See. When ever somebody would ask me “May I be excused” I will answer " Yes, when ever you want". Would that be also …?
As a native Swiss – having lived in several countries and now for more than ten years living in Berlin – I think the issue here are the cultural differences in wording one’s opinion and how people discuss things.
Living for many years in Switzerland in Zurich – where I grew up – I was always ‘shocked’ of the ‘rudeness’ of German tourists. In a restaurant a German guest would say: “Ich krieg ein Bier” which translates to “I get a beer”. A Swiss person would say: “Ich möchte gerne ein Bier” which is something like “I’d like to have a beer”. Generally in Switzerland you always leave space for the other person involved to say no or to disagree (while of course not expecting the person to do that).
Ask a German person a question, and you’ll get the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth. Ask anybody else in the world a question, and you’ll get a polite hint to the truth.
But on the other hand nowhere else, you will have – out of the blue – meaningful, deep discussions with interesting, intelligent, well-read people as in Germany. At least that has been my experience.
An idea for an application: a German to English translating engine with built-in softener, and of course the opposite: an English to German translating engine with built-in aggravator…