vendredi 18 mai 2012

DR Congo / France: The Tower of Babel or when the names of Politicians embarrass the diplomacy.

 
Democratic Republic of Congo.: The name of a Minister of Zaire unpronounceable in Japanese.
 
        
In 1987, the president travels to Japan for an official visit. In its official delegation is the Commissioner of State of Youth, Sports and Leisure, home Luba named "Tshimbombo Mukuna." A fairly common name in parts of the Kasai. Moreover, the minister himself is a nice teaser being who loves jokes and constantly enlivens the delegation of Zaire in the Land of the Rising Sun.
        
But when President Mobutu presents his delegation to the Japanese Prime Minister, the japanese translator stiffened when he pronounces the name of Mr. Tshibombo Mukuna. He sweats and lack of fat to swallow his tongue.
        
The delegation of Zaire aback by this attitude asks what's wrong.
After consultation with his Prime Minister, the Japanese translator explains in his ear, whispering with embarrassment that these two names in Japanese means both the female organ and the male organ.
        
After several minutes of silence, President Mobutu turned to his delegation and said in Lingala, the language of the capital Kinshasa the incident to his state Commissioner of Youth, Sports and Leisure on its behalf. Other dignitaries Zaire draw the ear to perceive whispers of suspects between Mobutu and his minister.
        
Knowing well that Mobutu could not keep the secret very long takes the side of laughing. The entire delegation laughs, including Mobutu, but with restraint due to his rank. This slackens at once the Japanese translator, the Prime Minister and all the Japanese official.           
The diplomatic incident was narrowly avoided thanks to the sporty character of the citizen "Tshimbombo Mukuna" or "thing-thing" in Japanese. During the rest of the stay, the Japanese did manage to utter publicly the name of the Minister of Zaire.
        
Back in Kinshasa, President Mobutu has continued to mock gently now his minister he called by his first name to Jacques: "You should still be able to avoid the names of both sexes."
        
Had he known what would happen in Tokyo, he would never have added the post-name of Mukuna to his name Tshimbombo. But "Authenticité" forces, he had to jettison his given name of Jacques, that he enthusiastically taken up in April 1990. 
Elected senator in 2007, he was president of the "Union for the Republican Revival," his family nicknamed him "Tshim".
         Zairians were avenged a few years later when Japan appointed Mr. Mikushi Takuyama as ambassador to Congo. The Congolese Prime Minister Andre Milongo, original lari laughed on hearing this name simply meant that in his mother tongue "Pets buttocks painful."

         The name of the President of the Congolese Senate "Kengo wa Dondo" simply means "king of vaginas" in Sango language, spoken in Central African Republic, but this would not trigger any diplomatic incident.

The name of the new French Prime Minister "Haram" in the Middle East.

        
May 15, 2012, upon the appointment of French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault by the new French president, Francois Hollande, the Arabic-language media are embarrassed.
         They have to adapt the transcript of his name to avoid offending their readers. The pronunciation of the name "Arabic" may indeed turn into gritty story.
        
Indeed, the transcription of Arabic names as delivered in France "Airo" stands for "penis" in the familiar language of many Arab countries.
        
Some Arab radio and television stations have struggled with the pronunciation. Some media simply transcribes "Aro", or added an "H" sucked at the beginning of the name, or both silent consonants pronounced the end of the name.
        
To avoid any misunderstanding, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent to the press an official transcript, retaining the option to transcribe all the letters of his name as if they were voting, including the “L” and “T”.
        
If the President of the Socialist Group in the National Assembly and mayor of Nantes, elected in 1988 had often talked with his constituents Franco-Arab, the incident would not have perhaps not embarrassed French diplomacy. Because he would know that his name was "haram" in the Middle East.

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