I had this expression with a student today and thought it might be an interesting one to share with the rest of the community.
Kleinkariert is used to describe someone, who is perfectionistic and checks every single detail, that it becomes somewhat embarrassing.
If you translate it word by word it’s “small-chequered”.
In my opinion, if you compare Germany to other countries, I feel like the German bureaucracy can be very “kleinkariert” as it takes ages and tons of paperwork to finish a process (e.g. at the Einwohnermeldeamt or at the Bank).
Any thoughts on this topic? Any expats in Germany out here who made the same experience that Germany or its bureaucracy is “kleinkariert” (yet, most of the time, efficient )?