I live in a large urban area in Germany. Many students and young people in general live in shared apartments (colloquially referred to as "WG" (short for "Wohngemeinschaft" (flatshare)). When a person is moving out, their former flatmates often put up ads on online platforms that people interested in the room reply to. If the person sounds like a good fit, they are invited to the flatshare to see if they are a good fit for the flat.

The process of going to a flat from an online ad and meeting the current tenants and introducing yourself is commonly referred to as "WG-Besichtigung". Is there a similar term in English? If not, how would you go about paraphrasing it? I don't think this is a local phenomenon and assume it's happening in English-speaking countries as well, so I'd think there is a commonly used term for it that I have yet to learn.

  • Maybe the word "interview" would fit. (A dictionary tells me "interview" is borrowed into German.) – Jack O'Flaherty Jun 22 '20 at 0:52
  • @JackO'Flaherty Agreed, it is interviewing potential flatmates/roommates – Reed -SE is a Fish on Dry Land Jun 22 '20 at 13:00
  • If people share off-campus apartments, they place ads and interview potential roommates. – Lambie Jun 28 '20 at 16:12
  • You are 'sizing up' your potential room mate. – Bruce Murray Jun 28 '20 at 16:25
  1. "Viewing"

This is one of the direct translations of Besichtigung, and seems like a reasonable translation. It's often used to refer to a property, apartment, or house, and implies the customer is shopping around, and they are the ones making the decision.

  1. "Interview"

The emphasis of interview is the selection process. Like a "job interview". If you believe there are more applicants than spaces available, and you are going to be picky, then it's a good choice.

  1. Neither

"Shared flat available! Please call us to schedule a time to come over and see the apartment, and meet the other roommates."

You don't need to use official terminology like "interview" or "viewing" if the mood is casual and friendly. This seems like the best option.

"Room available"
"Looking for roommates!"
"Shared apartment. Roommates wanted." etc etc.

"Contact us to see the place, weekends are the best time."

  • Why bother with literal translation?Also, you might meet the person and not like them. You most certainly need to interview people. I had some 5 different shared apartments in my student days and we always interviewed people or were interviewed. – Lambie Jun 28 '20 at 16:15
  • @Lambie Even if you are, in fact, interviewing people...There's no requirement to use the actual word in the listing. – Sam Jun 28 '20 at 16:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.