THE Elysée Palace was the laughing stock of the internet after its website tribute on the death of Margaret Thatcher – and managed to mangle the English on the soundtrack so that it was impossible to understand.
The original tribute was written in decent English but the website had a “Listen” button for sight-impaired users ... and that used a robot-like woman’s voice that produced worse than franglais with no attempt to follow English pronunciation rules.
Worse than the worst efforts of Allo Allo, it can be heard in its original form at Rue 89 website
Saying she was a "great figure who made a deep impression on her country’s history" the Ecouter button produced a voice straight off the railway station Tannoy that turned the phrase into "Grate figure ouo made a dipe impression one i countriz istori".
Worse was the phrase "The relationship she maintained with France" which mutated into "Ze relation zipé sacheu main ténède ouide François".
It ends by with President Hollande expressing “his solidarity with the British people” or “express heez solidareeti weez ze Breetish payopl”.
It took 10 days for someone to notice that there was a problem. Although it was fixed quickly after that, it left Hollande’s staff with egg on their faces and did nothing France’s reputation for speaking English.
Here is what the Elysée said in its tribute:
Margaret Thatcher’s death marks the disappearance of a great figure who made a deep impression on her country’s history during her 11 years as British Prime Minister.
Throughout her public life, holding true to her firm conservative beliefs, she cared about the United Kingdom’s influence and the defence of her country’s interests.
The relationship she maintained with France was always frank and loyal. She forged a constructive, fruitful dialogue with François Mitterrand. Together, they committed themselves to strengthening ties between our two countries. And it was at this time when Mrs Thatcher gave decisive impetus to the construction of the Channel Tunnel.
President Hollande extends his deepest and very sincere condolences to Margaret Thatcher’s family and close friends and expresses his solidarity with the British people.