Bush’s Guide to Those Funny Foreign Names

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George Bush’s battle to pronounce complicated words has been laid bare after White House officials mistakenly released an unedited copy of his UN speech, complete with phonetic spellings.

The script of the President’s address to the 192-nation UN General Assembly, which was accidentally distributed to journalists, revealed he is given a phonetic guide to key foreign names including countries and their leaders.

Among those contained in the speech were “Keyr-geez-stan”, the name of Zimbabwean president Robert “Moo-gah-bee” and the name of his new French ally, President “Sar-kozee”.

However he was given no help with the pronunciation of the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose name he duly stumbled over.

The President is famous for his verbal slipups. He has particular problems with the word “nuclear”, is prone to coining made-up words such as “misunderestimate”, and once forgot the name of President Musharraf of Pakistan.

According to David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter, all presidential speeches contain phonetic guides, but passing the unedited version to the press was an “oversight”.

Despite the mix-up, the speech was described as eloquent. Mr Bush urged member states to join in a “mission of liberation” and predicted that the “long rule of a cruel dictator is nearing its end” in Cuba.

His words caused anger among the Cuban delegation, who walked out, calling the speech “arrogant and mediocre”.

Most of the US delegation in turn left the room when President Ahmadinejad rose to speak, reiterating that Iran’s nuclear programme was “completely peaceful and transparent”.

From The Daily Mail

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