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Friday, 12 January 2018

Trump and those pays de merde

Oh dear whatever next? Donald Trump is alleged to have poked yet another stick at Newspeak enthusiasts. From the BBC

US President Donald Trump has sparked outrage after he was reported to have used crude language to describe foreign countries in an Oval Office meeting.

Mr Trump said he did not say "anything derogatory" about Haitians and appeared to deny calling any countries "shitholes", as was reported, generating a worldwide backlash.

However Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Mr Trump used "racist" language.

The president did call some African nations "shitholes", he said.


 A blunder? I don't think so. I wonder if Trump plays chess? Whether he said it or not this feels like another move in the game, one that is bound to stick if I may use the expression. Why is it bound to stick? Everyone knows why.

Around the world, journalists reporting in other languages faced the question of how to translate what Mr Trump had said.

  • In French, headlines featured "pays de merde", using the expletive to refer to the countries but without the word "hole"
  • In Spanish, "países de mierda" was used, similar to the French, as well as "países de porquería", which means "trash countries"
  • In German, "Drecksloch" , which literally means dirt hole but like the word used by Mr Trump is considered vulgar
  • In Dutch, one newspaper used "achterlijk" (backward) as its headline
  • In Japanese, a word that translates as "outdoor toilet" was used
  • In Portuguese, one outlet used a word that translates as 'pigsty', while others translated the quote literally

6 comments:

Sackerson said...

Sounds like fair comment. Difference is, previous US Presidents would say that sort of thing only in private. I think they may decide not to "accident" Trump but keep him on, for the amusement value, if nothing else.

Sam Vega said...

Absolutely brilliant. The more the BBC and other media outfits headline this one, the more they lose whatever shreds of credibility they currently cling to. The idiomatic speech of a U.S. president in private meetings is of zero importance. Everyone except a few snowflakes who mistake office politics for real news knows this. More importantly, who can actually deny that these places are actually shit-holes? I had a look at the Guardian comments today, and they are falling over themselves to condemn the racist, fascist, unfeeling moronic pig. But I haven't seen anyone actually claim that Haiti and many African countries are anything but shit-holes. How would one even begin to make a case for it?

Roger said...

Fair to assume Trump said this and his statement is largely true. The question is how these places got to be the way they are and why improvement is so slow (and largely assisted by the Chinese). No accident that the southern border countries of the US are a mess, Trump has only to ask for the CIA files to know why. On his northern border he has the Mogadon nation so no worries there. Trump is a tool in both senses of the word.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - I'm not so sure about the amusement value, feels more like hysteria to me.

Sam - Guardian comments are so revealing aren't they? Everyone knows but so many dare not say and they even try to make a virtue of their skewed moral compass.

Roger - I don't know why improvement is so slow, but the Chinese do seem to see some kind of future. Mostly favouring China presumably - the old story with a new cast.

Ed P said...

If they are shitholes, we should continue providing relief ($). But if these countries deny the charge, why donate to any charities operating there? It's Trump at his best - one throwaway remark stirring up all the SJWs and other morons, distracting attention from his real agenda.

A K Haart said...

Ed - it certainly seems like Trump at his best. All his supposed gaffes could be calculated moves in his game and sooner or later we may as well assume that this is what they are if we wish to understand him.