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  #41  
Old 28.08.2012, 10:27
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

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Oops! I read your post too late! Well a customer toasted me with his first name at a company social event. Yesterday, I got an email addressed to me using my first name, I responded using Herr, and today the customer is calling me Herr again!!
You should have addresses him as "Lieber Peter" you have declined his offer of friendship and now he will be offended.

I recommend asking him out to lunch very soon, and try and explain your actions. But first you need to read this thread again, maybe slowly this time.
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  #42  
Old 28.08.2012, 10:28
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

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Think he means "anstossen" where you chink glasses and (re)introduce yourself with your first name.
Ah! Gotcha....not really toasting, just a "Cheers" at the beginning of a meal in which everybody participates.

I had visions of Dack showing up to customer lunches in a presidential motorcade having rose petals strewn before him!


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  #43  
Old 28.08.2012, 17:49
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

I`ve been searching for this thread today, and finally found it, and read it all. Very interesting.

I asked my Swiss friend about this subject, as it also rather confused me, the offering of first names when raising a glass.

It is usual to offer your first name in this situation, and even if you continue to use first names, you still use "Sie" - until invited to use "du".

Even a boss, if on first name terms, should (according to custom here, I`m told) be addressed in public or before customers by the title "Herr"/"Frau".

But you stick to Sie until invited to the Du
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  #44  
Old 28.08.2012, 18:10
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

In public your boss will call you Frau Meier as well. Even if you and your boss had this party and you went to the "Du".

Isn't that obvious (gulp)?
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  #45  
Old 28.08.2012, 19:21
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

I've mixed it up with my Swiss mum in law - she just has a good laugh about it. When I've mixed it up with older ladies on a tram, they've had a smile and been very nice about it too.

I wouldn't give people the cold shoulder every time they incorrectly used a preposition in English - I haven't met a Swiss person who has looked annoyed when I've mixed up Sie and Du, they've just looked amused.
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  #46  
Old 28.08.2012, 19:29
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

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I`ve been searching for this thread today, and finally found it, and read it all. Very interesting.

I asked my Swiss friend about this subject, as it also rather confused me, the offering of first names when raising a glass.

It is usual to offer your first name in this situation, and even if you continue to use first names, you still use "Sie" - until invited to use "du".

Even a boss, if on first name terms, should (according to custom here, I`m told) be addressed in public or before customers by the title "Herr"/"Frau".

But you stick to Sie until invited to the Du
Using 'Sie' together with the given name is traditionally not done in Switzerland as it is a north German custom and is called 'Hamburger Sie' (see: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburger_Sie).
With duped English language films this custom arrived in Switzerland. In Germany Sie is normally used in a professional environment, thus work colleagues address each other always with 'Sie' in the dubbed version of these films. On the same time they keep the first names that are used in the original version. Thus this custom spread to all German speaking areas.

Don't forget that 'Sie' + first name is the way students today are addressed by the teacher in high school (they have to call students 'Sie' after they have completed compulsory school. on the same time it would be strange to change to family names...).
If someone addressed me with 'Sie' + first name, he would make me feel like I'm in school again. I'm not sure whether you want to do this with your boss.

If somebody offers you to call them by their first name, they are offering you the 'Du'. This two things are linked together in the south of the German speaking world. (If you however work in a company that has a first name policy, this may be different.).

Last edited by Laertes; 28.08.2012 at 20:52. Reason: typos
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  #47  
Old 28.08.2012, 22:09
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

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Using 'Sie' together with the given name is traditionally not done in Switzerland as it is a north German custom and is called 'Hamburger Sie'.
I do it naturally in German with non-teachers. It sounds natural to me, northern habit. I've never experienced any Swiss nor southern German being openly annoyed by it. I'm not sure it's so rare here either, to be honest, but it is more familiar than Sie+Familenname.
I like the Hamburger Sie. I keep it but only as a not too formal way. There are always some Frau Doktor who one just can't ever call by their first name.
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  #48  
Old 29.08.2012, 12:16
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

When I speak to anyone here spontaneously, I automatically say "du" - and they smile indulgently. I`m told that with my accent - they know I`m a foreigner and so forgive me.
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Old 29.08.2012, 14:05
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

Love this thread!! As native German speaker recently returned from blissfull Anglo-Saxon first-name country: please rest assured - noone will be offended if you mix up Sie and Du, and if they are even after you explained you're a non-native: well you wouldn't want to be friends with them in the first place, right??!!!
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  #50  
Old 29.08.2012, 14:16
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

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Back to the toasting part, I guess I don't do it enough but usually I don't say my own name when toasting?
and always look'em in the eye
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Old 29.08.2012, 14:19
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

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When I speak to anyone here spontaneously, I automatically say "du" - and they smile indulgently. I`m told that with my accent - they know I`m a foreigner and so forgive me.
and my lazy old self always goes straight for the easy 3rd person where every verb is mostly regular and unconjugated... even with kids and dogs LOL
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  #52  
Old 31.08.2012, 15:39
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Re: Changing from "Sie" to "Du"

If you´re not sure, you could also ask if you can "dutzen" which means, if you can use "du". But mostly you get a hint from how the other person addresses you. It would sound strange if you reply someone´s "du" with "Sie".
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