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covid, very German stupidity 

1/8 Sooo, Germany now has a digital COVID register for travelers arriving in Germany. Countries like Greece have had this for effective contact tracing since literally the beginning of the pandemic.

But Germany’s? It’s a disaster. As anything digital in Germany usually is. Obviously.

But how did we get here? Let me explain.

covid, very German stupidity 

2/8 How’d we do it before? We .. didn’t? There were paper-based efforts, but nobody ever really cared or used them.

Local authorities were largely overwhelmed (and still are!) with stacks upon stacks of unreadable, shitty forms filled out by all sorts of people, in all sorts of situations and venues (eg restaurants, bars etc) .. none of it helpful, none of it really useful.. it’s a miracle Germany hadn’t been hit with a second wave sooner, honestly.

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covid, very German stupidity 

3/8 And I say that as somebody who’s been through the gauntlet of a 14-day quarantine (my partner had COVID, I either didn’t or was asymptomatic) and multiple business and leisure trips since last February.

Germany largely sat on its hands and did zilch in terms of modern disease prevention. We bungled our way through this crisis largely due to the our somewhat excellent medical care infrastructure and culturally instilled obedience..

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covid, very German stupidity 

4/8 But now we have a digital COVID register. Great!

But, as we’re Germans, and Germans are proud of their language, the URL is obviously a long German portmanteau a lot of foreigners won’t be able to understand or write correctly: einreiseanmeldung.de

(The portmanteau is “Arrival” (Einreise) and “Registry” (Anmeldung) in one large as word)

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covid, very German stupidity 

5/8 The website also greets you in German (because us Germans are totally going to use that website the most, especially during a country-wide mandated lockdown!), but, hooray, there is a language switcher at the top.. the problem though? The country names ARE ALL IN GERMAN!

WHY. Why go through all the fucking trouble of localizing a website in 12 different languages, but then MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR A FOREIGN PERSON TO READ THE COUNTRY IN THEIR LANGUAGE?!?!

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covid, very German stupidity 

6/8 Like, this is UX one 0 fucking one. And if you can’t translate the names, use other cues, like flags!

Strike 1.

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covid, very German stupidity 

7/8 Now, assuming all the information is correct, the site will tell you to select your country of origin before you can enter your details.

Okay, cool.

EXCEPT..

ALL THE FUCKING COUNTRIES ARE STILL IN GERMAN, NO MATTER THE LANGUAGE YOU SELECTED.

Yes, you read that right.

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covid, very German stupidity 

8/8 The website wants any foreigner who doesn’t speak German to go to a complicatedly long-named website, figure out, in German, which of the languages means “their language” .. only to then have you also ENTER YOUR OWN FREAKING COUNTRY IN GERMAN AFTERWARDS (example: Ireland (English) > Irland (German))

And if that isn’t a perfect representation of how Germany’s “digital” response is to pretty much anything, BUT ESPECIALLY THIS PANDEMIC, I don’t know what is.. 🤦🤷

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covid, very German stupidity 

@moritzheiber they obviously dont want visitors

covid, very German stupidity 

@moritzheiber it takes browser language I guess? I got English with English names

covid, very German stupidity 

@charlag It does, but for that the browser actually has to send your language preferences, which most browsers tend to not do (especially on mobile).

And it's still a glorious UX fuck-up either way, because you're traveling, remember, which means you cannot rely on IP geo-data (which most of these services do) or even the language that's being sent (which could be an Internet café or something similar).

There's a reason you handle this differently, usually.

covid, very German stupidity 

@charlag And, it still doesn't excuse the country selection in German, btw 🙃

covid, very German stupidity 

@moritzheiber nonono, I dealt with this, all browsers send language be it OS language or special browser setting. I am in Germany but I use English for my devices

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