Before you begin working your way to foreign language fluency, it helps to understand the culture behind the language you’re learning. After all, language exists to help a group of people express their ideas and beliefs. Germany is an old country with a rich history and culture. As you begin your German language program, gaining a strong grasp on this history, the values, and the etiquette will help you rapidly achieve success. In particular, Germans use a variety of mediums to communication with each other aside from face to face communication. Their postal service and telephone services are popular alternatives.
In Germany, people communicate with each other mainly through personal computers and cell phones. Has a result, the public telephone system has been rendered less important. Those who do not use cell phones can use post offices in making international calls. There are booths meant for international calls (“Auslandsgespräche”).
You can use international calling cards or credit cards to make international calls using public phones. There are also internet facilities installed in various destinations such as hotels and restaurants. Although you can make international calls from these destinations, the cost for such calls is usually very high and may be higher than the hotel room fee.
When it comes to responding to phone calls, many Germans do so simply by mentioning their surname (for example “Schmidt”). Once the call is received, the caller should also identify himself by stating his or her surname. In Germany, the standard way to do so is “Hier spricht Schmidt”, which simply means “here speaks Schmidt” or “Schmidt speaking”.
When making calls at night, you need to be careful because it is possible that the person you are calling is already asleep. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid making calls after 10:00 p.m. since most Germans are already asleep at this time. However, you may still call a person past this time if you are sure the person is not asleep.
Germans value the significance of “snail mail.” There are yellow post boxes featuring the Deutsche Post black post-horn symbol. The parcel delivery to mountain villages is done by yellow vans. The post offices are usually operational for 10 hours a day from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the weekdays. On Saturdays, the offices open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The operation hours may be longer depending on where the offices are located. For instance, offices located in airports may have longer hours of operation.
The postal system in Germany boasts reliability, safety, and efficiency. If you post your letter at a larger post office before 9 a.m., it will be delivered the following day by 9.00 a.m. There is usually one postal delivery a day. Postal stamps can be bought at postal offices or can be obtained from machines outside postal offices. They can also be obtained from newsagents.
Parcels are packaged before delivery. Other items offered by postal offices to boost revenue include lottery tickets, theater tickets, and concert tickets. You can also settle your utility bills, transfer money, and complete other banking transactions at the post offices. The post offices also offer mail collection arrangement.