There are Britons in Berlin who get taken aback by the directness of Germans. And there are Germans who get really annoyed when Britons (and Americans), in an effort to appear friendly, say things they don't really mean. Some Germans call this "lying".
So, what do the experts say on the matter?
Professor Juliane House, of the University of Hamburg, has studied groups of people interacting in controlled situations, watching with academic rigour how they behave as human guinea-pigs.
She found (or verified) that Germans really don't do small talk, those little phrases so familiar to the British about the weather or a person's general well-being, but which she describes as "empty verbiage"...
Read more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13545386