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Issue 50 / December 2012

Hay festival diary: Tales of the interpreter

How François Mitterrand used to tease Margaret Thatcher, plus a translatorless German's cock-up

✒Amanda Galsworthy was one of four siblings, each of them raised by their linguist father in a different European language. Thus she has been the interpreter for every French president since François Mitterrand (of whom she said "To this day I don't know whether he spoke any English at all"). In conversation with broadcaster Jon Snow she described the way Mitterrand used to tease Margaret Thatcher by indicating Galsworthy and having her translate into English: "This young woman is one of yours." He would then pause, smile provocatively, and add: "But she works for us."

From: Books: Books + News |

Sunday, 30 May, 2010

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