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Posts posted by noodle76

  1. As a professional translator I winced at the idea of doing a translation by editing a machine translation. Translation qualifications are not easy to achieve and there's a reason they exist. Please think this through carefully. Might it not be better use of your time in the long term to do a distance learning course and then sit the Diploma in Translation or do a distance learning MA in translation? At least then you will be qualified and can join a professional organisation. 

    At the very least, make sure you have professional liability insurance. Everyone makes mistakes once in a while and they can have serious consequences.

    Best of luck! I hope it turns out ok for you, whichever way it goes.


  2. In my opinion it's not really worth getting private top-up cover in the UK. The NHS provides decent medical care and if you want anything extra, such as a private room in hospital, you can pay for it yourself without breaking the bank.


    If you are in a rush you can always choose to make a private appointment with one of the many NHS consultants who also offer private consultations.


    NHS dentistry isn't really available for adults any more so you will most likely register with a private dentist (who usually provide free NHS dental care for the children of their private adult patients). Dental care is much cheaper in the UK and you will probably pay less for a visit than you do in Germany, even though there's no Krankenkasse top-up.


  3. There was an article about racial profiling in my local newspaper this morning, the Bergsträßer Anzeiger.


    Apparently police and the federal government are vehemently denying that racial profiling exists in Germany, Amnesty International and the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland beg to differ... Several cases of alleged racial profiling are being heard before administrative courts in Germany now.


  4. One of my kids is at a state-run, English-medium international school - the State International School in Seeheim-Jugenheim, just south of Darmstadt. They follow an international/British curriculum in primary and then do IGCSEs and the international baccalaureate at secondary level.


    It's a bit of a mixed bag in terms of quality in my opinion and even though it's a state school you have to pay a €300 fee per month, to cover 'additional costs' resulting from being an international school <_< .


    AFAIK SISS is the only state international school outside Berlin.


    We only went for it as the child in question was already 13 when we moved and struggled in German school, despite knowing conversational German. Her younger siblings are in German schools. Having said that, there are plenty of kids at the SISS who have always lived in Germany and whose parents chose the SISS as their preferred option.


  5. yes, it used to be free many years ago. Between the ages of 5-11 I flew with Lufthansa about 3 times a year to visit my grandparents - happy memories of Lufthansa's brilliant children's frequent flyer scheme :) . They used to send me great birthday presents. Flying was a lot more pleasant all-round in the 80s. :(


  6. One of my kids has done a few unaccompanied flights from the UK to Germany (and back) with Lufthansa. There's a supplement of 40€ each way.


    Once they're 12 Lufthansa allows them to fly without the extra supervision. This varies from airline to airline (e.g., IIRC Jet2 for instance does not allow anyone under 14 to fly alone and does not provide an unaccompanied minor service).


  7. exbanker, Germany just does not seem to have this conversion course culture that the British universities have. I have looked quite a lot and have not found anything. Their Masters are usually strictly consecutive, and in many cases so strictly that even a degree in the right(ish) subject but from the wrong country is not sufficient (e.g. I have a degree in English law with European law and wanted to do an LLM here but was told I'd have to do a German law degree first, even though I could have chosen almost exclusively international/European law modules for the LLM).


    It's all extremely inflexible, a real contrast to the universities in the UK.


  8. El Jeffo, I do charge enough (I follow the BDÜ Gehaltsspiegel), I just don't work very much. I try to not work at all during school holidays etc. It's mostly very much part-time and I don't actively look for new clients.


    Panda, thank you for pointing me towards that post. It doesn't sound as though I'm eligible though (we have rental income which all goes towards paying the mortgage on that property, and I think my husband's income is too high). I need to look at it all in more detail.


  9. John, do you know if the Krankenkassen ever reduce the minimum amount?


    I am am currently insured under my husband's insurance and work freelance (as a translator). Business has picked up considerably and I find it difficult to stay under the 405 Euro now. I've bought the new laptop, new software, gone on courses etc. and have now run out of things to spend my excess income on... I think the time to leave the Familienversicherung may have come.


    The problem is that my extra income is not that much - instead of making 405 Euro I now probably make 700 Euro per month on average over the year, considering school holidays, quiet months etc. I don't really can or want to work more.


    What are my options? As far as I understand, if I got my own insurance I would have to work nearly twice as much to end up with less. I am quite staggered how freelancer-unfriendly the system here is with the very high minimum amount. I don't want to leave the gesetzliche Krankenkasse.



    Thanks Jeba. I agree I certainly don't want to fly under the radar, if it isn't ok, I don't want to do it. I don't feel comfortable moving to a country and then violating the laws. :-) I teach in Florida, in the US, and while we allow homeschooling, virtually all students are enrolled in public education which has strict attendance requirements we expect students to follow, so I do understand overall. My concern is just my kids falling behind while they learn the German language. At my school we have teachers dedicated to teaching English to kids who do not speak it well enough to be successful on their own. This comes with many opportunities for assistance and accommodation while they become fluent, my understanding is there is no such thing in German schools. In the US, this is actually required by law to have this resource in place, and teachers have to have additional course work (at least in my state) to work with students whose native language is not English.


    The schools here (in my town, anyway - I'm sure it's similar elsewhere) do offer such programmes, Germany has become a very popular destination for immigrants. The classes however tend to be full of kids who might have a very different educational background from yours - not necessarily a bad thing, but it will probably be a culture shock on top of the whole moving to Germany thing. The kids tend to stay in the intensive German classes for a year and then move into ordinary classes.




    I copied this from the gymnasium in the area we would be moving, maybe I am misinterpreting, but it looks like 8-5?


    Double-hour model

    Hour designation new Time (Hour designation)

    1.1 / 1.2 08.00 - 09.30 clock (First / second)

    1. Pause 09.30 - 09.50 clock

    2.1. / 2.2 09.50 - 11.20 clock (3rd / 4th).

    2. Pause 11.20 - 11.40 clock

    3.1 / 3.2 11.40 - 13.10 clock (5/6).


    Lunchtime 13.10 - 14.00 clock (7)


    4.1 / 4.2 14.00 - 15.30 clock (8/9).

    Pause 15.30 - 15.40 clock

    5.1 / 5.2 15.40 - 17.10 clock (10/11).



    That's just a standard timetable to show when lesson slots start and end, not when children actually have school. My son (11, year 5 at gymnasium) for instance finishes at 1 three days a week and at 3:30 the other two days. He is in a special class that has no homework but extra lessons in the afternoons, otherwise he would finish at 1 every day, with afternoon lessons increasing over the years.


    There's still no way on earth any child could cope with two curricula when attending ordinary German school! Although it might be possible if your kids attend an intensive German class as they don't tend to have a heavy workload.



    My first thought was why anyone would buy a kitchen from a Baumarkt like Obi. The answer was in the op's profile whereas it is not uncommon for Brits to buy a fully fitted kitchen from the likes of a Homebase store in the UK, a bit like Obi store here.


    I have to come to the defence of Obi kitchens here - we bought a Nobilia kitchen from them a couple of years ago and are still absolutely delighted with it. The whole buying and installation process couldn't have been better.


    I think OP's mistake was not checking reviews of the manufacturer, rather than buying an Obi kitchen.


  12. I think you are wildly overestimating the German education system's willingness to help immigrant children.


    At a Gymnasium they would be expected to fend for themselves academically and cope with a very high standard of work. Just as an example, the 14 year old for instance would be expected to work with (and understand) historical source texts from the 17th century, and to read and analyse classical German literature. If you can't hack it you have to move down to Realschule, nobody will help to drag you along at Gymnasium.


    Depending on where you're moving from, the second foreign language will probably also be an issue - my daughter now has twice as many French lessons per week as she did in the UK and the standard is so high here.


    As your children don't really know much German you may well be told that your children have to attend a school offering intensive German classes anyway. Have you spoken to the Heidelberg education authority yet?


    Also, have you considered an international school? Seeheim-Jugenheim has the State International School, which at 300€ per month is a lot cheaper than most other international schools.


  13. Hi Karen,


    I have a child in Y9 at SISS. PM me if you want to know more about the school and my impression of it. I would say that most of the kids are German, I suppose the 60/40 seems about right. Regarding the driving, lots of SISS families come from further afield and hopefully you could carpool, we do. Once your daughter has been given a place you can ask for an address list and see who lives near you. The primary school hours differ from the secondary school though, bear that in mind when sorting out car pooling.


    Good luck with it all! Don't worry about the SISS assessment, it's very informal and they basically just seem to check that the child can cope in an English-speaking school - obviously that won't be an issue for your daughter as she has been at an international school already.


    All the best!


    Edit: Just a thought on having both kids at the Schuldorf - the SISS finishes at 3pm every day, the ordinary Schuldorf schools finish earlier, so going home together in the afternoons might not work out.


  14. Hi, I've just dug it out. It doesn't have a certificate number.


    It was issued by the European Community Section of HMRC'S Child Benefit Office. There is a contact number for them on the certificate: 0044 161 210 3086 .

    It says:


    STATEMENT re noodle76


    This is to confirm that United Kingdom Child Benefit was paid to the above named persons for the children named below up to and including 19/08/12.


    (then there's a list of my kids)


    No further payments will be made.


    Official Stamp


    European Community Section


    Best of luck! Looking at it, mine was actually issued at the end of February 2013, it will have been at least 16 weeks after I first contacted them.


  15. I didn't really have too much of an opinion on German rudeness vs. rudeness elsewhere - having met plenty of rude people in the UK - but my experience in tegut (local supermarket, slightly upscale) the other day did leave me wondering...


    As per usual there was just one till open, with a longish queue. I started queuing and noticed the queue building up behind me. There were maybe 4 people in front of me and 4 behind... So I very, very obviously asked the cashier (quite loudly as I couldn't get close) to please call a colleague to open another till, which she did.

    Her colleague came and everybody behind me rushed over. I was somewhat trapped by a chest freezer on that side and got to stay where I was, as I couldn't join the stampede. Those §$&* behind me all saw me ask for this other till to be opened, but I guess all's fair in love, war and supermarket shopping. :angry:


  16. is this your first? Things may be different for you, but speaking from experience, most things are easier when heavily pregnant than they are with a newborn in tow. With a small baby even a trip to the supermarket is a major challenge.


    If I had to plan a house move around a due date I'd try very hard to fit it in before the baby arrives. Just sayin'...


  17. Carley, I'm in Bensheim, hi! :)


    I think you will find that your Lidl does have the cheddar, it's with the Christmas specialities (black and white packaging) next to the dairy stuff. They're not doing a British food promotion at the moment, it's just the cheddar people are getting excited about.


    The Lidl in Bensheim opposite Obi had plenty in stock a couple of days ago.


  18. sounds like fungus gnats, if they're in the soil of potted plants. The most effective way of eliminating them is to cover the soil surface with a thin layer of sharp sand. Not sure what it's called in German but it is coarse-textured builders' sand. The flies seem to find it impenetrable and can't lay their eggs in the soil any more. Worked a treat for me after months of not being able to get rid of the blighters.