Thursday, 5 January 2012

Mr Caramel's loose talk

Francois Hollande
Francois Hollande, who as readers will know is the Socialist party candidate (and current front runner) for President of France, to be elected in May this year, has changed his style, after a soft start (to which he owes his "caramel" nickname).  He spoke in Merignac to a packed hall of 1400 supporters, some of whom were waving banners, and there was a lot of pointing, and a louder voice.  Well, good.  But he still looks to me as though he is reacting to whatever criticism the media have, rather than setting the agenda, as someone who wants to be a world statesman should do.  Perhaps aware of this himself, he had lunch with a bunch of journalists on Tuesday.  Now if you had spent any time interested in politics in the UK you would expect that what he had to say at that lunch would then appear, carefully managed, in selected media outlets.  Well, this is France, and these lunches and dinners happen all the time, and very rarely does anything appear, because journalists like to protect the privacy of politicians.  Hmmm.  A different culture.  Discuss.   Anyway, what emerged from this lunch, and appeared in Le Parisien yesterday Wednesday, was that Hollande allegedly referred to Sarkozy as a "sale mec".  This was quickly denied by several, but not all, of the journalists who were there.  It was equally quickly seized upon by Sarko's people, who demanded a public apology "excuses publiques".  Le Monde today takes the opportunity to report this, and to praise the UMP rebuttal strategy "la riposte systematique" which has roared into operation ahead of Sarko himself declaring his candidacy, expected next month.  Apparently there are no more press releases or lines to take "elements de langage" in written form, it is all done by telephone and text message.

Oh, and "sale mec", I hear you ask?  Hard to translate.  "Mec" is simply colloquial for a male person.  "Sale" means "dirty" and also has the connotation of "badly behaved", a naughty child may be referred to as a "sale gosse".  Anyway, it's not a nice thing to say.  Google Translate says it is "dirty guy", which sounds frightfully camp.  I would translate it as "a shit".

Nice one Francois.  Watch your step.


Anonymous said...

Isn't the translation of 'sale mec' along the lines of 'sleazeball'?

Jonny said...

I think "slimeball" fits the context better. It's not actually swearing.

Jane Griffiths said...

yes, you're probably both right