Monday, March 26, 2007

Kevin Rudd: Lost in Translation

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.

Geoff Pound

Image: Kevin Rudd.