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PHONE CALLS: Differences in Germany & USA

PHONE CALLS: Differences in Germany & USA


You might think that there can’t possibly
be that many differences between making phone calls in Germany and in the U.S. I mean, it’s
a phone. You pick it up and you call people. It can’t be that different in the two countries,
right? Well, actually when it comes to phone calls,
there’s quite a bit to talk about. Talk about…phone call… Hey everyone! I’m Dana and you’re watching Wanted Adventure Living Abroad. Let’s start with what happens when you call
someone. You dial a number and then put the phone up
to your ear and you listen and you wait. And the phone goes “ring ring ring” in your
ear, right? Not in Germany. Phones make a different sound as you wait
for someone to pick up in different parts of the world. In Germany the sound is less ring like in
the U.S., and more like “boop boop.” Okay so, you call someone, the phone rings,
they pick up. Well, right there is a really big, glaring
difference. And I learned this difference when I still
lived in Prague, actually. I called Mr. German Man back when I still
lived in Prague, from a phone number that he didn’t recognize, and he picked up the
phone and just blurted out his last name. That was it. Just his last name. No hello. No hi, this is Stefan. Nope, just: last name. I was like: oh my God, Stefan are you mad
at me? Or are you just super upset in general? At the time I didn’t even realize that it
was his last name he had said. He said it so quickly and kind of mumbled. All I heard was like, mmhrr. “No, why would I be upset?” he asked. Yeah, in the U.S. I was taught to answer the
phone with “hello” first and foremost. Hello Dana speaking. Or: hello this is Dana. Or maybe just: hello. But certainly not just saying the last name
and nothing more. No, I had never heard anyone doing that in
the U.S., but here in Germany I’ve learned that it’s a pretty common way of picking
up the phone. Alright, so now the person has picked up the
phone and you can really sink your teeth into the meat of the conversation, right? Ehh not so fast if you’re in the U.S. or
if you’re calling an American. First it’s time for the smalltalk, of course. Hi Sally, how are you? I’m good how are you? Good, how’s the cooking going? I think you mentioned that you were going
to take a cooking class? Yeah, that’s right, I am. Well, I mean, you know, Jim and I haven’t
burned down the house yet or anything. So I guess it’s all going pretty good. Oh yeah, that’s good. That’s a good goal to have at least. So Sally, I’m calling you about the fundraiser next week. After the smalltalk then the main conversation
can begin. In Germany it’s a little more streamlined. Last name, hi this is so-and-so. Hi so-and-so. And then you launch into the main reason for the call. And then eventually the call is over, and
I would like to highlight here that saying goodbye is pretty much the same in Germany
and the U.S. I have gotten lots and lots and lots of questions
about this in the comments from people who noticed that in American movies and TV shows
people often just hang up the phone without saying goodbye. They’re like: yeah totally. I totally have your back. Whatever you need, I’m there for you. Click. Yeah, no problem, I’m happy to care for
your dog while you’re out there chasing after bad guys this week. No worries. Click! No, that is not an American thing, I just
want to clear that up. It is a movies and TV shows thing. In the U.S. we definitely say goodbye before
hanging up the phone. And as far as cell phones go: when I first
moved to Europe, I was shocked — pleasantly shocked, but still shocked — to learn that
if someone called me on my cell phone or texted me that didn’t cost me any of my minutes or
charge me for the text. Only the person who made the call or sent
the text was charged. In the U.S., at least 8 years ago when I left,
both parties were charged when talking on cell phones. And both the sender and the receiver of a
text message were charged. But I guess nowadays with the unlimited plans,
this really isn’t such a big deal anymore. Yeah, technology and the way that it is used
has definitely changed a lot in the last 8 years. So my question for you is: What other phone
or calling differences do you know of around the world and what about in German movies
and TV shows? Do people say goodbye or just hang up at the
end of a sentence? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks so much for watching and liking and
commenting and subscribing to my channel. I really hope that you enjoyed this video
and I also hope that you will enjoy the bloopers that are coming up next. Until next time auf Wiedersehen! Launch into main call for reason. No, main reason for call! Chasing after bad… So, he was like, uh, I totally forgot what
I was talking about. Why aren’t you listening to me? I said wait. I’m talking to technology that can’t hear
me.

40 thoughts on “PHONE CALLS: Differences in Germany & USA”

  1. You have not mentioned another difference. For goodbye in german is normally said: Auf Wiedersehen, which would be translated exactly with: up to see (you) again. But at the end of a phone call we say: Auf Wiederhören! That would be translated with: up to hear (you) again. Well then: Auf Wiederhören!

  2. If someone calls at our house I usually answer with "Hallo, hier ist <full name>" On my mobile phone I just assume the person knows who he or she is calling and just say "Hallo?"

  3. If both parties are charged for the second, is smalltalk obligation just a conspiracy of phone companies to make more money?

  4. We in America had a luxury for talking for free even before cell phones. Just pay monthly fee and talk as much as you want. Not in Germany. I rememeber my bills in the 90s in Germany, one of them was over 1700 Deutsche Mark. So people are used to talk straight to the point and other side understand that too, no time for chat, just finish it already! 😂

  5. 1:15 The Dutch custom when answering a phone call is to just say, "Good {whatever part of the day it is}. With {name you'd like to be addressed with}.".

    About the small talk. I'm actually more to the point. In the rare event that I make a phone call, I have a reason for it, so I get straight to the point.

    3:49 Why on Earth would the receiver be charged for the text or call?

  6. smalltalk in US culture is polite because it's a way to show that you matter, that what is happening in your life matters. maybe that helps you without those customs understand the reason behind the annoyance.

  7. A lot of things irritate me with Germans and phone calls…my wife too and she's German. First, it makes no sense to announce yourself as the callee. The person calling should know who they called but you don't typically knkwmwhose calling unless they're in your directory, so, The onus should be formthr caller to announce themself. Unless it's business, I refuse to answer with anything other than hello.

    And yeah, Germans hate normal human interaction. Actually showing that you have interest in the other person is seen as offensive. The only personal I retraction allowed is prying obnoxious invasive iquisition.

    Second, actually getting a hold of a business is TORTURE. Many businesses don't have any form of answering machine or call waiting. You just get a busy signal and you just have to keep calling back.

    Even worse, many business will have a machine pick up but no way to leave a message. Thry just tell you basically, tough…call back. This occurs a lot during business hours too. They just don't answer. I live in a small time and sometimes you go and yep, they're there, they're not super busy, they just decided not to answer the phone. This never happens in America. If you call, someone answers. But no here, they pretend to be busy and just let the phone ring.

  8. The last name thing is stupid. If you're so stupid that you don't know who you called, you shouldn't be allowed to use a phone. You're calling me. I don't know who you are. You've interrupted my time, The onus is on you to announce yourself.

    This just is another example of how Germsns are socially hindered and disinterested in other people that they can't even remember who they called. Or they're so stupid that thry dial wrong numbers so often that thry need reassurance that they managed to actually dial the correct number.

  9. Even if you're someone I know and like, you know it's me. I have no idea if I'm talking to a friend or potential client or a maniac. Before you're getting anything from me, you're going to tell me who you are.

    If it's someone I know in my phone book, I just answer, "Hey Phil, what's up?"

    If you're not in my book, I'm not talking to you until you tell me who you are and what it's about. You called me, you should know who you called. You interrupted me…you must want something. If you're not willing to tell me who you are, I'm not interested in what you have to say.

  10. In the beginning, german phonecalls were payed by time. The more you talk, the more you pay. Smalltalk is time, and time is money. "Save your money", is what our parents learned from our grandparents, and what they teached to us. So, we heard them on the phone and learned, how to talk on the phone. Now, we don´t have to look at the time. Its the same money for a longer or shorter phonecall. It doesn´t matter, if you´re talking round the clock or never, but it´s in our heads. it´s what we have seen and doing. it´s what our children (will) see, and also doing. A german thing.

  11. Its not always like this but mostly we hate small talk. Its just inefficiant and what we call oberflächlich.

  12. If I don't know the phone number, I say my last name. If someone like my mother or my grandparents (we live in the same house) calls me, I say often only "Ja?" (Yes?). If other relatives calls me, I often say "Hello"

  13. About hanging up the phone without bye – that is similar in TV series in Germany. They just speak and abruptly end the call. Noone would do so in real life (except he or she was very angry).

  14. Wow das Geheimnis wurde gelüftet. Habe mich schon so oft gefragt warum die Amis am schluss des Telefonats sich nicht verabschieden. Zumindest will es uns Hollywood glauben machen. In den gesamten House of Cards Staffeln verabschiedet sich keiner am Telefon. Unglaublich.

  15. I was taught to say my full Name when answering the phone. So people knew that i wasn t my mother. Hallo hier spricht Nina Alexander kann ich Ihnen helfen. On my mobile i also just say Hello…

  16. In the US, if you don't recognize the caller, just answer with, "Ja… was willst du?" And if the response indicates it's an unwanted call, simply say, "Ich verstehe das nicht" and hang up. I've learned they almost never call back.

  17. Intressting. Im from Germany and we thinks in USA you never say goodbye 😂… But in Germany when we know, who is phone me, then we doesnt say the Lastname. We say for example: „Guten Morgen“ ( good morning) … Or „Guten Abend“( good Evening)… When we see a number and we dont know who is this, then we say the Lastname. Then Maybe this is a Person from a office or a Teacher or my big chef. We doesnt say you. We say the Lastname to this Person. Sorry my englisch is not so well. But i find intressting to hear the differet Things in USA and Europa

  18. Americans habitually small-talk because their communication is cliche'-driven. That is, they lack the depth of thought which allows them to consider deeper and more significant ideas of life. Yes, Americans are culturally given to small talk because they're simply less educated.

  19. The caller/sender has always been the one to be charged in my country.
    It is the only thing that makes sense.

  20. You can't even say "in the us" anymore, for something like this. So much is different between various people. As for the ring sound, what ever you say in the US will be wrong also. Let's just say it may be different The sould you hear is a SIMULATION, o just a noise to let you know that it is trying to get the other person to pick up.

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