• Germany's news in English

Ten tell-tale signs that you've gone native

The Local · 21 Jun 2012, 11:48

Published: 21 Jun 2012 11:48 GMT+02:00

Take note - it is easy to become German without realizing it. Many of The Local's readers are English-speaking expatriates who have lived in this great country for some time, and as part of our service to them, we feel it is our duty to diagnose signs when they may have adopted the native culture a little too much.

Obviously, integrating the immigrant community is an important part of successful social cohesion, but beware - if you are suddenly outraged when public transport comes a little too late, or you are beginning to enjoy public nudity too much, you may fall in to embarrassing situations back in front of your family members.

It's fine, laudable, even vital to become semi-German, when settling in the Vaterland - but no one ever, EVER, goes FULL GERMAN.

Here are the tell-tale symptoms.

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:39 June 21, 2012 by animal_politicum
Apart from the panic shopping, nudity within the family, and functioning public transportation system this seems to be an apt description of Swedes...
14:20 June 21, 2012 by lucksi
Being irritated when someone shows up uninvited is being German?


There are countries that like that?

I do not care if I was just playing a game or doing work, if you show up uninvited, that's just plain rude to me.
16:10 June 21, 2012 by Grebo
Great list. Very entertaining to read.

I have been here for several years and the only thing on the list that applies to me is being more comfortable with nudity. However, I am a convert of waiting to drink making a cheers when having a beer with friends. Red lights are for hand ringing sissies :P

@Lucksi - my friends are always welcome to stop by, if I am busy I will just tell them so. I find it strange that you think otherwise so yeah, it might be a cultural thing.
20:36 June 21, 2012 by Englishted
So close to the mark it hurts well done.
20:49 June 21, 2012 by lucksi
Of course my friends are welcome. But it's not too much to ask to phone first instead of just showing up at my door. You know, to give me time to put on my pants again :D

Or as someone else put it "You might be German if you think that the latest reform on government healthcare is an acceptable debate topic at a party"
23:52 June 22, 2012 by EinWolf
I still remember a bunch of Germans shouting the amount of the fine for jaywalking when I and my date crossed the street at 0200 (2:00 am) on a hella cold February morning before the green man showed himself.
17:26 June 23, 2012 by wenddiver
Maybe showing up un-invited is why we are getting more comfortable with nudity!!!!!!!

20:05 June 23, 2012 by Flint
Wearing socks with sandals.
15:53 June 24, 2012 by CoolBlueIce
Being concerned about "showing up uninvited" didn't seem to deter Germany from "dropping in" to France and other countries in WWI and WWII. Go figure.
17:03 June 24, 2012 by JAMessersmith

What are you talking about? Napoleon invited them over in 1805.
19:37 June 24, 2012 by Aelfgifu1
I will never wear socks with sandals. NEVER. Good god, I still have my pride.
12:04 June 26, 2012 by mesca
Hmmm I don't know what kind of large western city you live in but I can find shops open everyday until 8:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm often and even midnight. Lots of them.

Then, germans DO cross at the red light. Older people and parents with kids generally don't, but it's for the best.

Doner is eaten as a normal meal in numerous european countries, nothing german here.

Stage 8 is rude everywhere and stage 9 is experienced in many countries, english speaking countries as well...

Then, never heard or experienced stage 10...

Hey The Local you know what, stop the stereotypes lists...
12:40 June 26, 2012 by Kölner
Who dangles their private parts in front of family-members?

You have an unhealthy imagination. Youŕe overstimulated with German sex-appeal,

it's way off your chart, easy to understand your infatuation with German

bodies. Strange that sentiments like these should come out of the same corner as

the invitations to "show us your tits" during springbreak... do that here, and you have a

lawsuit to cope with for sure, at least the sexual-harrassment-scam is true.

Shops close at 5? Where? In down-town-Liverpool because the cash is tight?

A little mix-up?
12:09 June 28, 2012 by CoolBlueIce
My German relatives didn't find this list nearly as funny as I did. Imagine that. ;-)


Oh lighten up. You should hear the stereotypes the Germans come up with for people in the USA. ... I'm not offended by their good-natured kidding. The difference is, the Germans (well... at least my relatives) can dish it out a lot better than they can take it.
00:29 June 29, 2012 by amber_and_sally
How about this one: You have started referring to your cell phone or mobile phone as a "Handy" in your native language.
08:30 June 29, 2012 by insight101

We are making generalities. Yes, it's true that some Germans cross against a red light, but it is a general truth that far more people in your culture than in ours stand there and stare at the "Heiligenampel" as though it is an all-knowing deity. :) I see a young man (about 17 years old) stand at the light on a T-junction every morning near the bus stop. No cars are coming in either direction, but he presses the button and waits for a good solid minute. Then the light changes and stops ten cars, and he goes. So that's 11 people waiting instead of no one waiting. And that's efficiency...?

and yes the shops do close in general earlier here. Plus they are often closed on Sunday and others have "Ruhetag" usually on Mondays, but that can vary as well from shop to shop...

You demonstrate another typical German trait...That you all know better than the rest of us. That's why Germans regularly insist on knowing my language better than I do.
12:24 July 3, 2012 by thomass66
Oh no, I can't let my German friends and family see this article. Here I've been all these years as an American who has spent nearly twenty years here, married local gal and have two wonderful children; I was just hoping to maintain my "Americanism" - too late for that, especially after reading this list :-) Thank goodness I still have enough of my modesty left not to inflict the horrors of walking around in sandals with black socks and with my "Willi" hanging out for the world to see; that said, just count yourselves among the fortunate - LMAO :-) I guess that I still have a little glimmer of hope of not becoming totally native, not that it's all bad. Great and entertaining piece none-the-less :-)
17:16 July 6, 2012 by tallblackman
12 Years here and yet I,

Still almost get mowed down by cyclists in Munich when visiting and.

Still get in the car on the wrong side when I want to drive.

Stil love a proper english builders breakfast on a Sunday morning with lashings of tea followed later by the rost Fleisch Totties and Yorshire pud!

I am still sacastic as possible yet no one gets it.

And i still dont find German jokes funny!!

But My local born girlfreind say I am almost intergrated.

I think its another of these German jokes :(
Today's headlines
Paris climate conference
Germans reluctant to go green, survey finds
This NASA handout shows CO2 release based on real emissions data. Photo: DPA

Germans reluctant to go green, survey finds

12 hours ago

Most Germans might see climate change as a threat - but that doesn't mean they're willing to change their behaviour, according to a recent YouGov survey.

The Local List
The 10 greatest German Alpine ski resorts
Skiing in the Allgäu. Photo: DPA

The 10 greatest German Alpine ski resorts

13 hours ago

This ski season looks set to be epic, with runs already open before December has even started - boding well for the rest of the season. We bring you the ten very best German resorts so you can make the most of it.

Bavaria accused of hoarding Nazi-looted art
Max Beckmann paintings in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. File Photo: DPA

Bavaria accused of hoarding Nazi-looted art

17 hours ago

A group of US Congressmen have sent a letter to Bavarian Minister President Horst Seehofer, urging him to do more to help return art stolen by the Nazis to its rightful owners.

Berlin suspects freed hours after terror raids
Police stand guard as colleagues search a van in Britz, south Berlin, on Thursday evening. Photo: DPA

Berlin suspects freed hours after terror raids

17 hours ago

Three suspects arrested in Berlin on Thursday night on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack were freed on Friday morning, police said.

Cologne fights drunks with walls that 'pee back'
"Don't pee here! The wall pees back!" warns a new sign in Cologne main station. Photo: DPA

Cologne fights drunks with walls that 'pee back'

17 hours ago

In Germany, those who urinate in public places have their own name: "Wildpinkler" or "free pee-ers." But they're about to face a backlash in Cologne - in a very literal and embarrassing way.

Final days of Hamburg Olympic vote battle
Demonstrators against the Olympic bid. Photo: DPA

Final days of Hamburg Olympic vote battle

20 hours ago

The finishing line is in sight. On Sunday Hamburgers vote on whether they want the 2022 Olympics to come to town and the result could be tight.

Two men arrested in Berlin police terror raids
A Berlin SEK (SWAT) officer during a deployment in June 2015. Photo: DPA

Two men arrested in Berlin police terror raids

1 day ago

Police arrested two men after raids at two Berlin locations on Thursday afternoon after tip-offs about known Islamists believed to pose a threat of violence.

Swimmer faces probe over Auschwitz tattoo
Rails run towards the entrance of the extermination camp at Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Swimmer faces probe over Auschwitz tattoo

1 day ago

Prosecutors are investigating a man who appeared at a swimming pool on the outskirts of Berlin with a tattoo depicting a concentration camp and an infamous slogan used by the Nazis across his back.

Munich Jews feud over Holocaust remembrance
Stolpersteine. Photo: DPA

Munich Jews feud over Holocaust remembrance

1 day ago

A bitter fight has broken out in Munich’s Jewish community over how to remember the victims of the Holocaust, with one group now taking the city to court.

Fight against Isis
German air force will join French planes over Syria
A Bundeswehr (German army) Tornado aircraft taking off from the Jagel airbase in Schleswig-Holstein in 2013. Photo: DPA

German air force will join French planes over Syria

1 day ago

Update: A Leading German MP confirmed that the country will offer military aid to France in the fight against Isis in Syria, following a promise by Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to Paris on Wednesday.

Germany's 10 most-expensive cities
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd