Ways of addressing people in German: Avoid BAD mistakes!!

by Jim
(Munich, Germany)

In a German business situation things could get quite sticky if you call someone you don't know very well by their first name and/or use the informal way of saying 'you' ('du' in German).

Make sure you address a male colleague as 'Herr xxx' (Mr xxx) and a female colleague as 'Frau xxx' (Mrs xxx / Miss xxx) and stick to the formal 'Sie' (you) until they suggest otherwise.

Hope this little tip helps someone out there - anyone got any more tips for me please?? ;)

By the way, what a great idea to have a tips section. If everyone can help and add their own 'been there done that' tips - no matter how small - we will all learn German a lot easier (hopefully!):)


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May 26, 2011
Brilliant Tip - A few no-gos!
by: Sarah - Site Owner

Thanks Jim for your tip - that's also a good one.

By the way: I have some excellent 'formal address' example sentences in my German greetings lesson and have also listed a few no-gos.

Take a quick look: Go to the Nav bar on the left of this screen, click on 'German Phrases' and then on 'German Greetings'.

Thanks again,

P.S Am I am guessing we will get some more tips soon. My website is really new, so hopefully once the ball starts rolling, lots more people will contribute.

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