One of my Swedish protégés is looking for a job. (Do you have a job in Hamburg that requires only little German?) So she asked me:
Is there an equivalent to arbetsförmedlingen in Germany?
I know Germany astonishes you all with its amazing economic power but I need to break the news to you: there are unemployed people here, too. Compared to other countries, the numbers are certainly low, but there are arbetsförmedlingar, i.e. employment offices everywhere. There are better places to hang out. Employment offices are called Arbeitsamt or actually they changed their name to Agentur für Arbeit because that sounds fancier, I guess. The Agentur für Arbeit is the biggest German government authority with 108.536 employees.
I was going to give this brilliant example of how to find out these things and now in this particular case the trick does not work. We call that Vorführeffekt in German, it means that something shows the exact opposite characteristics when being shown to someone. Like a trick that always works except for the one time you want to show it to people.
Whatever, I will still tell you. When I worked at the Chamber of Commerce, I learned that if you only know that there is a Erntedank day in Germany, but you wonder what that would be in English and if they have this tradition and if that is Thanksgiving – ask Wikipedia. Type in Erntedank and then change the language to English. Ta-da: you learn that it is harvest festival. (Not to be confused with Thanksgiving!). This can be practiced with all kinds of things: “lodjur”, “Dinner for One” or “nautical chart”. Try it, it works! (Just not with Arbeitsagentur.)