How Are You In German 

How Are You In German 

Take a look at what I came across the other day. It’s about what a German would say to anyone having the idea of wanting to emigrate to Germany and the first thing they’d have to be able to speak would, of course, be How Are You in German. To all those looking to emigrate to Germany, please check out this video:

Do you think the German’s have particular character traits? If so what do you think they are?

Germans are engineers. That’s what we are known for. Great inventions, efficiency, order, and cleanness. Most of them still exist, but we are losing our capabilities slowly.

The education system is not very efficient and there are no or only a few incentives to be creative and innovative. Of course, we are still producing a lot of patents, but when I see the young Germans of today…

What do you like about Germany?

I like that we care about resource usage and environmental impact. I like our bakeries and butchers, I like German supermarkets, not because of their open hours or friendliness, but because of their variety of good food.

I like our Cafes where you can sit outside in the summer and enjoy your cup of coffee. I like the German infrastructure. I like our newspapers and public televisions (but it is getting worse). Well, in America, there are so many people who know you’re German when…

We build real houses, sometimes too expensive, but mostly solid and energy efficient. German cars are great and I am not talking about the expensive ones…

And what do you not like?

Well, we have a way too serious attitude towards everything. Our humor is questionable and you need permission for everything. (Personal note: I understand this point but I have to be honest – there are so many things that we’ve picked up since we’ve been living in America!)

We are making way too many compromises in terms of new rights, laws, or foreign politics. We cannot make it right for anybody, but we try and this leads to overcomplicated laws and overall frustration about politics.

I do not like that we lost our national pride and I am not talking about nationalism here. We should be proud to be German and be proud of our education system like the Americans are of theirs. We should be sorry for the things we have done in the past to the world but this is history. It should never happen again of course, but this requires also, that we feel and act as an accepted nation.

Do you think that Germany and German society are correctly portrayed abroad or are there still prejudices and distorted views towards us?

As soon as I mention “I am German” the first reactions typically are: Beer, Munich, Cars, Autobahn. While beer, cars, and autobahn are fine for me, because it stands for German engineering, I feel insulted by the thought “Munich equals Germany”. Some people really think we wear Lederhosen and eat Schnitzels all day long (though there’s nothing wrong with eating Schnitzels as we recently did at our Charlotte New Year Celebration – personal note!).

Germans are mostly considered humorless and grouchy… well, I think that’s true. We just complain about anything and feel somehow like Atlas, who carried the entire world on his shoulders.

I have never had any problems with German history, e.g. both world wars. Of course, this is often a topic of talks and discussions with friends or people I have met, but nobody every expressed hate or antipathy. What they do tell me is that they’re maybe not that fond of typical American Food like Roast Turkey (personal note: that’s really hard for me to understand! Besides schnitzels, Roast Turkey is among my American favorites!)

If you knew a foreigner who plans to come to Germany in order to live and work here – what word of advice would you offer him?

That’s a difficult question.

  1. Do not be irritated by the German impoliteness.
  2. Take the train and walk through the cities.
  3. Learn some German, because a lot of people do not speak Englisch or at least not very well.
  4. Make friends. German friendship is hard to earn but will last a lifetime.

Your blog deals with different aspects of German life as well. Please tell us a little about it.

I like to comment on typical German attributes, such as missing politeness, arrogance, and the egoistic view on other car drivers and pedestrians. Of course, I also write about typos in newspapers and on web pages, give my opinion about German politics and so on.
What I see is what you get.

My personal note: Well. I’m telling you: German is so much easier than you may think! Speaking German is real “FUNVERGNÜGEN”. Just think of the number of German words that we use when we’re ordering food! The language we use, American English, is so FULL of original German words!


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