For Your Enjoyment: An Unexpurgated Headline

Maybe I’m just too dirty-minded to survive in modern society, but when I showed this headline to my best friend, she laughed herself silly as well. In all its glory, I give you

French President in ‘delicious’ faux pas on tour Down Under

Yes. Well. A-hem. Perhaps you can all tell me if I’m not the only one who thought this headline was more worthwhile than the article that accompanied it.




  1. jrkrideau says

    These things happen. I continually have to stop and remember that a librairie is not a library. Then there was the time I confused “mistress” and “thesis”. And the list goes on.

  2. blf says

    Even when the likes of Macron foul up, multilingual politicians get it right:

    The French president, Emmanuel Macron, never ceases to surprise his audience, especially when he speaks in English. While some of his compatriots were shocked that he should address the US Congress in its native tongue, it pleased a large number of French people who appreciated how he engaged directly in version originale.

    A few days later, however, when President Macron thanked the Australian prime minister’s wife, Lucy Turnbull, for being “delicious” — conjuring up images of cannibalism and Hannibal Lecter — some commentators suddenly thought of Macron as creepy. It was hours before somebody thought to tell the Australians that the word “délicieuse” actually means delightful.


    It is, however, always better to make small mistakes like Macron did in Australia than to rely on poor translators. [… I]n 1977, the translator Steven Seymour, accompanying Jimmy Carter on an official state visit to Poland, had to be fired after a disastrous first evening. President Carter had begun his speech saying: “I have come to learn your opinions and understand your desires for the future.” His translator told the Poles, in Polish: “I have a carnal desire for Poland.”

    From memory, the replacement translator was supplied by Poland, and did some “editing” of some of President Carter’s comments. For instance, when Carter, at a dinner and commenting on some activists the Polish government did not allow to attend, said something like “and those who were not permitted to attend” but which was translated as “and those who were unable to attend”.

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