Is it the feeling of inferiority or a deep urge to show off that makes Arab politicians use English language when interviewed by foreign media? Rarely do we see a German or French politician doing so. As to US or UK officials giving interviews in Arabic – forget about it. What to say then about a PM or president…
Nobody knows why president Morsi chose to use English to answer the questions of Time magazine. But Morsi messed things up mixing apes and judges in his incomprehensible speech:
I remember a movie. Which one? Planet of the Apes. The old version, not the new one. There is new one. Which is different. Not so good. It’s not expressing the reality as it was the first one. But at the end, I still remember, this is the conclusion: When the big monkey, he was head of the supreme court, I think — in the movie! — and there was a big scientist working for him, cleaning things, has been chained there. And it was the planet of the apes after the destructive act of a big war, and atomic bombs and whatever in the movie. And the scientist was asking him to do something, this was 30 years ago: “Don’t forget you are a monkey.” He tells him, “Don’t ask me about this dirty work.” What did the big ape, the monkey say? He said, “You’re human, you did it [to] yourself.” That’s the conclusion. Can we do something better for ourselves?
Psychologists would start writing Morsi’s file knowing that the big monkey in the movie has nothing to do with judges and supreme courts. It is only Morsi himself, who has to deal with judges and courts refusing his new constitutional decree. May be Morsi wanted to express a deep philosophical thought about humans being responsible for destroying their own civilization and the hope that “we do something better for ourselves”; but it turned into a mess with his bad English. Anyway, we are not to discuss Morsi’s philosophy, amnesia and subconscious mind, but this trend of using English by Arab politicians.
Mr. Morsi is an official representing one of the most populated Arabic speaking countries. Each word uttered by a politician of such a level should be well weighed and there should be no place for fragments and semi-fragments in a president’s speech. Isn’t it safer to use Arabic? It wouldn’t be a demerit at all. Arabic is one of the six official languages of UN. It is the mother tongue of about 300 million people and the 5th most spoken language around the world. Regardless of its international status, it is more respectable for a president to speak the national language of his country. Sure, the Time magazine will find a proper translator.