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Everything posted by nina_glyndwr

  1. The English Teacher's Corner

      Nice. I might use that in a course description for the VHS - when the course is running again. Whenever that may be.   I prepare students for the Cambridge Proficiency exam in English. After the two years are over, they ask me what they can do now. I started a new course in spring about all the bits of English they are not normally taught in English classes - because, as you say, language is more than just words. So I want to expose them to the stuff they wouldn't normally encounter in English lessons at school or in evening classes. 
  2. Mahnbescheid.   I've used that on various occasions and all of them coughed up when the official letter came. Apart from one who had skipped town and could not be found.   You can fill in a Mahnbescheid online.
  3. Renting an apartment from a company vs a private owner

    The landlord cannot enter your flat without your permission.   I would join a Mieterschutzverein. Mine costs about EUR 45 a year. I've not had cause to use them. If you have a problem with your landlord, however, they are like your tame rottweiler.   I've been in Germany for half my life - back since 1999. In the last 20 years, I've had two flats and the landlords have been great. No problems with them. Any minor complaints are dealt with quickly and I can do what I like with my flat: I've wallpapered and painted walls, changed the showerhead and the tap on the washbasin in the bathroom, for example.
  4. "Please call me by my first name"

    Way back in.. the 80s (if I remember correctly)...women started saying that it was unfair that men were always called Mr, with no hint as to whether they were married or single. Only women's titles signalled their marital status.   In the past, you used Miss or Fräulein to denote an unmarried woman. However, it was a general custom that beyond a certain age, even unmarried women were addressed as Mrs or Frau, because it was thought ridiculous to call a 50-year-old woman 'Miss'. I know that my Auntie Winnie was always addressed as Mrs Jones in bills and letters from authorities.   Anyway, in those days, in both Germany and the English-speaking world, things changed. In Germany, all women were addresses as Frau, with no diminutive. And in the English-speaking world, they came up with Ms. 
  5. Hello! I have to translate the word  Bürgerbüro and we need the American term for this.   My colleague has suggested "Customer Service Center" - because this is what they call it in the UK. Cologne has changed the name of the Bürgerbüro to Kundenzentrum.   What would an American know it as?   Thanks.
  6. Bürgerbüro in the US? What's it called?

    I can't remember what term we settled on (I've had a lot of translations since then), but we used an English-language term to explain what the office was all about and then the German word Bürgerbüro after that as that would be the word they'd have to look out for on signs in the building.
  7. Is German TV awful?

    If you want access to UK TV:   I pay about 18 euros (or maybe pounds) a year for bronze membership.   You can also pay EUR 40 a year for the Beebs app which will allow you to see the programmes stored on the BBC iPlayer as well as the ITV Hub and the archives of another TV channel or two in the UK.   Both options are better than German TV. Even YouTube is better. I've been binge-watching Season 3 of Poirot and have amazingly found a few episodes I've not seen before.
  8. Online library for English books   I always like to read old books. I always say that the 19th century is the best century for books. Anyway, since Project Gutenberg is currently blocked in Germany, I've found another source in the UK. See the link above. I download them to my Kindle.   Oh, and as they are all out of copyright, they're free.    Even Amazon has free out-of-copyright books.
  9. Bürgerbüro in the US? What's it called?

    Don't worry, Engelchen. It's not just a word out of context. The text that follows will reveal all.   It's interesting, though, that when I first searched the forum for the text, all I saw was the German word, not even an attempt to coin a name for it in English. 
  10. Bürgerbüro in the US? What's it called?

    Okey dokey! We have a winner. My colleague likes this one best, too.   Phew. Danke schön.
  11. Bürgerbüro in the US? What's it called?

    What would you all say to Citizens' Services Office?   Or how about Municipal Services Office?
  12. Bürgerbüro in the US? What's it called?

    Well, I think the word 'office' makes it sound more 'official'. I will use the German term, too, though.
  13. Bürgerbüro in the US? What's it called?

    We are going for Community Office.    Thanks for your contributions. I love places like this forum - you can get answers from all over the world. A wonderful resource.
  14. Bürgerbüro in the US? What's it called?

    Thanks for the suggestions, Alex and BethAnn. I'll forward them.
  15. Bürgerbüro in the US? What's it called?

    Yes, the  Bürgerbüro is found in the city hall and is the place to go when you need an I.D. card, you need to register yourself in the town (not necessary in the UK or US, I know), get a passport and other stuff.    As one website puts it:  The citizens' office (Bürgeramt) handles many aspects of German bureaucracy. This is where you register your address, exchange a foreign driving licence, apply for an International Driving Permit and more.
  16. Cities near forest or mountains

    I just saw the 'forests' part of the original request. I'd overlooked the 'mountains' bit.
  17. I wouldn't live in Meerbusch. Especially not as a young person. You want to be where all the action is and not have to worry about getting back home on time because otherwise you'll miss the last tram or bus.     
  18. Cities near forest or mountains

    I live in Dusseldorf. Population 630,000 - but very compact, on the Rhine, with lots of parks and outdoor swimming pools.   I've been going out with a walking group for about 17 years. You'd be surprised how much woodland there is around Wuppertal and Solingen. There are places where you can stand and just gaze upon an ocean of trees. Sometimes, I think of Canada (not that I've ever been there). The same with the Solinger Klingenpfad - long stretches of it are through woodlands.   Oh, and another good thing about D'dorf is that the airport is just 12 km from the main station in the centre of town and you can get there by train or bus. (Coming from North Wales and having to drive for a good while to get to an airport - I see this as a luxury.)
  19. Finding a social circle

    I find a lot of friends in libraries. Here in D'dorf, we have an International English Library and I sit in the back room with a coffee and the latest journals and newspapers and before long, someone else there will strike up a chat, or I will.    I'm also a bit of an introvert and I go and do lots of VHS courses because at least there you are surrounded by people and chat a bit. Sometimes, I might go for a coffee with someone afterwards.    I have a German mother and visited the German grandparents every year when growing up, but I find I don't have many German friends.* Only one. Lots of acquaintances that I can chat with - mostly in my walking group. Nice people. But not friends really.    Most of my friends were made here but now live back in their home countries and I don't see them any more - or very, very rarely.    I think if you can call one, two or three people 'friends', you are doing very well. Otherwise, you have drinking buddies, evening class companions, the person you meet up for an ice-cream and a chinwag, the person you meet up with at the cinema for NT Live broadcasts and so on. But a friend to hang out with and spill your heart out to... difficult. And rare.   *Mind you, when I studied in Manchester, I had one English friend, and when I worked in London for 4 years, I had no English friends. I am doomed to only get on with complete foreigners it seems.
  20. Moving from Düsseldorf to Manchester

    I have also shipped stuff by post between countries: from Germany to Johannesburg, from Johannesburg to North Wales. And I used those nice yellow boxes you can get from the post office here.    Another option I used when I moved from Germany to Palma de Mallorca was using air freight. You have to get the boxes to the airport yourself and get someone to carry them from the airport, but I did it.    When I moved, I never moved with furniture, just boxes, clothes, linen (e.g. duvet covers), two kelim carpets and two standard lamps. When I moved to Mallorca, I remember that it all came to 240 kg. I have heavy dictionaries.
  21. Which past members do you miss the most?

    I always missed Swimmer. I thought she and I could get on very well.   And what someone said about the golden era of TT being around 2004 to 2007... I agree. They were fun times. Then - as with other message boards I've been on - there was a lot of squabbling and nastiness and downmarking and things were not as cosy as before, which is why I drifted away.