Letter: Bad treaties, bad translation

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The Independent Online
I AGREE with most of the points made in the Marquess of Anglesey's letter (15 November). Unfortunately, like many others before him, he perpetuates a piece of First World War propaganda based on mistranslation.

What the Kaiser said - and evidence that he actually said it is shaky - was "eine (or die) verachtlich kleine Armee" - "the contemptibly small army". Not quite the same as "the contemptible little army". The uninflected verachtlich is used adverbially to modify "kleine", not adjectivally.

Kaiser Wilhelm may have been a bit of an ogre but let's have fair play. We are British.

KEN CLARK

Bedford

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