Bush at G8: 'Everybody speaks English, right?'

6th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 June 2007, Heilgendamm, Germany (dpa) - US President George W Bush on Wednesday expressed surprise at the need for a German translation of his comments to the press at a G8 summit being held at the Baltic coastal resort of Heiligendamm. "Everybody speaks English, right?" Bush asked, after a German- language interpreter began to translate his brief statement to the press following talks with G8 summit host German Chancellor Angela Merkel. A laughing Merkel asked the US leader to "be patient" and gestured

6 June 2007

Heilgendamm, Germany (dpa) - US President George W Bush on Wednesday expressed surprise at the need for a German translation of his comments to the press at a G8 summit being held at the Baltic coastal resort of Heiligendamm.

"Everybody speaks English, right?" Bush asked, after a German- language interpreter began to translate his brief statement to the press following talks with G8 summit host German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

A laughing Merkel asked the US leader to "be patient" and gestured for him to wait by her side while the interpreter did his job.

"Is that what I said?" Bush asked Merkel with a grin after his words were translated.

"Almost 100 per cent," laughingly answered Merkel, speaking in English.

Merkel and other German politicians have made it a point to speak German both at G8 gatherings and at European Union meetings in a bid to boost the global standing of their language.

This is in contrast to other nations, including Austria and Finland, whose leaders and ministers frequently spoke English during their stint as EU president.

English is also increasingly used by the European Commission, the EU's executive body.

However, recognizing that the international press is largely composed of English-speakers, Merkel and her foreign minister Frank- Walter Steinmeier often bring along interpreters when speaking to reporters.

DPA

Subject: German news

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