When Justin Trudeau seeks his words…
Tuesday, 11 July, 2017 14:09
Tuesday, 11 July, 2017 14:24
Look at this article
Storm in a glass of water are always more numerous in the summer when the current slows down.
The last in date is the famous statement by Justin Trudeau on the Canadian supposedly more “disorganized” than the Germans because, according to the prime minister, “we have enough blood French and latin in our veins to be less organized”.
The statement was made on 9 July in an interview with the German newspaper BILD. To read the English translation of the article, here it is.
The interview is quite long and interesting. Justin Trudeau speaks about Donald Trump, the u.s.-canada relationship, free trade, Canada’s role at the G-20, China, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the environment, the 150th of Canada, Russia, etc
From the serious to the anecdotal
At the very end of the interview, the journalist of BILD asks her what she thinks about Germany and Germans.
As reported, the response of Justin Trudeau would have been the following :
“Wonderful, thoughtful people. You’ve realized where the global economy is going and have made decisions on being part of that – whether it’s playing an international role gold innovating on climate change and green energy. My direct stepfather was born in East Germany. I was raised to love the German culture and German food — even the red cabbage. It’s something I feel a tremendous kinship to. You are perhaps a little more … I’m looking for the right word — predictable?
No, you’re more organized, maybe, than Canadians can be. We’ve got enough French and Latin blood in us to be less organized. I think there is a wonderful potential for great partnership and complementarity between Germany and Canada. Certainly the leadership that Germany has shown, through all of its political parties, on the Canada-Europe trade deal, is a very good thing. I look forward to continuing that.”
Free translation :
“These are wonderful people and thoughtful. You have understood the direction of the global economy and you’ve decided to be a part of it –whether by playing a role in international or innovative in terms of climate change and green energy. My father-in-law was born in Germany. I was raised to love the German culture and German food – even red cabbage. This is something I feel very close to.
You may be… I am looking for the right word – predictable? No, you are more organized, perhaps, that Canadians can be. We have enough blood French and latin in our veins to be less organized.
I think that there is a great potential for a great partnership and complementarity between Germany and Canada. The leadership of the Germany shows, through all its political parties, the free trade Canada-Europe is a very good thing. I look forward to continuing to pursue these same goals.”
So, what does it really disturbing in this paragraph?
For some, the reference to “the blood French and latin,” is either racist, or demeaning to the Canadians of French origin.
Unless it is simply a snapshot of a superficiality amazing. The kind of remark made with a smile.
Justin Trudeau as he is the descent part of the so-called “French-canadian”, we can exclude automatically the first two assumptions. Personally, I’d go for the cliche superficial.
What is much more revealing of the prime minister in the same paragraph, however, has not gone unnoticed.
I speak here of the manner in which Mr. Trudeau passes without a hiccup of free trade, clichés about the Canadians and the Germans through his childhood and even his love for the “cabbage, red” German…
These multiple ruptures of tone and content within a single response – passing rapidly from the serious to the anecdotal, personal, and return to the serious, are surprising in the context of a formal interview granted to the alien by a prime minister of a country of the G-20.
Searching for the right word
Another revealing element in this paragraph is when Mr. Trudeau, seeking to describe the Germans, said to himself searching for the right word.
So he spends a trait that is “expected” to “be organized” – two concepts, of course, quite different from one another.
When the question concerns a subject other than the subjects “official” of the day, the prime minister sometimes lack of vocabulary and clarity. And, contrary to what some people think, in both official languages.
This is a weakness in itself. No doubt about it.
However, in this, the canadian prime minister is far from being the only politician in Canada and in Quebec to suffer from a certain imprecision in the vocabulary – and thus, his thoughts -as soon as a topic is, let’s say, more spontaneous.
And come to think of it, perhaps it is from there that comes its note on the “blood French and latin,”… Who knows?…