Cliché 7 – Die Sprache der Liebe

Languages such as French, Italian and Spanish are often described as ‘the languages of love,’ but what about German? Well… not so much.

We’re sure that you’re all familiar with videos such as the one below, so it comes as no surprise that most people don’t necessarily consider Germans to be romantics.

Let’s start talking about the language itself. Most people consider German to be quite a harsh language (and when you watch the video above it’s no surprise!). German requires many sounds which come from the back of the vocal tract, which often lead to the perception of a language sounding harsh. However, there are many languages which use these sounds, so why do most people immediately think of German when it comes to harsh sounding languages?

Well, it turns out that the answer to this is incredibly simple – it’s because people expect it! The negative stereotype that German is a harsh language actually changes peoples’ perception of the language itself. People expect the language to sound harsh and that’s why it does! Funnily enough, many other languages, such as American English and yes, even the language of love, French, use the same harsh ‘r’ sound which is common in the German language, yet neither of these languages are generally perceived to be particularly harsh.

 

 

So now we know that the German language isn’t actually that harsh, but what about Germans themselves? Will they buy you long-stem red roses on Valentine’s Day? What about a romantic dinner by candle light? Or how about long walks on the beach at sunset?

 

 

Well, many Germans aren’t exactly what you would call romantic by the standards of Hollywood movies – German romance is much more subtle than that. Whilst they may not necessarily sweep you off your feet, as an Italian or French person may do, they may win you over in other ways:

  • If they say they’ll call, they will actually call. They won’t play games with you and make you wait for a certain number of days before they pick up the phone – if they like you, they’ll call or text you when they say they will!
  • They will be on time. None of this making him/ her wait. If they say they’ll meet you at 7pm, that’s exactly when they will show up (but this means you should be on time too!).
  • They’ll be honest with you. You won’t hear “I’m just so busy right now” (unless it’s the day before their final exams or a huge presentation at work) or “It’s not you, it’s me”. If they like you, they’ll tell you… but if they don’t like you, be prepared for them to be brutally honest with you and tell you that too.
  • They’ll make plans. They won’t make you wait all week and leave you wondering whether he/ she will call at the last minute on Friday night to ask you out – if they like you, they’ll probably call you on Monday to see if you’re free on the weekend and make plans.
  • Holidays! Germans love to go on vacation – often to another country, but sometimes to visit other cities within Germany. Be prepared for many fun, exciting, and sometimes very romantic holidays together – whether it’s a weekend trip to the Austrian Alps or a 3 week vacation backpacking through Asia.
  • They’ll open up to you. Whilst many Germans often hold back when they initially meet new people, they will open up to you once you get to know them better and you’ll experience more than just their serious side!
  • They’ll try to improve your life. If you mentioned to your German significant other that an extra shelf in your room would make your life so much easier, don’t be surprised if one suddenly appears right where you wanted it.

Whilst German romance may not include the grand romantic gestures which you see in movies and TV shows, it may surprise you how much easier and more fun your life becomes when you start dating a German!

 

We’d say that the myth that Germans aren’t romantic is most certainly

 

Images and information retrieved from:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/03/german-harsh-language-other-languages-video_n_3683379.html

http://monkeysandmountains.com/german-romance

http://www.kitaab.com/evolution-of-romance-in-the-literature-era/

 

 

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