Thursday, June 4, 2009

Language Barrier

Today’s right-wing outrage is that President Obama said “thank you” in Arabic during his visit with King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia.

It seems there is some legitimate confusion on just what languages Obama speaks, and as far as Arabic, the only real hint has came from Nick Kristof, who heard Obama recite the Muslim call to prayer in Arabic and with a “first-rate accent” back in 2007. With even the White House now smearing Obama as a Muslim, one wonders if the president hasn’t been concealing some greater fluency with the language of the Koran.

The secret’s out; the president might know more than one language. That proves he’s really a secret Muslim. Oh-god-oh-god, we’re all gonna die. Actually, I think spending a few years as a child in Indonesia, where there is a lot of Arabic spoken, might have something to do with it. It’s just a guess that learning to say “thank you” might be a useful phrase there.

By the way, I know how to say “thank you” in Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Welsh (“Diolch”). I guess that makes me either a polite person in five other languages, or a sleeper cell for international intrigue.