Published — Sunday 11 November 2012
Last update 10 November 2012 11:36 pm
PARIS: French President Francois Hollande’s attempt to sign a note congratulating Barack Obama for getting re-elected wound up lost in translation — and all over Twitter.
In the great Gallic tradition of murdering the English language, Hollande ended the letter to the US president in his own hand, writing: “Friendly, Francois Hollande.” The mistake was a literal translation of the French “amicalement,” instead of what probably should have been “kind regards.” It went viral on Twitter, overshadowing the rest of the note, which fleetingly touched on topics such as the Middle East and the economy.
According to local media, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was also weak in English. To excuse bad weather in January 2010, Sarkozy told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “Sorry for the time.”