German Culture

Greetings

  • Greetings generally differ in formality depending on whether a German knows the other person well or not. 
  • The most common greeting is a handshake with direct eye contact.
  • Men usually greet women first and wait for them to extend their hand.
  • Close friends may hug to greet and younger people may kiss one another on the cheek. 
  • "Guten Tag" (Good day) or “Hallo” (Hello) are the most common verbal greetings used in Germany. In the South, some people may say “Grüß Gott” (literally translating as ‘Greet God’).
  • In formal situations, one should address another person with their title and last name, “Herr” (Mr.) for men and “Frau” (Mrs.) for women. It is polite to continue to use formal titles until the person invites you to move on to a first-name basis.
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