Weird and crazy facts about Germany

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For an international student, Germany should be right at the top of your list.  Not only does Germany offer high-quality education and cultural diversity, but it’s also one of the few countries that offers free tuition to everyone – yes, EVERYONE, including international students.

Here are some other weird and crazy facts you likely didn’t know about Germany.

  1. Following a tradition that dates back to the 1800s, on their first day of school, each child gets a giant cone (“Schultüte”, or “School Cone”), packed with candy and presents from their family.
  2. There is an Angela Merkel Barbie Doll.
  3. In German, “thanks” means “no”. If someone asks you if you want a beer and you say “thanks” (Danke), that means “no thanks”. However, if you say “Bitte” (or “please”), that means yes.
  4. 65% of Germany’s highways (“Autobahn”, in German) have no speed limit. However, be warned, it’s illegal to run out of gas on the autobahn.
  5. There are over 1,500 different beers in Germany and, by the way, beer is officially considered a food in Bavaria.
  6. Germany shares borders with nine other countries; Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
  7. Germany is one of the world’s leading book nations. The first printed book was in German, and Germany now publishes around 94,000 titles every year. Also, the first magazine was launched in 1663 in Germany.
  8. The Christmas tree (“Tannenbaum”) tradition came from Germany.
  9. Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight Saving Time in 1916 in the middle of World War 1.
  10. Some of the world’s most important inventions came out of Germany – for example, light bulbs, calculators, and cars. What’s more, Germans are also credited for the discovery of insulin, the invention of the clarinet, the pocket watch, television (partly), paraffin, gas and diesel engines, motorbikes, jet engines, and LCD screens.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. It’s always funny to see what non-Germans consider important facts about Germany – this is one of the better lists I’ve encountered in my many years as (German) program director. :o)

    HOWEVER, please edit #3 – simply not true!!
    If you answer “danke” if someone asks you if you would like a beer, you’ll definitely be brought one. Answer “nein, danke” (“no thanks”) if you really don’t want one. If you do, say “ja, bitte” (“yes please”).

    Trust me: In German, “thanks” (“danke”) means “thanks” and “no” (“nein”) means “no”. Use both emphatically whenever needed or justified, and you’ll have a great experience. :o)

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