Interpreters forget to cut mikes, slag off British MEP

19th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

In one of those inimitably embarrassing moments, interpreters who forgot to switch off their mikes in the European parliament were heard loudly complaining Tuesday about a British MEP's dentures.

"I can't hear him!", "Hes got a problem with his denture", the pair of English-to-French interpreters said.

Heard by anyone listening in to the French translation of parliamentary debate Tuesday, the incident lasted only a few minutes but remained on the parliament's website through the day.

The two interpreters overheard were worrying over 77-year-old Eurosceptic British member of the European Parliament, Roland Clark.

"That was Clark, wasn't it, that Briton..." laughed one of the two interpreters before going on to say the MEP rarely turned up for party meetings.

"I couldn't hear him...", "he was mumbling", "he's got something in his mouth", "he's got a problem with his denture," they went on.

The parliament, which works in 23 languages, employs some 430 interpreters full time, with an extra 2,500 used occasionally.

© 2010 AFP

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