In general Germany is a peaceful and quiet country. There is no need to be scared; the level of crime is in general below the average of modern countries, but in bigger cities such as Berlin there are obviously some areas you don‘t want to go on your own. But even if you stay at places that are more touristic in character, it could come in handy to know how to address the law enforcement or the doctors.
A police officer is called « Polizist ». If you need to go to the police office, simply ask for « Das Polizeirevier ».
Generally, you’ll be in this situation because something bad happened to you. If, for example, you’ve been robbed or attacked. No matter how peaceful a country is, tourists are always an easy target. If you’ve been the victim of « eines Überfalls » (a robbery) you’ll have to go and “Anzeige erstatten” (press charges) in the nearest Polizeirevier. Der Polizist will fill your case and ask you to “unterzeichnen” (sign) the complete charge wrote down on paper. Generally, the police make a good job to take the robbers in “auf frischer Tat” (red handed), so you won’t lose your “Geld” (money) or “Gegenstände” (your goods). Even then, you’ll be asked by the police officers to come to das Polizeirevier to press charges. This is not an obligation for you to do so. But, because without your charge “der Kriminelle” (the criminal) won’t be kept in “Gefängnis” (jail) and will have to be released soon, he will surely resume is tourist robbing activity, so the police officers will try to convince you to share an hour of your precious vacation time to help put a criminal “hinter Gitter” (behind bars) for good. That’s particularly the case for “fehlgeschlagenen Raubüberfall” (failed robbery attempt).
If you’ve been the victim of a serious physical aggression, the police will ask you to do a “vollständigen Bericht” (describe in full details) what happened to you. The state attorney will have to press charges against the aggressor, whether you want that or not. If the aggressor did escape, you may be asked to take the time to establish “eine Phantomskizze” (a identikit) of the aggressor. In most cases you won’t be asked to talk to “den Richter” (the judge) or to go to the “Gericht” (the law court).
Now, the odds of a being victim of crime are pretty thin. What happens regularly with no warning however, is sickness or accident. And in this case you’ll have to deal with health care providers.
If you’re sick, you have to go to “einen Arzt” (a doctor), or ask one to come to your hotel. Now, you’ll have to be able to say what is going wrong so he can make “seine Diagnose” (his diagnosis). If a part of you body hurts, say “Ich habe Schmerzen”. Obviously it is more helpful to name the part of your body that hurts, for example: “Ich habe Kopfschmerzen” (my head hurts) or “Ich habe Bauchschmerzen” (my stomach hurts). If you feel tired or exhausted, say « Ich fühle mich müde ». If you have vomited or nausea, say “Ich habe mich übergeben” or “Ich fühle mich unwohl”. If you’ve been passing out or had a seizure, say “Ich wurde ohnmächtig” or “Ich hatte einen Anfall”. If you already have a pre-existent condition like problems with your heart “Herzprobleme”, “Diabetes” (diabetes) or any disease, you shall say it. If you are pregnant, you need to say “Ich bin schwanger” to make that fact known. You’ll be send immediately to “ein Krankenhaus” (the hospital) in an ambulance. Don’t be afraid of the cost. Generally, urgency treatments are free. If a more heavy treatment is required, you have your insurance to bring you back home.
If an accident occurred or if you are sick in the streets, there’s “der Notruf“ (phone emergency number) to call: the 112. It’s completely free and there’s people speaking different languages answering the phone. Bur, if there’s a German speaking witness in the street, ask for him to “Ruf 112 an” (which pronunciation is : eins-eins-zwei) or “Ruf den Notruf an“. He will be faster to establish contact with a German speaking correspondent and to tell him where you are. If not, you’ll have to be able to explain your problem like you have seen above. But you’ll also have to be able to locate yourself. The maximum time you’ll have to wait is 10 minutes before they show up.
“Die Feuerwehr” (firefighters) are also helping people in distress in the streets and deliver “Notfallhilfe” (emergency medical care). “Der Notarzt” is a emergency doctor who is able to take care of you till you reach the hospital. Hopefully, all this knowledge of German language will stay “unnötig” (unnecessary) during your stay.
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