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Post Code = Postal Code = ZIP Code......same thing! It is used by the local post office to designate areas in a city or a region.
For example, the town where I grew up was "25436 Tornesch". 25436 is the postal code for that town.
I've only seen "area code" in relation to telephone numbers, not the postal system.
Or in technical lingo, "Ortsnetzkennzahl" (ONKZ) :)
Thanks, did not know that one! I wonder if there is a separate technical term for non-geographic codes like the mobile nets (15x, 16x, 17x). The term "area code" is getting a little dated in English too.
I don't think anyone who didn't work for the old post office (back when telecommunications was part of the government-run postal service) would use it... the old book that you used to get that listed area codes was the "Amtliches Verzeichnis der Ortsnetzkennzahlen" (AVON) but I think most people would have called it "das Vorwahlenbuch" if they referred to the book at all.
I would use "Vorwahl" for any number you dial before the individual number, even non-geographical ones such as the mobile ones you mentioned, or 0800 freephone etc.
Actually, your use of 15x etc. makes me think - technically, the "Vorwahl" is 15x but most people think of them as 015x, including the leading 0, which is really a separate thing (the "Ortsausscheidungskennziffer" or something like that), used to precede a trunk call. For example, Hamburg is "040" for most people and not just "40".
Similarly, people consider the prefix for England to be "0044" and that for America to be "001", I think, even though again the "00" is not technically part of the code.