Translation Troubles with Emmanuel Macron
President Emmanuel Macron of France made an embarrassing error on Wednesday while visiting Australia. Addressing the prime minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, he called Turnbull's wife "delicious." No, this is not taken out of context; he really used that adjective to directly describe Turnbull's wife. He was thanking the prime minister for welcoming him to Australia. People have been making fun of Macron on social media ever since.
So, how exactly did such a word escape from the French president's lips? Some people are suggesting it may have been a Freudian slip. Others think it may be a joke, though there are multiple hypotheses about what the joke would have been about. Perhaps Macron was making fun of the way Trump commented on Macron's own wife's appearance during a meeting in 2017. Or perhaps it was an inside joke relating to comments that had been made about food just moments before. It may have even been some kind of political joke. Some people doubt that Macron was actually joking, as he spoke with a straight face.
Most likely, Macron simply made an error translating in his head from French to English. French has the same word corresponding to both "delicious" and "delightful" in English; it could also be translated as "lovely." To call another world leader's wife "delightful" or "lovely" would have been polite and reasonable.
Macron has not released any statement clarifying whether this was a speech error, a translation issue, or a misconstrued attempt at humor. This gaffe comes less than a year after Macron's dog interrupted a meeting at his office by peeing on the fireplace.
The actual meeting between Turnbull and Macron was no laughing matter, unfortunately. They had met to discuss grave issues such as Iran, nuclear weapons, the French May Day protests, and Chinese political power.
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