August 26, 2011

To Siez or to Sitz

I’m a South African living and working in Munich, and I’ve recently joined the Fortis PR team on a freelance basis. This is my first stint in a German PR company, and I’m finding it fascinating! There are so many differences between the ways English speaking countries do PR and communication, opposed to the way it’s done in Germany. Yet at the same time, there are so many surprising similarities. So for those of you who have to deal with this phenomenon, my chatter is especially for you. That means that you’re welcome to join in! Whether you agree, disagree, or have some stories of your own.

And because I find the PR industry in itself quite riviting, I’m also going to be chatting about new PR trends, developments and whatever I come across on my escapades that might interest you.

But at the moment, my lack of fluency in the German language makes for the funniest stories. So before giving you the low-down on my experience in the world of German PR, I’d like to amuse you with a story about my experience with the German language. Like the time Andrea and Liane told me, “Wir Siezen uns nicht”, and I thought they were saying that at Fortis PR we don’t sit down. Now I’m all for standing, but all the time? Really? You can imagine the outburst of laughter when they realised that I had completely misunderstood them. Only after the laughing had finally subsided, did they explain Siezen does not mean sitting down, it’s the formal way of addressing someone. In my defence, the two German words (Siezen and sitzen) sound identical! Nevertheless, I’m incredibly thankful that the first difference I’m commenting on, is not the sitting down and standing up of people in PR companies.

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