Starting the noveau regime off the wrong foot,
France’s new prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault leaves Middle East red-faced… as his name sounds like the Arabic for penis
France’s new prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has triggered confusion and embarrassment in Arabic-speaking countries – because his surname sounds like their word for ‘penis’.
Newsreaders in Arab nations have swiftly come up with a host of strategies to avoid pronouncing his name correctly.
In French, the name is correctly pronounced ‘Eye-ro’.
Now you know the word in Arabic.
Meanwhile, in France,
The French themselves changed the spelling of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s name to ‘Putine’, because it sounded like ‘putain’ – the French word for prostitute
The Spanish, well-deserving their potty-mouths reputations, didn’t bother change Putin, and pronounce it poo-TEEN, thereby calling him “little male whore.”
Which, of course makes me proud of my Iberian ancestors.