If you’ve ever spent time in Berlin, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve experienced Berliner Schnauze. Berliner Schnauze (Berlin big mouth) is what locals call the direct, unfriendly attitude of native Berliners which often involves yelling at perfectly nice, well meaning strangers such as yourself who happen to be breaking zeh rulez.
In the video below, I explain a little about why this happens (if such a thing can be explained), how to deal with it and what you can do to avoid it. Viel Spaß!
Here’s the German phrases I mention in the video:
Entschuldigung, ich wusste nicht, dass der König/die Königin in der Stadt ist! = Well excuse me, I didn’t know the king/the queen was in town!
Ich laufe schneller. = I walk faster.
Ja, stimmt’s. Schön Tag noch. Vielen Dank. = Too true. Have a nice day. Thanks so much.
So jung und schon so spießig! = So young and already so bourgeois/uptight/uncool/close-minded/stuffy (word is like a mixture of all five)
Wat denn, wat denn, wat denn?/Ja, ja, ja!/Man, ey! (mahn eh) = Good, general Berlin dialect/attitude disses.
Nicht gestattet! = Not allowed/against the rules!
YouTube cut off the final story, but it’s a good one so here it is:
The American woman (who didn’t speak German) turned to the man who was bitching at her for crossing on a red light and said:
Excuse me, do you speak English?
Man: Uh, uh, a leetle beet.
American woman: Well, then fuck you!
The man loved it and totally cracked up. Like I said, with Berliner Schnauze a little sarcasm goes a long way.
p.s. I also meant Berliners yell at you if you don’t have a light on your bike, not if you don’t have a bike. As far as I know, no one ever yells it you for walking….unless you’re in the bike lane….and, yes, bike lanes are often on the sidewalk, but almost never marked.
We wouldn’t want to make it too easy for you, now would we? 😉