Travel Tips: Americans vs Germans

Proud Americans

Summer travel is upon us and thousands of Americans head to Europe every day. Germany is often one of the popular destinations for Americans traveling abroad. Germany has a long and rich history and has long been popular among American travelers. The benefit of traveling to Germany as an American is that you only need a valid passport to travel there. You will not need to apply for a visa in order to visit Germany as an American tourist. So grab your passport and head to Europe. But before you know, you should familiarize yourself with the stereotypes held by Americans and Germans.

What Germans Think of Americans and What Americans Think of Germans

For years authors have been narrating the truth behind what Germans think of Americans and what Americans think of Germans. Mark Twain wrote “A Tramp Abroad” which is a hilarious view of the quirks that Americans find so strange about German student life. Henry Adams wrote “The Education of Henry Adams”, which took plenty of jabs at the German education system and shows a disappointing view on big cities like Berlin. However, we don’t always take what we know from literature. So when there is a group of Americans talking (not with inside voices) outside of a McDonalds what do Germans really think? When an American sees a group of Bavarian teenagers running through the streets in their lederhosen and dirndl, what do they really think?

Proud AmericansGerman views on Americans:

1.) Americans are loud.
“Inside voices” are not something Americans know well as they are always screaming over one another and laughing too loudly.
2.) Americans are arrogant and ethnocentric.
Unfortunately, the ethnocentric view could be understandable because often Americans travel to Germany and do not learn a sentence of German and instead expect everyone to speak English. (Because it’s the international language of the world and all). Americans often give off the impression that American culture, movies, celebrities, traditions, and nearly everything is the center of the world because of the fact that America does influence much of the world, however there is a lot of world outside of the US borders.
3.) Americans live a fast paced life.
Is it the McDonalds and fast food craze or drive through liquor stores that gives this one truth?
4.) Americans are overweight.
The German life expectancy stomps on the American life expectancy, and obesity? Well 35% of Americans are said to be overweight while Germany doesn’t even make the top 10 list.
5.) All Americans own guns.
We can thank the media and news for this perception. Yes America has different gun control laws differing from state to state, but not everyone has a gun in their purse or pocket. In addition this perception can be derived from the police brutality and attacks on the publics.

American ideas of German stereotypesAmericans view on Germans:

1.) Germans are cold.
Germans are necessarily known for being the most friendly or inviting people at first glance. It is true, however, that Germans typically take their time to warm up to strangers and once they do so they make the best of friends.
2.) All Germans own a lederhosen or dirndl.
This Bavarian tradition has made its mark on American’s impression of Germans at large so when an American travels to Hamburg they may be disappointed that this stereotype couldn’t be more false unless they travel to the southern most region. Then yes, you may see some of the strange stereotypes of Germans.
3.) Germans only drink beer and eat sausage.
This isn’t entirely true, they also indulge in hundreds of types of bread and cheese! But the stereotype is strong with this one, and Americans love to indulge in beer and sausage when they get to Germany.
4.) Germans do not understand sarcasm.
The German sense of humor is known for being particularly dry and not susceptible to sarcasm at least in English, so this could just be a language barrier.