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  • Writer's pictureNadine Hegmanns


I recently accompanied an American delegation on a visit to a German subsidiary of one of the Big Five American technology companies, where I had the pleasure of being their interpreter for a plant tour – fully equipped in PPE, of course!

Now, when you enter a German office or plant, you will usually hear the word "Mahlzeit!“ pretty much all day long. It literally translates into „Enjoy your meal“, but that’s quite confusing when you’re standing at the production line, rather than queuing up in the cafeteria… Here’s a tip: basically, our "Mahlzeit!" isn't much different from the English "How do you do?". People will greet you in the corridors not expecting a reaction, let alone a detailed answer to the question. In fact, it’s best to simply return the greeting and say “Mahlzeit!” as well. It worked beautifully for my American clients....

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