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A Joke to the difference between Germans and Americans

With this joke I wish you a nice Sunday!

Ein Deutscher und ein Amerikaner wetten, wer schneller ein Haus bauen kann. Nach vier Wochen meldet der Amerikaner: "Noch 14 Tage und ich bin fertig!" Antwortet der Deutsche: "Noch 14 Formulare und dann fang ich an!“

A German and an American bet, who can build a house faster. After four weeks, the American reports: "Still 14 days and I'll be ready!" Replies the German: "Still 14 forms and then I'll start!"

This is the German bureaucracy :-)

July 17, 2016


[deactivated user]

    I was watching a video yesterday from a German YouTuber who was listing 10 things he hates about Germany. Bureaucracy was first on the list.



    As a German I have to comment on this:

    1. = definetively true and getting on the nerves of nearly every German too! :o)
    2. = no longer true. Minimum wages have been introduced in the meantime..
    3. = hmm, I do not think that petrol is too expensive here but too cheap in the US, as it is a limited resource...
    4. = well, you can always complain about the weather... :o)
    5. = true, with only very minor exceptions (e.g. bakeries in the morning). Due to the old christian tradition of Sunday being the day of rest and prayer.
    6. = also true - but if the whole cinema is empty people tend to get up and sit where ever they like
    7. = never heard of that...
    8. = guess we are so used to the German voices, we most often do not even notice and find the original voice very strange if once we hear it. :o)
    9. = yes, definitively a pain in the ...!
    10. = no longer true, even Aldi excepts credit cards nowadays.


    Even if there is a minimum wage, you cannot really live from it in Germany as you still must pay taxes. Die Linke suggested a minumum wage of 10€, which would give out what is considered necessary income and cannot be impounded. That would be at least a reason for a threshold...the 8.50 are there without any given reason :D


    My experience visiting over the last couple of weeks was that most places accept credit cards, but every time you try to use one, you'll get some combination of a dirty look, a nasty fee and/or someone attempting to talk you out of it. They will technically accept your money in credit card form, but they will make sure you are aware that they are deeply unhappy about it.


    Debit/EC cards are way more common, you can use them practically everywhere without any problem or fee. The everyday shop is probably a bit overwhelmed with credit cards, some high class store probably not :D (I think the credit card fee is normal in the EU, probably additionally with having a foreign money fee. It's weighing in credit card fees and money exchange fees though).

    Many people do own a credit card, but don't use it outside of online shops or hotels. I don't like to use my parents credit card as it's a lot of paperwork and they don't get the money directly so it's a bit uncool at the end of the month :'D Paying with EC card or paypal is easier as you're money is directly gone.


    What's wrong with credit cards?


    You usually get a ec card for free with your bank account. Credit cards cost money, you need a regular income to get them and are the most expensive option for shops. You can get a dispo credit with your ex card too, so they're not really necessary...You can live perfectly without credit card, but you're screwed without a ec card :D


    Sehr lustig! Danke. But as an Israeli who's travelled to Germany I can ensure you that bureaucracy in Israel is much worse


    Let's speak about bureaucracy in Montenegro


    Das ist lustig! Thank you!


    amusant, effectivement


    Sehr witzig... Das macht mich lachen :)


    "Das macht micht lachen" is too literal a translation. It is rather "Das bringt mich zum Lachen". :o)


    Thanks! Such advice is really helpful to beginner learner like me :)


    Gern geschehen. :o) And carry on using German whenever you can, even if you make mistakes - the more you practice, the quicker you learn...


    I have found this great website with collection of sentences. Good source for looking for many idioms:



    Thank you! Very cool resource.


    Thank you, this was funny. A friend of mine told me all about German bureaucracy a while ago; this understanding made it even funnier. :-)


    Vielen Dank, Cati161.



    (i don't get it)


    The joke has nothing to do with laziness and everything to do with German bureaucracy. While the American and German would both start on the building process at the same time, because of the amount of paperwork in the German bureaucracy, the German person would still be going through permit processes when the American person has already started building. It's a better joke for people who have lived in Germany or know someone who has. And, there's nothing wrong with you saying you don't get it. :)


    I love the joke the only problem is that the "replies the German" part goes after what he says, lest the reader be confused.

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