10 German Expressions to Learn Before Your Next Business Trip to Germany

German culture is known for its formality, punctuality, and politeness, especially in business situations. When planning a business trip to Germany, it is important to research certain habits and customs important in the German business world. This will help your business interactions go smoothly and successfully.

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Photo of Reichstag via Pixabay / karlherl

Germans are generally formal when meeting for the first time, and even more so in a business setting. You should always use the formal “Sie” for “You” instead of the informal “Du.” Even if you have met the person before, it is always better to err on the side of caution and use Sie.

Germans value punctuality above all else, so give yourself plenty of time to make a meeting or appointment. Arriving early is always preferred and it is even better if you can arrive 10 minutes early. Avoid cancelling or changing meetings at the last minute- this could ruin a relationship!

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Photo of Clock via Wikipedia / Sun Ladder

Business attire is formal, neat, and conservative. It is always recommended to wear a suit or nice dress, even if it is a casual business meeting

Make sure to shake hands when greeting someone. No cheek kisses or bowing allowed!

You are not expected to bring a gift nor compliment the person with whom you are to meet. There is usually a strong distinction between work and pleasure, and Germans do not like to mix them.

Here are 10 German expressions to learn before your next business trip to Germany:

1. Lovely to meet you – Es freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen

2. Thank you for listening – Vielen Dank fϋr Ihre Aufmerksamkeit

3. I have a question. – Ich habe eine Frage

4. In my opinion … – Meiner Meinung nach …

5. May I interrupt? – Darf ich kurz unterbrechen?

6. Could you give us an example please? – Können Sie uns bitte ein Beispiel geben?

7. Does anybody have a question regarding this matter? – Hat jemand eine Frage dazu?

8. During this meeting we will discuss the following topics – Während des Meetings werden wir ϋber die folgenden Themen sprechen

9. Can I please introduce you to … – Darf ich Ihnen … vorstellen

10. When is the deadline? – Wann ist der Termin?

In order to conduct a full meeting in German, you should look into taking a German course before your travels. First, take our German level test  to assess your current level before beginning one of our specialized German language course. With these tips and useful phrases, you will be able to ace your business trip to Germany!

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