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Does Ich bin ein Berliner really mean I am a doughnut?

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un4givin1 On January 11, 2008




Lake Mills, Wisconsin
#1New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:14:36
I've always whanted to know, some people say it is a correct sentence and others think it means I am a doughnut. Can someone clerify that for me please?
markfox01 On October 29, 2018
innit!





Welshman in Brum.., United Kin
#2New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:17:49
well berliner is german for doughnut.. and ich bin ein is i am a... so probably..
GeneticAnomaly On May 25, 2020
Marvellous, simply m





, United Kingdom
#3New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:23:01
When JFK gave the speech where he used THAT phrase, he was addressing a crowd of Germans in Berlin, I'm pretty sure he meant it as a show of solidarity with them, whatever he actually said in German, I'm pretty certain he meant 'I am a person from Berlin'.
jonnythan On August 02, 2014
Bringer of rad mirth


Deleted



Here and there,
#4New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:24:42
Wikipedia:

According to an urban legend that has no basis in fact and is practically unknown in Germany, Kennedy made a slightly embarrassing grammatical error by saying "Ich bin ein Berliner," referring to himself not as a citizen of Berlin, but as a common pastry:

"Kennedy should have said "Ich bin Berliner" to mean "I am a person from Berlin." By adding the indefinite article ein, his statement implied he was a non-human Berliner, thus "I am a jelly doughnut"."

The legend stems from a play on words with Berliner, the name of a doughnut variant filled with jam or plum sauce that is thought to have originated in Berlin.

In fact, the statement is both grammatically correct and perfectly idiomatic, and cannot be misunderstood in context. The urban legend is prevalent only in English-speaking countries but largely unknown in Germany, where Kennedy's speech is considered a landmark in the country's postwar history..... Similarly, after 9-11 many politicians said "today we are all New Yorkers" and nobody thought they meant "we are all glossy magazines" or "we are all cars."

The citizens of Berlin do refer to themselves as Berliner; what they do not refer to as Berliner are jelly doughnuts. While these are known as "Berliner" in other areas of Germany, they are simply called Pfannkuchen (pancakes) in and around Berlin.




So, in summary, what Kennedy said was perfectly correct and understood by Germans.... and people in Berlin do not call jelly donuts Berliners anyway.
markfox01 On October 29, 2018
innit!





Welshman in Brum.., United Kin
#5New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:29:20
Jonny there with Wiki...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doughnut
In Germany, the doughnut equivalents are called Berliner (sg. and pl.), except in the city of Berlin and some other German areas, where they are called Pfannkuchen. In middle Germany, they are called Kreppel. In southern Germany, they are also called Krapfen and are especially popular during Carneval season (Karneval/Fasching) in southern and middle Germany and on New Year's Eve in northern Germany. Berliner do not have the typical ring shape but instead are solid and usually filled with jam. Bismarcks and Berlin doughnuts are also found in the U.S., Canada, Finland, and Denmark.
jonnythan On August 02, 2014
Bringer of rad mirth


Deleted



Here and there,
#6New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:31:45
Yup, Berliner is a term used for this pasty in many parts of Germany.... but it's obviously also the correct word to use when referring to someone from Berlin, in the same way New Yorker is a magazine but also someone from New York.

Given this, you'd have to go out of your way to mistranslate Berliner into "donut" instead of "someone from Berlin."
jonnythan On August 02, 2014
Bringer of rad mirth


Deleted



Here and there,
#7New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:33:04
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berliner


Berliner is most often used to designate a citizen of Berlin, Germany, but may also refer to:

* Berliner (pastry)
* Berliner (format), in newspapers

* Ich bin ein Berliner, a famous speech by John F. Kennedy
* Berliner Gramophone, a record label


GeneticAnomaly On May 25, 2020
Marvellous, simply m





, United Kingdom
#8New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:33:29
Krapfen....*sniggers childishly*
markfox01 On October 29, 2018
innit!





Welshman in Brum.., United Kin
#9New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:34:27
@jonnythan Said
Yup, Berliner is a term used for this pasty in many parts of Germany.... but it's obviously also the correct word to use when referring to someone from Berlin, in the same way New Yorker is a magazine but also someone from New York.

Given this, you'd have to go out of your way to mistranslate Berliner into "donut" instead of "someone from Berlin."


Oh ye i totally agree with you.. I didnt realize that it was a quote from JFK the thread author was on about.. now looking at it. You have a point.
jonnythan On August 02, 2014
Bringer of rad mirth


Deleted



Here and there,
#10New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:34:34
One more:

https://urbanlegends.about.com/cs/historical/a/jfk_berliner.htm


I must admit, though, that I didn't know the answer to this question. I had heard many times that he made this mistake but I didn't know whether it was truly a mistake or not. Now I know that it wasn't.
markfox01 On October 29, 2018
innit!





Welshman in Brum.., United Kin
#11New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:35:19
@jonnythan Said
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berliner


Berliner is most often used to designate a citizen of Berlin, Germany, but may also refer to:

* Berliner (pastry)
* Berliner (format), in newspapers

* Ich bin ein Berliner, a famous speech by John F. Kennedy
* Berliner Gramophone, a record label




Incidentally can you speak German?
jonnythan On August 02, 2014
Bringer of rad mirth


Deleted



Here and there,
#12New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:35:23
@markfox01 Said
Oh ye i totally agree with you.. I didnt realize that it was a quote from JFK the thread author was on about.. now looking at it. You have a point.


It's a *very* popular urban legend in the US. I've heard about it dozens of times and never looked it up before now. Turns out it's one of those things that's "common knowledge" that's totally wrong.
jonnythan On August 02, 2014
Bringer of rad mirth


Deleted



Here and there,
#13New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:35:50
@markfox01 Said
Incidentally can you speak German?


Not even close

I took French in high school and can do sorta OK with text if I have a dictionary handy, but that's about it.
markfox01 On October 29, 2018
innit!





Welshman in Brum.., United Kin
#14New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:39:41
@jonnythan Said
Not even close

I took French in high school and can do sorta OK with text if I have a dictionary handy, but that's about it.




I did french and welsh (fluent). All my German is learned from rammstien..
jonnythan On August 02, 2014
Bringer of rad mirth


Deleted



Here and there,
#15New Post! Jan 07, 2008 @ 16:41:31
DU...

DU HAST!

DU HAST MICH!

DU HAST MICH GEFRAGT!


I have no idea what that means, but I want to keep it that way. It probably sounds a hell of a lot cooler when you don't know.
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