Hot Mush

‘Sich von einer Sache selbst überzeugen’: to see for oneself; to convince oneself by critically looking at the evidence. Germans don’t want to be persuaded of something, they want to persuade themselves of that something.

‘Bleiben Sie sachlich!’ – stay on message, leave out the emotions. If a presenter also gets too long-winded, they’ll be told to “keep short, don’t try to distract us.”

Nicht um den heißen Brei reden’ – don’t talk around the hot mush. ‘Keine Doktorarbeit draus machen’ – don’t turn this into a doctoral dissertation. ‘Wissen, worauf es ankommt’ – recognize the crux of the matter. ‘Soviel wie nötig, so wenig wie möglich’ – as much as necessary, as little as possible.

Zum Kern der Sache vordringen” – get to the core of the subject. “Kein großes Bohei machen” – don’t make such a fuss. “Sachlich, präzise, neutral – kurzum: Fakten!” – objective, precise, neutral – in short, facts!

Germans are exact. They believe something when they see it with their own eyes, and they can retrace, reconstruct, recapitulate it (nachvollziehen).

The German language is rich with figures of speech communicating the value placed on objectivity, brevity, economy of words.