An Italian translator’s facial expressions have gone viral after she was caught trying to make sense of Donald Trump’s speech
Donald Trump welcomed Italian President Sergio Mattarella to the Oval Office on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, and like most events involving humans who speak different languages, a translator was present. However, the Italian translator on duty that day had clearly never heard President Trump speak before because she was sitting just behind his shoulder as he spoke and got prime MSNBC screentime that day, and boy-oh-boy did her face tell a story.
Trump’s speeches, like his Tweets, are often nonsensical. Us Americans have become very numb to it. When Trump says or tweets something insane, we’re just like, “and?” It’s just par for the course with the President of the United States. However, this Italian translator could not keep the bewilderment off her face, and how could she? This poor woman was in charge of translating Trump nonsense into human English and then into Italian.
Watching MSNBC cover Italian President Sergio Mattarella’s visit to White House and the bewilderment on his translator’s face as she translates Trumpese to English then to Italian. pic.twitter.com/TV4iXfP75c
— James M. Reeves (@jimnassau) October 16, 2019
The part that really stumped her was when Trump answered this question about Syria, Turkey, and the Kurds in a well, rather colorful way.
“The Kurds are very well protected; plus, they know how to fight. And, by the way, they’re no angels, but they were with us. They are no angels. But they are fighting. We are largely out of that area. We’re very well set. We have quite a contingent, right nearby, of soldiers and of the finest equipment in the world,” Trump said during the press conference, which you can watch in its entirety here.
Imagine translating Trump calling the Kurds “no angels” and then boasting about America having the “finest equipment in the world” into Italian? What are…the words for that?
The woman was also stumped trying to make sense of this Trumpism about Syria: “It’s a lot of sand. They’ve got a lot of sand over there so there’s a lot of sand that they can play with.”
"It's a lot of sand. They've got a lot of sand over there so there's a lot of sand that they can play with" pic.twitter.com/e1iFMXNvtI
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) October 16, 2019
Is he referring to Syria, the place, as “a lot of sand?” Your guess is as good as ours.
Naturally, Twitter had a field day with Trump and the Italian translator.
Welcome to the Splash Zone, Italian Translator. pic.twitter.com/IDaBGd8LkM
— John Heilemann (@jheil) October 16, 2019
The video above did edit together Trump’s words out of context for humor, but the fact remains that he said those words, and that woman made those faces.
The face of the translator. We can all relate. pic.twitter.com/EBXffteA2T
— Linda (@Linda96111140) October 16, 2019
Someone on Twitter suggested that most foreign leaders aren’t familiar with Trump’s, uhm, colloquialisms, because they only ever “hear” him through a translator. For all we know, the President of Italy had no idea that Trump went on a strange extended bit about sand in Syria.
“All the s#*t that comes out of his mouth has to go through the minds of the translators, who *can’t help but improve it* while they’re translating – simply by virtue of trying to make sense of it themselves!” the Twitter user wondered.
Whatever is going on here, one thing’s certain and it is that this woman has the hardest job in the world.