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738097.  Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:03 am Reply with quote

Hi, Usedfun. Welcome to QI.

738100.  Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:12 am Reply with quote

G'day usedfun. Welcome :)

738169.  Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:45 am Reply with quote

Welcome usedfun :-)

Spoilt Victorian
738175.  Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:01 am Reply with quote

Hello usedfun :-)

738313.  Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:02 pm Reply with quote

Welcome :)

738469.  Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:43 pm Reply with quote


738662.  Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:15 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:

Finally - although a little more recently, JFK didn't really say he was a doughnut in Berlin.

Did he not? I thought he said "Ich bin ein Berliner" - did he say something else?

738675.  Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:38 am Reply with quote

He did say that, but that is exactly how you are supposed to say 'I am from Berlin' - as he was told to say it by his German translator.

Apparently, the term 'Berliner' is/was not widely used in Berlin to describe doughnuts.

738774.  Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:26 am Reply with quote

It's a fine and interesting point of translation - the normal phrase would be 'Ich bin aus Berlin', but that would literally be 'I am from Berlin', whereas I think what he wanted to convey was a solidarity of spirit rather than a geographical location, in which case if they actually used Berliner in that sense, 'Ich bin ein Berliner' would be better.

The fact that the audience didn't break out in laughter at the time is possibly telling.

738777.  Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:29 am Reply with quote

If you put the phrase into Babel Fish, the translation comes out as 'I am a citizen of Berlin'.

738798.  Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:07 am Reply with quote

Mind you, Jimmy Carter did tell the entire population of Poland that he wanted to have sex with them.

Sort of. He actually said that he wanted to get to know the Polish people better, but Polish has more than one verb that we might translate as "to know", and his interpreter used the wrong one. Accordingly, what that interpreter actually said in Polish translates back as "I want to have carnal knowledge of the Polish people".

739073.  Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:46 am Reply with quote

Just checked with my German cow-orker, and the JFK thing gets even more interesting.

People have suggested that "Ich bin ein Berliner" means "I am a doughnut". This is based on the fact that, in some parts of Germany "ein Berliner" is a type of doughnut. However, it rather overlooks the fact that "ein Berliner" also means a person from Berlin. Much as someone could validly describe themselves as a Hamburger if they came from Hamburg, or a Frankfurter if they came from Frankfurt, without mistakenly describing themselves as various meat products.

However, it seems that there is another type of doughnut popular in Germany. I don't think we get it over here, but it's described as slightly larger, lens shaped, made of a denser dough, with icing on top. This is known in Germany as "ein Americana". So, even if JFK described himself as "Ich bin ein Americana", some people would still think he was describing himself as a doughnut.

739116.  Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:11 pm Reply with quote

mmmm.... various meat products....

742970.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:45 pm Reply with quote

Hey to all of you! Thanks for responding. I am truly grateful. Now some of you have veered off the topic of AMERICAN HISTORY. Well, it is a chat room. Anyone want to ask me a question about Early American History? I particularly enjoy learning and conversing about the Colonial Period, American Independence, the Seven Years War, Native Americans, and Westward Expansion. T.

742980.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:53 pm Reply with quote

Poor Alan. Thank goodness he does win occasionally. I think he's very "smart". He just doesn't always know as much as he thought he knew. Hence the show. QI. T.


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