July 24, 2011

Discussion: 'Duzen' and 'Siezen'

From http://german.about.com

Deciding between 'Siezen' and 'Duzen' can be tricky at times. If you 'siezt' someone too long, you may come across as too stiff, on the other hand if you 'duzt' someone too quickly, you risk sounding impolite. Well, certain German groups have this dilemma covered. It's been a growing trend in the German business world to 'duzt' your colleagues. In fact, some companies have a clause in your contract that states that you agree to address others in the company with 'du.' One pioneering example is the Swedish chain IKEA that insists that this familiar form of addressing people be used, even towards customers! The same trend exists in many artistic venues as well.

To read and join a discussion of this usage question go to http://german.about.com/b/2011/07/11/duzen-and-siezen-poll.htm?nl=1 and scroll down to read people’s comments.

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