Amber Roussel speaking at an event during last year's Social Media Week Berlin. Photo: Berlinow

Social Media Week Returns This Fall

#germany

Ambulance in Berlin (file). Photo: Till Krech/flickr[source]CC BY 2.0

Maybe you don’t want to, but sometimes it might be necessary to see a physician. Wouldn’t it be great if he or she spoke your language?

We won’t give recommendations for specific physicians (that’s what the comments section are for), but we will point you in the right direction. Aerzte-Berlin.de might not look that appealing, but is a great source. Decide what kind of physician (Fachrichtung) you need to see, and in which district (Stadtbezirk) of Berlin. Then decide which language (Sprache) you want them to speak.

Another website where you can find physicians is the Kassenärztlichen Vereinigung Berlin. You cannot search for a language here, but you can be more specific in your search query. Arzt-Auskunft provides yet another way to find the right treatment for you. When you’ve found a physician at one of these sites, you can check on Aerzte-Berlin if they speak your language.

Hospitals in Berlin

If you’re searching for a hospital, the Berlin Hospital Directory is the place to go. Their website is available in English.

If you have public health insurance in one of the European Union’s 27 member states (or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) you’ll have the same access to the public sector health care as German nationals. This means a visit to a physician will cost you 10 euros. If you need the see a physician again during the current quarter you just have to show the receipt from your last visit, and it won’t cost you a dime more. You should be able to show your European Health Insurance Card and your passport at the physician’s office.

 
The Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf, where the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest were held. Photo: Frédéric de Villamil/flickr[source]CC BY-SA 2.0

The 21-year-old industrial mechanic Roman Lob will represent Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan in May.

He will perform “Standing Still”, composed by Jamie Cullum. Viewers of the TV show “Unser Star für Baku” first decided the song, and then picked Lob over Ornella de Santis to perform it at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Update: Video!
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Via Gala.de

 
Teen smoking rates decline in Germany (File). Photo: LawPrieR/flickr[source]CC BY 2.0

Less than 12 percent of 12- to 17-year-old Germans smoke regularly. In 2001, 28 percent were smokers.

Anti-smoking campaigns and smoking bans in public places such as schools and bars seems to be behind the decline, as well as an increased tobacco tax.

“Smoking is seen as uncool and expensive”, says Jens Spahn, a governmental spokesman, to the daily “Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung”.

Via Focus Online

 
Don’t have a flag? A passport will do (file). Photo: jpvargas/flickr[source]CC BY-SA 2.0

The German bureaucracy likes to keep an eye on you. And it might be something in it for you as well.

German law demands that you register with the authorities, which is called Anmeldung, if you’re planning to stay in the country for a longer period (more than three months).

You should register within two weeks of your arrival in Berlin. If you don’t comply with these rules you might get slapped with a fine.

What’s in for you then? Aside from not having to pay a fine, you’ll get a piece of paper called Anmeldebestätigung from the registration office. Without this paper, which confirms your address in Germany, you’ll have a hard time applying for gym membership, opening a bank account, or renting a car at Robben & Wientjes.

Where you register depends on where in Berlin you live (although you should be fine picking the one closest to where you work or go to school as well). Here’s a list of registration offices throughout the city. You should be aware that there’s often a lot of people at these offices, so be prepared to spend two hours or more waiting for your turn. If you don’t speak a word of German it might be a good idea to bring a German speaking friend with you. While some of the clerks do speak English, it’s not to be taken for granted.

And don’t forget your passport.

 
Graefekiez, Kreuzberg (File). Photo: Esbjörn Guwallius/Berlinow.

Kiezdeutsch might become an official dialect in Germany. At least if one language expert gets her way.

According to linguistics professor Heike Wiese, Kiezdeutsch is a mutated, fluid form of high German, spoken by young folks across Germany.

Kiezdeutsch incorporates many foreign words, and also simplifies traditional German. An example is “Gestern war ich Schule” which translates to “Yesterday I was school”.

Kiezdeutsch roughly translates to “neighborhood German”.