Different cultures place varying importance on titles. Remembering this can prevent awkward situations and "speak the same language" as native speakers. For example, in Germany, individuals are only recognized as professors if they hold a chair/professorship at a university. They may denote this by using "Prof." before their name. In the United States, however, students call the lecturer a professor even if he isn't in the professor category. It is a job description, not so much a title. In some countries, like Ukraine, the titles are rare - primarily used in the documentation. In direct communication, in the case of lector/professor and students, most will use first name and patronymic to address.
Things get a bit "out of hand" if you consider our focus example: Austria. The lovely country and home of Lingohub greatly emphasize titles, degrees, and other suffixes. In professional circles, Austrians start using degrees and titles on their business cards, usually beginning with a bachelor's degree. Whereas in Germany, no degree below a master's is ever mentioned anywhere, in Austria, the "Magister" even becomes a title listed on official identification as "Mag." just like "Prof. Dr."
We understand that navigating titles in different countries can be confusing. In Austria, titles are used privately without restrictions, but it's important to use the appropriate shortened form in official documents.
We hope this article has helped clarify the use of titles in Austria and Germany. As a team passionate about language, we would love to hear examples of how titles are used in your own country. Thank you for sharing!