Is the word “Berliner” appropriate/formal for describing citizens of Berlin, Germany?





I know FDR (I think it was him) said it, but I'm not sure if it's the official or accepted way of describing a citizen of the German capital of Berlin. Anyone know? I'll be using this word for my English essay. Thanks!



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3 Answers to “Is the word “Berliner” appropriate/formal for describing citizens of Berlin, Germany?”

  1. lindros says:

    It was Kennedy who said it, and his gaffe had nothing to do with the word “Berliner”, it had to do with the use of EIN (which translates to A) in the sentence. Ich bin Berliner means I am a BerlinerIch bin ein Berliner means I am a Jelly Doughnut.Or, at least, that’s the story. But like everything involving famous people’s quotes, it seems to have been changed and to have taken on mythic proportions.

  2. arenicolite says:

    Sure, the word “Berliner” is perfect for describing citizens of Berlin. Do not hesitate to use it in your English essay. Good luck! :-) I am afraid, as a German native speaker I can’t agree completely with Mary’s explanation. Normally, you would say things like… Ich bin Berliner. (citizen of Berlin) / Ich bin Münchner. (citizen of Munich) / Ich bin Hamburger. (citizen of Hamburg) …But, of course, there is nothing wrong about saying “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Sind Sie (ein) Münchner? (Are you a citizen of Munich?)Nein, ich bin (ein) Berliner. (No, I am a citizen of Berlin.)If you translate John F. Kennedy’s famous sentence “Ich bin ein Berliner.” using an online translator, you will normally get worthless results like “I am a doughnut.” / “I am a donut.” In some parts of Germany people use the word “Berliner” not only for a citizen of Berlin, but it is also the name of a this bakery produce. [But where I live, we don't call it "Berliner" but "Kräppel". ;-) ] [external link] …

  3. excircle says:

    Berlinern. native or resident of Berlin (capital city of Germany)