Sarkozy’s interpreter/Sarkozys Dolmetscherin

Amanda Galsworthy has been the French-English interpreter for three French presidents. I listened to the BBC podcast recently, but it is no longer available as such.

Her diplomat father was an extreme europhile who brought up his four children in four different languages and wanted her to be an interpreter, which eventually she became. He was impressed by simultaneous interpreters, as is the interviewer. She is apparently bilingual: she does quick mental calculations in French.

I mentioned the Thatcher anecdote before.

There is also a Gerhard Schröder anecdote. There is some discussion of how interpreters at official meals get to eat. She sits beside Sarkozy. She stood behind Chirac. Chirac would sometimes butter bread and hand it back to her. When Gerhard Schröder saw this, he decided to follow suit, and he passed a bowl of soup back to his interpreter, who found it more of a hindrance than a help.

Article in Guardian

BBC podcast of interview

Podcast no longer available from 30 July, but programme can still be listened to here.

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