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The directness of Germans May 23, 2008

Posted by Paul Rees in german.
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Non-Germans find Germans very direct. I like their directness. I found this nice article about it “Why you’ve gotta love the Germans” by Eileen Yu. See what you think.

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1. sackgasse - May 26, 2008

Do they? Are we more direct than other people/nations/whatsoever? Interesting…

2. madam - May 26, 2008

sackgasse – Well yes I think Germans are say compared to us (Australians). I find that Germans say what they think and get to the point. Whereas Australians, while quite down to earth, will often “sugar coat” what they say, so as to not offend.

Don’t get me wrong. I admire this directness and I like to think that is is a quality that I have too.

This is the comment I wrote a the bottom of Yu’s blog. I am an Australian, living in Australia and just into my second year of learning the German language. Learning German has brought me into contact with many Germans. I really appreciate their directness. Sometimes it surprises me and causes me to think twice. However having gone through those second thoughts I realise the directness is merely efficiency and ultimately thoughtfulness. That is, to save me time and embarrassment by getting straight to the point.

3. sackgasse - May 26, 2008

Let’s imagine we are having a discussion on the telephone, you say something that I wouldn’t support at all (an opinion that is totally different to mine…). I answer you: “No, I don’t think that this is true.”

Would you call this “normal” or rather direct?

I never thouht about that before, that’s funny… :)

4. madam - May 27, 2008

I would call that direct. But I don’t think it’s a matter of direct versus normal. I think it is a cultural difference and what is normal varies from culture to culture.

In my culture, in this example, I might use a less direct response by saying, “I understand what you are saying, but have you looked at this from such-and-such a perspective.” This response gives me the opportunity to put forward an oppossing view without actually saying I disagree. That is, keep it friendly.

5. Jessi - May 28, 2008

Ah, okay. I only do this if the person with whom I’m discussing is easily offended, or if I want to convince the person without directly saying my opinion… but normall I wouldn’t pretend to be nice :D.


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