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Quiz: Ice breaking strategies

Everyone needs a few tricks for breaking the ice with new people, a way to start a conversation and make everyone feel included. Try our quiz and see how much you know about tried and tested strategies:
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Are you sure you've understood?
Alles verstanden?

The most important thing in communication is to be able to understand what is being said and also to make yourself understood by others. In a foreign language this is clearly not always the case, but that should not be a problem. As long as you are not afraid to show that you haven't understood and always check if the other person got your point correctly.

I beg your pardon?

When you pick up the phone and are suddenly confronted with someone speaking English, it is easy to miss some of the information at the beginning until you have adjusted to the change of language. Also a crackling line or background noises can distract you and cause problems in understanding. Do not hesitate to tell the caller that you have not understood and if the line is very bad, ask him/her to hang up and call again:

  • I'm sorry but the line is very bad. I cannot hear you very well.
  • I'm sorry, I didn't catch that last sentence, we seem to have a bad connection.
  • I still cannot hear you. Would you mind hanging up and calling again?
  • I'm sorry, what did you say?
  • (I beg your) pardon?

Instead of taking the risk that information gets lost or misinterpreted, be honest and ask the speaker to repeat what he/she just said:

  • Would you mind repeating that, please?
  • Could I ask you to repeat that word/sentence/that number/the amount/the date etc. please?
  • I'm sorry, when/who/where/what did you say?
  • I'm sorry, what was the name of your company again?

Among close friends or relatives, you can use the more informal versions such as:

  • What was that again?
  • You what?
  • Come again?
  • Sorry?

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Erstellt am: 10.03.2008 19:51, Letzte Änderung: 14.01.2020 08:44

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