Most politicians consult interpreting or translation services when holding a speech in a foreign language.
A mistake can easily be made.
When I worked in recruitment, one of our international managers tried to say that he was feeling hot. It was indeed a very warm summer’s day. He said in front of all his business partners in German: “Ich bin heiß.”
The translation in English would be: “I am on heat.” There was a poignant silence after this announcement.
However, there is one example in German history, when a mistake in the target language was taken humorously.
Ich bin ein Berliner.German translation: I am a doughnut.
John F. Kennedy won over the sympathies of the German people despite his faux pas. Everybody knew, what he wanted to say.
I am one of you.
A good speech can make all the difference. Prince Charles was well received in Germany on his latest visit, because his speech was in perfect German.
The German nation was very much impressed. He was very brave to speak in front of the parliament and the cameras.
Getting it right, can have a huge impact. Getting it wrong, can damage your business’ reputation.
You can avoid a major faux pas by consulting translation services beforehand.