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Geschäftsreise auf Englisch
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Telefonieren auf Englisch
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Grammatik auf Englisch
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Geschäftsreise auf Englisch - Knigge für Südafrika

Schlagwörter: Geschäftsreise auf Englisch, Englisch Geschäftsreise, Business Trip Englisch, Knigge für Südafrika, Südafrika Knigge, Knigge südafrikanisch, Benehmen Südafrika, Benimmregeln Südafrika, Höflichkeit Südafrika

Considering its size, South Africa is one of the most multicultural countries on Earth. The population comprises not only a native, black majority and a white minority of Dutch descent, but also significant numbers of Pakistanis, Indians and Chinese – most of who arrived after the age of Apartheid.


The Dutch founded the first European outpost in South Africa on 6 April, 1652, which is celebrated today as “Founder’s Day”. It was not immigrants who landed, however, but rather commercial traders working for the Dutch East India Company. Over time, unable to bear the Company’s crushing rule, a number of immigrant farmers decided to move far into the wilderness to the North and East of Cape Town. They built homesteads on land already occupied by native Africans and prided themselves on their self-sufficiency. These were the Boers, and they spoke Afrikaans, a language based on Dutch.

At the same time, there was a growing mixed-race group of people comprised of the offspring of the Boers, native Africans, and Asians who had been imported by the Dutch. These people, who also spoke Afrikaans, became the group now referred to as “coloured”.

In 1795, after the Napoleonic Wars, the British took control of Cape Town. Later, in 1886, gold was discovered in the Transvaal and the gold fields in South Africa were flooded with miners. Britain moved to annex the territory, which was Boer land. Full-fledged war broke out. This was known as the “Boer War”, which took place during Queen Victoria’s reign.

After the war, the British took control of the entire country. When the Union of South Africa was established in 1910, the Boers reasserted their influence and became politically very powerful. In an effort to prevent further discord, the British gave in to one Boer demand: that only whites – who were the minority – would be allowed to serve in Parliament. Apartheid was born, and in the subsequent decades, blacks were prohibited from owning land, whites were prohibited from marrying other races, and the process of disenfranchising the entire non-white population had begun. It didn’t end until 1994, when Nelson Mandela was voted into power.

The legacy of Apartheid
As in India, South African law states that all individuals are equal. In reality, Apartheid’s “hierarchy of importance” still exists – not only in the government, but also in business, which is still overwhelmingly dominated by whites. Keep this in mind during business negotiations. The feelings created by Apartheid sit deep.
Although women are seen as subordinate to men, they are slowly achieving equality in business circles and occupy roughly the same status as they do in Germany. However, in South Africa, there is no attempt to hide the fact that society is still male-dominated. Females are often addressed directly in speech as “my dear girl”, regardless of status, job title or age.
As for language, there is in most cases no need to learn Afrikaans except for basic greetings. Within South Africa, there are many who still view Afrikaans as the “language of the oppressor”. This is starting to change with the younger generations, however, who are slowly disconnecting the language from its political history. English, on the other hand, is viewed as the international language and is sufficient for all negotiations and communication.

Basic Greetings
English - Afrikaans
Hi - Hallo.
How are you? - Hoe gaan dit met U?
Pleased to meet you. - Bly te kenne.
Good morning. - Goeiemôre.
Goodbye. - Totsiens.

Refer to phrases/afrikaans.php for a more extensive list.

It’s a hot climate
Because of the relatively warm temperatures, mornings are the most comfortable part of the day. Most South Africans make the most of this by rising early and starting business at 8, so don’t be surprised if meetings are scheduled early. Punctuality is extremely important, so don’t be late. For social events, though, you can arrive up to 30 minutes late.

Wearing a three-piece suit is also difficult when it’s so hot. South Africans therefore tend to be a bit relaxed on this point. The only place in South Africa where you must wear at least a two-piece suit is in the business district in Cape Town. In all other areas, men are expected to wear a jacket and tie ( jeans are not acceptable ). Women can wear anything from a business suit to a skirt with a long-sleeved blouse.
The heat also leads to a slower pace. Avoid putting pressure on someone during a negotiation, and avoid being aggressive about dates. South Africans are more likely to let a deal go down the river than allow themselves to feel rushed.

Gifts are given only between friends, so if you haven’t established a relationship, skip the gift. A small token representative of your home country is acceptable as long as it cannot be misinterpreted as a bribe.

Remember that South Africa is a cultural mix. Many of the customs of one group have been assumed by other groups – for example, the Chinese custom of refusing a gift three times ( you should insist on acceptance ), or the Muslim disdain for the left hand ( always use your right had to pass things from person to person ).

As South Africans are outdoor people, sports, travel, food, South African wine and outdoor recreation make good small talk topics. Never say anything negative about Rugby, the most popular national sport, and avoid talking about politics completely.

Business card protocol is not as formal as it is in many other countries. If you offer a card, it will not be refused, but don’t be offended if you don’t get one in return.
Greetings and handshakes correspond to the custom in Germany.

If you’re dining out, discussing business at lunch or dinner is acceptable. However, never discuss business if you’ve been invited to someone’s home. In addition, never compliment the hostess on the cooking. Blacks still do much of the cooking in many people’s homes.

Schlagwörter: Geschäftsreise auf Englisch, Englisch Geschäftsreise, Business Trip Englisch, Knigge für Südafrika, Südafrika Knigge, Knigge südafrikanisch, Benehmen Südafrika, Benimmregeln Südafrika, Höflichkeit Südafrika

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