Tuesday 4 November 2014

Divided by a common language

“The difference between Austrians and Germans is like the difference between a battleship and a waltz.”
Christoph Waltz 

Hofstede's research findings from 1984 revealed differences between Germans and Austrians concerning some cultural dimensions, such as Power Distance, Masculinity, and Individualism. In other words, gender roles were more traditional in Austria and Individualism was higher in Germany. The latter findings are associated with "the Austrians' tendency to preserve harmony, and to Germans' willingness to fight for their rights." In the GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research) study carried out in 2004, Austria, again, scored higher than Germany on practices related to Collectivism and "Human Orientation" which indicates interpersonal considerations and a stronger concern for others. Muhr's (2008) linguistic comparison supports these findings, too (results indicate tendencies): Germans argue, Austrians avoid conflict, Germans demand, Austrians ask.

Germans and Austrians also (or most of all?) differ in their stereotypical perceptions of each other. While Austrians consider Germans as "competent but cold", efficient, bossy, industrious and well-informed, Germans tend to see Austrians as rather "incompetent but nice", charming, hospitable, not very dependable nor industrious or educated. Germans describe Austrians as more likeable than vice versa (Renner et al., 2014). And Christoph Waltz is no exception.

::: Christoph Waltz explains differences between Austrians and Germans in three hilarious minutes: watch

This reply might be better understood knowing about some journalists' tendencies to turn him (and by the way Mozart, Romy Schneider, Maximilan Schell, Senta Berger etc., too) into a German:
“I was born in Vienna, I grew up in Vienna, I went to school in Vienna, I took my university entrance exams in Vienna, I studied in Vienna, I began my professional career in Vienna, I had my first theater role in Vienna, I filmed for the first time in Vienna, and there are a few more Vienna specifics. How much more Austrian could you be?” Christoph Waltz

- Renner, W., Gula, B., Wertz, M. & Fritzsche, S. (2014) Asymmetric Mutual Perception of Austrians and Germans: A Social Identity Approach Assessing Implicit and Explicit Attitudes. online
- photographs via and via  and via and via and via and via and via and via, animated gifs via and via and via


  1. Hahahahaha, Waltz @ Conan's, hilarious!!

  2. A hilarious clip indeed!!

  3. Never came across this before, SOOOO funny!

  4. So funny, so great, so Waltz ;-) Many thanks for your highly appreciated feedback, Derek, Kenneth and Karen!

  5. Hilarious way to provide actual insight into his identity. Very cool.