The famous line, “Ich bin ein Berliner” was said by John F. Kennedy when the Berlin Wall isolated East Berlin from the rest of Germany. The common misconception is that he said he was a doughnut. While a Berliner is a type of pastry in Germany, if used in the correct context it can also mean you are from Berlin.
British comedian Eddie Izzard makes fun of Kennedy saying he called himself a doughnut in front of thousands of Germans. In reality Kennedy did get the phrase correct but only because of the context he was using it in. Had he been in a bakery, Kennedy might have been laughed at. Learning how to say a phrase in another language can be easy but really understanding what it means can be difficult.
Language is one of the most complicated aspects of life and translations can be lost or misunderstood so easily. Throughout my time posting on EuroKulture I have found how exciting and complicated it can be to write about another country’s popular culture. In my first blog post An intro into culture shock, I discuss that the differences between cultures is what makes them great. I hope EuroKulture has brought insight to many readers and encouraged others to explore and celebrate cultures that are different from their own.
The world is getting smaller and we are going to have to come into contact with people that are different than us. It will no longer be enough to be aware of other countries but actually to study and to learn about their culture. Popular culture is a good starting off point, because it really shows what other countries are like. Where will America be in ten years? Does America need to become more aware of other countries cultures and languages? Was this blog helpful to people unfamiliar with European culture? What could we have done differently to make this blog better?