March 15, 2021

Common things Germans say and do, and what they mean (Nina from Germany)

Common things Germans say and do, and what they mean (Nina from Germany)

The Germans have certain words, sayings, and gestures that they do very often, often without even thinking about it. And some of these things can be very confusing to people new in Germany. For example:  you'll often hear "Oh je" or "So!" in a conversation.

Previous guest and resident German Nina joins me to try and explain some of these mannerisms to help us understand what they mean.

Watch this interview on YouTube to see all the gestures.

The German podcast that Nina and I host together is called Die Deutsche und der Ausländer: Listen to the show or watch on YouTube

We discuss:

  • Pech gehabt/selber Schuld
  • Oh je!
  • Tja!
  • So!
  • Na?
  • Two different "Hmmm" sounds
  • Boah!
  • Drücken die Daumen and "Toi toi toi!"
  • The windshield wiper gesture ("Bist du bescheuert?")
  • Rubbing fingers together
  • Pulling on the eye 
  • Jein
  • Knocking on the table to applaud


  • On Saturday 20th March 2021 at 11am, Lisa Janz will interview me in a Facebook Livestream about my experience with finding jobs in Germany: Lisa Janz - Job Coach Germany



 Visit the official The Germany Experience website

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Resident German

Nina is a German and co-hosts Die Deutsche und der Ausländer podcast with Shaun. She regularly appears on The Germany Experience to discuss observations about German culture.