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Excuse Me

Interestingly, there is no commonly used work for "Excuse me" here. Anywhere else, if you bump into someone, cut in front of them, or generally get in their way, even if its to ask directions, you'd say "Excuse me / permisso / sumimasen / Izvinyitza " or whatever.

Not so in Germany, which I expect explains rumors of German rudeness abroad. It's just not the custom. It's funny how put off that can make me feel, too - until I remember it's me that's out of place. Also me that's broadcasting my foreign-ness when, by instinct, I say "excuse me" anyway.

My German is super limited (fortunately I have a translator along...) and other than please, thank you, and "Captain, I have found a dead bird under my pillow" - I'm mostly at a loss. This of course makes me a typical American in the eyes of people who I interact with, since Spanish, Italian, Latin, Arabic, Russian or Japanese never come into play - and all of which I speak more of than German to one degree or another.

I'll have to learn how to say "Out of my way, filthy Turk!"

Then at least, they won't think I'm an ignorant American. Just a very rude one.

Comments

aghrivaine
Oct. 16th, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
zes I did. :)

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