The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138129   Message #3162529
Posted By: GUEST
30-May-11 - 06:53 AM
Thread Name: BS: Culture clash, German-US/Brit
Subject: RE: BS: Culture clash, German-US/Brit
Interesting Article Keith is drawing our attention to, but sometimes a little or more wrong.

It took a lot of time for my wife to train me to use bitte and danke again, because in the service and later in the firemen's brigade we were taught to suppress it to spare valuable time, e.g. compare the call ammo! with would you be so kind to hand me over a fresh box of rifle ammunition, please?

In general we Germans prefer politeness, too. These bloody metropolitans in Berlin and otherwhere may have forgotten how to be polite, but in rural areas it is still usual not "to fall with the door into the house", but to start talking with some phrases of interest about family, cattle, seed and harvest before coming to the cause of the visit. Or so was it in my youth.
Sure we have to use the English word small talk, but what about your kindergarten?

And now to Richard's joke. It is from those dirty years of Nazi terror and prosecution. The scene is a concentration camp, and the chain handing bricks consists of a class much more erudite than their brutal and stupid SS watchmen. The captives are steadily murmuring when handing over the bricks, an a watchman coming nearer hears "Bitte, Herr Doktor - Danke, Herr Doktor". A clash of cultures, isn't it?

And now let us do what we should have started with. Let us talk about the weather.