March 6, 2009

A little matter of using a correct word

A wonderful gaffe by Hillary Clinton and her support team. From FOX News:
Clinton Goofs on Russian Translation, Tells Diplomat She Wants to 'Overcharge' Ties
Note to self: When trying to improve ties with a former Cold War-era foe, check a dictionary.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton learned that lesson the hard way Friday when she presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a gift bearing an incorrect translation -- one that implied hostility, rather than peacemaking.

Clinton presented Lavrov with a gift-wrapped red button, which said "Reset" in English and "Peregruzka" in Russian. The problem was, "peregruzka" doesn't mean reset. It means overcharged, or overloaded.

And Lavrov called her out on it.

"We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?" Clinton asked Lavrov.

"You got it wrong," Lavrov said. "This says 'peregruzka,' which means overcharged."

The two top diplomats, who met in Geneva, laughed and Clinton explained: "We won't let you do that to us, I promise."
And to add insult to injury, that isn't even any kind of special button. You can buy one just like that over the internet for about $60:
A few minutes work with a P-Touch label maker and bingo -- one gift suitable to present to the Russian Foreign Minister on your first State Visit as the United States Secretary of State. I mention the P-Touch label as it says later in the Fox News report:
Clinton adviser Philippe Reines said the typo would be fixed
and you can see the square corners of the tape in the original FOX photograph (what I posted here is a reduced bandwidth thumbnail). Posted by DaveH at March 6, 2009 3:39 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?