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The German Way : Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs in the German-Speaking World Paperback


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The German Way : Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs in the German-Speaking World + When in Germany, Do as the Germans Do: The Clued-In Guide to German Life, Language, and Culture
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Product Details

  • Series: Cross- Cultural Guides That Enhance Communication
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 11, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0844225134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844225135
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The German Way is a handy guide to understanding how people from every corner of the German-speaking world think, do business, and act in their daily lives.

Organized alphabetically for ease of use, The German Way is an indispensable reference to the common as well as the divergent cultural traits of German-speaking people. Included are 77 key traits, representing German-speaking people from all walks of life and from the following countries where German is spoken: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Familiarity with the varied ways in which these people celebrate holidays, interact with one another, eat, dress, and so on will increase your ability to communicate with German-speaking men and women everywhere.

Complete with a bibliography and index, The German Way provides keen insights into the rich variety of customs and attitudes found in German-speaking countries. Whether you are a student, tourist, or business traveler, this book will help you break the cultural barrier - and appreciate the way things are done in the German-speaking world.

The following are selected topics taken from the A-to-Z format in The German Way. The 77 cultural topics in the book include:

Abbreviations and acronyms, Advertising and marketing, American influences, Angst, Arrival, The Autobahn, Beer and wine, Business (Wirtschaft) in the German-speaking world, Cinema: German-language film production, Crime and punishment: the law, Dialects, Dining, Ecology and the environment, Education (Bildung), Family, Fashion and design, The German Past, Greetings and common courtesies, Holidays and celebrations, House and home, The identity card (der Ausweis) and other red tape, Money, banks, and credit, Patriotism and nationalism, Police, Privacy, Radio and television, Shopping, Sports, Switzerland (die Schweiz), Trains, The Wall, The WC (die Toilette), Women in society. -- From the Publisher

About the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

More About the Author

Hyde Flippo, was born in Roswell, New Mexico (USA) in 1942. He is happy to share his June 22 birthday with the late Austrian-American film director Billy Wilder. After growing up in California and North Carolina, Flippo has lived in Reno, Nevada since 1960. He is now a semi-retired high school teacher (of German, natürlich) and a busy author of books as well as the webmaster for several websites. He and his wife enjoy visits to Europe and other travel.

Customer Reviews

This book is not only informative, but is also a good and easy read.
Blacjaguar
We plan to recommend it to our international employees in Germany, and those considering a move to Germany.
raphael_schwerdt@hp.com
This book is very interesting and has quite a bit of factual material.
DU

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By J. Collins on March 2, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I lived in Germany for over three years. My German acquaintances in general liked Americans; but they greatly disliked our cultural ignorance. I also did part-time work as a tour guide and a portion of "tour guiding" is to educate people on the culture, and saw the extent of this ignorance first-hand. While German/Austrian/Swiss society is in a "big picture" sense similar to American, (guilt vs shame-based culture, individuality vs collectivism) there are major differences in personal and business relationships. Anyone who really wants to know Germany or succeed in business dealings with Germans ignores these differences at their peril. This book does an outstanding job of clearly explaining all aspects of German society from Government through economy, consumerism, to social relationships. It also spells out the contrasts between German and American ways of thinking, and between German and Austrian/Swiss world-views. Bottom line is if you want a better vacation experience in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, a better business trip, or are just interested in other cultures, get this book.
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Ron Hunka on January 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
"The German Way"
Hyde Flippo
ISBN 0-8442-2513-4
"The German Way" is quite an interesting little book. Having lived in Germany and traveled in Austria, and, to a lesser extent, Switzerland, there were numerous items of information in this book that were unknown to me. For example, although I have visited almost every province in Austria from the shore of the Bodensee in the west to Vienna in the east, I did not know that Austria was eighty-five percent Catholic.
I was vaguely aware that Germans use eating implements differently than Americans do. I have occasionally eaten a sandwich with a knife and fork in a "Gasthaus". However, I did not realize the extent to which handling table implements is a differentiator between Germans and Americans. For example, my wife pointed out to me in discussing this part of the book that one of our German friends, who has lived in the U.S. for seven or eight years, uses a modified German style of handling silverware.
It was also surprising to read that only fifteen percent of the movies Germans watch are from Germany. This may explain why many of the German movies available to be rented in the U.S., even from specialty houses, are usually older ones.
It was a total surprise to me that the local office of vital statistics has to review the names given to babies in Germany to ensure that the name must not endanger the child and that it reflects the child's sex. The latter rule, maybe the first, would have made short shrift of "A Boy Named Sue".
One point about the German language that Hyde Flippo appears to oversimplify somewhat is the idea that "Hoch Deutsch" originated from the way the language was spoken in the northern part of Germany.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I suppose that someone who knew absolutely NOTHING about German culture would find this book interesting and useful. But, if you already know a little bit and want to learn more (like me) you will likely be disappointed. Others have pointed out that each topic is covered briefly, and in my opinion, that's usually EXTREMELY briefly. I find the alphabetical organization of topics unhelpful, and would prefer to have similar subjects located together. I often had to guess several times to see which word the author would use to alphabetize a given topic. If you're looking for more than a quick-and-dirty introduction to German culture, skip this book and read "Culture Shock! Germany" instead.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Celia A. Sgroi on March 1, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an informative little book written in a very readable style, in which a "foreigner" can learn quite a bit about German behavior, attitudes and customs. Not surprisingly, the less you already know about life in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the more useful it is.
One thing I don't much like is that the 77 brief articles are listed in alphabetical order by title, instead of by subjects or themes. Shouldn't "At the table" (6) and "Dining" (21) be grouped together instead of appearing 25 pages apart? And why not put something like "Greetings and common courtesies" (36) at the beginning of the book?
Another problem is that some of the information has become dated. The introduction of the Euro has pretty much killed the discussion on currency, for example, and the abolition of customs and passport controls among the EU countries has advanced considerably since the book was published. The same is true for things like store opening hours and rules about having sales and giving discounts. These things are inevitable, of course, but they do affect the usefulness of the book.
Nevertheless, this is an entertaining way to learn more about the people who live in the German-speaking countries of Europe, and it even boasts some humor. My favorite line is: "On a sweltering train the window remains closed because Germans seem to think that a draft will kill you quicker than heat prostration." How true!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By raphael_schwerdt@hp.com on January 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. We plan to recommend it to our international employees in Germany, and those considering a move to Germany.
The optimum, however, especially if you are interested in brand-new, current information, is to use the outstanding companion Website (sorry, URL not allowed here, but simple to guess) in parallel with the book. I think the right combination of printed and electronic media is the future, and that has already become a reality here.
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