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What can I do to build friendship with my German colleagues

It can be rewarding and pleasant to have a friendship with your German colleagues, but it can also be difficult, particularly if you are not familiar with the local way of life. Here are some ideas about how to become friends with your German colleagues:

Be punctual

Germans value punctuality and count on their colleagues to show up for meetings and work on time. Being dependable and on schedule will help you gain the respect and trust of your coworkers.

Get to know your colleagues

You can develop connections and feel more a part of your team by making an effort to get to know your colleagues. Consider asking them about their hobbies and interests or going out to lunch or coffee with them.

Participate in team-building activities

Participating in team-building activities or social gatherings offered by numerous German businesses might help you get to know your coworkers and foster relationships. You might also think about recommending some of your own interests, like hiking or participating in a team sport.

Show interest in their culture

Germans take great pride in their culture and customs, thus expressing an interest in them can promote connections and understanding. You can think about inquiring about regional customs and traditions or going to cultural events or holidays with your coworkers. Check out our free “Ask The Locals” ebook for some tips!

Credits: Boldomatic

Be respectful and polite

It is important to treat coworkers with respect and consideration because politeness and respect are values in Germany. Be conscious of local customs and standards and refrain from saying or making inappropriate jokes.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Ask for assistance if necessary if you are having trouble with a task or if you have concerns about your employment. Your coworkers will probably be pleased to help you and offer advice, and this can be an excellent chance to develop trust and relationships.

Be open to trying new things

Being open to these chances can help you make friends and broaden your horizons because Germans are frequently willing to try new things and experience different cultures. You might think about suggesting activities or events that are outside your comfort zone or going on cultural outings with your employees.

Show appreciation

Germans place a high emphasis on appreciation and acknowledgment, thus expressing your gratitude for the accomplishments of your coworkers can strengthen your bonds with them. You can think about sending them a small gift or note of appreciation in appreciation for their assistance.

Be a good listener

Building trust and respect with your coworkers while actively listening to them and demonstrating an interest in what they have to say can also help you understand more about their backgrounds and experiences.

Have a sense of humor

A dry, subtle sense of humor is common among Germans, and being able to laugh and appreciate a joke can help you make friends and foster a healthy work atmosphere. However, it’s crucial to be aware of cultural variations and to refrain from cracking insensitive or offensive jokes.

In general, building friendship with your German colleagues takes time, effort, and cultural sensitivity. You can create solid, lasting relationships and enhance your experience in Germany by using these suggestions and remaining open to fresh experiences and viewpoints.

Do you want to know more about the German culture to help you integrate? Check out our FREE “Ask The Locals” ebook!

Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in Germany

Best Places To Celebrate Christmas in Germany

It’s finally (almost) the most wonderful time of the year! Whether or not you are new in Germany, you must be planning for your Christmas holidays already, who isn’t?! We made a list of the top places to visit for Christmas in Germany to help you plan your best holidays for this year. From Christmas markets to historical places, we have everything covered in this blog post!

Christmas is more special when celebrated with friends and families. But for most of the internationals in Germany, especially the newcomers, the first Christmas away from home can be really challenging. If you are one of them, you can read our article on how to fight back expat blues in Germany. We hope it helps you!

Nuremberg

Visit Nuremberg and you’ll be able to experience one of the largest Christmas Markets on the planet, attracting more than 2 million people annually and featuring hundreds of unique vendors selling everything from handcrafted gifts to traditional German foods. You can also enjoy delicious smells and flavors of Glühwein, Gingerbread, Wurst, Sweet Roasted Almonds, waffles and so much more in an unforgettable holiday experience in the old town. The Toy Museum and Grand Carousel are particularly delightful in this charming Bavarian city.

Christmas Eve at Berlin Cathedral

Other than its amazing Christmas markets, Berlin has much more to offer for Christmas. Located in the Mitte, the Berliner Dom dominates its surroundings with the Fernsehturm and River Spree in the background.On Christmas Eve, people go to the cathedral to hear heavenly choirs perform. If you want to experience such a serene atmosphere, then the Berliner Dom is the place to be. 

Munich

Christmas is a time of traditions everywhere, but nowhere is this truer than in the city of Munich in southern Germany. With its rich history, Munich has been celebrating Christmas for centuries. Thanks to the conservative nature of southern German cities, they’ve managed to preserve their traditional culture for centuries.

One of the most famous of the Munich Christmas markets takes place at the Old Town Hall square in the heart of the old town. It’s no surprise that the Christmas tree has become one of the most popular sights in the city. You can also enjoy live performances by musicians playing at the Town Hall every day after lunch.

Image credits: iStock

Dresden

Dresden has the largest number of Christmas market stalls in the eastern part of Germany and it also holds the oldest annual Christmas market, dating back to 1434. Located at Altmarkt Square, it’s surrounded by numerous themed Christmas markets that stretch from the main train station to the Albertplatz. Here you’ll find some of the best handcrafted products Germany has to offers, including ceramics from Lusatia, biscuits from Pulsnitz and much more.

Freiburg

Freiburg is an enchanting small town in Germany with an amazing atmosphere throughout the entire holiday season, located at the foot of the Black Forest, but it’s especially wonderful during the holidays, when the festive Christmas market sets up shop in the heart of the historical old town. Here people from all age groups can enjoy a variety of traditional arts and craft products, including glassblowing and colorful wooden toys. There’s lots of roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, gingerbread, and sausage with the smells of Christmas waft through the air. You can shop for ceramics, candlesticks, puppetry, holiday decorations, and so much more.

Cologne

With its large population, Cologne also makes it to our list of best places to celebrate Christmas in Germany and it already offers plenty for visitors throughout the entire calendar. During the coldest months, the city remains warmer and less snowy than most of Germany. There are some fantastic Christmas markets in Germany, including one in Cologne which is especially beautiful. The biggest Christmas market in Cologne is located right next to the Cologne Cathedral’s 157 meter tall Gothic tower. At this market, you’ll find everything from handmade Christmas ornaments to gingerbread cookies, traditional wooden toys and quirky Tassen plates.

Not a fan of Christmas? Well, winters in Germany are not the coldest in Europe which is a good news. You can check out these amazing winter destinations in Germany here if you specially love adventures!

German translation services

Is there a difference between North and South Germany?

With an area of 357,386 km², Germany is not that big of a country. However, many have still noticed that there are quite some differences between the Northern and the Southern part of the country. You might have also experienced the changes in culture, food and dialect while moving from the North to the South of Germany. This blog post shares what German people think about the differences between the two parts.

Some believe that, it might partly have to do with religion, but not all of it. Northern Germany is predominantly Protestant, while most of southern Germany is Catholic. The main problem is prejudice. According to The Spiegel, „People in the cool, practical, intellectual, industrialized, liberal north of Germany think the lazy hick farmers in the south are backward and racist, and they talk funny too“. They also state that Berliners will even hate the southern German mountains because they make them feel claustrophobic!

Booka Local recently published its ebook „Ask the Locals“ where we asked locals if they think there is a difference between North and South Germany and this is what they said:

„There is a gradient in Germany, you can say the further south the more conservative people are. People in the north are cool and liberal, in the south more cordial but more conservative. In the north more fish, in the south more meat. As I said, this is a rough guide. In general, Germany is quite different in its regions in terms of mind- set, dialect, culture, food, customs, and so on.“ (Jens, 36)

„The southern Germans love the cosiness and are very tradition- al. The northern Germans are cool.“ (Johannes, 35)

„JAAA! They are two different cultures.“ (Silvia, 27)

„Yes! With the southern Germans, it’s often about their reputation, while the northern Germans don’t care.“ (Karin, 27)

„Northern Germany appears more open.“ (Hanna, 26)

„There are cultural differences between regions in Germany. Even between Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. A prejudice against Bavaria is possibly regional patriotism. Or socializing in the Bierstübl. I think, however, one should not refer to the Munich Schickeria or the Oktoberfest to the whole of Bavaria. Baden-Württemberg stands for a lot of money and industriousness, but also for stuffiness. Northern Germans are said to have a roughness and a sober manner. They often don’t talk to people directly and prefer to keep to themselves. But once you’ve cracked the ice, there’s a warm core underneath. I think the statement “hard shell, soft core” applies well.“ (Emilia, 30)

Do you want to know what else the locals think about the difference between the two parts of Germany and about other German stereotypes? Download our ebook for free now!

It was shared on Quora that „agriculture and farming is most common in the south because there aren’t as large cities next to each other. There’s a lot of space for livestock and growing vegetables. There are big cities like Munich, but it is definitely different from them because it’s located near smaller towns and mountains. People in the South tend to be very stingy and like to gossip (obviously this happens more in smaller towns since everyone knows one another) but it is definitely more of a southern thing since people in the rest of Germany just like to mind their own business“ (Royce, 2018). 
„Germans who live in the North tend to be very outgoing and talkative in terms of making people feel welcome. It starts with words like “Moin” that make you feel at ease and comfortable. They also tend to have a great humor whereas Bavarians for example tend to be more reserved and they have a very different humor a lot of times. Bavarians are often seen as cold and a lot of people think that bavarians think of themselves very highly so they come off as arrogant which is why Germans joke about Bavaria being it’s own country. Keep in mind that these things are generalizations and not EVERY person who lives either in the North or South is exactly like that but speaking from experience those rumors definitely have some truth in them“ (Royce, 2018).

People living in Germany have seen many differences between North and South Germany. According to them, the cultures, religions and manners are the most different. It is however important to note that not all people from those two parts share the same characteristics as some people might have talked about. Northern and Southern Germany may have its differences, but it is certain to say that both are stunning places to visit!

German language

How to raise kids in a multilingual family?

As a parent, you want to raise your children in a multicultural environment. How can you do this without creating too much stress? In this blog post we talk about how to raise kids in a multilingual family!


The global population is growing rapidly. As a result, there has been a rise in the number of families who speak multiple languages at home. According to the United Nations, over half of the world’s population now lives in countries where two or more languages are spoken.


Multiculturalism is becoming the norm today. Parents from around the globe are bringing their children up speaking multiple languages. This means that they should also learn to communicate with each other. If you’re thinking of having children, then you should consider learning a language before they arrive.

Why do you want to raise your kids to be multilingual?

First of all, many believe that multilingual children are better prepared for school and work. They also learn how to communicate with people from different cultures.
However, in today’s world, a lot of parents do not raise their kids to be multilingual out of a choice – they could be immigrants in a new country themselves. It means that, the parents speak another language (or several different languages) at home which is not the native language in the country they live in. Their kids have no choice but to be exposed to different languages at the same time.

Don’t children get confused when they hear two languages spoken around them?

Children are extremely sensitive to the different ways adults speak. Even when they understand only one language, they learn quickly about the differences between how men and women talk, and other differences. Bilingual situations aren’t always a disadvantage. Sometimes it’s an advantage!
Bilingual children may take a bit longer to learn how to speak two languages. Their brains have to work harder to understand both languages. However, bilingual children do develop faster than those who speak only one language.

Raising a multilingual family is hard – what makes it work?

Many books and articles aimed at parents who want their kids to learn languages claim that the best way for them to learn a new language is through OPOL, which stands for “one person, one language.” In this case, both parents speak two languages. One parent speaks English and Spanish; the other parent speaks French and German. In fact, for several reasons, this method isn’t ideal. It is actually found that most children who speak two languages end up using one language exclusively for communication purposes. The success rate was especially high when both parents spoke the home language while the children learned the other language at school. Furthermore, even if the parents were able to speak several different languages, their children would only learn the one they actually use at home. It makes perfect sense because there’s a direct relationship between the amount of time children spend interacting with their parents and the rate at which they learn new words. However, the exact amount of time needed is not known. There is no scientific evidence to back up claims that children need to be exposed to a language for at least thirty percent of their waking hours before they begin to learn it easily (aeon.co).


‘The earlier the better’? Children learn languages best after the age of 12. The current trend in Europe for teaching children English earlier than usual isn’t working well. A child can lose the motivation to learn if starting a language too early – especially if the child is already learning a language at home from one of his or her parents (aeon.co).

How to raise kids in a multilingual family comes with many challenges. If you are a parent living in a foreign land and have to bring up your children with a mixture of languages, make sure you do not put pressure on them to learn different languages or stress yourself about not speaking the foreign language, because they eventually catch up with them by being exposed to them.

Do you have to visit your children’s Kindergarten but do not speak German? We‘ve got your back. Simply book a local now!

Make New Friends In Germany

5 Ways To Make New Friends In Germany

Germany is a wonderful country to live in but it can sometimes be hard to make new friends. Here are some tips on how you can get started and find new people who share your interests:

  1. Learn the German Language

The Germans are one of the most well known groups in Europe and many foreigners find themselves attracted to their culture. However, you might be surprised by how some German people can be reluctant when it comes to communicating with other internationals who don’t speak fluent German yet. This is because they say that no matter what language we’re speaking, communication requires a certain level of understanding on both sides which isn’t possible if only one person speaks fluently.

So make sure before coming over here you learn at least enough basics for your stay or join a language class after arriving as this will undoubtedly increase your chances of meeting locals while also meeting other internationals who are learning the German language as well.

2. Join a local sports club

Joining a local sports club is a great way to make friends with locals and other internationals in Germany. Sports clubs are the perfect opportunity to share an interest, which will help you expand your circle of social connections while fostering new friendships as well! These sports teams generally have annual membership fees available for roughly €50, making it affordable for almost anyone who wants some friendly company on the field or court.

This could be just what you need if you are looking for more ways to meet like-minded people from your area; join one now before they fill up their roster! You can also join your university’s sports clubs which are normally cheaper and also free sometimes. This will help you meet other fellow students from your university.

3. Attend events in your area

As COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being removed from Germany, there will hopefully soon be a resurgence in cultural activities as seen pre-pandemic when they would attract large groups of curious foreigners wanting an inside look into authentic German life. If you haven’t already joined one or two campus organizations we recommend doing so because it provides a great opportunity to meet new friends while also gaining exposure about what goes on outside your school.

You can find the Germany’s most popular cultural festivals here.

Having an international experience in a new city can be hard, but luckily many platforms exist for you to meet and connect with other people. MeetUp is app-based while InterNations has more of a website feel and both offer various events that members organize themselves. The popular activities include drinking, cooking classes or hikes depending on the season (or year!). If meeting up isn’t your thing then creating your own event will let others know about it too!

4. Volunteer

If you want to meet new people and explore your interests, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities in Germany. For example, Sports clubs, charities or animal rescue organizations can all be great ways to make friends with similar hobbies. It is always recommended that if you’re interested in joining these groups it would help a lot if you speak German as most volunteers will also be fluent.

If you want to volunteer for a company and don’t speak German yet, try Booka Local’s Student Ambassador Program. We provide translation services (such as attending appointments, phone calls in German, etc) to those who have difficulties with the German language. This program allows you to be flexible, build your resume and expand your network which is what you want to do. We plan to organize as well as sponsor more events soon as Germany removes it’s COVID-19 restrictions. You will be able to meet more internationals as well as our local helpers. This program can help you make new friends in Germany and increase your skills at the same time.

5. Join Facebook Groups and online forums

Last but not the least, there are hundreds of groups for internationals on Facebook with thousands of members. You often find members posting about events or plans to meet new people. There are normally major groups for each city and town. For example, if you’re new in Berlin, you can join ‘berlin EXPATS’ and ‘International Friends in Berlin’ with members from more than 50 countries. You can post something yourself, asking to meet new people and maybe go for a drink. You can even just connect through group chat features such as WhatsApp messenger.

You can also join online forums like Booka Local’s Quick Question Community, if ever you have questions and want advice on various things.