“Oh yes, you know you wanna punch that big red button…” — Image Credit: photosteve101 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42931449@N07/) — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my permanent resident card — or visa or whatever — so I can actually live in Germany? (Like, for realsies.)

If you’re lucky enough to have a German spouse — or you’re about to have one — check out the blog post I wrote specifically about this subject: How to Become A Permanent Resident of Germany: 6 Tips for American Citizens with German Spouses.

If you’re moving to Germany and you’re worried about changing your initial tourist visa, attaining your residence permit or passing the B1 German Integration test, watch this video I made about it: Moving to Germany: Residence Permits, the B1 Language Exam, Life as an Expat and More…

I also wrote about the realities living in Germany in my post, Just Kill Me Now: A Brief Overview of Jobs, Taxes and Health Insurance for Expats in Germany. (NOTE: Most of these same guidelines apply for everyone, not just US citizens.)

If you don’t have a German spouse, check out:

Do you have any other tips for future expats moving to Germany?

Sure! Let’s say you were moving specifically to Hannover, Germany. I would recommend you check out 3 things: the city’s website, the local InterNations chapter, and the local English-speaking group. For Hannover, that would be:

  1. http://www.hannover.de/
  2. http://www.internations.org/hannover-expats
  3. http://hannover4englishspeakers.de/

… however, you can find similar resources for just about any major German city. In fact, places like Munich, Hamburg or Berlin are all lousy with expat communities who can better answer your specific questions. But for a general overview, watch this video I made: Moving to Germany: Residence Permits, the B1 Language Exam, Life as an Expat and More…

What about finding a job, paying taxes and choosing the right healthcare plan in Germany?

Check out my blog post on this one: Just Kill Me Now: A Brief Overview of Jobs, Taxes and Health Insurance for Expats in Germany

What is a “Merkel Diamond?”

The “Merkel Diamond” (“Merkel-Raute,” in German) is a hand gesture made by resting one’s hands in front of the stomach with the thumbs and fingertips touching in the shape of a rhombus. It is the famous signature gesture of the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. I use the Merkel Diamond (AKA: “The Triangle of Awesomeness”) to rate things — movies, TV shows, food, beverages and even personal experiences — on a highly sarcastic, 1-5 scale of quality.

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

What is “Denglish?”

Denglish is the accidental combination of Deutsch (German) and English words. This term can also be applied to those glorious mishaps occurring when expressions from one of these languages is translated directly to the other without benefit of cultural context. I also use it to label pretty much anything funny or weird my wife says. (She’s fluent in Denglish.)

What is a “Gymnasium?”

A Gymnasium is a type of school in Germany providing advanced secondary education from 5th grade through 12th, though some states require an additional 13th grade before graduation. The primary focus for Gymnasium students is achieving the Abitur. The Abitur is kind of like a diploma, only it requires a series of insanely hard exams and serves as the main criteria for college admissions. Basically, without it, you don’t get to go to college. The Gymnasium system is hardcore, with high expectations and even higher stress levels, which is why it’s so good at weeding out the weakest students and retaining only the best and brightest nerds in the country.

What is “Culture Shock?”

Culture shock is a feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, language or set of attitudes. Posts in this category describe my new and often painful experiences functioning in Germany. (I am the poster child for culture shock.)

What’s the deal with your German wife?

On a daily basis, my wife rattles off some of the funniest shit I’ve ever heard in my life. Sometimes the things she says are funny because she’s German (and Germans are hilarious), but most of the time they’re funny because she’s a huge dork and can’t help but act dorkishly. This is why I often use the term “Denglish” to title posts in which I quote something she has said, even though the term is being applied loosely at best.

Will you ever post pictures of you or your wife?

Haw haw! …No. Just imagine Shannon Elizabeth from American Pie (minus the fake hooters), married to that kid Taylor Ball from Still Standing.

Can you speak German?

Ich lerne momentan Deutsch. First, I ordered a book called German Phrases for Dummies, took a beginning German class at Portland Community College, then purchased Mango Passport German for my computer. I also completed the mandatory integration classes (A1, A2 and B1) and passed the B1 Integration Exam here in Germany. I took a B2 class just for shits and giggles, found a couple of native German speakers to be my language tandem partners, and I try to stay sharp with the very fun and completely awesome app, Duolingo. So right now, I’d say I can speak German about as well as a preschooler with a learning disability. But, if you absolutely insist upon hearing me speak the Devil’s tongue, check out this video I made: Speaking German with an American Accent (and a Vicious Cold)

Why are you such a dick to your German wife?

There’s being a dick, and then there’s being a dick. I make sarcastic observations about our cultural and linguistic differences because they make her laugh, and although I maintain this blog for the benefit of all humankind, really, I write it just for her.

Why is your website titled “Oh God, My Wife Is German,” and not “Oh My God, My Wife Is German?”

Because the expression “oh my god” sounds more like surprise to me. I wanted the tone to be something closer to grim resignation. :)

Do you accept guest articles on your blog?

Yes. Please take a look at the guidelines on our Guests page.

Do you feature advertisements on your blog?

Yes. You can read more about this in our Advertising section.

If you’d like to get in touch, use one of the methods listed on our Contact page. We’d love to hear from you!


54 thoughts

  1. How can anyone who’s been to the Old Country not subscribe to Oh My God, My Wife Is German. Mine is first generation English by way of LA, a sometimes dangerous combo.

    The trip to England was a shock to my American eyes and ears. Another castle? Another cathedral? My kids didn’t get it until years later during a run through Germany, Spain, and France. They said I missed out by not seeing Germany, which was their favorite.

    Great blog happening here. Cheers for Oregon.

    David Gillaspie


  2. I have shared your site with many people. My oldest son is unable to view your pictures or animated giffs using his computer. Could you tell me what viewer, add-on, or whatever, he might be missing. Please email my college address where I am taking a blogging class, which is how I found you in the first place:). Thanks, Catherina cland4043@mysvc.skagit.edu


  3. Nice blog! :) I developed a fascination with Germany after reading Mark Zusak’s the Book Thief and my bias turned the other way around. I love learning German swear words. LOL. Your blog entries are funny :D


  4. I came by here after you liked one of my posts… Why such a funny guy like you would want to like a post on a serious blog like mine is confuzzling. The point is, I stuck around, pleasantly amused, and feeling so much better. Thank you! :3


  5. Absolutely love this blog! I’m from Nevada and have been with my German for over 8 years and we both find this blog entertaining. While I’ve never been to Germany, I can relate to the “denglish” moments. Please continue sharing your hilarious experiences!


  6. I love your blog, I spent so much time on it and as a German woman living in the US at the moment (and blogging about my culture shock, although not as hilariously as you do) and it’s just so true. Although I really like German showers. No curtains cuddling with you and you can actually turn the effing shower head away from yourself until the water gets warm… :)


    1. Haw haw haw haw! Oh man, the patriotism I have heard from Germans toward their showers… it’s remarkable. Americans are no less enthusiastic about theirs, of course. :)

      Thank you for visiting our blog and commenting! You’re always welcome back!


      1. Hey, since patriotism is a taboo here, we can at least like our showers :) Thanks again for making me laugh so hard. You and The Wife are both hilarious!


      2. Thank you, Flaminnesota! And I totally agree.

        Personally, I think Germans are entitled to more national pride than they think, but I see it coming out in spades regarding showers and, of course… Fußball. *shudder*


  7. I spent a year in Germany, a beautiful and awesome land. I brought my German back to the states with me. He is assimilating quite nicely…but he is still a German, achtung baby.


  8. I just love your blog!!! I’ve been married to my GI Joe and living in the US for 14 years now and we still make fun of each others cultural norms. Thanks for the laughter :D


  9. Just stumbled across this blog and particularly the photos of the Steinhude Meer. I love that place! My parents have lived in Celle for the last 10 years working for the British military base near Bergen. I’ve lived in Germany for 5 years then between the UK and Germany for 5 years, and now I’m in China for a year, feeling deeply nostalgic for all the places I know and love in Germany. Culture shock is no stranger to me, so I feel I can relate a bit to your posts (oh and they’re very funny.) Nice one!


  10. LOVE your blog. I stumbled upon it when I was looking up wedding ideas for my German; thank you for the warning about the Polterabend by the way. I asked her about it and she *informed* me that if we get married we are totally having one. ^^ You’re hilarious and so relatable that I laugh so hard I cry. Keep up the awesome work.


    1. What a fantastic thing to say! I’m so glad our post helped you anticipate your big day.

      There is one thing though — in the south of German it’s traditional for the wedding party to kidnap the bride. Please ask about this too! (SO not cool with me.)


      Talk to you soon!


  11. I love this site… my girlfriend is German… and I live in Dallas, Texas… she’s coming out here to visit me soon… I keep getting her to say squirrel.


  12. This April 2014, I will move to Berlin. As I get the news from the Botschaft Jakarta, I couldnt sleep because moving to a strange land terrifying me. I started to search and found your blog. What you wrote is awesome and give me so many information. Im an Asian, English and Deutsch is my 2nd or 3rd language. I think I’ll be in big trouble there..


  13. I just came across your blog, which I find very funny. I married a German too. A hard-headed guy with a sense of humor I have yet to get :D. We are returning to Hanover next month for the 2nd time in less than a year to visit his family. I researched expat blogs to find out what to do in exciting Hanover this time around because all we do is eat, drink and hangout in the forest. My first visit a few years ago they took me sightseeing….done that. I’m researching as best as I can on the internet to find exciting art shows and good live music….things to do for fun, perhaps for date night while my in-laws babysit our toddler son. My in-laws are very conservative and my husband is of the same breed, but at least adventurous and open minded. I’m tasked with “discovering” Hanover for my hubz. Any suggestions? Oh, I’m still learning German language at the pace of a snail. My husband’s family about the same with English. Danke!


    1. Hi Yvonne!

      The first thing which comes to mind is the Hannover Adventure Zoo. It’s amazing.

      Then there is the International Fireworks Competition in the Herrenhäuser Gärten.

      You might make it in time for the Maschseefest too.

      A great source for event information is the Hannover website: http://www.hannover.de/ (You can select English from the dropdown menu in the upper right corner.)

      Have a great time and thank you for contacting us!


  14. I’ve enjoyed your anecdotes immensely. My German wife has been married to an American for almost 40 years and we have always enjoyed each other’s mix-mashed expressions.

    Early in our relationship she would always refer to chicken as ‘kikeriki’ and then be delighted when I would use the term thinking it meant chicken. I finally learned the difference when I said kikeriki at a restaurant in Germany, much to the amusement of everyone around. I guess she was getting me back for the time I laughed so hard when she referred to knee-highs as high-knees. (It still cracks me up just thinking about it.)

    Living with someone from another culture especially with a different language involved is always entertaining as long as both of you are loving and confident enough to know the teasing is not meant to be hurtful.


  15. “Howdy!” from a fellow American who lived in Germany as a teenager. I lived in three cities and attended the local Gymnasium in two of them, which forced me to learn the language so quickly I developed brain-ache most days (on top of whatever stage of culture shock I was in at the moment). It worked, though, as after about a year I could fool some people into thinking I was German… for at least a few minutes! lol I went back to the States for University, then moved to Hong Kong, where I’ve been ever since. Still miss Germany sometimes (have managed a visit or two over the years) and am actually contemplating getting a job there and moving back for a couple of years. My wife, who is Chinese, is all for the idea. She has worked for German bosses for years, but I’m not sure she fully comprehends what living there would entail. (She doesn’t speak more than a few words of German.) Anyway, I’ve been brushing up my language skills (still remarkably decent after a few decades away, but a little rusty around a few edges) and somehow stumbled across your blog in the process. Thoroughly enjoyable humor, some of which brings back fond memories. I remember being disappointed with the showers, but now I say “Thank God Hong Kong uses German-style showers!” Even if I moved back to the States, I would still use a German-style shower. One you get used to them, they’re simply better! Of course, that is coming from someone who also prefers squatting over traditional Chinese hole-in-the floor toilets, too. (You can still inspect your poo before flushing, even without the German-style inspection platform, if you are into that sort of thing.) I think our lives are best if we learn from each culture we encounter, take what suits us best and reject the rest. I would gladly have married a couple of the German girls back when I lived there, but never really got past their German reserve when it came to the more intimate side of things. I was probably still too young. (Besides, marrying a couple of them instead of just one was illegal, right?). Anyway, keep up the good work with your very humorous and enjoyable blog! I’ll be back periodically to read some more about your “adventures” across cultures.


  16. I highly recommend the German streaming TV system “Save.tv” for all the Americans wanting to keep their German language skills up…its all the broadcast and satellite tv available in Germany… It’s the only TV my German wife and I watch from our home here in Houston.


  17. Hi! Just came across your blog for the first time! As a US Germanist and DaFs teacher with a long-term goal of staying as close to the islands of Kaua’i and Hiddensee as possible, I am quite delighted! I love your Merkel-Raute rating system… it is awesome…. May I borrow it?


  18. Think the site it awesome. Married to a bavarian myself. Speaks perfect english. Only reservation is the butcher of phrasing and american sayings. Shirts and merch are pretty cool. Just about choked when I almost checked my cart out.


  19. This is the best blog I have ever found. I love it so much. I am a German teacher here in the States and love all of the ties to Germany and Oregon here. I’m having so much fun flipping through your posts and reading about your funny encounters. Thank you for publicizing your experiences!


  20. Hilarious blog!!!! I have come from a german family and often feel for my husband because often the german comes out, lol. I have had the opportunity to visit Germany twice and we have hosted a German exchange student. All this to point out I guess that Krautland is near and dear to my heart. I will totally become a more frequent reader of your blog! Keep up the hilarious work!

    Ps. My mum and grandma both incidentally do the Merkel Diamond with their hands, lol.


  21. Ha ha! Somehow I accidentally found your blog today and have read through a few posts. You’ve cracked me up as well. I’ve lived in the Black Forest since 2012 and can relate to SO much of what you shared. I’m not married to a German (we work at an International school) but we live among them! Also, we came here as English and Spanish speakers… so we often speak some kind of Spandenglish. Figure that one out!


  22. Your blog is so funny! I stumbled upon it when looking up how to learn to like tomatoes and now it has been added to The Bookmarks Bar. ;) Keep being awesome!


  23. Hi! I just came across your blog while looking up Frau Trixi Rabbit and I just totally love it. Never been to Germany, but I will in the future definitely!

    Keep writing my friend.


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