys are not really rich, their money is "new" or they are Russians :-)
    - "I must add to these seemingly adverse comments of mine, that there are also many Germans who will help you at no charge once they get to know who you are…..most of these particular Germans have spent much time in the States or Canada." Oh, I love this part. Every nice German spent time in the States... This must be like a school to be a good person over there... r u kidding me?
    - And last but not least:This is like the best idea ever "
    But if you make the time you might be able to show them a better way or more proficient way to do things." Really we love it if someone from abrought, esspecially the States, comes and tells us how to do things. You really know how to make friends.... Hahaha.

    Sorry for beeing so straight, but as you learned it is in my nature. No, really, the article is worth reading but is written a liitle arrogant with not much knowledge.
  • some one posted:

    on 17th December 2013, 22:38:15 - Reply

    "But if you make the time you might be able to show them a better way or more proficient way to do things."

    A very condescending demeanor, as if you were in a position to tell all of Germany how to do its job better.
  • Simone posted:

    on 12th November 2013, 03:51:29 - Reply

    I have been living in the States now for around 2 years and must say that during this period of time, I have learned to appreciate the German mindset. I have problems to bear all this "sugar coating" over here. If you don't mean things, just don't say them. I prefer someone giving me an honest and direct answer/feedback. Yes, indeed. It may take longer to "get through" to a German person in general but then you can count on that person at least. Here you mostly encounter people that quickly call you a friend but once you really need one, they are not there for you in the end.
    Personally, I wouldn't consider Germans as being that rude although there is - as in any other country - rude people, for sure. I guess it's just based on a cultural difference that Americans would see it that way. You guys sugar coat, we slap it around your ears...
    I truly don't think that I can generalize my opinion about America. The US are a huge country and same as in Germany, mentalities do vary from north to south. I'm living close to Philadelphia and - I'm sorry to say so - have met a lot of rude people in this area here. People not greeting you back, people brushing you off, people getting personal with you. I work in retail and it happens quite often that people walk in and cut you off in the middle of a conversation with someone else. Or they go like "The toilets?" and once you explain to them there is not even a "thanks".
    Customer service in the States versus Germany? In Germany people just respect the rules. Over here people very often just whine and complain until they get something out they may not even be entitled to...
  • chris posted:

    on 9th November 2013, 04:51:10 - Reply

    hey mod why u deleted my extrapost ther was no cursing or something in it
    ?????
  • Chris posted:

    on 8th November 2013, 08:57:46 - Reply

    Im a german from born in bavarian. I lived over years in different parts of Germany. And i absolutely agree to this article if you understand this part: What I write is true and factual. However, the negatives I mention are pointed to the 50 populace and the populace that have not experienced anything other than Germany. The experienced German traveller understands manners and politeness. As everywhere on world i recon already differences between People from different states that is in germany and in any other country. I always couldnt understand if people with immigration background told me; U germans are cold impolite humorless........ cause i just traveld and had living expierence on different places in germany. So finally i traveld after years a lot in Europe and i have to say we germans are an exception also in Europe. AND AGAIN AS THE WRITER ALREADY MENTIONED its for thos only germans never seen something else guys and we are cold and structure no left or right not really openminded. But this is also Wordwilde matter that i hate just People they are not Openminded and able to do conversations and forget if they meet foreigners to bring up a lot of patience for foreigners as they expect for themselves. Still we are uniqe and i agree to the stereotypes they fit mostly for every country with they own but the prop is EVERY INDIVIDUAL SHOULD ASK HIMSELF AM I REALLY TOLLERANT AM I REALLY PATIENCE, OPENMINDED AND CURIOUS. OR I M HAPPY WITH BEEING AFRAID OF CHANGES AND STRANGERS THINGS AND JUST WANNA STAY IN TEXAS BAVARIAN CHINA BLA BLA BLA AND BE A STEROTYPE think and do go and discover and important TALK EXPLAIN TO EACH OTHER WITHOUT FEAR AND A LOT OF HUMOR AND HAVE THE BALLS TO ARGUEE AND FIND PEACE AGAIN [Edited by moderator]
  • papapap posted:

    on 5th November 2013, 02:24:19 - Reply

    "They think straight ahead and do not consider a little to the left or right of a condition." - They plan and once a plan is made it's hard to change something.

    "German women:I will not even try to go there because I will be killed. Trust me though, they are unique and not always in a good way."
    I'd really like to learn more about that :-D

    "They will walk in front of you, bump into you, step on your foot and look at you as if it was your fault." it sounds like Germans are Idiots lol well actually they are just very "correct" and if you mind their rules nobody will bump into you or whatever :D

    "Germans as a rule do not tip." Have you eaten in a fast food restaurant? lol of course they do :D

    Customer Service: oh my gosh :-D no comment^^ really had to laugh when I've read through that^^ you should read something about laws :-) can't imagine that Germans will accept a broken cell phone after "it was repaired"

    "Two days in the spring and two days in the fall where you are allowed to burn leaves and other items." Where did you live? I've never heard about that before (I've spent 20 years in Germany at different places)

    Business hours: it's 16:00 (on Fridays and Saturdays)
    " If Frau Schmidt is the purchasing department, and she is sick or goes on vacation, guess what? Nothing happens in that department until she returns. " yeah, maybe Frau Schmidt doesn't have the money to hire someone, because her business isn't running so well :-) (but it's her own!) by the way: you can also find supermarkets in little villages, so I guess every Frau Schmidt will retire soon ;-) (I never had to drive more than 10 km. almost everyone who lives in the countryside has a car)

    I think you don't know much about Germans. Maybe you'll find out more at your next stay ;-)
  • Robert posted:

    on 4th October 2013, 15:53:46 - Reply

    Great post. I have lived in Baden-Württemberg for 3 years now. I guess I was just searching for confirmation of what others thought of Germany and came across your post. I live in a small village near Schwäbisch Hall which is one of the coolest German towns I have been to since being here. Great Schnitzel burger by the bridge in the center of town. I have been to München for a soccer game and also October Feast and toured the city twice now. The trip on the Bahn to the soccer stadium was insane to say the least. Bayern fans are completely crazy football fans. As for the October fest I went last year and again I have to use the word insane. Millions and I do mean MILLIONS of drunk people from basically all walks of life but mostly Germans. They do love their beer and so do I. Bread and beer are best in the world and I have broke bread and drank beer in a lot of country’s. With all that said and the fact that I live in Baden-Württemberg I would have to agree with you completely on your assessment of the culture here. My wife is a native Schwäbian and was even born in Schwäbisch Hall and she even says the people in this state are rude and look miserable all the time. She says its completely different if you live up by Berlin west and Hamburg. I tend to agree. We have been all over Germany since we have been here. We just actually got back from the Blank Forest to buy a Cookoo clock This past weekend. Triberg is absolute beauty. Week before the Volksfest in Crailsheim. They say the second best fest in the west next to October Fest in München. We go to Frankfurt and Stuttgart all the time and we love Frankfurt. So as an American I am starting to acclimate to the way of life. YES, A LOT OF RULES, and I hate rules of any kind. Thing is they all seem to serve an order or purpose and if you don’t break rules then great place to live. I think about the humor here. I think I have figured it out and its mostly a language thing. As American we just say things kinda backwards to them so it just doesn’t come out funny and vise versa. I Also think about the relationship point you made. I have found out over time that I would take two real friends in Germany than ten fake USA friends. When German’s state that you are friends they stand by it. Not like most so called American friendships. No plastic people in Germany. As for tipping in this area it is the same as posted before. You don't have to and its not expected but when you do they really appreciate it and the service gets better because of it. If you don't the service stays the same which isn't bad. As to a previous post above someone said they wanted to move here. All the power to you but learn the language. As Americans we expect the same. Also you can not stay here long unless you know the language and work and you have to know the language to have permission to work. So in closing I have to say a great post. Enjoyed it and I have started to enjoy my stay here. Looking forward to Berlin in the Spring and more castles, wurst, and beer. Danke! [Edited by moderator]
  • Shaun posted:

    on 28th September 2013, 21:29:13 - Reply

    There is a reason why SOME German's don't like or appear to be agitated with Americans; most of which is telling while reading this article and through the comments. It's the idea that everything is better in America or the way things are done in America is THE WAY to do it; rather than understanding that things are different and great in a different way. If you CHOOSE to be open-minded and step outside of the American expectations that you have, you would quickly see this. I spent many years living in Germany, multiple places, and even as an American, I'm offended by the nonsense I'm reading on here. I honestly had NOTHING but friendly encounters and great experiences while living in Germany. The people were great and always very helpful. In fact, while living in Bavaria, I went to a hardware shop and purchased A LOT of wood. As accustomed as I am to such places in America, I expected that this shop in Oberweisenacker accepted credit cards. I was wrong. I didn't get annoyed by it, I just apologized to the gentleman helping me and told him I would return later with cash to make the purchase. The man said, "No problem, you can take now and pay later." He let me leave with a couple hundred euro worth of wood in good faith that I would return and pay later. He didn't know me and had no idea if I would return with money. There isn't a place in America that I've been (and I've been all over) that would let you off with a couple hundred dollars of any product and trust that you'll come back with the money. I returned and paid the man (with interest) and thanked him for his kindness. This is one of many stories like this that I could share. Most people that I know that have gone to Germany to visit or live and had negative things to say about it, were very close minded individuals. To me, that's their issue and it's unfortunate for them that they were not able to appreciate or experience the beautiful people and German culture that I did. I am actively looking to return to Germany and I cannot wait to get back. It's an amazing place to live!
  • Tobias posted:

    on 16th September 2013, 13:43:09 - Reply

    The tipping is a very odd section in this article and has been discussed quite a lot over the web and even in the comment section. First of all, you are do not have to tip, and I haven't met a single waiter or waitress becoming angry or rolling his/her eyes or something. Especially among people with low income (students, the youth,..) it's okay just to pay the actual bill. The tip is also often measures as the sense of it - if the service was good, there is a tip and it increases with the service. The tip also raises with the total amount - e.g. tipping 1.50 Euro for a 30 Euro bill is fine, but if you had a party of 15 members and the bill is 150 Euro you should consider tipping 5 Euros. I often round up to the next euro and add one Euro as tip. E.g. 33.40 Euro is 35.00 for me - 1.60 Euro tip. That's fine. As said, it's optional. And I think it's good and the very point of tipping. In one restaurant the waiter rather cleaned up the desks around the table were my family and me were waiting for the menu we simply didn't tip a single cent - why would we?

    Apart from that, what's with the cellphone story? It sounds like Germany has no service at all with random charges for no service. I have never seen that and almost no German would pay for a unmodified cellphone. We have some consumer protection laws here, too. Going to say Germans pay everything might be true for the European Union, but not for private households.
  • Anne-Marie posted:

    on 10th September 2013, 14:15:17 - Reply

    It's is difficult to stereotype the German thinking - since they are quite international. Most Germans travel (a lot) while most Americans don't own a passport. Maybe Germans are traditional compared to some other cultures, but that is not the same as resistant to change or learn. Watch some German television shows and find that they have a great sense of humor and many wonderful comedians. Germany is one of the largest and leading EU countries with good economic health. Many German cities are very international with expat communities and high quality living / life standards. The gorgeous historic buildings and castles are part of the German charm and heritage - just like fairytales. Most cities have actual historic city centers with restaurants and shops. Compared to Americans - Germans are more "difficult to get to know": they don't instantly invite you over for a BBQ or immediately consider you "their new best friend". Maybe some Germans are considered stingy (with tips)....but not the more cosmopolitan ones. When you travel to Germany for business - don't underestimate them. Germans carry earned titles with great pride and hierarchy and seniority matters. Dress formal and be polite. If you ask: "How are you?" - expect them to answer. Germany has local habits, differences and food. Embrace the things you love, accept the things you don't - and you will have a wonderful German experience. Don't attempt to fix something that isn't broken. The German way isn't worse or better than the American way - just a bit different.
  • Michael posted:

    on 25th July 2013, 16:27:18 - Reply

    Hi all, i am also a from Germany.

    YES we/i do give tips. But in my opionion a tip has to be earned through good service. my credo is good service=good tip (up to 5-8€), bad service=no tip. I was allways wondering why there is an automatic-tip on the bills in the U.S. until i learned that the waitress only earn a minimal fee per hour. Normaly a waitress/waiter earns from 7€ up to 15€ per hour depending on where she/he works and what part of the country you are.

    When you visit germany and have a problem, we as a people find it most charming if you at least try to speak some german (it creates a feeling of respect). Most of us can speak better english then we would admit ,believe it or not we are a humble people, and will fast release you from this akward situation and grand you any support we can give.

    !!!Quality is more important then quantity !!! We are a honest people (this does not goes for politicians).This is most important and shouldnt be forgotten when you encounter germans. We value straight forward honest words and hate dancing around issues. We dont laugh false laughs about bad jokes. We tell you when you smell of sweat to your face, not to be rude, but to prevent you from attracting negativ attention. Cheesy smiles isnt our way. If you cant bare honesty you should take a shower before leaving the house :)

    "Germans in general tend to be rude (older generation and country people). They will walk in front of you, bump into you, step on your foot and look at you as if it was your fault."
    Explenation: We are a hierarchic society. Show some respect to elder people. If you are in hurry just ask if you can pass by. Dont walk against the waves!
    When riding in a bus and you see that an elder women/men has no seat stand up and offer it to him. You are probably younger then them and got still good feet. Same goes for small kids/wifes and pregnant wifes! Be Gentlemen!

    I have never been to the U.S. so far but definatly want to. And i am prepared to make new best friendships that wont last even a month ;)
  • Kersey posted:

    on 23rd July 2013, 23:47:04 - Reply

    I am an American who wishes to live in Germany...to be there again. I own nothing here, now, and I need to find a way to get there and survive. I thank Georg Behrendtand the author of this article for a great view of what really to expect. I plan to go soon, after I finish my plans for how to get there on nothing. Again thanks everyone for an insight.
    ~kersey
  • Aryan posted:

    on 1st July 2013, 11:24:20 - Reply

    I was in Germany for quite sometime and I really enjoyed my stay. Germans are very friendly with their gesture, extend their helpful hand and very objective. They are very clear as what they want and yes they will tell you right on your face if something can't be done which is good. I have very good German friends and they willingly help me.

    After travelling across the world, I agree with Ria and Christine that we need to be "open-minded" and not judge people based on how a certain section of a society behave with us. Everywhere you will find the good and the bad and the choice to choose is your's!
  • Christine posted:

    on 30th June 2013, 11:19:06 - Reply

    Hi all, I'm from Germany, too. I've lived abroad in the US during my last high school year and really enjoyed it.
    I think Ria is really getting the point: There are good and bad people all around the world. And it's important to find the right people for you wherever you are.
    We grow up with certain cultural values. Some people stick to them all their life, others open up and discover new ways. And of course, there are many facettes in between. Also, of course, this is a process and we get caught by surprise every time we come across a "new" reaction / way of thinking.
    Personally, I believe, it's important to stay open and not judge a whole society / group of people because of some "surprising" moments. As Levi said, there's usually a reason.
    Take Care! ;-)
  • ria posted:

    on 12th May 2013, 19:48:54 - Reply

    hi everybody, i am a german living abroad for many years now and having worked with a lot of people of different cultures. when i read the article about germans i could not believe that was actually talking about germans. [Edited by moderator]. i find a lot of the contents is also simply not true. i often hear bad comments about americans - i do not know, i find them quite nice. what i have learnt is, if you live abroad and you get in contact with the wrong people you easily start thinking that everybody is the same. it is not like that. it is always important to find the good people. be open and try to discover the beauty of a person.
  • Jean posted:

    on 14th April 2013, 15:05:27 - Reply

    Germans DO tip in restaurants, usually about 10%, but not usually in hairdressers, if they do, then only 1 euro or so. We have a german friend originally from east germany who simply does not want to tip, so, it may be applicable to folk from the east. And, most waiters/waitresses do not earn much more than 7 euros, some even less, so it is really necessary to tip.
  • Natasha posted:

    on 23rd December 2012, 15:43:52 - Reply

    I am of Dutch-German origin and have lived in the US for quite a while. Soon I might live there again. I love the US, the Netherlands and Germany all alike. And I love the stereotypes presented in this article. Especially I love the total lack of self-reflection of passages like: "Germans who will help you at no charge once they get to know who you are…..most of these particular Germans have spent much time in the States or Canada."

    Well, you can either choose to think as (e.g. an American) that "Most Germans are the same and rude, structured and humorless." You can also (e.g. as a German) choose to think that "Most US-Americans are the same and arrogant, naive and always believe they are the good guys no matter what their government does." Due to selective perception you will then only meet rude, structured and humorless Germans and arrogant, naive and self-convinced Americans. This is exactly what the world needs today in its present state.

    You can also choose to let go of what the media have taught you and really get to know people. Then you might discover that there's nothing like "the Germans" or "the Americans" but a diverse, fascinating world with billions of fascinatingly unique individuals. The price you pay is the emotional support of us-and-them-thinking but you may realize that the world is a much greater, more diverse and colorful place than you have ever thought possible. Looking at earth from space there are no national borders. Nationality is an illusion we have designed due to our insecurity.
  • jack posted:

    on 19th December 2012, 00:23:50 - Reply

    I went to Germany for a visit. my friend who is a dentist said "welcome to the most impolite country of the world"
  • Erwin posted:

    on 30th September 2012, 05:05:09 - Reply

    I met a german women on holidays and really began a good conversation and having a good dinner. Unfortunately had to fly out the next day but manage to get a business address. I followed up with an email and flowers to thank her for the lovely dinner (Dutch treat by the way). I then received a cold email it was not what she expected. Overwhelmed...I explained that in North America we do nurture friendship by many ways. Here is where i really got confused. On the email back she said Friendship is earned over many years. I thought we had began our friendship that night over dinner. I don't know if its a polite brush -off or is this tradition? Now she would not respond on my emails. I really liked her and was willing to take the long route but It seems I got shut out.
  • pim posted:

    on 18th September 2012, 07:44:35 - Reply

    I lived in Germany for a year in NRW during my university years('06-'07) and what I liked the most of german people is that when you asked them for a favour and they couldn't help you they would tell you right away, thus not losing your time waiting for a response, even if it might be harsh. They wouldn't say "yeah sure, I'll get back to you" and then it wasn't going to happen. On the other hand, if they could help you they would and never flake on you.
  • Levi posted:

    on 22nd October 2011, 21:38:13 - Reply

    I am also a non-German living in Germany, and I laughed most of the way through this article... mostly because it is actually very accurate in many many ways. But also because I, too, have discovered that I often come across as critical and condescending by focusing on the (MANY MANY) differences between Germans and our culture. The truth is, however, as Georg has written, it is mostly the older folks, especially rural people and those with little exposure to anything besides the little "dorf" where they grew up. I have found that yes, on the one hand it can be incredibly difficult to get a German to loosen up and smile.... but on the other hand, once they do you will discover that they have the biggest and softest hearts you can imagine. And while they are incredibly crusty, rigid, negative,critical, nitpicking, resistant to change, and defensive people (generalizing of course) I have discovered that they are this way because it is the culture in which they have grown up. If you were always criticized and verbally taken apart, you would also grow a thick skin and begin relating to everyone else around you in the exact same way. If you were raised in a society where change was equated with uncertainty and instability, you would come to fear it too. If you were raised under a government which dictated to you every aspect of your life, beginning with mandatory schooling at the age of six (yes, mandatory, this is enforced by threat of police visits and possible removal of parenting rights) then you would come to view authority as the final ultimate word and you would submit yourself to something if you have never known any other way of seeing the world. I could say so much more if I didnt have to hurry all of a sudden, but lets just sum it up. Germans are EVERYTHING they are stereotyped to be, but Germans are also some of the most beautiful hearted people you will ever meet and the criticisms we heap on them is not anymore deserved than their stereotyping of us Americans in some of the demeaning ways I have heard.
  • Michael posted:

    on 3rd October 2011, 18:16:01 - Reply

    I am German. I do not want to comment the rest of your article, but your statement that "Germans as a rule do not tip" is grossly wrong. Tipping IS the rule, I personally know nobody who wouldn't do it. There's one exception to the rule though: You don't tip if you know the guy who served you is the owner of the restaurant. Or in self-service situations. I personally know a waitress in a rather fine restaurant in Bavaria who get only 7 EUR per hour and wouldn't survive if Germans didn't tip.