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Macron's delicious choice of words lost in translation

President sets internet tongues wagging with description of wife of Australian Prime Minister

3 May 2018
Mr Macron and Mr Turnbull at the press conference
By Connexion journalist

President Emmanuel Macron caused something of a stir this week when he described the wife of the Australian Prime Minister as "delicious" during a visit to the country.

“I want to thank you for your welcome,” Mr Macron said to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the end of a joint press conference in Sydney on Wednesday. “Thank you and your delicious wife for your warm welcome.”

The comment set tongues wagging in Australia and - thanks to the internet - beyond, but some have pointed out that the French délicieux can also be used to mean 'lovely' or 'delightful'.

Language expert Camille Chevalier Karfis, of French Today, said: "Délicieux (feminine "délicieuse") is mostly used to describe food.

"It can however mean "lovely" or "delightful" but it is quite sophisticated and seldom used that way nowadays - Nous avons passé une soirée délicieuse means we had a delightful evening."

Although a rather antiquated use of the word, she said that Mr Macron, of all people, would be aware of the meaning. "It's not at all surprising from President Macron, whose mastery of the French language is indeed délicieuse."

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