Newsletter zum Englisch lernen - Ausgabe April 2015

 Das LbT-languages Newsletter zum Englisch lernen!

Dress Code – getting it right

What do you do when you are invited to a function in the United States and the dress code states: casual business attire? Or when, in the UK, they ask for: cocktail dress? Find out what dress codes are all about in the Anglophone world.

Business & Etiquette

Dress Code – getting it right [medium]
Vocabulary Key: Synonyms, Antonyms and definitions

Peter Müller is a sales manager from Germany who is currently in the United States on business. He is staying in Newport, Rhode Island, and friends in the affluent area of Middletown have invited him to a party at their mansion. The party invitation states as a dress code: informal evening attire. Now Peter does not know what to do and he roams his wardrobe for an appropriate dress. Should he wear a suit? If so, should he wear it with or without a tie? Or, maybe, informal means that he could get away with just wearing a nice pair of pants with a shirt, and leave the tie aside altogether? In that case, would he need a jacket?

This kind of problem can be encountered when doing business abroad, especially when the business involves socializing after hours. But not to worry, LbT comes to the rescue with a short and comprehensive guide to dress code etiquette, to make sure you get it right each time.

White tie: this means ultra formal. Men need to wear full formal dress, which is a black tailcoat with black pants, and then a white tie, shirt and vest. Women must wear long, formal evening gowns.

Black tie: Men wear tuxedo, while women wear a formal dress of suitable length but are not required to wear full-length gown.

Black tie optional/preferred/invited: Men may wear a dark suit while women wear an elegant dress.

Cocktail: Men wear a darkish suit and tie and women may wear an elegant dress of their preferred color but should not arrive wearing a formal gown.

Evening attire: this is usually preceded by the specification casual (smart shirt and slacks), informal (jacket and tie) or formal (dark suit or tuxedo).

Semi-formal: women wear either a nice dress or an elegant suit, while men wear an elegant suit the color of which should vary with the time of the day. Rule of thumb: the later it is, the darker the suit color should be.

Smart-casual: This indicates that an elegant, casual look is called for. This type of look includes elegant slacks with a dressy shirt for men, and long, dressy trousers with shirts and jackets for females.

Casual: anything goes, within reason. No tank tops. Smart shorts but only in summer during the day when it is hot. Slacks and elegant T-shirts.

Business: This is standard business attire, suit and tie for men, double or single breasted suit or business dress for women

Business casual: Suit without tie for men, or trousers with shirt and no tie, trousers and shirt for women are acceptable

Casual sports attire: similar to casual dress. Elegant sneakers are acceptable.

Beach attire: shorts and slacks are acceptable, tongs and tank tops should be avoided.


Vocabulary List:

currently – Synonym: right now/presently Antonym: in the past/used to be
affluent – Synonym: wealthy Antonym: poor
mansion – Synonym: large, lavish villa Antonym: (humble) small house
appropriate – Synonym: fitting, suited to Antonym: unsuitable
to encounter – Synonym: to meet Antonym: to miss (someone or something)
abroad – Synonym: in a foreign land Antonym: at home

to involve – Synonym: to include Antonym: to exclude
to socialize – Synonym: to spend free time with other people Antonym: to be solitary
rescue - Synonym: help, aid Antonym: destruction, demise
comprehensive – Synonym: all-encompassing, complete Antonym: incomplete
to get it right: to do the right thing
ultra formal: extremely formal

suitable: something that fits (in this case: fits the occasion)
to be required: if you must wear a long dress, you are required to wear one
darkish: quite dark, but not necessarily completely dark. A suit of such colors as: medium grey or darker, dark or medium brown etc.
preferred: if you like apples better than bananas, then apples are your preferred food
preceded: what comes before something else
either … or: you can have either an apple or an orange, but not both

to vary with: to change with
rule of thumb: basic rule that is considered the normal thing
to indicate: to point to/towards
dressy: smart and elegant
within reason: not overdone
attire: the manner of dress is one’s attire. A woman who prefers wearing jeans likes casual attire.

casual: the opposite of formal
similar: if two people look a lot like each other, then they look similar
to avoid: to keep away from. When driving, people usually like to avoid driving in lots of traffic 

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Table Manners in the English-speaking world

There are a lot of differences in table manners between Germany and the Anglophone world. Even there, they differ to various degrees between the individual countries.  Make your life easier by knowing the most important points to keep in mind when eating with business partners from abroad

Business & Etiquette

Table Manners in the English-speaking world [advanced] 
Vocabulary Key: Translations and English Explanations (Mix and Match)

In the United States, for instance, there are two very important points to keep in mind: keep your elbows off the table and put the fork in the right hand. Although the European custom of placing the fork in the left and the knife in the right hand during a meal is spreading increasingly in the States as well, the correct way is still to cut a piece of food with your fork in the left and the knife in the right hand, then lay your knife on the table and put your fork in the right hand to eat it. You should never cut more than 2 morsels at a time. Do not be surprised if you see an American cutting his food with the side of the fork instead of using a knife: this is also an accepted table custom. Small items, such as peas, are to be picked up with the fork only, without using the knife for assistance. Corn on the cob is eaten with specially provided corn skewers, but take care, it is not as easy as it seems!  Also, remember to set your napkin on your lap – even if you are eating in someone’s home!

If someone asks to pass the salt, you should pass both salt and pepper by putting it on the table and in reach of the person next to you. This person then picks it up and passes it on to the next person and so on. It is also considered impolite to use salt before having tasted the food as it implies the host does not know how to season correctly. Also be careful of how you place your cutlery during and after a meal: in Europe, fork and knife placed parallel to each other on the plate indicate the end of a meal. In the States, it can indicate either the end, in which case the fork and knife are placed parallel in the center of the plate, or expecting to get a second serving, in which case they are also placed parallel but on the right side of the plate to make room for more food.   

In Australia, table manners are similar to the States but more relaxed. They also have the additional factors of BBQ and BYO. The first is the Barbeque, which is frequently the meal when people invite you to their houses. This may include the traditional “bring a plate of food” request and it is expected that each guest take along one dish of food to contribute to the meal. Failure to serve yourself during a Barbeque may indicate to your host that you do not appreciate the food on offer. You are expected to socialize in an entertaining manner when invited to a BBQ. When invited to restaurants, beware of the fact that Australians usually go Dutch and split the bill whether they invited you or not. In the US, this is different: the man invites the woman, and the business partner who wants something invites the one he wants it from – going Dutch is usually considered bad manners. In Australia, restaurants may expect BYO, which means bring your own drinks - so make sure that you do so. By this they mean alcoholic drinks and Australians, in contrast to Americans, do expect for a moderate to large amount of alcohol to be consumed.

Now on to England: the British often judge people by their table manners and, at the table as in other walks of British life, politeness and distance are priced. While it is acceptable to ask an American host for a second serving, in England you should absolutely wait until you are being offered. It is considered impolite not to finish what is on your plate. Also watch what you say: the British are very distant with strangers and while they love discussing the weather, even such question as their age or whether they have any children may be considered too personal. Beware of calling Scottish or Irish people “English”. Absolute no-nos are politics and religion, as they are, incidentally, in the States.  On both sides of the Atlantic, it is never a good idea to engage in arguments about either while sitting at the table.  You should also eat at roughly the same speed as the others at the table and never start your food before your host does. On the subject of peas, in England it is considered polite to squash them with the reverse side of the fork before eating them.  An additional difficulty is the subject of cream tea, which consists of tea and scones with clotted cream and jam. The scone should be cut lengthwise and then the jam should be put on it before the cream, which goes on top.  One half should be spread at a time, and then eaten. It is an absolute faux pas to make a sandwich out of your scone by cutting the scone open, placing jam and cream inside, and then replacing the top part before eating it.

Overwhelmed with all these rules? Here’s the good news: in all three countries, some of the table manners are the same: do not speak with your mouth full, do not burp or pick your teeth in public.


Vocabulary List:

they differ to various degrees - they are different at several levels

various - verschieden

several - mehrere 

abroad - im Ausland, aus dem Ausland

keep off - weghalten, runterhalten 

to spread - sich ausbreiten 

increasingly - more and more

fork - Gabel

knife - Messer 

morsels - Stücke, Bissen 

surprised - überrascht 

instead of - in place of

peas - Erbsen

specially provided - put there / given out especially

skewers - Spieße 

napkin - what you wipe your mouth with during and after a meal

impolite - someone who has bad manners is considered impolite

it implies - it suggests

to season - würzen 

cutlery - Besteck

to indicate - to show, to point

to make room - Platz machen

similiar - ähnlich

relaxed - if you are at ease, then you are relaxed. It is the opposite of tense, or strict.

frequently - often

request - Bitte

to contribute - to share into, to participate in

to socialize - to take part in conversations in a social manner, to make yourself part of a given group interacting with it on a friendly Level. 

beware of - be careful of

to go dutch - sich die Rechnung teilen

to be priced - to be thought of as very important

second serving - Nachschlag (beim Essen)

No-no - Tabu 

Host - Gastgeber

to squash - to press together hard

the reverse side - the back side

jam - Marmelade

lengthwise - der Länge nach

to spread (on food) - streichen, bestreichen

overwhelmed - überwältigt

to burp - rülpsen

to pick one's teeth - in den Zähnen pulen

in public - in der Öffentlichkeit

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Learning by Doing

Crossword puzzle

Here are some important keywords you need to know about "Table Manners and
Dress Codes"............................................

Fällt Ihnen die gesuchte Vokabel nicht spontan ein, so können Sie sich in der angehängten Vokabelliste für das richtige Wort entscheiden. Bitte berücksichtigen Sie, dass im Crossword Puzzle keine Leerzeichen vorkommen dürfen.

Gesuchte Vokabeln:
casual, cutlery, avoid, several, either... or, preferred, impolite, request, similar, napkin

avoid - vermeiden
casual - locker
cutlery - das Besteck
either...or - entweder...oder
impolite - unhöflich
napkin - die Serviette
preferred - bevorzugt
request - bitten, verlangen
several - mehrere 
similar - ähnlich

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