Regardless of the culture, we talk about, we always have in the back of our mind the stereotypes we’ve heard about the people belonging to it. It’s no different with the German one. Debunking some of these stereotypes, however, may help you see Germans in a different (and better) way and finally leave behind any prejudices you have formed about the nation.
Germans are ill-mannered
Having met a couple of Germans, I can assure you that they are far from being anything close to ill-mannered. They are just way too honest, a characteristic which sometimes may rub people the wrong way. Their uncensored honesty is never meant to insult you. They just prefer to rip off the band-aid immediately when they get the chance.
There is no such thing as humor in the German culture
This stereotype is entirely ridiculous and no one seems to know how it came to exist. Well…I might have an idea or two. Just like anyone else, Germans love being entertained and having a laugh or two. But the thing is, you see, they don’t find everything funny as they tend to avoid certain topics which they feel uncomfortable talking about. For instance, anything that is way too personal or it has to do with taboo, is considered insulting. They’d rather stick with the simple jokes and not risk offending anyone (as they themselves get offended quite easily). Sarcasm is not their greatest strength as well just because they might interpret it as a misunderstanding rather than as a joke.
Their language sounds aggressive and impossible to learn
In fact, it’s poetic! Surely it can’t be compared to the so-called “romantic” languages, but certainly is not ugly. Yes, the grammar can be a headache and at moments impossible to learn. But what most people don’t realize is the fact that German is one of the most descriptive languages that have ever existed. Germans have the ability to explain situations and express feelings on a whole new level. I am sure you’ve heard of Weltschmerz which stands for a melancholic feeling that arises when thinking about the painful state the world is in. I dare you to find such a word in any other language.
The epitomes of German cuisine are bratwurst and beer
Just no. It is true that bratwurst and beer play a major role in shaping the German culture, but they aren’t the only dishes that define this cuisine. It’s not like that’s all Germans eat and drink. The world-famous bratwurst is just one of the many traditional foods. And yes, they do happen to have a festival dedicated to their national drink (Oktoberfest), but they clearly don’t drown themselves in drinking beer every single day.