Monday, April 10, 2006

How to Operate a German Window

I have some useful information for those of you who are going to be visiting Germany in the near future. It may seem trivial, but I assure you it is not. After talking to other expatriates and fellow German language classmates from around the world, the windows in Germany are a little tricky.. If you do not perform this task correctly it can have some serious side effects, namely a bump on the head.
It took me probably a month to learn this. I am not sure what that says about my mechanincal abilities, but here ya' go:

How to Operate a German Window:

1. If you want it to be closed and securely locked, be sure the handle is in the 6 o'clock position like so:

2. If you want to open the window inwards and have it pivot from the wall, turn the handle to the 3 o'clock position like so:

3. Finally, if you want to open the window inwards and have it pivot from the bottom window sill, turn the handle to the 12 o'clock position like so:

It seems simple, but wait until you operate your first'll see what I mean!


Anonymous Adam said...

and whatever you do, if you're switching between the different ways the window can open, and it is already open, be sure you shut it completely before turning the handle.

Otherwise you will get hurt...

fortunately I learned the lesson before I was seriously injured.

On the other hand, if I move back to the states, I want to bring these windows with me... they're fantasic!

9:29 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Ha! I completely know this lesson from experience! If you try to open the window while in the process of turning the handle, the window will open from the 3 out of the 4 sides...very scary when the window seems to be falling towards you...but they are great windows, though!!

10:36 PM  
Blogger James said...

Adam & Emily: I LOVE THE WINDOWS, don't get me wrong. I have opened them while turning and the window landed on my head!

10:50 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Bravo James. Thank you for this timely and so-needed tutorial. :) I, too, am window-impaired.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love German windows!! And I miss them. And every American that came to visit me in Germany thought they were just great.

How am I supposed to clean the freaking sliding window here in the US from the outside? Such a pain in the neck... But German windows are sooo expensive over here.

Oh well, just wanted to say hi. Found your blog a few days ago. I left Duesseldorf a few months ago to come to NYC to be with my Schatzi... But I miss "my" city..

Viel Spass, Jessica

3:02 AM  
Anonymous Belinda said...

hey sweetie would you be interested in contributing this article over here

and I hope you're feeling a little better. :)


8:16 AM  
Blogger J said...

I had the same experience as emily and thought that I had broken the window. Luckily, someone more versed in German windows than me 'fixed' it. I too love these kinds of windows and thin they'd be a hit in the US if they were reasonably priced.

10:12 AM  
Blogger alala said...

Ha! I'd forgotten all about that! When I first moved to Germany I was so excited about the windows, and so many other things that seem normal now. They really are just so clever, I wonder why everybody doesn't use them.

Of course, I really miss window screens during mosquito season.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Funny - I figured this one out pretty fast but I did have a bit of trouble here and there when I thought the window would just pop out!

By the way, that german window can also be seen in countries such as Netherlands, Czech, Switzerland, Austria and France also. ;-) I'm sure others can add to this list too.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

This makes it often difficult to clean the windows. That is why I don't clean the windows . . . it is my story and I am sticking to it!

10:52 PM  
Blogger Gaijin Koe said...

Funny, as a german I never thought about it being so difficult for others, or even such a hit. It's so funny for me. But good that you like it!

4:24 AM  
Blogger Gustav Jensen said...

They are very common in Denmark too.
I did not know that it was special. Maybe it is a european speciality.

But it is true, they can be a bit tricky at first.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

I can't remember if I had problems with German windows or not. Probably not because I think a knock on the noggin would have been something I remembered.

Likely I saw my MIL operating one and learned that way.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Sally said...

MOST German windows are like this, but we had older ones at work that look exactly the same but operate differently. For example, it you want the window to be completely closed, you have to turn the handle to the right and not down. I don't remember what position completely opened the window - maybe to the right. Tilting was the same as with the new windows. At any rate, my colleagues were always telling me that I didn't close the windows properly.

5:20 PM  

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