When Australian’s Leader of the Opposition, Kevin Rudd, hears people say that he is fluent in Mandarin, he is quick to respond that he is far from expert.
As a young diplomat in Beijing in the 1980s he was asked to translate a speech by Australian ambassador Ross Garnaut for guests at a banquet.
All went well until he got to the bit about relations between China and Australia being very close, which drew a reaction ranging from hysterical laughter to shocked disbelief.
Mr. Rudd discovered later that he had assured the gathering the two countries enjoyed spectacular orgasms.
It was a lesson, he says, in not trying to do too much too fast.
Image: Kevin Rudd.