What other countries think vs what Germany knows!


What other countries might think

What Germany knows!

The BER Airport You’d think the most Ordentliche people on earth, renowned for their Engineering skills would have been able to build a simple airport by now. Airports = Tourists (yuck!) = Pollution = The hastened demise of Maldivian Islands. Let’s just pretend we’re building an airport but just never finish it.
Mallorca It’s an island just off mainland Spain. It’s our island just off mainland Spain.
Facial expressions When in doubt, smile. Smiles trigger a chain reaction. If everyone went around giving smiles out total kostenlos it could trigger Hyper Emotion Inflation. There’s been more than enough hyper-inflation in this country already. 
 Small talk Small talk helps builds big friendships. Small talk is for small minds. Words are precious. Keep your communication short and sweet. Short and sour also works just fine.
 DIY If you can’t afford to pay someone else to do it for you, do it yourself. Other people? Pah! Not trustworthy. If you can do, do it yourself. If you can’t do it, learn how to do it, then do it yourself.
 Honesty Honesty is like candy floss. In certain settings it can be nice, but too much will make you sick. Honesty is your social pflict. Sugar coating is best reserved for cakes.
 David Hasselhoff That guy with all the hair, you know, from the 80s, with the talking car. I think he’s still really popular in Germany. That guy with all the hair, you know, from the 80s, with the talking car. For some reason everyone thinks he’s still popular in Germany.
 Oktoberfest Oktoberfest is the quintessential German experience. Oktoberfest is the quintessential tourist experience. Bavarians can go. Being Bavarian, they’ve no positive reputation to lose anyway.
 Wood Things made out of wood are not necessarily better than things not made out of wood. Anything not made of wood secretly dreams of being remade out of wood.
 Mould Some types of mould are dangerous. Mould is a silent killer. It’s Hannibal Lecter in fungus form.
 Fashion Even if you’re been given very little to work with, you should try and make the best of it. Clothes make the person. Qualifications make the person. Style? Fashion? Fickle madness. You can’t really be out of style, just as long as you were never attempting to be in it.
 Pessimism If it always worked until now, it’s probably going to work this time as well. If it always worked until now, well, it’s about time for it to fail spectacularly isn’t it? A problem best solved by insurance.
Liquids with gas Some liquids should fizz. Water is not one of these liquids. If it doesn’t fizz, don’t put it in your mouth.
 Bielefeld It’s a place in Germany, that exists. Bielefeld? Aber es gibts noch nicht!
 Ende der Duskussion The conversation ends when no-one says anything anymore. The conversation ends when someone says “Ende der Diskussion.”
 Customer Service The customer is (almost) always right. The customer is almost certainly a completely idiot. If we ignore him/her hopefully they will go away.
 Quark What the hell is quark? If there is a problem on earth that cannot be solved with Quark, we should console that fact with some Quark.
 Salad Salad is when you put lots of green, healthy things together in a bowl. Salad is when you cover potatoes in mayonnaise.
 Romanticism If there’s anything worth being romantic about its romanticism. If there’s anything worth being romantic about its practicality.
 TV TV is the medium of the masses. It should be entertaining and informative. Only old people watch TV, so TV should only be made for old people. Everyone should pay for it though, because, well, reasons…
 Deutsche Bahn It belongs to Germans, therefore, it must be efficient and on time. Deutsche? No way. Take our name off it. It’s never on time.

More than 40k people follow How to be German on Facebook. Why not join them?

What other countries might think

What Germany knows!

 Complaining You should complain when it’s appropriate. Even if there is no immediately obvious reason for complaint, get started anyway and something is bound to present itself soon enough, if not, well, that’s something worthy of complaint, isn’t it?
 Schlager It sounds, in parts, a bit like music, only left for a week in a audio blender until all the hard parts have been taken out. Music can be quite intense and multidimensional. Therefore, we have invented Schlager. A diet music of less ear calories.
 Sitzpinkeln Women sit down to pee, men can do so standing up since they’re equipped with a flesh hose. Only primitive savages stand up to pee.
 Drafts Drafts are informal air conditioning. Drafts will fuck you up. They know where you live. They know where you sleep. They will come inside your home and they will smash the shit out of your Gesundheit.
 Blame Absolutely everyone else is to blame. We are to blame.
 Scandinavia Some things are better in Scandinavia. Absolutely everything is better in Scandinavia.
 Patriotism Patriotism is how we celebrate what’s good about our country and culture. Avert displays of patriotism are only permitted every four years, during the World Cup, from the quarter-final onward.
 Rules Rules should be followed where they are appropriate. The appropriateness of rules is entirely irrelevant to the following of rules, which is both mandatory and therefore a meta-rule within itself.
 Truth Never let the truth get in the way of a good story Never let a good story get in the way of the truth.
 Clothing  There’s no such thing as bad clothing, just bad weather. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
 Berlin Berlin is one of the greatest cities in the world. Berlin is the black sheep of the German family. Creative, unpunctual, prone to spontaneous displays of techno, unable to pay its taxes, and overly familiar with foreigners.
 Qualifications You’re qualified to do it once you’ve done it. You’re qualified to do it once you’ve a certificate in it.
 CVs CV’s should be short and filled with pretty lies. CV’s should be long and full of an almost overwhelmingly large amount of bare, naked Truth.
 Job satisfaction The most important thing is to enjoy your work. The most important thing is to have an unbefristet Vertrag.
 Sarcasm Sarcasm is a valid string in the bow of comedy. Sarcasm is when you try to amuse people with blatant displays of your insincerity.
 Practicality Romance trumps practicality. Practicality is the highest form of romance.
 Shunkeln  What the hell is this weird Shunkeln thing? Why don’t they stand up and dance properly? It’s easy to be inhibited by the sheer number of dancing possibilities. Schunkeln is the egalitarian compromise.
Meeting times The meeting time is a firm yet fluid suggestion. We must all be there fifteen minutes before the meeting time.
The German language It’s basically just English, only for sadomasochists. Some of the smartest things ever written have been written in this language. Unfortunately almost no-one understands them.

Having fun? Splendid. Then you’ll probably enjoy our books.

What other countries might think

What Germany knows!

Spezi It would be a terrible idea to combine Coke and Fanta. It would be Spezi. MMMM, lecker….
Foot freedom It feels great to be barefoot. Every time you walk barefoot Jesus clubs a puppy to death.
Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship is a great thing and we should support and make it easy for small businesses. Everyone should just work for Siemens.
Effort If you can do it well, do it well, if you can’t, fake it. If you’re going to do it, do it properly. If you can’t do it properly don’t go anywhere near it. You’re a liability unto us all, god damn it.
Innovation Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Imitation is an excellent risk minimisation strategy.
Wellness Wellness is not a valid English word. Wellness is a valid English word.
Greeting people When meeting people you like you should hug them. When meeting people you like you should employ an indecisive combination of both the handshake and the hug, beginning first with the handshake, then changing your mind mid-shake, morphing the greeting into a stiff hug that squishes the shaking hands in between you.
Politicians Politicians are sharks only in it for themselves and to pilfer the commons. Politicians have a hard job and mostly try their best.
Okay? Everything is okay. Everything is in the green range.
Compounding Squashing lots of nouns up together without spaces is going to make them really hard to read Nounidentifikationsschwerigkeitsbelanglosigkeit
Scheisse It is wrong to use the word shit in polite conversation It is perfectly fine to use the word shit in polite conversation, doing so will not cause any sort of shitstorm.
Thriftyness Being thrifty is sensible but in no way sexy. Geiz is mega geil
Wisdom Life is no picnic. Life is not a pony farm.
Endings Everything comes to an end. Sure, but the sausage has two.
Nice Nice is mostly, well, pretty nice. Nice is the little brother of shit.
Sauerkraut Sauerkraut is medicine in the fight against scurvy. indifference. Sauerkraut is very very lecker.
Endings Everything has an end. Yeah, but the sausage has two.

Infographic Version

Here's a shorter version of the list in Infographic form. Feel free to share, post, tweet or do with it whatever it is young people are doing now.
Here's a shorter version of the list in Infographic form. Feel free to share, post, tweet or do with it whatever it is young people are doing now.

Submit your own.

Want to help extend the What Germany Knows list? Great, don your thinking cap and when you have something good add it via the below form. If accepted you'll be listed as the creator.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.



Required reading for all Ausländer and Germans who sometimes have the feeling they don’t understand their own country. We learn why the Germans speak so freely about sex, why they are so obsessed with Spiegel Online and why they all dream of being naked in a lake of Apfelsaftschorle. At the end, the only thing left to say to Adam Fletcher’s love letter to Germany is “Alles klar!” More than 100k copies sold!

Released: 2013   Length: 192 pages  Languages: EN/DE  Publisher: C.H. Beck Illustrator: Robert M. Schöne


An illustrated love letter to the language of our adopted home. Join us as we take you on a tour through some of the German language’s greatest words, expressions, proverbs and language possibilities, all wrapped up for international delivery in the form of Denglisch!

Released:  2014    Length:  240 pages       Languages:  EN/DE     Publisher: Ullstein   Co-Author: Paul Hawkins    Illustrator: Robert M. Schöne

After two best-selling books I find I’ve become somewhat of a pundit for German life. Unsure about my position I take on a series of integration challenges. Readers will learn:

  • What happens when someone of no musical talent creates a Schlager song.
  • Why you shouldn’t accept a ride from a Mitfahrgelegenheitvan containing a mattress and a cat with one eye.
  • What watching seventy hours of German TV in a week does to your health.
  • Why you shouldn’t attend a Schützenfest if you can neither drink nor march.

Released: 2015  Length: 400 pages  Languages: EN/DE Publisher: Ullstein.

Fifty new and advanced integration steps that explain the sticky friendship glue of Kaffee und Kuchen, the educational superiority of wood, and the rituals of the German Weihnachtsmarkt. You’ll learn how to blame the weather for most of your ailments, how to survive a visit to your local Baumarkt, why Germans take their kitchen when they move, and why you keep losing to them at table football. Adam Fletcher’s book is the ultimate, irreverent love letter to a nation that has gotten so under his skin.

Released: 2016  Length: 192 pages  Languages: EN/DE  Publisher: C.H. Beck Illustrator: Robert M. Schöne