Friday, July 21, 2017

Japan first lady pretend not to speak English with Trump?

Jul 22 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Did Japan first lady pretend not to speak English with Trump?

In the world of diplomacy , some things are bound to get lost in translation. President Donald Trump, who sat next to Japan's first lady during a dinner at a recent international summit, says Akie Abe can't muster even a “hello“ in English. In fact, she can handle a basic conversation in English, according to two people who have worked on events with the first lady . So was somet hing lost in translation, or was there an intentional snub?
In a New York Times interview this week, Trump noted that he was seated next to the Argentine and Japanese first ladies at the G20 summit dinner in Ham burg, Germany . He described the wife of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe as a “terrific woman, but doesn't speak English.““Like, not `hello',“ the president told the newspaper. “So I'm sitting there. There was one interpreter for Japanese, `cause otherwise it would have been even tougher. But I enjoyed the evening with her, and she's really a lovely woman, and I enjoyed -the whole thing was good.“ But there's a hitch: Japan's first lady apparently knows a lot more than just hello.
The internet instantly responded, with a YouTube video emerging of Akie Abe delivering a 15-minute keynote address in English at a 2014 Ford Foundation symposium in New York. Video from a 2016 summit in Japan also features Akie seemingly following the conversation and making short comments in English at a spouses' event.
The implication is that Ake Abe spoke more than enough English to politely chitchat with Trump, but instead chose to hide behind the language barrier.
The two people who have worked with the first lady both said it's unthinkable to suggest Abe may have been trying to avoid a conversation with Trump. The Japanese PM's office said that Trump's comments were based on speculation. The two people who had worked with Akie Abe said she does frequently rely on a translator. And she would hardly be the only Japanese official with functional English to do so.

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