When I teach English to speakers of other languages, even very advanced learners, I spend a lot of time teaching them polite formulaic phrases that we use a lot in British English - things like 'would you mind ....' 'could you possibly ....', and 'that's very kind of you'.
Broadly speaking, if your native language is German, Dutch, Russian or many others, if you translate word for word into English, you will probably sound rude to a Brit. We are more indirect and roundabout in what we say, particularly when making a request, or giving bad news.
A piece on the BBC website today looks at small talk in English and German. The Germans tend not to go in for small talk and often regard it as deceitful, because it is not necessarily sincere. For instance, if a British person says 'we must meet up for coffee', they probably don't want to see you again, and if you receive a reply to a job application saying 'we'll keep your letter on file and let you know if any suitable openings occur', you can forget any chance of a job at that company.
We tend to temper bad news (I am aware that that is the second time I have used 'tend to' , which is, of course, a roundabout way of speaking). So, there might be a major problem or massive cock-up but a British manager will say something like 'There seem to be one or two issues here'. The aforementioned article gives a couple of examples, including this comment made by the captain of a British Airways flight which flew through a cloud of volcanic ash over Indonesia in 1982:
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress."
As the article says, this manner of speaking is all very well if you are familiar with it and understand what is actually meant, but it can cause misunderstandings in multinational work situations. When BMW took over the British car manufacturer Rover, they did not realise for a while just how serious some problems were as the British managers talked in euphemisms which played down the difficulties.
Here's the very interesting article.