There is a popular urban legend which claims that President Kennedy made an inadvertently amusing grammatical error when he delivered his famous expression of European solidarity, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’.

The legend claims that ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ literally translates as ‘I am a doughnut’ and that the President would have been better instead using the expression ‘Ich bin Berliner’.

In truth however, the context of the translation was entirely accurate; using the word ‘ein’ helped distinguish the phrase from its potential literal meaning of ‘I am a citizen of Berlin’ (which President Kennedy clearly was not). Even though ‘Berliner’ is a brand of doughnut, the context of the statement is generally agreed by language experts to have accurately conveyed an identification with a single Berlin undivided between East and West.

That so many native English speakers, including those claiming to know some German, have over the years been taken in by this myth, clearly demonstrates just how easily shaken one’s confidence in language translation can be, even over four very simple words.

It is precisely for this reason that when requiring an important language translation – particularly a crucial legal or technical translation – many individuals and businesses choose to use the services of a professional translation company; just as they would seek the advice of a lawyer over a complex legal matter, or a doctor in regard to medical advice.

At Wolfestone Translation our professional translation service is fast and 100% reliable; and you will be more than pleasantly surprised at our translation rates.

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