From Squared Meters To Autobahn Exits: The German Approach to Small Talk 😆

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Let’s talk about small talk! Does it exist and what do people talk about in Germany?

If you’ve read our post here about how it can be problematic to ask “how are you” in Germany, you may be wandering what to ask instead or what is expected in small talk situations.

Small talk certainly does exist in Germany, but it does tend to be much more practical than small talk in English speaking countries. People want numbers, facts and statistics. So you may want to be ready!

The German pPproach to small talkPin

In this article, we’re talking all about this small talk and what you can expect. It’s fascinating and a little funny.

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In the video below, hosted by Rachel Stewart, she delves into the intricacies of making small talk in Germany, with valuable tips in a funny and snappy way.

The concept of small talk, referred to as “oberflächliche Konversation” (superficial conversation) is explored with many scenarios. You’ll soon have your “draft” talk down perfectly…

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Make sure you watch below and check out the summary beneath the video. 😆

A Guide to Making Small Talk in Germany by DW News

Rachel begins by explaining that Germans might approach small talk differently compared to other cultures. While small talk in some countries might include a wide range of casual topics, Germans tend to focus on more practical and specific subjects.

For instance, discussing the weather is a common and safe topic. It’s also an easy go-to for foreigners and much easier than describing exactly how you drove between two places which may be asked.

Another popular small talk topic in Germany is fuel prices. This type of conversation underscores the pragmatic nature of German small talk, where discussions often revolve around everyday matters that impact daily life.

The video also touches on cultural attitudes toward small talk. Germans are known for being straightforward and direct, which can sometimes make their small talk seem less superficial compared to other cultures.

Rachel offers viewers practical advice on how to navigate these conversations. She suggests being prepared to talk about local news or practical topics and advises against overly personal or broad subjects that might be more common in other cultures. By keeping the conversation relevant and to the point, one can engage more comfortably with Germans in small talk.

In summary, the video provides a comprehensive guide to making small talk in Germany, highlighting the cultural preferences and typical topics that are likely to come up. It offers viewers practical tips on how to engage effectively, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their conversational skills in a German context.

Want to learn more about German culture? Find our guide to German Easters here, the concept of Feierabend here and things you may experience for the first time in Germany here. You can also find all our guides to German culture here

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By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon first fell in love with Germany back in 2000 on her first visit. She loves the long history, the picturesque Old Towns, the castles, the food, everything really! Since then, she has visited many times and loves writing about Germany here so you can enjoy it too. In fact, Sharon loves German culture so much that she sent her kids to a German primary school in Australia. She especially loves Berlin and towns with charming Old Towns like Celle and Quedlinburg. Sharon also has a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and understands the nitty gritty of travel planning. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to Germany whether it's your first or tenth time!

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