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August 29, 2010 4:05 PM Subscribe
What should I know about German customs/behavior/social norms before going there for 10 weeks?
posted by coppermoss to Society & Culture (19 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I'm going to be spending 10 weeks in Freiburg for an intensive German language program. (Yay!) In my last German class, we learned a few useful ways in which German conventions differ from those in the U.S.-- for example, at a restaurant, the waiter will not bring you your bill unless you flag him down and ask for it, because it's considered rude to bring it unasked, whereas in the U.S. it's standard for the waiter to bring the check to the table when your meal looks like it's winding to a close. Or that if you ask to use the Badezimmer, it's possible you'll be shown to a room with a bathtub but no toilet, and that it's not impolite to ask to use the Toilette.
What other such useful advice do you have about successfully navigating German culture?
(Suggestions for things to do in and around Freiburg are also appreciated, as are any particularly useful or fun German idioms...)