German is far more than the language of Schiller and Goethe: more than 100 million people grow up with German as their mother tongue. German is the most widely-spoken mother tongue in the European Union and is one of the ten most important languages in the world. In addition to Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein, German is also spoken in other countries. While many French terms once characterised day to day language in Switzerland, more and more English words have been finding their way into spoken usage in recent years.

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What is considered polite?

What would we recommend to ensure that you are polite? "Ich kriege diese Brötchen da" ["I'll get those bread rolls there"] would sound absolutely fine in a Hamburg bakery. Here, however, you should at least add a "Bitte" ["Please"], and the word "kriege" [get] might shock a bakery assistant a little bit.


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