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Author Topic: Ich bin nicht ein Berliner
Gus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I'm having trouble tracking down an exact quote- perhaps someone here can do better than I have:

A german quote relayed to me translates as: "Why simplify when you can complicate it so beautifully?"

Anyone familiar with this quote in its original German?


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*Astrik*
Xboxing Day


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Dang it. For a minute there, I thought you were going to ask about the quote you titled the thread. JFK should've said "Ich bin Berliner" but the "ein" thing made it different, so he called himself a jelly-filled donut like pastry.

Ugh...I took three years of German, but I don't recognize that quote. Sorry.


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VeebleFetzer
We Three Blings


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I asked my colleague Annett, who's originally from (ex) East Germany. She didn't recognise the quote, but thought that it might (ironically) have been made more *complicated* in translation. She left off the "so beautifully" and translated it as "Warum einfach wenns auch Schwierig geht?".

If I read her handwriting right that is.

VeebleFetzer

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I'd rather be with you people than the finest people in the world!


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Gus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by VeebleFetzer:
I asked my colleague Annett, who's originally from (ex) East Germany. She didn't recognise the quote, but thought that it might (ironically) have been made more *complicated* in translation. She left off the "so beautifully" and translated it as "Warum einfach wenns auch Schwierig geht?".

If I read her handwriting right that is.

VeebleFetzer


Thanks- but it should be complicated! I know that the quote is something like:

Warum einfach wenns schörn compliceras(sp?) kann.

I know that "schörn" appears in the quote.


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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Ganz einfach zu finden. I went to Google, entered the search string "warum einfach wenns" and got this:

Warum einfach, wenns auch kompliziert geht?

Another version is Warum einfach, wenns auch umständlich geht?
(Why be siimple when you can be pedantic?)

These two quotes appeared repeatedly on various German language sites, often prefixed with "Motto". No "schörn", which is not in my German dictionary. You could have "Warum einfach, wenns auch schön kompliziert geht?" which would translate as something like "why be simple when you could be beautifuly complicated?"

Kathy "bitte schön" B.

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."


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Gus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Kathy B:
Warum einfach, wenns auch kompliziert geht?

You could have "Warum einfach, wenns auch schön kompliziert geht?" which would translate as something like "why be simple when you could be beautifuly complicated?"

Kathy "bitte schön" B.


Danke.

Yes- I mispelled 'schön'. oops. No wonder i was having difficulty with my own google search. (I also used 'enkelt' instead of 'einfach.'

The phrase I was told must have been a corruption of the very common phrase you found.


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Fusca 1976
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Kathy B:
You could have "Warum einfach, wenns auch schön kompliziert geht?" which would translate as something like "why be simple when you could be beautifuly complicated?"

Kathy "bitte schön" B.


But don't they use "schön" with the meaning of "very"? Or is this another UL?

Luís "schnell und schön" Henrique


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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Luís Henrique:
But don't they use "schön" with the meaning of "very"? Or is this another UL?

Luís "schnell und schön" Henrique


Well, the literal meaning of schön is beautiful as in "a beautiful flower". But figuratively, it can be used like beautiful in English "That's one beautiful mess you got us into, Ollie." Idiomatically, you say "Danke schön" and "Bitte schön" for "Thank you very much" and "You're very welcome". The literal meanings are "beautiful thanks" and "beautiful request", neither of which make much sense in English. Used alone, bitte means "please" as in "Please, sir, may I have some more?" The common word for "very" is sehr.

Appropos of nothing, except I find it amusingly stupid, some language person (Charles Berlitz?) used to suggest that English speakers learn English equivalents of other language phrases. So you could express gratitude to a German by saying "donkey fieldmouse" for "danke vielmahls" (many thanks).

Kathy "danka shane" B.

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."


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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Kathy B:
Idiomatically, you say "Danke schön" and "Bitte schön" for "Thank you very much" and "You're very welcome". The literal meanings are "beautiful thanks" and "beautiful request", neither of which make much sense in English. Used alone, bitte means "please" as in "Please, sir, may I have some more?

This is one of the quirks of the German language that I've always loved since I lived there. You are wrong in the impression that you're giving about it's use although you haven't actually made a mistake. As you correctly state "Danke schon" (I can't do umlauts on the computer) is "Thank you very much" and "Bitte schon" is "You're very welcome". What you don't say is that "Danke" on it's own is "Thanks", and "Bitte" is also used as "You're welcome" on it's own. It still means "please", but the meaning of "please" in this particular context is "You're welcome". This is actually the more common usage;

"Danke"
"Bitte"

Maybe a better translation would be "It's my pleasure". That can be reduced down to just "pleasure" without anyone having any difficulty understanding what you're saying, unless they didn't know much English, in which case they might well not know what pleasure has to do with it.

Troll "did I explain that coherently. It's much harder to do without tone of voice" face

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.


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jarbabyj
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have absolutely nothing to contribute since I've only studied German for a little over a year and I STILL can't properly decline the adjectives...

but I would like to say that hearing guys speak German gives me goosebumps. It's the sexiest language I've ever heard.

jarbaby "talk Deutsche to me" j


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