What are some misunderstandings about the British

The main rules of etiquette in the UK

Great Britain has numerous traditions: In addition to the English breakfast or afternoon tea, there are also some cultural idiosyncrasies of the residents. For example, the British are known for their politeness, which is an essential part of everyday life on the island.

Anyone planning a trip to Great Britain should therefore be aware of one way or another of the manners of the sometimes somewhat idiosyncratic English. Above all, the German directness can be perceived as very inappropriate on the island. Here are five tips for anyone who wants to cleverly avoid the cultural misunderstandings and faux pas in England.

1. British courtesy

She is as famous as the Queen herself: the courtesy of the English. They stand in long queues without complaint, apologize for even the smallest of clashes and enjoy talking about the weather and other trivialities. Outsiders could mistakenly interpret so much friendliness as a pretense or insincerity - for the English it is quite normal. Even small requests are made extremely politely: Phrases like “Could you do me a favor ...” or “Would you be so kind ...” (“Would you be so friendly ... ") followed by the obligatory" please "are as firmly a part of the general standard vocabulary as the strawberries with cream at the tennis tournament at Wimbledon.

2. Stand right!

If you want to be quickly recognized as a tourist in England, you should stand on an escalator to the left. The Briton always places himself on the right and leaves the left side to those who are in a hurry and in case of doubt make themselves noticeable with a loud “Stand right!”. Also on the platforms of the “Underground” stations, the English subway, visitors should try not to stop the flow of people by standing around unnecessarily.

3. Gentle restraint

The British have perfected the "understatement", the genteel restraint. Even in uncomfortable situations, they rarely complain or scold - politeness comes first. Anyone who does not correctly assess this rhetoric is at risk of misunderstandings. Because if an Englishman says, for example, "There seems to be a little bit of an issue here ...", then the problem is probably a bit bigger than it was in the first one Moment sounds.

4. Little physical contact

The reluctance of the British is also evident when it comes to handshakes: the English seldom shake hands to greet them, and almost never to say goodbye. A simple “Good bye!” Or “Have a nice day!” Is sufficient. Visitors should also avoid a friendly pat on the back or even a hug if they don't really know the other person well.

5. The unwritten rules in the pub

A pub is probably the only place the British don't queue to order their beer. However, that does not mean that there is no order. The staff know exactly who is next. Conspicuous waving is considered to be in front of the crowd. Orders are generally placed at the bar, not at the table and never just "beer". The variety is decisive: “lager”, “bitter”, “ale” or the manufacturer's brand. If you are thirsty, you can order “A pint of ...” which is around 600 ml. A small glass is given to those who order “a half pint of”. And of course never - really never! - Forget the "please" at the end of the order.

Another faux pas, by the way, is to call Scots, Irish or Welsh people English. Only the British would call themselves these compatriots, but never “Englishman”. If you listen a little closer, you might be able to use the English dialect to find out which part of Great Britain the other person comes from - and thus avoid the faux pas.