top of page
Search
  • Sarah

GermanMind's "Top 6" German stereotypes

Stereotypes exist everywhere from Canadians being known as overly polite, Americans being known as loud to Irish people loving potatoes. But what about German stereotypes?

Is there any truth to them or are they just generalised depictions of German people?

Let’s take a look at these top 6 German stereotypes.





1. Germans love their cars

Even if you aren’t into cars, you’ve probably heard of the famous car brands Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Porsche which all come from Germany. With Volkswagen being the most popular car brand in Germany, we can confirm that this stereotype has some truth in it.

gif

Most Germans own their own cars and cars are the number one form of transport so it’s no wonder why Germans truly love their cars. There’s a famous saying in Germany known as “The German’s favourite child” and it relates to the emotional connection Germans have with their cars.




2. Germans are unfriendly and distant

The communication style of many Germans is blunt and direct and to those in countries that lack this communication style German people may come off as being rude, when in reality many Germans are not a fan of small talk. (I am definitely not a fan of small talk and really bad at it.)

They would rather be direct and get straight to the point of the discussion than dance around the topic. This stereotype could derive from cliches seen in tv shows where Germans are often depicted as cold, harsh and stern especially when it comes to the world of business.

However, this doesn’t mean that they are in fact cold, harsh or stern, it just simply means that Germans are hardworking people and are very serious when it comes down to business. A good thing about this is that when you ask a German a question, you’re guaranteed a direct answer of either yes or no.


Germans are also known for being quite distant and formal as random chit-chat with strangers is a foreign concept in Germany since Germans tend to just stick with people that they already know. However, this just means that when getting to know a German person it just takes a little more time which can result in a beautiful and fulfilling friendship with someone of a different culture.


3. Germans love to drink beer

Drinking beer is an integral part of German culture, it is so ingrained in German culture that Germans even drink beer at/after work and this is usually referred to as “Feierabendbier” which translates to “end of work” beer.

Germany has many beer drinking traditions such as Oktoberfest which is the most popular beer drinking festival in the world and a huge tourist attraction. Back in medieval times in Germany beer was even considered safer to drink than water.


gif

The enactment of the Beer Purity Law of 1516 caused the normalisation of drinking beer in German culture. Beer is considered a light alcoholic beverage as it does not contain a huge alcohol percentage, therefore it is seen as a safe drink to consume at work, in the general public and even for those aged 16 and upwards as 16 is the legal drinking age in Germany. Beer from Germany is always made of high quality because of the Beer Purity Law which meant that beer could only be made from barley, hops and clean water.

Popular German beers include Pilsner, Märzen, Traditional Bock Beer, Doppelbock and Schwarzbier.












Germans also have superstitions when it comes to drinking beer such as; one must make direct eye contact with another person clinking glasses to cheers. If not, you will gain 7 years of bad s*x. It’s even worse when if people cross arms.


4. Germans Love Rules, Organization and Structure

Germans appear to seem as if they have a love for order, structure and rules due to the numerous laws in their country. For example, if one was to cross the road when the traffic lights are red it would immediately be frowned upon. Making loud noises on a Sunday is also frowned upon as it’s a resting day in Germany and all places are closed. In Germany, you can find rules for almost anything such as it is illegal to play the piano at midnight due to quiet hours and addressing a police officer informally could also put you at risk of getting a fine, proving this stereotype as true.