German: The language of punctuality

If there is one stereotype that doesn’t seem to be negative about Germans and the Swiss is that they are punctual. As writer Paul Bilton notes, “The Swiss are so punctual that they have a concept incomprehensible to lesser nations, that of being Überpünklich —literally, over punctual — and this is not viewed as a fault.” The importance of punctuality can also be seen in newspaper headlines where delays in train service are a hotly discussed and debated topic in German speaking countries, whereas they are a fact of life and not worth mentioning in the English speaking world. Interestingly enough it is exactly this punctuality that garners German speaking countries so much praise from foreigners.


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ChristianLangenegger, marathonsprachen. marathonsprachen said: Just wrote a blog entry about German sentence structure: German: The Language of Punctuality […]

  2. […] of time in your sentence. First, remember the all important German sentence structure logic: Time, Manner, Place (TMP). Therefore, adverbs of time should come before those of place or manner. The second point is that […]

  3. […] adverbs or the adverbs of place. In my courses I often joke that German speakers are very punctual, but don’t always show up at the right place because of their language. This is why there are so […]

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