When a leader’s English becomes ‘comic relief’


Published — Friday 15 February 2013

Last update 14 February 2013 11:40 pm

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CAIRO: Videos of Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi speaking some English have put him in a hotspot. Opposition members have derided his incompetence in the foreign language.
On Jan. 30, Mursi gave a speech in Berlin with the attendance of around 200 guests invited by Körber Foundation, known for promoting social development. But till this date, Egyptians are continuing circulating the “comic relief” online, according to Al Arabia.
The leader while speaking in Arabic about the current situation in Egypt as well as other topics including how civilizations should interact, tossed some English vocabulary but maybe in an erroneous use.
“We want to have a civilization ‘versus’ other civilizations, and not against others,” he wrongly said.
To prove his point of how individuals should be held accountable for their freedoms, he cited the example of “drunk driving.”
Amid the Egyptian vernacular he was using, two English words were explicitly obvious: “Isn’t there a law that a “drunk” if caught “driving” he will be arrested?”
“Gas and alcohol don’t mix,” he concluded in English.
On Twitter and Facebook comments continued mocking the president’s English.
“Why are you writing one word in Arabic and the other English like Mursi,” one tweep wrote. Other Tweeps urged other users to “laugh” when clicking links of Mursi showing his dexterity in English.
Mursi’s English glitches were also seized by Egypt’s satirist Bassem Youssef in his comedy show El-Bernameg or “The Program.”

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