Language-related Myths: We are Taiwaner, not Taiwanese!

No, you are lacking a wider horizon.

Every once in a while there is a small wave of media reports and e-mails explaining that the people of Taiwan should call themselves “Taiwaner” in English instead of “Taiwanese” because (Sit down, fasten your seat belt and take a Valium.) “the British used the ‘-ese’ suffix only on nations they look down upon, and we don’t want other people to look down on us”.

Language-related Myts: I am a Jelly Doughnut

Kennedy said nothing wrong.

In 1963 John F. Kennedy gave a speech in front of the Schoeneberg city hall in Berlin. The speech was supposed to be motivating, because about two years earlier the Berlin wall had been erected. Kennedy gave this speech in English, with an interpreter delivering a German translation. There was however one sentence that was in German: “Ich bin ein Berliner.” And believe it or not, even in 2010 there are English-speaking fellows claiming that this would have meant “I am a jelly doughnut.”

Short version: Wrong. Kennedy was absolutely correct.

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