Talk:Amt (country subdivision)

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"Amt" in English[edit]

What is the exact English translation of the term "Amt" as well as the names of other collective municipalities of Germany? --Criticalthinker 22:42, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

The exact translation is "office". And that's quite what it means: Small municipalities share one office which is doing all administrative tasks for them. (talk) 22:19, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I think in Germany most people saying amt in a state where amt is no administrative unit mean an authority or agency providing services of any level of government. If it is used to refer to the administrative unit, the best translation I can think of is county. It is definetely not equivalent to a US township, as the article claimed before I corrected it. A township in the US is either a survey area of a certain size (purely for statistical purposes) or an unincorporated municipality with no home-rule similiar to a village (or borough, as for example in Pennsylvania). An amt is an incorporated local government above municipality-level and thus best described as a county.
Also, the description of the term "below county-level" is questionable. There is no government above municipalities and below counties in common law counties. Also to say that it is a jurisdiction below the county requires, according to common sense, that there is a county or an equivalent above. So I am wondering, is there anything above an amt in German states that is better associated with a county? Chris.usnames (talk) 18:39, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Suggest reorganization of article[edit]

This article's structure must be changed. In all countries except for Germany, the word amt appears to have been abolished or the term was simply replaced. Also, there is another meaning of amt that needs to be incorporated into this article. Therefore I suggest the following new structure: 1. administrative unit in Germany 2. name for a German authority 3. use in other countries 3.1. Denmark 3.2. Netherlands 3.3. Norway I request comments on this suggestion. If there are no complaints, I will do the restructering of the article myself in 7 days from today. Chris.usnames (talk) 22:42, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Amt means different things in the listed countries, that's true. But why then do you rename German Amt to county? County is a correct translation for Denmark and Norway, but this is not the case for Germany, where Amt is the collection of a few municipalities sharing an administrative office. In Germany, county is an equivalent of Kreis in sources but district is also used for that. --peyerk (talk) 16:08, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, if you had ever been to Germany, you knew that an Amt in Germany has several departments (such as resident registration centers, sheriffs office, etc.), not just one office (except if you mean an agency, such as the Arbeitsamt or Socialamt). I believe the functions of a county make it more like an amt, rather than a Kreis. Tell me which county is responsible for building roads? A Kreis is according to sources responsible for B-roads. State roads are the responsibility of the states, not the counties. Also, you can't translate Kreis both with county and district, as a county is not the same as a district in the US. Look at the website of Hall County, Nebraska ( - they are a county and they are part of a district with Buffalo county (you can see that when you click on "COUNTY COURT" and "DISTRICT COURT". I couldn't find any source that says a Kreis has a Sheriff, but there is such an institution citing infractions in amts. So the sources for Kreis contradict with these discoveries, so they should be scrapped. Chris.usnames (talk) 18:56, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
This article does talk (see title) about the country subdivision, not an office. A number of municipalities "share" a common administration, but this retain their own individuality. In a European context Kreis can both be translated as county or district but the official translation guide favours district. Agathoclea (talk) 20:32, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Chris.usnames: This is the English Wikipedia, no the American one. Terminology of government structures and of their geography is much different in different countries. There is a lot of countries having counties with the responsibilities you cannot see in the U.S.

Of course I have been to Germany and I am much familiar with German and European local government structures, sure. Have you ever been to Finland, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, England, Lithuania etc.? Or, at least, do you know their local governments? ;)

--peyerk (talk) 07:24, 18 July 2011 (UTC)