Friday, 25 September 2009

The Libyan Boss

This was the week that Libya's Khadafy came to New York and was supposed to deliver a simple 15 minute presentation on whatever was on his mind. As a bigwig of a country....once a year....you get this one chance.

So you would have thought....someone from the Libyan staff would have sat down and gone over the speech...to ensure everything was smooth.

In the end....this speech ran for around 100 minutes.

In fact, it was a rambling speech...that went on and on and on. The thing is...Khadafy didn't trust the UN translation staff...so he brought his own translator. The reasoning? He claimed in the planning process that he was speaking a special dialect....of which only the personal translator would understand. Most of the experienced folks later said there wasn't anything special about this accent.

This rambling episode went to such an extreme....that about 75 minutes into it....the Khadafy translator suddenly spoke out in Arabic: "I just can’t take it any more."

He left the room.

The UN's top Arabic speaker, Rasha Ajalyaqeen, stepped up and then did the final twenty minutes of the speech.

The quote I like from the NY Post:

"He’s not exactly the most lucid speaker," another Arabic interpreter said. "It’s not just that what he’s saying is illogical, but the way he’s saying it is bizarre. However, I think I could have made him sound a lot better."

Khadafy has a habit of repeating the same phrase over and over again, "which is good because if you don’t understand what he says the first time you can get it right the second or third time," the interpreter said.


You have to feel sorry for these Libyans....here's some dude who is certifiably nuts and ought to be in a resort nut house. Instead, he runs around making speeches at the UN and visiting VIPs in Rome. Luckily, they don't do a vote process there in Libya.