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Expat in Germany: German Attitude for Encouragement

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

German Attitude for Encouragement

Yesterday I experienced what I perceived to be a rude German attitude. I went for a consultation at the language school I will be attending and had to take a placement test. I was very open about the fact that I am just beginning to learn German. The test administrator marked my test, but had feedback on every question. "Hmmmm... I'm surprised you don't know how to conjugate this verb properly. You don't know the Accusative case yet? But it is very easy." And on it went. I was almost in tears by the end.  I relayed this to J.P. and he just smiled and said that this was the typical German attitude and was not meant to be rude, just honest.

Later that night, he was assembling a bookcase for us and I said "Good job". He just laughed and said that Germans find that type of support, rather silly. A typical German attitude would be to say "It looks nice." and leave it at that. J.P. says a typical German attitude is  honest, even if it hurts your feelings. Being a bit of a sensitive soul, this will take some getting used to. Although I did feel better when after the test administrator's umpteenth comment about how bad my German was I finally said, "Well isn't that good for your business since I will need so much language training." She was quiet after that. Maybe I will get the hang of the German attitude after all while living as an expat.

See more on the German Attitude:  German Attitude Towards Window Screens, German Attitude Towards Fans

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At August 11, 2010 at 7:06 PM , Blogger shufuinjapan said...

Ah yes, you always know when you have done something really well if your German teacher gives you praise. I remember watching other students getting a dressing down by the teacher and cringing. On my first day at German school, knowing only 1-10 (kind of) and my name is, the teacher asked us why we were here and I tried to say because of my husband's job, but made a total hash of it. I was told: "Das ist nicht Deutsch!!" *sigh* . Not sure which school you are going to but I went to "ifa" and it was generally great, met lots of fantastic friends and learned heaps really quickly.

At August 12, 2010 at 7:04 AM , Blogger Stuttgartgirl said...

LOL, too funny. I'm going to the Henke Schule, but it sounds more like a German attitude than a school specific issue. Now I'd better go pratise (in German) my response to why I'm here:) Thanks for sharing your story and glad that you met friends and learned German so quickly.

At August 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM , Blogger Frau Dietz said...

I am so with you on this! And I suppose it's partly because I'm British but I perceive SO many things Germans do to be rude. I mean for starters, are you going to let me off the train before you all pile in??! :)


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