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Why is Angela Merkel called "The Merkel"?

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You probably fell for a feature of the German language: In spoken German, it is common to add the definite article to proper names. This results in phrases which literally translated would be "the Alice did x/the Smith did y". Of course, in Englsh this is not done, so the German phrase "the Merkel did x" would in English simply be rendered as "Merkel did x".

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