Monday, April 30, 2012

Mix-Up Monday: Addresses


Every country has a mail system and addresses, but how it is written is different depending on where you live. For example, in the USA an address on a letter looks like this (if we could live in such a tasty land):


The Garlic and Onion Lovers
1211 Eaters Way (Street, Blvd, etc.)
Garlic City, Onion State 12122

On the other hand, addresses look like this in Germany:

The Garlic and Onion Lovers
Eatersstraße 1211
12122 Garlic City

As you can see, the order of where the house number and postcode are swapped. While America goes small item to large in each line, Germany goes large to small. Overall, addresses are quite similar unlike some countries (like Japan) which change the order the lines go in, starting with the geographic location (like city) and ending in the person's name.

Another difference between addresses in the USA and Germany is the use of apartment numbers. While in the USA, every apartment has a number (listed after the street name if needed, for example, 1211 Eaters Way #12) Germany does not use numbers. Instead, the mailman must look for the correct name on the mailboxes. This makes sense because most German apartment buildings only have a few families, but the first day on the job must be tough for mailmen in big cities with large apartment buildings.
American Style (

The final big difference between the USA and Germany when it comes to mail is where the address goes on the letter. Both countries place the recipient on the front middle of the envelope. The sender, on the other hand, is placed on the back of the envelope in Germany, versus on the front top left like in the USA. The USA does place the sender on the back of the envelope for formal letters (such as wedding invitations) so once again this difference is not too different.
German style (sender on back) (

Whatever you need to send, both the German and American postal systems will get it to you, wherever the address or stamp may be. Just make sure it is not a Sunday!

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