If there’s one country that people seem to love stereotyping, it’s Germany. Perhaps it’s from the image of Germans that Hollywood movies give, but I always find that people hardly ever give you a neutral response when you mention the word “Germany” or “Germans.”
Person: Hey, so I’m moving to Iceland.
Everyone: Well then have fun. Remember to bring a parka.
Person: Hey, so I’m moving to Germany.
Response 1: OMG Oktoberfest!!! Chug! Chug! Chug!
Response 2: OMG you should go to Berlin! I was in Berlin for a month and I can’t even remember it…that’s how epic it was!!!
Response 3: Why Germany?! Aren’t they still Nazis?!
Response 4: Hope you like sausages and schnitzel!
And while most Germans will blame Bavarians for all their stereotypes, being a Canadian living in Germany, I can’t help but notice some of these stereotypes on a day to day basis (I live in Baden-Württemberg). While most stereotypes aren’t fully true (how can you say a country of 80 million people are all the same?), some I do find hilariously true to a certain extent. After living in Germany for a few months now, here’s my observations on the most popular German stereotypes. Do I agree? Or disagree? Read more to find out!
Germans are very punctual
One of my German friends told me that Germans consider it better “to be 30 minutes early, than 5 minutes late,” which I find true. What I find amusing is how some Germans will search up schedules on the Deutsche Bahn website, so it’s not even, “Hey, let’s meet at around 5,” but rather, “Hey, let’s meet at exactly 17.27.” And when they say 17.27, you better be there at 17.27.
Of course when you do run late, they’ll tell you it’s fine, but underneath their happy, smiling exterior, you can totally sense their disappointment. Unless of course, you blame the transportation. In the land of punctuality, for some reason the Deutsche Bahn is never fully reliable. All Germans seem united in their hatred for the Deutsche Bahn, so just work that into your excuse, and your tardiness will be forgiven.
Germans are very efficient and love making schedules
When I first noticed my 26 year old roommate penciling in all his plans on his wall calendar and computer calendar, I was definitely pretty surprised. Sure, it’s common to write down deadlines for school assignments, and work shifts, but I was surprised that everything from “call so and so” and “grocery shopping” were all written down. While not all Germans I’ve met do this, most of them do like having a plan for the day.
There’s no “Hey, let’s hang out sometime!” because that would be too vague, and perhaps bordering on chaotic for a structured German day. Instead, I find Germans to really want a purpose in everything (perhaps so they can pencil it into their schedules). So instead, something like “Hey, let’s meet for coffee on Thursday at exactly 17.27” would be the correct German response.
Germany is the country of insurance companies
I’ve never heard of this stereotype until I moved to Germany, but when I did move, one of the first things I’ve noticed was this word “Versicherung.” And it would be everywhere – elegantly written across large fancy buildings, to every other commercial on TV with cute puppies and flowers mentioning this word “Versicherung.” I thought it must have been something exciting, mystical and very European, until I found out that it meant insurance.
Germans are cold
Ironically, the first time I’ve met a bunch of Germans was when I backpacked across Australia. There, I made lots of German friends and had the time of my life partying with them almost every night. So when I told people back in Canada that I was planning on moving to Germany, and people would respond with, “those Germans seem like really cold people,” I was genuinely surprised.
Living in Germany, I can sort of see why people think that. Back in Canada, if you go to any given bar or club, there’s always guys wanting to buy you drinks. If you walk down the street, it’s likely you’ll get chatted up. You get hit on at the bus stop, marriage proposals in the food court, and someone always seems to make jokes in the elevator to keep the silence at bay. If you’re reading in a coffee shop, someone will comment on your book, and people will invite you to house parties after five seconds of talking to them. After a week in Canada, if you don’t have more friends and drinking buddies than fingers, than you’re definitely doing something wrong.
Of course, all of this rarely happens in Germany, and I have to admit – I still have more fingers than German friends in Mannheim and I’ve lived here for way more than a week. But does this mean they’re “cold” just because they’re not as open as other countries? I find that Germans like to have a sense of purpose before initiating a conversation, so saying something like, “Hey, what’s up?” to a total stranger is pretty foreign to them. When you do strike up a random conversation with a German though, I always find them to be such friendly people, and it makes you think about the value between quality versus quantity.
So are they cold people? No, I don’t think so. Reserved is a better word….
Germans are reserved
Unlike home, where it’s common to become “instant best friends” with someone, Germans tend to need some time before they open up to you and include you in their “circle.” What I find surprising is how Germans always keep their doors closed in student residences, and despite studying and living in another city, a lot of them go home almost every weekend. Some of my friends say that they know people who go home every weekend! I’ve been in student residences (rez) on weekends, to find the place empty and completely quiet, when back home, any rez on any given weekend would be packed with people passed out in the hallways.
Total culture shock.
When I lived in rez, I remember that everyone had so much fun and we became such good friends that we only went home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and reading week (Canadian equivalent of spring break). Some people had so much fun in rez, that they didn’t even go to class. However, a lot of Germans seem to refer to their friends in rez as their “classmates,” and their “friends” as their childhood friends from their hometown.
Therefore, don’t feel too dejected if Germans aren’t rushing over to become instant besties with you. Close friendships with Germans don’t usually happen overnight, but when they do form, I find it a lot more genuine (aka none of that “OMG your top looks so hot” when you know it makes you look frumpy bullshit).
Germans love beer
Germans love bread
I’ve been told that I’ve never actually had bread until I came to Germany, because those sliced packages of bread we have in North America (you know, like Dempsters), isn’t actually bread, but toast (even when it’s not toasted). Or more specifically, “American toast.” And so, it’s easy to note that Germans take their bread very seriously. But for good reason, because it’s delicious! There’s bakeries on almost every street and every train station, and some of them even open for a few hours on Sundays!
Germans love sausages
I’ve never actually seen my German friends eat sausages on a regular basis, so I can’t quite confirm this point. Maybe they do but hide the fact when I’m around so I don’t rush to tell all my friends back home that all Germans love sausages, further contributing to this stereotype. My roomie is also a vegetarian, so I can’t even spy on his eating habits for the purpose of this post. However, walk around any German city centre, and you’ll find stands selling bratwurst, currywurst, wurst wurst….so someone has to be eating them!
Germans have no sense of humour
I find all my German friends to be very funny, but then again, I’m easily amused. Actually, I think almost everyone is funny. Especially very serious people, because I find serious people especially funny in their need to be serious all the time. You know?
With that said, yes I do think Germans have a sense of humour. While their humour is more subtle, and not the sort of drunken debauchery (“Haha Tucker Max is the shit!”) sort of humour (even after a crazy night out!), they are definitely funny in their own way, and hearing a German joke is always a delight.
One thing I will note, is that sometimes Germans don’t always get that you’re telling a joke (until you tell them that you are) and they might interpret it very seriously. In that case, always tell them you’re telling a joke beforehand. That way, they’ll laugh if they find it funny, or just stare at you blankly if it’s not funny (because Germans won’t forcefully laugh at your jokes if they’re not funny just to be nice).
Germans are very unromantic
I know a German guy (and don’t ask how I know) who says that he’s a really nice guy because he’s always honest to every girl he meets. “I grew up with five sisters” (or something like that), he said. “And I see how some guys treat them and it’s horrible. They’re such douche bags. I never want to be like that, which is why I always want to treat girls with respect…because I’m such a nice guy. Did I mention that I’m a really nice guy?”
So you must be thinking, “aww this German guy must be a total romantic!” Well, that is if you ever meet him, since he “flirts” with girls by saying, “Hi you’re very pretty. I don’t to be in a relationship with you because I have to move to (German hometown) in a few months, but do you want to have sex?” And in all seriousness, he actually finds this to be very sweet, honest and affectionate.
With that said, while German guys aren’t like French guys, who write heartfelt love poems all the time… they just show their love in different ways. And on the plus side, it’s uncommon to find couples sucking face by the lockers here, as you do in high schools back home! So yay for avoiding those awkward moments when you need to get something from your locker but can’t!
Germans all have dogs
I thought all Germans would be walking around with these large German Shepards everywhere, but I was pleasantly surprised to see lots of cute little fluffy dogs as well. SO CUTE. Although it is also annoying when you’re walking down the street and talking to a friend, and you keep losing your train of thought because you keep getting distracted by cute little dogs everywhere.
Germans love football
Not all Germans are passionate about football (soccer), but a majority of them do love it. Which I don’t mind, because I love it too. When one of those Bundesliga games are on, everyone seems to be running to the nearest TV. And almost every shop has some sort of Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund product to sell. I also see Schweinsteiger’s head pop up everywhere for different endorsement deals. I just have to find a Schweinsteiger Versicherung ad, and that should totally complete my German experience.
Germans love rules
It’s true. There’s signs everywhere telling you what you can’t do. Some of them I can’t read, but I know it must be stating something that is not allowed, whatever that may be. My least favourite is their garbage rules. I mean, I love it because they’re actually self-actualizing and doing something with their waste, rather than chucking it in the US like we do in Canada, but at the same time, there’s different bins and coloured bags for everything. Does wax paper go in the paper bin? But it’s waxy so maybe in the product waste bin? There’s bits of cookie dough on there though…do I have to scrap it all off to put in the food waste bin? When I first moved here, I was in fear that one accidental move will probably have the cops at my door. So instead, I usually put my ambiguous garbage in a bag, and bring it to the city centre, and throw it in a public garbage can there, like I’m sure all the other confused expats do.
Have you lived in or visited Germany? What are your thoughts about German stereotypes?
Great post! I’ve lived in Germany for 18 years now, and I can confirm all of this. I’ve been told that Munich, my hometown now, is the “coldest” place: the place where it’s hardest to make friends, and it’s very true.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say our bread in N. America isn’t real bread. And I have insurance for EVERYTHING now. Hahahahaha
Wow, 18 years is a long time! I’ve never heard of that stereotype about Munich, but such a shame since I’ve been there twice, and it’s such a lovely city!
Haha those commercials must be highly effective if you have insurance for everything. Now you fit right in! 🙂
I’ve always wanted to move to Germany to live but I’m still working on getting all the information so I don’t make a horrible decision. Hahaha
Let me know if you need any help!
I may need some! 😛 any way I can get in touch with you?
I actually diss agree with this, I am German and have partially lived in Nürnberg my home town, it’s the second largest city in bavaria after munich( so you might’ve hear of it) . Well I certainly diss-agree with munich people to be cold or germans not having a sense of humor. Just because us Germans like to share our humor in a not american (everyone thinking it’s cool way) but in a diffrent way. AND I’VE BEEN IN MUNICH SEVERAL TIMES. it’s anything but cold , everyone that I’ve mett there was sweet,polite, and humorous . And you can’t judge a city but those who you have met.
as an example I was in New York City for 2 weeks a few months ago and some of those who worked in the shops that I was talking to were extremly rude and un polite, or one day I talked to my neighbour and he didn’t get any jokes and looked at me as if I’m some freak,
But do I judge new york as being a city with fake humor and un polite people? No I don’t because I haven’t met EVERY person living in New York City.
It is a well known fact that New Yorkers are typically abrasive, particularly in non tip based customer service settings; so it sounds like you had the proper New York experience. Hopefully you also ate some deep fried nuts from a cart and feared for your safety during a cab ride in order to round it out.
As a child staying with family in Germany during the summers I was always under the impression that i was being yelled at in German when in actuality I was just being spoken to in a normal tone. That remains my biggest take away to this day.
18 years and you find them still “cold”. You must stick to your American persona far too much. I’ve lived in Germany on and off for years and I have yet to find a German I would call “cold”. Reserved yes, but cold no.
Then again, I’m British and some Brits are said to be “cold” and “reserved” to. Or maybe it is more I get along with Germans than Americans as they aren’t as annoying as Americans. Particularly the club-footed idea of “humour” in America.
While in Berlin I was at House of 1000 beers and I did observe those classic German mannerisms when they interacted with each other. Kind of hard to describe but if you watch a satirical impression of Germans it was that on a much smaller, less exaggerated scale.
Glad to see you’re getting to know the culture and people enough to stop the differences!
Haha that must have been fun to watch! Did you contribute to any Canadian stereotypes by saying eh after every sentence, and apologizing for things that aren’t your fault? 😛
When it comes to following rules, I remember reading somewhere that in many countries, you can do what you want until you are expressly told not to, while in Germany, you can’t do anything until you are given permission.
I would say those are wise words to live by in Germany! Haha
It isn’t true. In Germany you can do anything as long as there is no law that forbids it.
Great list! I always love hearing people’s thoughts on the stereotypes. I had never heard the dog stereotype, but there are definitely a lot less in Germany than in the US. Then again, I’ve always noticed the dogs in Europe are WAY better trained than those I encounter in the US.
Oh really?? The Germans love dogs stereotype is really popular, although I’m not sure where I first heard it from. Search up “Germans love dogs” though, and you’ll see what I mean 🙂
Maybe there are more dogs in Germany because Americans try to dry them in a microwave?
Sorry, where did this come from? I’ve never heard of that, although I may just be another ignorant American.
who started the rumor about them liking black guys??
Thank you for creating a humorous, non-offensive post about this topic. I, as a German spending a lot of time abroad, have met lots of people who stereotyped me very quickly (and sometimes had a very weird idea of Europe, think “do you have cars like this?” *points to a VW*). I think one shouldn’t be talking about other nations or cultures without having experienced them longer than a week.
Spending time abroad really does open up your eyes!
– And yes, it’s true about the Wurst. 😉 Just don’t think sausage in one piece, but one cut in round slices.
Ahh good to know about the wurst! Thanks for confirming it 😛 I’ve had the cut up ones a few times…I actually prefer them since they’re less messier to eat!
btw I mean’t spot. not stop the differences…. lol. I curse you dyslexia!
Great list. As English people in Berlin we couldn’t help noticing some of these things too (although we’re almost as reserved as the Germans, at least when we’re sober!). You’re right, they do have a (slightly odd) sense of humour, but you definitely have to make it clear you’re making a joke (Germans always start with something like, “it was so funny…”) – which really takes some getting used to.
Glad you’re enjoying your time in Deutschland, and that you liked our list too http://www.uberlin.co.uk/what-i-know-about-germans/ )
Keep up the good wurst!
Thanks James! Hope you’re having fun here too 🙂
“but you definitely have to make it clear you’re making a joke (Germans always start with something like, “it was so funny…”) – which really takes some getting used to”
Hm… the only way anyone I know would do that is if they were referencing Mandy Moore’s character from Scrubs – and one would think that, given the astronomic popularity of that show, this sort of thing would’ve been observed to happen at least once 😀
Great article, Michelle. Very funny and insightful. I don’t generally like travel related articles without some accompanying photos, but this one’s an exception. You did a nice job of poking some fun without being offensive about it, a tough balancing act to pull off. Like most folks, I’ve heard of these stereotypes and wondered how much truth there is to them. Good to know these things as I hope to one day get to Germany for some extended time.
Thanks Greg! Yes, I would definitely recommend living in Germany, even if it’s just for a few weeks! I’m sure you’ll love it, and you might even be able to judge these stereotypes for yourself! 🙂
Fantastic list! As a German I must admit I usually don’t like German stereotypes… I don’t eat meat, I’d always choose a wine over a beer, and I’m never punctual. But the other things you wrote about? Are totally true! The Deutsche Bahn really is one of the favorite things to complain about, beside the weather, of course. Germans are indeed reserved, and words like “love” and “friend” are always used with caution. Germans don’t like shallow set phrases and fake compliments. That’s why we are simply bad at small talk, and appear to be unfunny and cold… 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing this!
Thanks Julika! Interesting enough, I have met quite a few Germans who are vegetarians. 🙂 Ah yes the weather…it’s definitely an universal thing to complain about…unless you’re from somewhere sunny like Australia 😛
I agree with most of your points.. Wonderful list! 🙂 I guess the most imporant thing is to see somebody else (no matter where that person is from) as the person he or she actually is..
Great blog by the way!
Thanks so much!! And yes, I agree 🙂
Haha, awesome post! I am a German girl travelling around the world and most people are very passionate about Germany. Some love us, some hate us and it’s always fun to see their first reactions on the magic answer “Im from Germany.”
Check out the funniest German bedtime story. It tells a lot about being German: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiYcq_vxQt4
Great post! I’m quite surprise that Germans actually love to party. Before I moved here in Germany, I thought it was so strict (well reserved) that there are no clubs, etc. But to my surprise just around the corner from my apartment is a bar/clubs.
It’s funny but I’ve always thought of Germans to be partiers despite their very reserved stereotype. Images of Oktoberfest always pop into my head! Haha.
Haha, I lived in Germany for three months this summer, and this is a pretty great list! I was kind of surprised about the exactness of the timing as well! Although as much as everyone complains about the Deustsche Bahn, it’s still more reliable than most public transit in Canada. The romantic thing kind of cracked me up – encountered some very blunt people too! But at the same time, there are some romantic elements too. There are more love locks on the bridges in Cologne than there are in Paris! And the whole tradition with the May Day trees is kind of cute too. Met a German exchange student the other day who wasn’t super into football, but man, was that kid good at foosball!
Haha public transit in Canada is the worst! And yes, I’ve seen those love locks in Cologne! My friend from there said that the idea of doing that actually originated from Cologne, and not Paris, as most people would believe!!
Nice thoughts on the German “thing”. Now I don’t want to collect any resent but you know, not everyone is a Canadian cutie in order to fully use the decimal system for friend-counting after a week in Canada. I have been to neither Canada nor Germany but I did have enough interactions / surveilance on both gangs. I am going to always prefer Germany over Canada, the latter falling into the money grubbers and cold-hearted stereotype – from my personal experience from Eastern Europe (latin strain too btw).
Aww sorry to hear about your bad impression of those Canucks you met! 🙁 If you ever get a chance to visit Canada though, I’m sure there will be plenty of people to win over your heart 🙂
You know, i think there actually was a insurance commercial with Schweinsteiger around 2006. Can’t find it now though. 😀
The one stereotype I never understood was the one with punctuality. Because I’m probably the most punctual person among my friends and I’m always at least 10 minutes late. But maybe that are just my people. 😀
Now I know that if I’m ever bored, finding that Schweinsteiger insurance commercial will be my number one priority! 😛
Haha and that’s exactly like me! Maybe I need to start hanging out with you and your group of friends! 😛
I had been in Germany only for five days and I already could confirm all those stereotypes that you mentioned :D. Great post though, I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks!
Aww thanks!! 🙂 How are you liking Germany so far?
You are right in most of your statements.
One main problem is, that germans e.g from Baden-Württemberg are very different from Germans e.g. from Northrine-Westphalia or Lower Saxony.
Especially swabians won’t recognize if someone is joking. I made this experience while spending some years in Stuttgart. That’s exactly what you have written. You would not have this Problem in other parts of Germany.
Ohh good to know! I’ll keep an eye out for any cultural difference I can spot the next time I go to another state here! 🙂
Hahahaha, what a fantastic post.
I’m a half German (half Italian), but born and raised in Germany, so let me add something to your list. Germans are very accurate. When German friends having dinner in a restaurant, they won’t just split the bill in the number of participants… NO NO, they will bring pen and paper and calculate exactly the amount that every single person has to pay. I would say, Germans are also a bit stingy. I’m a woman and dating German guys can be frustrating. Of course we split the bill in the restaurant (I’m already used to that)… but after we take a cab home and the guy wants to split the taxi bill again? Errgh. I’m done with the German Guys… Not for me 🙂
Great article, keep up the good work!
Haha you’re totally right!!! I remember when I was in Australia, you can always hear the German backpackers counting up their daily expenses at the end of the day and dividing it amongst their group. I don’t think anyone else from another country did that!! At least it’s “fair,” but I guess I’m just too used to guys back home paying for my things without thinking twice about it!
Aww don’t give up on German guys! I have one, and he’s quite cute. 😀
Nope, the Germans are not the only ones doing that. In the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark and my native Finland) EVERYBODY pays for what s/he has ordered. Try to skip that or pay less than you owe, and you will be considered as a freeloader, a parasite, not better than a vermin. And if you don’t have money, someone else will pay for you that time – but you are expected to pay back.
There was one guy from the States who complained that Finland doesn’t have a dating culture – which we really don’t have, at least not how the Anglo-Saxon/English speaking world considers.
It is a matter of honour for everybody to pay for themselves. Especially to women because if the man pays for the dinner, drinks and entertainment, it implies that the woman will have to pay him back ON her back. We are not for sale, never have been, and we take pride for that. We will have sex (quite easily – we are pretty promiscuous, just like the men), but if you try to PAY us to get us into bed when we are not interested… You’ll be lucky if you will only bruise your ego that night.
I think it is because Finland never has had this “idle upper class” that the South Europe (all countries south from the Baltic Sea, including Germany) – everybody had to work in order to survive the harsh winters. There was no time for mid- or upper-class-women to sit around and dream of marriage or such romantic nonsense. Who needs diamond rings or roses when you can put that money into a down payment for a house or an apartment?
Actually the Dutch are also the same in the very exact bill splitting to the nearest decimal sense (I’m actually Dutch). So Germans are not the only precise ones out there!
there’s a very fitting joke about the “rules” stereotype:
why don’t germans ever steal anything?
because it’s illegal.
There’s an even better joke.
There cannot occur a revolution in Germany, because revolutions, in Germany, are strictly forbidden.
This is actually really funny because it’s true! I am German (well half German and half Columbian) but I lived all of my life in Germany (Hessen) and I am living in the US for 5 months now, and to read the stereotypes about Germany from your perspective just makes me laugh. The only statement that I have to disagree with, is about the misunderstood humor, because that was exactly the impression I had when I came to the US, that I always had to explain to everyone that I was joking and back home, I never had that problem! I love how you observe all of these little things though, and I’m glad you’re enjoying your time there 😉
Being in the US, you must be finding a lot of American stereotypes as well! 🙂 I did when I lived there!
Great list, Michelle. I am a Baden-Wuerttemberger who has lived in Canada, lives in India now and is married to a Pinay, so obviously I am a fan of your blog 🙂 As to the “reserved” thing: when I studied in the US, I was told during orientation week that we all have two walls, an outer that you scale to becme an acquaintance, an inner to become a friend. Americans and Canadians tend to have low outer walls but a serious inner wall, Germans have high outer walls but much lower inner walls. That explanation still works for me, and I kinda think our system is less … fun. It constrains. As to humour, German humour works differently. Read stuff by Christian Morgenstern, Wilhelm Busch, Kurt Tucholsky or Erich Kaestner or indeed Heinz Erhard, it’s brilliant stuff. But humour works differently in English, why I was awed as a teenager when I first encountered Dickens
I totally agree with you about the walls! It’s a great explanation and it does make a lot of sense 🙂 And thanks for the suggestions! I’ll look into those writers!
“As to humour, German humour works differently. Read stuff by Christian Morgenstern, Wilhelm Busch, Kurt Tucholsky or Erich Kaestner or indeed Heinz Erhard, it’s brilliant stuff. But humour works differently in English, why I was awed as a teenager when I first encountered Dickens”
Haven’t read any of those so can’t judge, but when it comes to (especially mainstream) TV and cinema I’d say the humor is pretty much the same.
The heavy English/American influence certainly doesn’t hurt, but the main reason for that is probably that, well, a lot of humor isn’t language based in the first place, but rather focuses on things things like observations, catharsis, criticism, exaggerations, scenarios, absurdity and Kevin Bacon; the language, in addition from being the necessary communication tool to… communicate the jokes to the audience, may very well serve as the spicy dressing to the meal, but certainly isn’t the one thing that makes or breaks the parade.
The only exception in German TV I can think of where the language is of central importance (i.e. the content not the pronunciation – dialect and slang humor exists in every country, after all), although I suppose there are many more, would be Kalkofes Mattscheibe – a parody/satire show famous, among other things, for the extremely colorful, creative and acerbic word constructions it uses to pound on its victims 😀
I wouldn’t go as far as to insist that you couldn’t replicate something like that in English, but I sure have trouble imagining that atm. Then again, malicious gossip has it that this latter circumstance doesn’t mean particularly much… so who knows!
There is a similar saying in my country. The relationship in German is like a coconut, hard shell but quite soft inside, whereas in the US, it’s more like a peach, quite soft outside, but the kernel is very tough. I’m not sure if it is accurate. I am from China btw, I’ll probably go to Germany next year, Munich.
i totally agree with you? I have been in Germany since Two months but why don’t they smile? In the S bahn they all have the long faces like the whole worlds burden is on their shoulder or this Far away empty look…….. Why? I come from a country where an empty look will definately have someone in the bus whispering to you that “smile its a peaceful day today”………..
They should trade places with my countrymen then………………..
They do seem to give you a polite smile, especially when someone comes to sit next or across from you. Coming from Toronto though, it’s a lot worse. Canadians are known to be super friendly, but taking public transit in Toronto is the worst!
I might be expected to give a polite smile if someone sits next to me. But if someone who has nothing to do with me comes across and gives me a lecture about “smile its a peaceful day today”, while I might – indeed – politely smile my way through it, I’d interiorly insist on my right not to have to be happy all the time. And maybe I’m not even unhappy, just absent (people often go by transport in the morning, right), then all the more I’d feel unfriendlily accused.
This was a very interesting post, and quite funny, too! I like your whole blog a lot, in fact. I started jumping from post to post even before I could finish this tiny little comment here. 🙂
Really really hope you enjoy Mannheim; that’s my hometown – may I ask which school you’re teaching at?
Thanks! 🙂 The school I teach at is actually in Ludwigshafen! Everyone recommended that I live in Mannheim instead since it’s a short commute and a lot more fun as a city…. I’m definitely happy to be here!
Sorry, but as a Mannemer living in Malta, moving to Rome in a few months (unless I mary my Maltese honey-bee) and feeling at home in Berlin I wonder how: you survived Ludwigshafen. Are you a masochist ;o)
I’m German, and I have a very good sense of humor…
der war gut 😀
Remy, that’s not funny!
I live in Bavaria near to Austria and I really had to laugh :D, It’s all so true, but unfortunately the part that germans are not being nazis at all isn’t that true as most germans say, especially in the eastern part of Germany many of them are.
You should totally visit Bavaria someday (NOT MUNICH or any bigger city.. they all suck, if you really wanna see a nicer part of Bavaria visit the smaller towns), It’s the best part of Germany 🙂 (since i read that you were already in Austria, which is a great place too)
Well, Andi, I think I have to disagree with you on that. It’s true that there aren’t as many people from abroad in eastern germany but that doesn’t mean that there are Nazis around ever corner! And I live in eastern germany. Actually I’m really curious as to how you’ve got that impression?
Hmm yea I have heard about racism going in the East. I know this one guy who studied at the University of Leipzig and he said that people there were really hostile to him! He’s Peruvian but from Canada…I don’t know, maybe they’ve mistaken him for being Turkish? I’ve met Germans who dislike Turks from all part of Germany! 🙁
Also other than Munich, the only other Bavarian city I’ve been to is Würzburg, where one of my friends live. I love that city though! So cute!
I actually have to say that it s not only the Germans who dislike Turks and Arabs but all the other peeps to.My guess is that is because Turks usually don t tend to assimilate.It kinda leads to suspicion a kind of”Why do they not mingle with other peeps and don t get involved into the society?Most likely they re keeping a plan b, gonna go back to Turkey if something happens and leave us in this mess alone”,but its only a thougth i had.It s the only thing i could think of because most other people like Vietnamese,Koreans,Russians,Polish,Canadian or any other people would have a warm welcome and Germans are rather curious and interested when they meet this people,but with the Trukish people it kinda doens t fit…
Today I read an article “country with worst sense of humor” in the internet and it is absolutety true, if you are not distinguishing between German and Bavaria. The worst foes in the history of the Bavarians were not the Roman invadors, they were the Germans. While Bavarian people have a great sense of humor like Irish people have, the Germans have not. Our forefathers were Celtic/Bavarian and not German. And the east of Germany (the former DDR or, as you would say, the GDR) is full of Nazis. What you mean, is the south-east of Germany. And Bavaria has his brothers in Austria and not in Germany.
Well, except North Rhine-Westphalia you mean 🙂
I just wanted to say, that this was a very funny post 😀 I am German myself and for most of the things…it is true. Some things I never realized before, but now that you said it 🙂 I really like, the way you wrote the article – it is not hurtful (as oposed to some other things) and very great to read. The puncutality thing reminded me of myself. As I get very nervous if I am just 5 minutes to late. Only situation where I relax is, when the train is stuck somewhere. But then I still send a message stating that I will be around 5 – 10 minutes late, because of some problems.
As for the one thing I read about in another comment here – equally sharing expenses in a cafe during a date. As a german woman myself (and now beware this is only my opinion) on the first dates I don’t want a guy to pay for me because 1) I would feel less indipendent XD Somehow this goes agains my sense of equality. And 2) I would feel like I own something to him. S, if I don’t want to see him again, it would feel forced anyway to meet up with him again.
So much to that 😀 Keep up the good work
Haha after living in Germany, I’ve started to feel paranoid too whenever I’m late meeting someone! Even now that I’m back in Canada for the summer, I’d show up somewhere actually on time, only to have to wait 10-15 mins for my friends, because that’s Canadian punctuality 😀
I think in North America, girls are just used to guys paying for things, that we sort of see it as a sense of entitlement that girls should have! But I definitely understand what you’re saying about the independant thing 🙂
As a German boy with, let’s say, no immediate worries w.r.t. money, I’d be delighted with a girl that allows me to pay for her expenses (to a degree that is… but certainly for a beer, a coffee or, if dating, for dinner)… and that is without expecting anything in return.
But you don’t offer it, because it might be insulting. (And girls don’t suggest it, because they don’t want to beg for money.)
Sometimes, there is “lending without asking back”, though.
“1) I would feel less indipendent XD Somehow this goes agains my sense of equality. And 2) I would feel like I own something to him. S, if I don’t want to see him again, it would feel forced anyway to meet up with him again.”
That’s not really that much of a national/cultural thing, though, in general terms, as it is a dissonance between “traditional” chivalry and equality.
As a general sort of tip there – don’t take this whole thing too seriously. The “guy paying for the dinner” is ultimately just a social ritual that’s supposed to be enjoyable to both parties – the dude does it because he enjoys it and/or because he feels like it’s his role/duty to pay for the date, and the woman enjoys being on the receiving side of that sort of treatment. (So what? People are into things WAY weirder than that… this is tame :d)
The concepts of equality or independence / self-sufficiency aren’t in any way threatened or challenged by any of this – obviously if either party feels uncomfortable about it or it doesn’t really get them off sufficiently, this ritual can be dropped at the drop of a hat, but there are no political stakes here unlike some more…. passionate folks would have us believe.
And the only way you’ll end up “owning” anything to him is if he happens to suffer from the Nice Guy Syndrome – but then if that’s the case, the dinner dilemma should be kind of the slightest reason to ditch him LOL!
Fantastic post!!!! Living with a German man for 3 years now and evry detail of yours matches him to a T
Haha…I hope he takes all the good aspects of being German! 😛
Great post and very enjoyable to read. I am German too and I am surprised and amused at the same time how people from other countries notice our behavior.
And yes you are absolutly right, we love our schedules, cause they help us to get some stuff out of our mind -you know as germans we have to remember much more information: the exact place with (better GPS coordinates) and time to the split second for a date. 😉
Even if we may seem to be reserved, most of us love to help others regardless of nation, religion, clothes… whatever we don’t care.
I think after I live in Germany for awhile, I probably have a huge stack of schedules in my closet 😛
And yes, the last part is very true! You guys are very helpful 🙂
Your post as well as the comments were fantastic enough to read. loved it! I am soon planning to move Germany for my masters(2 years). Except that reserved thing part (since I am a talkative 1), I really hope to realize all of the mentioned stereotypes 🙂 good work gal..
Thanks! Where are you studying? I’m planning on doing my masters there too! 😀
That article really made me smile. I am German, but I have been abroad for more than a year now (obviously I miss the German bread!! ;)), and find it pretty funny to think about my own culture and to see what other people think about us.
I know what you mean! Haha. I’m back in Canada for the summer….it’s only been 2.5 weeks but I’m missing the German bread already!!
Love your post and people’s comments.
I live in U.S.A, recently know a German guy, high educated person, keep an important management position at a well known oil/gas company, hard worker. So far he has paid two dinners (not dates, refused twice when i offered to pay), very humble, caring, and funny. I can’t wait to find some German stereotypes from this guy. 🙂
Germans tend to act a bit more ungerman when they’re abroad, so you’ll have to look closer to uncover all his German traits, hahaha 😀
Hi, I’m german and I do work for a company that sells…well…insurances 🙂 Just wanted to let you know that you won’t get fined for putting trash in the wrong bags (maybe garbage men will leave a note some day), but you probably would – for taking your home-trash to public garbage cans, if getting caught 🙂 Enjoyed reading your article, thanks for your patience and understanding :))) Wish you always good times in da “good old g”.
Good to know thanks! Luckily, I did eventually learn all the German rules for throwing out the garbage! Who knew that would be such a hard task? 😛
Big Like! So funny, I’m German and really enjoyed this article! It’s just so true! 🙂
Thanks Katrin! 🙂
Love reading this and all the comments…one day I would love to visit Germany 🙂 I am part German and am trying to do some research on my Great Granparents who were from Germany.
You totally should! It’s a really fun country! (despite all these stereotypes haha) 😛
What a true and nice post which is presented very charming, winking and cosmopolitan by you! Great! Although some characteristics / circumstances may differ a little between the German federal states – you exactly take the biscuit 😉
Btw, my experiences as a German in relation to stereotypes abroad:
Old people abroad, outside Europe, asked sometimes (for example): “Do Germans always eat ‘Sauerkraut’?” or “Do German women mostly wear ‘Dirndl’?” (In our northern German state of Hamburg: Never ever, ha ha.)
Younger people abroad: Surprisingly few stereotypes! (Probably the blessing of the Internet, and a truly great kind of international ‘travelholic’ today 🙂
Many happy landings to all !!
Thanks!! Haha yea I remember on one of my first days of German classes, my German teacher told us all to remember that only Bavarians wear lederhosen/dirndls and celebrate Oktoberfest! 😛
Awesome posts. find many common personality. Wanna go to Germany now…. Is it ok to speak English?
p.s. Can you have a post for American Stereotype?? I kinda need it…
That’s a good idea! I’ve lived in the States too. I’ll look into making one soon! 🙂
I am a German (well, 3/4 German, 1/4 French), though I do not live in Germany. Frankly, I prefer German guys (referring Germans are very unromantic). They’re usually (though there are still many exceptions) straight-forward and bold. Though they might not be as stereotypically romantic like the French, I must say THANK GOD for that; I find those poem-writing, song-singing dudes amusing and if my boyfriend would do that, I’d dump him on the spot.
I love their subtle sense of humors and their seriousness. Even more than that, I admire that they stick to solid, detailed schedules (as I do, too; structure is very important to me, though my childhood therapist chalked it up to OCD).
Anyway, how many women certainly love the muscles (hell yes, that is hot), I adore their personalities:)
Haha yes, I do prefer unromantic German guys over sappy love poem writing French guys 😀 Luckily in North America, guys mostly fall in between those extremes so I never have to worry about one or the other 🙂 Although now that I’ll be living in Germany for at least the next two years, I’ll have to get used to it I guess! I do like that they’re punctual 🙂
Re.: “Germans are cold”. You made a very good point, we’re reserved, and careful in a way. It can take ages before a “Bekannter” (acquaintance) becomes a “Freund” (friend). I have tons of Bekannte, but just a few Freunde. Another thing – and kind of a minefield for non-Germans – is how and when to address someone formally/informally. In German we have “Sie” and “Du”, so if I’d introduce myself to lets say a new colleague with “Hello, my name is Hans”, he or she would probably ask back “does Hans have a family name too?”. Very thin ice, there are people at work I know for more than a decade, and we’re still not on a first-name basis. And I don’t see a “you can say you to me” in the future here, it just would feel inappropriate.
Oh wow, that’s crazy! I have learned about the du/Sie in German class. Normally I’ll use “Sie” to people older than me, and “du” for people my age or younger when I meet them for the first time. This one time when I was working at the gymnasium, I accidentally used “du” to an older teacher at the school, and then felt really nervous every time I saw her afterwards haha!
Wicked! Seems like the complete opposite of the student culture I’ve experienced – people become friends/pals(Kumpel) real quick (obviously if they feel that kind of connection in the first place), and like a third of the professors (not so much school teachers though) insist on being dootzed 😀
Btw, Russian has that same distinction. Actually I’ve always thought English was more of an exception in this regard, rather than the other way round – then I looked it up on Wikipedia, and now I don’t remember a thing LOL
Guess I’ll get around to it some time…
I really enjoyed reading your post. Well done! As a German living and teaching in UK I notice a lot about stereotypes and it makes me laugh a lot. Luckily I do not consider myself as a typical German as I don’t like beer, don’t think I am a cold person and I find it hard to make lists all the time… 🙂 I also noticed that some people around me could make a perfect German though they are not… 🙂
Hope the UK is treating you well! I’ve always thought about moving there 🙂 And haha yea, every once in a while, I meet someone in Canada who could be the perfect German in training…. 😀
I didn t even think about all this things,despite i was born in Russia.I guess i m a “native” already 🙂
Yes you must be 😀
thanks for the article, laughed my a** off 😀
German greetings ! (P.S.: Yes, without “Wurst”, without us 😉 )
Thank you for writing this, I really enjoyed reading it! It’s very funny and true!
I found this webpage because I wanted to know what people from foreign countries think about Germans – because I skyped to a guy from the US and told him that I’ve actually been told to be THE german stereotype – and in the first moment he looked kind of shocked, so I wondered what might have come to his mind 😀
I’m also from the south of Germany (Ba-Wü) and I indeed love beer (that’s what I told him after I’ve seen his look)! And I am always on time (although I don’t make appointments like “17:27”). That is also the one thing I had to learn when I moved to another city and had a lot of colleagues from elsewhere – that you shouldn’t be in time when you’re invited to a party. I will go to the US in winter and I was told to be at least 1 hour late to not make a lame impression. But that it still depends on the party, it also might be that I should be only 15 minutes late or at least 2 hours… ?! I just really don’t get that – where is the sense in that? If you want people to come one hour later, why don’t you just tell them to come one hour later? It would make life so much easier! But that’s probably my very German thinking 🙂
I’d like to say a lot more, but I think most of it has already been told.
For example that you will have to pay a fine if you throw away your apartment waste into public dustbins as you have to pay for the litter service and avoid that by doing this. There already have been a lot of places where they disassembled the dustbins due to people throwing their apartment waste into it. So you better throw cookies to the “gelbe Sack” 😉
And I would also feel extremely unpleasant if a guy would pay for my food at the first date, for the same reasons the other girl listed below – feeling of owing him something and independence.
And also the friendship-thing etc.pp.. really good article! Again, thank you!
Haha I like your joke there Steven 😛
And thanks Jennifer! Funny you mentioned the party thing, because after living in Germany for a year, I got used to showing up to parties on time, that when I was in Canada for the summer, I showed up to a party on time, and was surprised that I was the first person there (other than the host). The others didn’t show up until an hour later…. 😛
“I just really don’t get that – where is the sense in that? If you want people to come one hour later, why don’t you just tell them to come one hour later? It would make life so much easier! But that’s probably my very German thinking ”
I loved Germany and the Germans .. and like you too I find nearly everyone funny …. I find their unfunniness funny lol …. Such a great country , well run and the best drivers I have ever encountered . Had a great time driving through their country with my music up full blast and smiling away to myself (Us Irish like to smile) …And I only met one person who did not speak English … I think they are a great race who are a bit insecure to be honest and think that they will not get a good reception where they go but when they see that you like them they open up and become so friendly and helpful and sincere . just like you said … ……….Thanks for the article .. I enjoyed it …
Haha yes! Their unfunniess is so funny! They should make a reality show based on it 😀
I think they might be insecure because of the lack of compliments they give one another. And probably because everyone else in the world has these stereotypes about them 😛
“Haha yes! Their unfunniess is so funny! They should make a reality show based on it :D”
Die Luuudolfs? 😀
I so loved your article! I am a German living in the US since 2010. I had to laugh reading the points about the Wurst and punctuality! We are indeed very punctual. I sometimes have a hard time with my husband (who is American) being somewhere on time. Wether it is a doctor appointment or just leaving for dinner at a certain time, he just never seems to care much about all that.
Anyway, I sort of agree about building friendships with Germans. BUT, on the contrary Germans seem to have difficulty in North Amerivca as well. I do! I’ve been living in South Carolina for 2 years and have made friends with only one female who happens to be American (married to a German), but has lived in Germany for a decade. So I guess because we have so many things in common we get along well. Then, there are other neighbors on our street and they don’t seem to be interessted about hanging out with us although we chat on a regular basis when our kids play outside. I invited one other woman two houses up the street twice for some coffee and we sometimes textmessage each other. Yet, we are even friends on Facebook, but she never came over. Soooo strange!!!!
That is strange! Maybe it depends on where you live too? I’ve heard that in some smaller towns in the US, the people there can be pretty close-knitt and you really have to make a effort to be included in their circle. Even in Canada, it can be intimidating to meet people in a new city, but luckily there’s bars to help you make new friends 😀
After reading this, I’m even more excited for my Foreign Exchange trip I’m doing for my school to Germany. I’ll get to stay there, with my German buddy, for 3 weeks, then my buddy will stay with me here in America for 3 weeks. 🙂 Sadly, it won’t be for another 3 years :'( , but that’ll just give me more time to learn the language :3
Wow 3 years is a long time away! But that’s great that you’re planning so far in advance! Sounds like you know exactly what you want! And by then, your German will be perfekt! 😀
Michelle, great article. You are very articulate and observant – wonderful traits in a writer and traveler. And you do a wonderful job of describing Germany. Although, living in Canada I have to say – I don’t think Canadians are THAT friendly. I live in Toronto and people here are always in a hurry or scared to gaze at each other, while Montreal is the opposite. I think it is ridiculously easy making friends there. Germany, on the other hand, is probably way more difficult than those two.. I’ve met tons of German people and while super friendly when traveling, they definitely show the traits you described! Again, love it! Keep it up!
Thanks! And you’re actually spot on about Toronto! I always say I’m from Toronto to friends abroad, but I’m actually from a suburb near Toronto. I’ve never liked Toronto despite efforts to try to love it there haha. I find the people there rude and nothing like all the stereotypes you hear about Canadians. If you’re still living in Toronto, you should check out the suburbs….you’ll meet tons of warm and friendly people 🙂
Montreal is a great city though…I completely agree with you!
Hey, what canadian city did you was born and live in?
I’m from a suburb in Toronto, but I’ve also lived in Montreal and London (Ontario) 🙂
Great post. Actually the first one I have read of any kind and I have lived in Baden-Württemberg for 3 years now. Kinda strange huh? 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 ass 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. PLASTIC PEOPLE SUCK! No plastic people in Germany.
So in closing I have to say a great first read for me with your 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.
Thanks! I really liked living in Baden-Württemburg although I’m living in Bavaria currently, haha. I’ve been to Oktoberfest twice, and it really is crazy! Haven’t been to a soccer game yet, but really want to score some Bayern-Munchen tickets! When I lived in Mannheim, every once in a while I’ll encounter trains filled with drunk people singing (usually on my way to Mainz or Kaiserslautern) and then I always know there’s a soccer game that day 😛
Haven’t been to Triberg yet, but have heard about all the wonderful things there. And I love Frankfurt too! The skyscrapers remind me of home 🙂
And that’s true about fake people. Although I feel like in North America it’s our culture to be (or at least appear) super inviting….like I’ve absentmindedly said things like “let’s hang out sometime!” when you have no intention on doing so, since everyone back home does that all the time. I think it’s cute when I say that to someone here, and they always say “ok sure, when?” 🙂
And I love Berlin! Have fun there! 🙂
“As American we just say things kinda backwards to them so it just doesn’t come out funny and vise versa.”
Well, not quite vice versa apparently, as German don’t think of the Yanks as humorless, and enthusiastically dig a lot of their comedy and most of their movies 😉
((Or, well, yea, I mean we do have that kind of stereotype, but it’s not of Americans in general by any long shot; just of a certain type of primitive straightforward red jacket wearing fratboy jock asshole 😀
Confirmed by some real encounters, too :O ))
Hi Michelle 🙂
What a great blog ! I was once an exchange student to Germany in 2011, lived in Wurzburg and went to David Schuster Realschule. I’m actually from Durban, South Africa ( don’t know if you’ve been here before ). I must really say that Germans are punctual and love making schedules right in advance. Well off course the beer is their daily bread as well as soccer. They also adhere to rules every now & then.
I’m coming there next year for the Christmas holidays and New Year’s and hope to stay there in future.
Keep up the good work 🙂
Thanks Isaac 😀
I’ve been to Würzburg to visit a friend earlier this year! It’s such a cute place! Currently I’m living in Bavaria so I’m not too far from there!
I’ve never been to South Africa, but I’d love to go! It’s actually one of my top countries to visit 😀
Are you going to give up sunny SA for Germany? But either way, I’m sure you’ll have a great time 🙂
Why are South Africans so racist???
I’m german and that is so true about the jokes! If someone is telling me a joke that isn’t funny I give that blank stare, because I don’t forcefully laugh. I don’t know, I feel kinda uncomfortable pretending to laugh and I think you would notice it and I don’t want to give the impression that my friendship is fake! But if I’m with my circle of friends and someone makes a bad joke, we tease that person about the joke until it’s funny! And if someone is telling me a joke I don’t get I ask to explain it to me.
I am German and I discovered your blog. I laughed.
Are you maybe interested in getting in touch???
You could mail me to my privat mail address;)))
What a wonderful post! Thanks, Michelle!
I was surprised that you didn’t mention what springs instantly to my mind, when I hear the words “german” and “stereotype” used in one sentence, tough: cars. We Germans love our cars. Especially driving them on the Autobahn at considerable speeds. 🙂 Maybe that’s one reason why we like to complain about the Deutsche Bahn. Another reason, of course, is, that we like to complain. About what? Anything and everything. You name it, we complain about it. I guess, everybody has someone in their family, maybe an aunt, maybe an uncle, who constantly complains about something. That’s us! All of us. No exception. Period.
Another thing: you noticed closed doors in your dorm. Did you notice locked doors? Germans love to lock und unlock doors. Even if we’re just shopping for half an hour, doors, windows, patio doors get locked. In the movies or on TV thieves often break a window, reach in and open it. Not in Germany! Window handles are often fitted with locks. So if you break a window, you better make sure you remove all the shards from the frame because you probably will have to climb through it. Chances even are, if you have your house, flat or whatever not properly secured (read: locked) and get burglarized the insurance company turns down your claims.
And, yes, you are absolutely right, we have insurance for everything. If you look hard enough, you might even find an insurance that insures your farts agains being stinky… 😀
Jaja, das sieht man ja schon bereits anhand des Kinos dass die Deutschen auf ihre Knallerkarren stehn 😀
Wir habn Alarm für Cobra 11, und was ham die Amis? Ich mein klar, die Blues Brothers höchstens, aber da gehts ja auch mehr so um den Humor und die Charaktere 😀
Maybe I should go to Germany. All my life in the US, I’ve felt like I’ve been kind of an odd outlier, as an American who doesn’t quite fit in. Reading your article makes me think I ought to take some time to learn German and learn about the country and its people.
I’m the same man, I’m Australian and I feel like I don’t fit in here, by everything I’ve read, seen and heard about Germany, it sounds like I’d fit in there better and be happier there.
Should I go to Germany for a month?
I’m Asian from Finland.
I would go to America, Canada or Australia but
I’m limited to Europe. It’s kind of an exchange student thing.
Would most of the Germans even like me?
I’m loud, talkative, funny (at least I think I am XD) and outgoing.
I don’t drink or smoke and I don’t want to “waste time” watching
others drink. I’m kind of stubborn and sometimes too honest.
I’m also short tempered…and slow. I have cheap sense of
humor (beavis & butthead, south park, conan o’brien).
Also I don’t do small talk unless someone starts a conversation
Everyone thinks I’m an Asian with mixture of (stereotypical) American
and Finnish manners.
Please help me if you can 😀
Sorry if I offended Germans – If we ever meet, you can beat me up.
Germans aren’t so unlike my American friends. I am dating a German. The girl nextdoor to our apartment is extremely loud and high energy, but we both like her! Germans are stubborn too, so that doesn’t even matter, and they appreciate honesty, like everyone does. Every person I’ve meet here drinks and/or smokes, but that doesn’t mean they all do, or that they will judge you if you don’t!
Just give it a try. Two and a Half Men is on TV here all the time, and I wouldn’t exactly call that ‘expensive’ humor! 😉
Ha! I live in the Heidelberg area for 8 years now. You are totally spot on. Both my boys were born here and act more “German” than American 🙂
I lived earlier in Germany and I found your article quite interesting and accurate as well. I am in the states currently but I am moving to Baden-Württemberg at the end of July I am really excited about going back I have missed it. Right now I am just in the process of trying to get a job and/or figuring out how to get a long term visa. If you have any advice I would greatly appreciate it.
Hi Kailena! I just moved here from Michigan about 5 weeks ago and I am working at a Berlitz language center. I don’t speak fluent German, and even though I majored in Education and English, neither of these are required to teach English. I have 3 friends from Michigan who also work at this center, and they all studied other things and never even thought of being a teacher. I would look up this company and email one of the centers for more info–there are many locations in Baden-Württemberg, as it is the biggest language school in Germany. It is a good temporary job, though they do expect that you dedicate at least 1 year to the center.
The Visa process wasn’t too bad. Berlitz only does in-person interviews, so I actually came here on a one-way flight and figured that if I didn’t get the job I would find something else. The interview was very relaxed, they asked questions about teaching in the first interivew, and questions from a more customer service perspective during the second interview. They then gave me a letter of my job description which I took to the Ausländerbehörde in my city (immigration office), where I filled out a visa application, submitted my insurance information (I had to buy European insurance–they can help you with this process at Berlitz!), and gave them my passport. A lady then put everything into an envelope and mailed it to a larger center where they are now processing my year-long visa/work permit. FYI: it normally takes about 6 weeks to process, and the interviewing process took 2.
Berlitz’s next instructor training is in July, in Stuttgart, so if you are interested I would definitely be out here by the very end of May or mid June! (I literally came out here on a whim when I heard that their next training would start in May). I think they have another training in September, though, so if you are coming at the end of July that would give you more than enough time as well!
I don’t know much info. about other jobs or how to get those visas, though I am sure you could Skype interview with some and apply for a visa from the states. This is just how it worked for me and for this company in particular. I need the visa to train for Berlitz (it is a 2 week unpaid training) and to begin teaching, but I didn’t need it to get into the country on a one-way ticket, or to interview for the job here. I hope this helps, and best of luck!
Thank you for the information I have one more question if you don’t mind. Do you make enough money to live on there? Germany doesn’t have minimum wage so is Berlitz good at paying you and do you make enough to live on
Haha! These are funny. I actually just finished writing my own post on differences between Michigan and Baden-Württemberg, but am waiting to post until I back up my ‘claims’ with a few photos. 😉 These are all very well-written though! And true!!! Although, on the floor of the dorm I live in everyone keeps their doors open!…:) it’s so nice.
I found your post very informative: and to my knowledge some of them to be true. I was in Berlin for 4 months. I stayed with a friend’s family. At some point we went Köln to meet a college friend of my friends father. This man told me, even though he has lived in Köln for 8 years now, he still doesn’t have any friends, except colleagues.and he is a German national! So yeah, Germans are very reserved.
During my brief visit to Germany sailing down the Rhine, Germans reminded me of what I consider some of my worst, or least understood and liked, qualities and yes, I’m half German in my ancestry.
In short, which is most appropriate in Germany – know what you want. Germans seem to be impatient, in a rude way, but it’s more like in exchange for their high degree of promptness and efficiency, they expect the same from you, at all times. There isn’t a “warm up” period between customer and server, or between someone asking directions and someone giving directions, or any sort of personal interaction. If you know of the Germanic TCB ( taking care of business ) priority before hand, you won’t be personally offended that German strangers aren’t personal to other strangers.
“Germans are very punctual
One of my German friends told me that Germans consider it better “to be 30 minutes early, than 5 minutes late,” which I find true. What I find amusing is how some Germans will search up schedules on the Deutsche Bahn website, so it’s not even, “Hey, let’s meet at around 5,” but rather, “Hey, let’s meet at exactly 17.27.” And when they say 17.27, you better be there at 17.27.”
Lol huh? Can’t remember one instance of such a thing ever happening 😀
I mean, obviously schools and employers don’t really like people coming late, and if you study at a university where everyone’s kind of on a really tight schedule a lot of the time, well, the time windows you sometimes have to squeeze those drinks and chats and hawt orgy sessions into are known to get a bit tight on occasion, aren’t they 🙂
But then again, in an environment such as this… like 1 time in 3 someone’s gonna come 5 or 10 minutes late anyway because they forgot to copy some stash of papers, and from what I’ve seen most are perfectly cool with that kind of thing; and really, what choice do they have? Next time it’s gonna be them with the urgent stash of papers 😉
Oh, and of course none of that matters when people just for go for a drink spontaneously 😀
Other than that, well, people generally don’t necessarily enjoy waiting alone for 15 minutes before their slacker friend finally arrives, and certainly no one’s ever getting upset over like *five* – and then of course whenever it’s a *group* waiting for their token loafer, and everyone’s equipped with those fancy modern wireless phones to top it off, well, in my experience, no one really cares about anything. They’ll just go on having fun without you, keeping you up to date on their whereabouts if needed, and once you’ve finally arrived after 2 hours, well, one more pal to party with eh 😀
So yea…. is any of that really all that different where you live? 😀
And as for the Bahn etc., well, again, can’t ever remember being told to meet at 16:13:47 or anything of that sort, but for example, if you’re getting there on a bus, and the bus arrives at 16:10, there are circumstances where you might want to know whether the train actually departs at 16:10, forcing you to take an earlier bus, or you can calmly get on this one cause the departure is actually at 16:13 😉
I mean… *could* happen I guess, on a busy day? But yea generally, people don’t particularly enjoy spending an hour waiting for the next train, so they generally tend to meet a bit earlier than they have to, seems like common sense to me? I mean, if you’re late… and could’ve caused the group to miss the train had it been punctual itself… well then I guess those barely visible shadows of stress or annoyance just might briefly whoosh over their otherwise smiling eyes like a distant phantom of a presence you haven’t felt sinsssssss, but, like, you know…. hardly due to an OCD type urge for all the numbers to add up or because of some kind of sacred National Value of Punctuality they like holding poor unsuspecting exchange students to, I don’t think?… 🙂
“Of course when you do run late, they’ll tell you it’s fine, but underneath their happy, smiling exterior, you can totally sense their disappointment. Unless of course, you blame the transportation. In the land of punctuality, for some reason the Deutsche Bahn is never fully reliable. All Germans seem united in their hatred for the Deutsche Bahn, so just work that into your excuse, and your tardiness will be forgiven.”
Tried that on a couple solo trips, ended up suffering the pain of regret 😉
Damn buggers, never late when you need them to…
“Germans are very efficient and love making schedules
When I first noticed my 26 year old roommate penciling in all his plans on his wall calendar and computer calendar, I was definitely pretty surprised. Sure, it’s common to write down deadlines for school assignments, and work shifts, but I was surprised that everything from “call so and so” and “grocery shopping” were all written down. While not all Germans I’ve met do this, most of them do like having a plan for the day.”
Maybe that’s because if they don’t, they won’t get anything done by the end of the day? 😀
I mean, I dunno, I’ve got that kind of problem myself, but it’s not something I keep seeing others do all the time… I mean sometimes they do, while others can get the job done without that particular crutch.
But writing down when to call their pals? Dunno man, don’t remember ever seeing that kind of thing… maybe cause then they end up forgetting that as well? 😀
“There’s no “Hey, let’s hang out sometime!” because that would be too vague, and perhaps bordering on chaotic for a structured German day. Instead, I find Germans to really want a purpose in everything (perhaps so they can pencil it into their schedules). So instead, something like “Hey, let’s meet for coffee on Thursday at exactly 17.27″ would be the correct German response.”
Ummm… so there’s plenty of “let’s hit the sauce sometime” getting thrown around where I live in, it’s just that… when that time comes… how’re you gonna know? So I mean, after you’ve said “let’s hang out”, there’ll automatically have to be that next time when you suggest to actually hang out, and then how are they gonna know when to meet at the bus station, if they don’t know when?
Unless of course you say “let’s go drink NOW”, but then again that’s not really vague either is it 😀
I dunno… how do you do it over there? If, like, you say “let’s hang out”, and they’re like “sure!”, how does any of you know when to go to the meeting, and where? 😀
I mean, I guess we also have a map fetish then, eh 😉
Living in Germany, I can sort of see why people think that. Back in Canada, if you go to any given bar or club, there’s always guys wanting to buy you drinks. If you walk down the street, it’s likely you’ll get chatted up. You get hit on at the bus stop, marriage proposals in the food court, and someone always seems to make jokes in the elevator to keep the silence at bay. If you’re reading in a coffee shop, someone will comment on your book, and people will invite you to house parties after five seconds of talking to them. After a week in Canada, if you don’t have more friends and drinking buddies than fingers, than you’re definitely doing something wrong.
Of course, all of this rarely happens in Germany, and I have to admit – I still have more fingers than German friends in Mannheim and I’ve lived here for way more than a week. But does this mean they’re “cold” just because they’re not as open as other countries? I find that Germans like to have a sense of purpose before initiating a conversation, so saying something like, “Hey, what’s up?” to a total stranger is pretty foreign to them. When you do strike up a random conversation with a German though, I always find them to be such friendly people, and it makes you think about the value between quality versus quantity.”
Wow, must be really fun up there 😀
I just kinda thought this was what, well, you know, humans were generally like 🙂
I don’t think it has much to do with “purpose”, though, more like with getting to know someone vs. not knowing someone, you know 🙂
I mean, I guess our “monkey brains” are just conditioned to have a higher sense of isolation/privacy or something… but then of course, those barriers are significantly lowered if you’re like in a bar or something as opposed to bus – especially a bar frequently visited by people of your general social group (i.e. students, musicians etc.). Then of course once people find themselves in some sort of community, be it a class, or choir or just regular visitors of some pub, the game changes altogether 😉
And anyway, even if you walk into a place where no one knows you is like “hey brosif wazzuuup” all the time, you’ll still see them socializing *with each other*, and, well, let’s just say “cold” is about the last word I’d use to describe any of that 😉
And neither is “reserved” 🙂
“Germans are reserved
Unlike home, where it’s common to become “instant best friends” with someone, Germans tend to need some time before they open up to you and include you in their “circle.” What I find surprising is how Germans always keep their doors closed in student residences, and despite studying and living in another city, a lot of them go home almost every weekend. Some of my friends say that they know people who go home every weekend! I’ve been in student residences (rez) on weekends, to find the place empty and completely quiet, when back home, any rez on any given weekend would be packed with people passed out in the hallways.”
Well as I said though, once you put people into a real community, those barriers start falling like flies.
If you go to school, and are even somewhat good with people, you’re gonna make some instant friends right away, and in a few weeks or so, probably be on good terms with everybody and on great/cordial terms with most.
You live at a dormitory? And attend classes with a lot of the people there every week? Congratulations, you’re gonna make some friends real fast. It’s more of a general “town residence” for students of various colleges, “Hochschulen” etc., and you don’t really attend classes together with most of them? Don’t worry – still “students”, still are gonna end up at the same parties a lot, might just a little more time to get to know them.
Unless people’s attitudes are somehow fundamentally different in B-W than in Bavaria? Sooo close yet so far apart… or maybe those grumpy student types are simply more diverse than I’ve managed to observe :O :d
“Some people had so much fun in rez, that they didn’t even go to class. However, a lot of Germans seem to refer to their friends in rez as their “classmates,” and their “friends” as their childhood friends from their hometown.”
Well, in my experience, a couple coffees here and a couple student parties there make all the difference in that regard… but again, can’t really speak for Neptune there can I :OO
Well after all the rednecks came from here didn’t they 😀
“Germans love bread
I’ve been told that I’ve never actually had bread until I came to Germany, because those sliced packages of bread we have in North America (you know, like Dempsters), isn’t actually bread, but toast (even when it’s not toasted). Or more specifically, “American toast.” And so, it’s easy to note that Germans take their bread very seriously. But for good reason, because it’s delicious! There’s bakeries on almost every street and every train station, and some of them even open for a few hours on Sundays!”
B-b.but whaaa-a-at I, I thought h-human universals? :((( :OOO?ß?ßß?? :OOOO
I mean, like, omg, I love toast but this is like, you know, if I had to drink green tea all the time, and when i sort of got “tired” of it after a week, needing to switch to black tea for a couple of days before I got appetite for green tea again, BUT THERE ISN’T ANY BLACK TEA, only green tea and only green tea forever and OOHHHH MYYYY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAWWWWWWWD……
“Germans love sausages”
Hey, usually white meat, sometimes red meat, every once in a while some sausages, and of course enough fish for the one that matters – can’t be eating the same all the time right 🙂
Also Yanks (not Canadians?) like hot dogs so where’s the difference really 😀
“Germans have no sense of humour”
Yea, isn’t that something they call a “discredited trope”, though? Like, maybe this was true at some point 100 years ago, or people used to think that back then, but is there really anyone nowadays who actually takes this any seriously?
I mean, if Germany at any point had a large, straight pole up its arse, or, alternatively, some kind of “special sense of humor only accessible to themselves”, this unfortunate circumstance, if nothing else, is quickly and surely being rectified by the relentless, on-going Americanization and Anglicisation of this (and, in general, the rest of Europe’s) culture – or rather, judging by “period pieces” such as Manta – der Film, has already been long and decisvely rectified for several decades. Can’t resist the treats, can’t resist the pull etc.
Or, you know, maybe some portion of the older population fits that stereotype (then again, doesn’t it everywhere else?), but from all I’ve seen, Germany’s youth/comedy/entertainment/web culture is pretty much indistinguishable from any other in that regard – and, I mean, jokes and jabs aside, does anyone in the English speaking region really think otherwise at this point?
“I find all my German friends to be very funny, but then again, I’m easily amused. Actually, I think almost everyone is funny. Especially very serious people, because I find serious people especially funny in their need to be serious all the time. You know?”
Can’t think of any friends that are really “serious” tbh (some appeared to be initially, but then a couple of days passed;), and I don’t think it “takes any”, either, in this context.
Pretty much like 95% of my peers I’ve encountered (whether from afar or befriended) are as naturally funny, sarcastic and savvy as it gets.
A third (prevailingly older) of the teachers/professors I’ve seen pretty much fit that “serious and disciplined” image discussed here, but again, isn’t that the case pretty much everywhere else, as well? Guess I don’t really know, but I’ve always assumed it was?
Anyway, whatever truth there may be to this stereotype, the younger generations don’t seem to be affected by it in any way, from what I’ve seen.
“With that said, yes I do think Germans have a sense of humour. While their humour is more subtle, and not the sort of drunken debauchery (“Haha Tucker Max is the shit!”) sort of humour (even after a crazy night out!), they are definitely funny in their own way, and hearing a German joke is always a delight.”
Well there’s a lot of debauchery in Bavaria, I can tell you that much – and I don’t even hang around with the “douchebags and dudebros” 🙂
And some sharp, deadpan types, as well. Often all in one xD
“One thing I will note, is that sometimes Germans don’t always get that you’re telling a joke (until you tell them that you are) and they might interpret it very seriously. In that case, always tell them you’re telling a joke beforehand. That way, they’ll laugh if they find it funny, or just stare at you blankly if it’s not funny (because Germans won’t forcefully laugh at your jokes if they’re not funny just to be nice).”
Well they often do (depends on the kind of relationship, personality etc.), and I haven’t really experienced anyone missing more or less obvious jokes tbh.
But hey, haven’t been to Canada/USA and certainly haven’t been to B-W, so I guess I can’t really compare… but yea, heard stuff about the English, Scots etc. being more receptive / instantly at the ready for some of the really nasty deadpan stuff, so probably true…
“Germans love football
Not all Germans are passionate about football (soccer), but a majority of them do love it. Which I don’t mind, because I love it too. When one of those Bundesliga games are on, everyone seems to be running to the nearest TV. ”
LOL never had a clue we somehow had more football fan(atici)s(m) than others? I mean, the US I guess, they’ve got their own big national sports after all, but I’m pretty sure England takes the cake here – in stereotype as well as reality 🙂
(Can’t vouch for that though…. what if I’m wrong :O)
“It’s true. There’s signs everywhere telling you what you can’t do. Some of them I can’t read, but I know it must be stating something that is not allowed, whatever that may be. My least favourite is their garbage rules. I mean, I love it because they’re actually self-actualizing and doing something with their waste, rather than chucking it in the US like we do in Canada, but at the same time, there’s different bins and coloured bags for everything. Does wax paper go in the paper bin? But it’s waxy so maybe in the product waste bin? There’s bits of cookie dough on there though…do I have to scrap it all off to put in the food waste bin? When I first moved here, I was in fear that one accidental move will probably have the cops at my door. So instead, I usually put my ambiguous garbage in a bag, and bring it to the city centre, and throw it in a public garbage can there, like I’m sure all the other confused expats do.”
LOL the Garbage Nazis – you never see them coming!
I think it’s just about the general quantities/percentages as they then proceed to do some serious sortin’ in the plant anyway. So some bits of paper or food in the wrong bin – the epitomy of dull, sleep-inducing boringness.
Btw that reminds me :O
I don’t even know how I got here but I did and I find this post incredibly funny. Yeah, it’s true, a lot of Germans are like that. I guess one of the best examples for that is my own father. 😀
Funny thing that I am so different, I don’t even like bread or sausages and I am ALWAYS late. My friends are always like “Remember that one time when you were 4 hours late?!” I really don’t remember the last time I was in time, was it a party or a simple invitation. 😀
But that’s probably just me, I have to admit I don’t really like living here in Germany. I’d rather choose another place to live but I still have to stay, at least a few years.
“Yeah, it’s true, a lot of Germans are like that. I guess one of the best examples for that is my own father. :D”
LOL you mean like, really serious and disciplined (and possibly wearing a naval hat)?
Yeaaa, dunno, I mean I’ve experienced a lot of teachers (and professors) who were like this, and lots of clerks/receptionists who’re like this, and even regular fawks on the bus… but I always thought that, you know, that’s just what some people are like? Never attributed that to anything national or cultural… would be totally mindblowing if I’d been in the wrong there that whole time LOL!
“I don’t even like bread or sausages”
You should be shot for this!!!!!
Nice site, glad I found it. I`m from Toronto too but I married a Bavarian and live in a small village, south of Hohenpeisenberg. Do you speak German well? I speak German pretty good but still find Germans don`t integrate. I even have 2 neighbour friends, and they don´t include me so I can keep doing german and maybe have some german friends. So I stay at home and surf on the internet and only do english. I`m tired of running after the germans. Oh ya, I teach english, get paid well and like my students. I guess it`s small town thinking in bavarian. I might leave when my kids are older.
Tell me what you think Have a great weekend Fiona
wow great list thnks for help.
i disagree with most of the german stereotypes. methinks that they who make them are just jealous!!
verry thankfull about your view of my fellows. My bloodline goes down to the 14th century (14:32PM) so I’m a real German. Due to my Job I met people from all over the world, during the last 12 Years I must have met around 3000 people from around the globe. And I must say from these 3000 people there were only three or four which were A**h****.
What’s the point?
No point! We are all one family
love your website.
My name is Yoga and currently living in Cologne, Germany. It is a very2 nice post you have posted there 🙂 glad to read it…..i must say though that all the points you have written are all true. I have been living in Cologne for almost a year now and i have been experiencing the same things as you did. The punctuality is actually really2 great lol and the Germans unfunniness is also quite amusing 😀 Moreover, i also admit that its hard to find friends here especially when you come from Asia haha. Sometimes they limit their circle too strictly and i find it a little difficult to blend in hahaha.
Keep posting Muchelle :-))
“he punctuality is actually really2 great lol and the Germans unfunniness is also quite amusing”
Ahh, Cologne – no other city pulls off the feat of being the federal capital of unfunniness as well as the nation’s pop/youth culture and entertainment centre quite like this hellpit of public embarassment traps does, does it?
Just a couple of survival tips from someone who’s peeked at the horror through the pink gates on one or two occasions – if you see *anything* weird happening around you, something that just doesn’t seem quite right to you… RUN! As fast as you can… but keep your head down. (As in, remove yourself from the area slowly and unconspicuously, and don’t, I repeat *don’t* look around – they have eyes everywhere, in places you wouldn’t even dream of… and when you see them, they see you; if you don’t…. THEY do!)
And if a really serious guy with a mike and a camera should approach you and start asking you serious questions… well then you’re pretty much toast.
Enjoy your stay in Koelln 😀
I am German and I have to admit most of the things you wrote are actually true:D i guess being punctual is the first thing you got to remember for surviving here …if you don’t ….well it would be bit akward 😀
maybe someone could answer one question i always had : why do you want to live or visit Germany? i really don’t get it …i would never even think about going there…i mean it is not the most beautiful country on earth.
I can confirm that German girls are very unromantic! My ex-GF (now) just break up with me. I have asked the reason and one of a couple more was: “I stop loving you” 😀 I was soooo Surprised, she said: ” I can tell my brain to send the info to my heart to stop loving you and thats how I did it. Idont love you anymore” .
Hmmm… Yes we are reserved, but for a reason. I won’t tell something personal to a person I don’t trust, and it needs time to trust someone, much time. Of course, I know many people, but going to drink is no reason to call them friends, for example:
I know three of my best friends since 16, 7 and 4 years, 4 years is a really short time for beeing friends. Maybe we could get buddys in a few weeks, but a friend is someone I would die for, if neccessary. That’s the difference.
But yes, we really love punctuality, my grandpa said “german punctuality is 5 minutes early” and he is right, if we said “we meet 12:00” we also mean we meet 12:00 :D.
PS: Thank you for the list, I like it 😉
If you want to live in Germany, you have to love rain! Yes, rain and low clouds which is why the Germans show such misery in their faces. I lived in Munich, a beautiful city, for 22 years and experienced rudeness and unfriendliness from most people. You definitely have to develop a thick skin to live there. Nobody mentioned shopping in grocery stores where you have to pay your bill and bag your groceries as fast as you can so the people behind you don’t throw a fit. German kids are nervous egotists and never mind smiling at them, their mothers will think you are a kidnapper or child abuser. I have gone on walks alone and even though I may pass one other individual, they will ignore you like you are air. I have a heavy German background but won’t live there again. A beautiful country but you will die of loneliness unless you are young and beautiful.
Marianne, I agree with you with not smiling at kids, to avoid being taken as a potential abuser or kidnapper. While I do it in Malta and Italy or other countries – I lived in Montréal, too: I absolutely avoid it in my home country. Too many of our women are radical militant feminists and when you cross a militant feminist´s path who became mum: RUN !
Watch militant mothers with kids having at least three fist names in/ at:
Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, Freiburg, Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg
Well I know for a fact that even though you can’t stereotype German’s, and some are just great, that overall, on average, they tend to be a tad more cold than others. And it also depends on when they were born. If they are like 15 years old now, it probably makes no difference, but if they were born between like 1940 and 1970, came from there or had relatives, they tend to have unconsciously absorbed some of the cultural problems due to Hitler whether they want to believe it or not. Being simple about it, Hitler rose to power, then used fear mongering to gain more power, scaring people. But he pushed society in that area into doing really bad things. Even if they didn’t want to, no matter what you do, having a miserable time in history affects everyone just a little. At one point having all those rigid rules, had an affect on what an average baby would think about the world, and how they view it as they grow up. Doesn’t mean they agree with it all, but some of it rubs off. The comments or even jokes in movies about German’s being this way had to come from somewhere, as in “You VILL Enjoy it!”. If they weren’t someone affected, jokes like that would none existent, even though they do unfortunately stereotype some of the nicest people that are German. That said, I got unlucky. Three of my relatives who are German are completely strict, stiff and rude. Two of them are textbook sociopaths. Social climbing, lying to others in order to make someone look bad so they look better. I got my reputation ruined due to the lies. As kids they couldn’t behave when they got home told their parents lies that I wasn’t behaving so it would even out. Doing awful things like killing little animals like throwing seagulls alkaseltzer and bragging about them falling to the ground dead. Bragging about causing accidents because a tailgater was there and he swerved, letting the tailgater run into another car at the top of a hill. Ruined my hearing with an M80, quarter stick of dynamite for a “funny joke”, then felt no remorse what so ever. I was nearly blinded. Walking into neighbors yards to destroy and break all their toys when they were on vacation and getting mad for me not joining in. Getting people drunk by tricking them (one was a bartender), so they’d get really sick and black out. Laughing at anything that got messed up for another person. Incredible snobbyness, bragging, lying, and delusions of grandeur. A mother who slapped them around if their room wasn’t perfect, and abused me too as kids. Or was just plain mean and continued the abusive behavior into our 30’s until I said enough is enough. Every get-together trying to compete to be most popular, having to have the very best clothes which is fine by me, but had no interest in getting to know me or anyone else. Just manipulating the crowd. All their parents friends were snobby too and were all German. In other words, they chose their friends because they too were German. Just a horrible, horrible family. But I’ve seen plenty of other examples in other German’s. The only thing you have to understand is, again, it depends on what generation they are, where in Germany they came from is important, how much they adhere to that culture etc. I’d think if they are raised in the U.S., they have a likelihood of being more friendly even though my cousins failed in that department and lived in the states. And no, I don’t have the wrong impression. If you think that, you’re likely under 25, or under 30 and that”s because things change. Meaning in 100 years, Germans may be about same as everyone else. It’s like angry black guys in the ghetto vs nice ones in other areas. It has nothing to do with skin color or race. It has to do with culture, timing, location and what lessons are taught about how to act in society as the time. That’s why people are so confused.
Do germans have mullet haircuts?
Hey I am really in love with this boy but he is German and isn’t unromantic or has no humour cause he can make me laugh for the rest of the day so does this info follow if your talking about an actual boy that lives in Germany because if not you may want to check your information again!!
Lots of germans are unromantic and no sense of humor. My stepdad is the best example for that 😀 😀
I’m german and live now in Canada for almost 2 years. I met grreat ppl here and they think the same about us. One girl said to me that germans are kinky perverts and wear the whole day Lederhosen. I was laughing so hard.
I’ve noticed that everybody knows the german ‘Autobahn”. They call me “crazy german driver”.
I live in an area with alots of germans and it’s funny that they still think that.
Good post and thanks
I am 1/3 German and within the last three years became friends with an eighty-two year old German Lady who was raised in the U.S. whose parents came over from Germany. In the beginning she was cold and rude. But I helped her out of a pickle one day, and then she started being nicer and wanting to be around me. We became close. It seemed to be a very loving friendship and then one day she must have felt she was getting too close and became angry at me for, believe it or not, all my good qualities. I was shocked and I didn’t know what to say as all she found fault with came out of the blue! I think it’s true what someone said earlier that the outer wall is real high and if you make it over the top, the inner wall is much lower. I must have gotten almost to the top of the first wall when emotionally she panicked, within minutes I was reduced to barely an acquaintance! I decided to put some time distance between us and now we are back being “friendly”. She has not apologized for her outburst, but she seems to be struggling as to what to say. I think she is possibly embarrassed for what she said, but I must say there is still a bit of “chillyness” in our conversations. Yet she still wants to hug me! Almost like “just don’t get too close, I’ll decide when and how much you are allowed in!.
I came across your site because I was Googling why German guys are cute, because I had a crush on one at work (but got totally rejected after he flirted with me too much), then I read “Germans are unromantic”, and JA, that’s what I basically got:
“Hi, I think you’re cute, but I don’t want to be in a relationship because I’m moving to blah blah next year”, basically I guess it was a sex thing, but I really liked him for real, we connected on the first day but yeah what can I do……oh welllll!
Very interesting and funny article! If you would like more funny and interesting facts about us Germans, visit me on http://www.german-tutorial.com.
Very interesting article altough I understand the half.
The British and Germans are very similar. If you’re British and want to know how the rest of the world see you, pick a few of these traits out and try them on for size, a lot of them will fit really well.
This was very funny to read thanks!
There is a german guy (with a 10ish year old son) living in my bldng (in Canada). We seem to have some sort of connection, the way he looks at me – it feels like something ‘more’. But he seems so reserved almost, he always asks “how are you” and I say “great how are you’ – and the conversation sorts of dies after that. I am very much a talker, I talk to strangers all the time. But he is so incredibly hardy to read. I was curious if maybe if was a cultural thing? This ending up here…
Guilty as charged. I am German (I live in Landsberg am Lech) and am one of the Bavarians German people always blame for being stereotyped.
It’s very true we’re anal about punctuality, and it’s our efficiency and solid work ethics that put us on the map for quality production.
I like sausages every now and then, sometimes with breakfast, or maybe the all-beef ones for dinner; I can’t say I’m a connoisseur of them, however. The Czechs, Poles, and Latvians eat sausages probably just as much or perhaps more than Germans do.
This article was entertaining, and certainly true on many things… that reminds me, I have to change into my Lederhosen before I go to the bar to meet my friend at 17.57.
I’m half German and it’s funny how a lot of these things are related to me even if I didn’t grew up in Germany.
Whoever wrote this blog, it was really enjoyable to read and not over-the-top, i trust this information!
I am going to Germany to pursue romance for an officer i met when i was on holiday so i am desperately trying to gather as much info as possible haha, thank you!
I am very glad to have found your blog. I agree with a lot of the points you have made. I have been living here almost a year and I also have made German friends and currently dating a German guy. I live in Saxony and people are considered friendly here even amongst Germans. My German girlfriends are somewhat similar to me that i had no problem bonding with them. At first, my boyfriend was making all the moves, very sweet etc. Now i wonder sometimes if he even has a heart. He doesn’t like making plans like typical stereotype German however his appoach when it comes to physical affection and romance, he’s so cold. The way he lists things to give me reasons, some comments he makes, all i can think to myself is “dear Lord, you are so German…”. We have had a discussion about this and he understands (he’s also somewhat immature for his age) but i think he just needs to grow up. I’m both happy and sad to be with him hahaha some German guys are very attractive however being in a relationship is totally a different story and be ready have your heartbroken from time to time especially if you are an overly sensitive girl like me
Thank you for sharing this. The person that wrote this really know how to explain things. I have seen a lot of these finding in you. Someday maybe I will get to visit. You never told me the bread was delicious there. Bread was always my favorite food.
Thank you again,
I was born and raised in Germany and left at the age of 16, I have been in the US over 40 years, I know I am older but enjoy reading as to what younger people are up to. First I have to say that I enjoyed your posts. You would think after all this years I would have chilled a bit, but NO ! I am still on time, still make my scutula’s, still clean and orderly with my surrounding, So it must be in my DNA. My children raised in the US are the total American, they even call me the strange one. Good thing I have thick skin, must also be a German thing, lol. I mean just about everyday someone makes a remark on my German thing, lol. See thick skin; how earls did I manage to stay this long. All I am saying is that I am waiting for my Metal of Honor for the abuse, lol Who is saying we Germans don’t have a sense of humor. I am areal blond and blue eyed Gal so it never accrued to me to just leave . Hope all this buts a smile on your face and totally enjoy not just Germany but also life in it’s diversity. Big Hug from the Sunny state of Florida.
PS; Love Canada and the people even more. 🙂