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About Tammodar

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  • Location Stuttgart
  • Nationality british and german
  1. Writing formally in German

    It seems to me that you are doing very well for having just been in Germany for fourteen months! It took  me three or four years to fully grasp the language and I distinctly remember the feeling that I was making  no further progress - that happened about a year after my arrival. Don't worry, you ARE progressing, it's  just not obvious to you. Formal written German is, of course, quite another matter. The terms and phrases  used in legally binding letters and documents are generally not found in day to day speech and even  seldom in literature.  I read "Die Zeit" on a regular basis and almost never have to look up a word in the dictionary, but even after 35 years here I am sometimes still baffled by the language used in a letter received from some "Amt For Important Matters". Don't despair! Read as much as you can, that helped  me - newspapers, literature, and when you feel more comfortable, then legal texts.  Ask people to  correct your spoken German.
  2. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    As far as I know, the term EWG (Europäische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft) is not used any more. My  Aufenthaltserlaubnis was from 1991, before the term "Europäische Union" was in general use. Just  ask for an EU-Aufenthaltserlaubnis - which is what they will probably give you automatically anyway.   I think it's all done electronically these days, no cards or paper now. 
  3. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I still had a folded piece of paper in my passport "Aufenhaltserlaubis für Angehörige eines Mitgliedstaates der EWG"  from 1991 (unbefristet), which I was required to hand in when I picked up my Einbürgerungsurkunde. They asked   for it specifically, so it must have still been documented in my files.
  4. I have had dual citizenship since 2005, long before there was any serious debate about Britain leaving the EU.   If I were pressed to give up one of them, I would keep the German and relinquish the British citizenship. I still  hope that will not happen, but it's not yet quite clear where Brexit will lead us (that must be an understatement).  The reasons are twofold: emotional - because Germany has become my home over the years, and practical -  because I want to retain the option to live and work in another EU country some time in the future without too much bureaucratic hassle. I voted accordingly.  
  5. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I just had a look in my records - I applied for German citizenship back in 2005 on the 17th of March and  the Einbürgerungsurkunde was dated April 8 (also 2005), so it only took 3 weeks then in Tübingen.  Of course I saved  some time because there was no citizenship test back then and I already had a language certificate, but it seems that the whole process takes longer in larger towns where lots of other candidates are applying  at the same time. At the time I applied, Baden Württemberg had only just accepted dual citizenship as an  option ( §87 Abs. 2 Ausländergesetz ). There must have been a run of other EU people (as well as Brits) applying for citizenship, but I can't remember now.  
  6. What do you wish you'd known / done before moving to Germany?!

    It has already been said a number of times - but here goes: I wish I had spent more time and  effort learning the language BEFORE I came here. Now after 35 years my spoken and written German is fluent, but I sometimes still struggle with the dialects / regional accents. The tip about   not committing yourself to a specific religion on the Anmeldeformular is good - you can change that  at any time, if you so wish, and then pay the church tax. I don't miss any foods or other British products  now, perhaps because I've adapted - but I think the selection in German shops has much improved over  the years. Try not to feel frustrated when you think a German is being rude to you. Sometimes he/she is  simply rude, but more often than not they are being very candid.
  7. I can highly recommend Freiburg im Breisgau - with about 240k residents it's not too big and  not too small. It has a lively cultural atmosphere, almost no heavy industry, close proximity to France, is less  than one hour from Switzerland with the train, plenty of cinemas that also show English language   films. AND the Black Forest is within walking distance. You can take the fast train (ICE) directly to  Karlsruhe, Frankfurt, Colgne, etc.  After 35 years in Germany I can say that Freiburg is one of my favourite  towns.  Berlin also has a lot to offer, but it is definitely not small and can be a bit overwhelming at times and  is perhaps not "typical" for a German town - it should be on your list anyway. Access to the internet should be possible everywhere, perhaps with exception of some remote valley in the Black Forest. 
  8. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Back in 2005 when I applied for German citizenship there was no Einbürgerungstest, just the fees for the application and the Einbürgerungsurkunde, which cost € 255.  I was asked to provide proof of my knowledge of the German language, but I already had a certificate for that.     The friendly Beamter at the Landratsamt (Tübingen) said he would not need translations of any     documents - and four weeks later I was informed that I could pick up my Urkunde.    Oh yes, I did have to provide a one page hand written CV.  After that I went to the Technisches Rathaus and applied for my passport and ID card,   which cost something around € 80 - I don't remember how much now exactly.    
  9. C2 Language Exam Tips?

    There were questions on grammar based on a short text and some more on the "multiple guess" section, if I  remember correctly. The most difficult part of the exam was the essay. I was given a choice out of 5 or 6 topics and had three hours time to write an essay on one of them. I spent the first ten minutes or so to make on outline  of an introduction, a main body of argumentation and a conclusion on a scrap piece of paper. I think I wrote about  20 pages - my hand was aching by the time I was finished, about ten minutes before the time was up. I noticed that  some of the other people in the exam room couldn't think of anything to write. I received the results about two months later.  The essay topics given were very general so that everybody could find something to write about. You may wish  to practice writing essays and expect to be asked to explain the grammar used in a passage of text. Hope that helps!
  10. C2 Language Exam Tips?

    Hi lotsofballons, I did the C2 Goethe "Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom" ages ago, back in 1995, so my information probably will not help you much. At the time I had been in Germany for 12 years. I went to a prep course at the Volkshochschule twice a week for several  months, although my German was already very good. As I remember, we read and discussed Goethe's "Iphigenie auf Tauris",  Christoph Meckel "Suchbild. Über meinen Vater", Fritz Zorn "Mars" and Schiller's "Die Räuber" and several other books, but I can't  remember now which ones those were. We also discussed topics such as German politics, the Verfassung and Grundgesetz, etc. From a linguistic perspective, I would not have needed to do the course, but there were a number of questions on the exam  pertaining to the literature we had read. I was well prepared and had a bit of luck - I passed both the written and oral exams with a "sehr gut". 
  11. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I feel very fortunate to have applied for (and been granted) German  citizenship back in 2005. At the time I was not really sure it was  worth all the bother, but the process seems to have been much less  complicated and quicker then. There was no citizenship test and I  was not required to translate any documents ("kein Problem, wir können Englisch lesen"). They did ask for proof of my German, but I had  a C2 certificate (Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom) from 1992, which  was accepted without question. Within four weeks of submitting my  application I was notified that I could pick up my certificate of  citizenship. The otherwise rather dry Beamter at the Landratsamt even did  his very best to make a small ceremony out of the the procedure before  handing over the Einbürgerungsurkunde - he rang up two of his colleagues  in neighboring offices and asked them to come over - then all three of them congratulated me with a proper German handshake. Since then I have extended both my British and German passports without any problems. Although I think (and hope) it highly unlikely that long term British  residents will be required to leave Germany at the conclusion of the  Brexit negotiations in 2019, the situation in the UK seems to be rather  chaotic at the moment. It has given me a tremendous peace of mind to know that I don't need to worry about the outcome. I can only recommend that  anyone who qualifies should apply for dual citizenship.
  12. Regrets on making a permanent move to Germany

    When I first came to Germany in 1983 I was in my early 20s and had the  specific intention of learning as much about the German langugage, culture and life as I could and as quickly as possible, but never  thought I would spend the next 30+ years here. The original plan was to finish my university degree and move on after about 5 years to see something else and get to know another country.  At the beginning it was a bit rough, as I had no previous knowledge  of German, but I managed and was able to speak the language resonably  well after about two years - and then everything else just seemed to fall into place. Now I am fluent in German and feel very comfortable  here. Many of my friends are German and some are Brits who have also  been here for years, I work for a German company and I have a wonderful German wife. All in all it has been a remarkable and rewarding experience  and I have been witness to many changes in German society and culture. I think Germany is a much more open, friendly and tolerant place to  live than it was 30 years ago. I cannot imagine returning to the UK  now, especially in light of the recent developments there. I think that if you are open to cultural differences without immediately  judging them to be good or bad and are willing to put a good effort  into learning the language, Germany can be a very nice place to live. To sum it up: I have no regrets moving to Germany.