Americans, You’re Embarrassing Obama

9 Jul

Obama said he is “embarrassed” at Americans who can’t speak foreign languages.

It’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe and all we can say is merci beaucoup.

Learning another language has wonderful benefits. Unfortunately, not every American has the opportunity to study a second language. Some of us are really busying working longer hours, second and even third jobs, to afford things like: foodgas and shelter

To look down on Americans because they don’t know a second language is another sign you’re an out of touch elitist. 

How does one say ‘NO DEAL Obama’ in french and spanish? I think we might find those phrases useful for November. 



39 Responses to “Americans, You’re Embarrassing Obama”

  1. Sarah July 9, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    “Just say no deal Obama” – ne dites juste aucun obama d’affaire
    “Just say no deal” – ne dites juste aucune affaire

    Sorry, I’m just a dumb American who can only speak a semi-passable French and no Spanish.

    I’ll just go back into my double wide (where I keep my guns, bible, and bitterness) so the great and awesome Obama won’t have to embarrassed by me anymore.

  2. energy July 9, 2008 at 7:46 pm #

    The thing about this statement Obama made makes me want to ask him one question. “Did it ever occur to you that in Europe there are different countries with different dialects geographically bordering each other as compared to the USA being one country—and perhaps that is why more folks are multi-lingual?

  3. robert July 11, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    Spanish: No Trato!

  4. David July 11, 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    It’s a totally valid statement. Any person from the developed world outside of great ole bad US is wondering the very same thing.

    It’s not an elitist statement. It’s a valid criticism. Obama may be out of touch with America……but he is dead on when it comes to the reality of our embarrasingly deficient education system and an increasingly globalized world.

    I think what Americans don’t understand is while we’re busy working longer hours, taking for granted our world power status, and demanding less from a government who shuns even the thought of a socialist concept…..the world is passing us by.

  5. Amy July 11, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    So when he visits France later this summer, is he going to embarrass us with his Chicago French?

    The thing is, I took a second language and did quite well. I was even “thinking” in it and held rather complicated conversations with teachers and fellow students. Now? 40 years later? I don’t remember a word. Second languages are rather like knowing software programs: use ’em or lose ’em. I’ve lived in a diverse metropolitan area my entire adult life, and like algebra, I’ve not needed German once. Not even once. Spanish? Why would I speak Spanish? Is Lowe’s going to eliminate the “English” portion of their signs?

  6. Brigitte July 11, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    From a proud French/American Puma, Just no deal in French would be “Hors de question”, but just say no deal SAID by a French would be “Vas te faire voire!” which also pretty much implied the wish for a one-way ticket to Hell. What do you have to say to that OB? I guess: Merci Beaucoup. (thank you very much).

  7. Ophie July 11, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

    To You David:
    “It’s not an elitist statement. It’s a valid criticism. Obama may be out of touch with America……but he is dead on when it comes to the reality of our embarrasingly deficient education system and an increasingly globalized world.”
    Are European languages imperative for low-earning people, blue-collar earning people, and the likes, who are working hard to put food on their tables, to perform their jobs well? Wake up dude. . . You are just like Hussein Obama who always think in terms of himself. How many languages do you think can he speak? He can not even speak straight English when he answers unexpected questions thrown at him but instead, say,”ah um ah um.” What a jokers you two are.

  8. MSG July 11, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    I wonder if BO will be setting the example for us all to follow by giving all of his campaign speeches in German, Spanish, French, Italian (cannot leave out the Vatican), Russian (can’t leave out our friends at the Kremlin), as well as Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.

    Way to go, BO!

  9. Alex July 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    I think you misunderstood Obama’s point. If it were just about Americans in Europe that would be one thing, but Obama’s assertion is that we should speak immigrant languages here within the United States.

    If I emigrated to a country where English was not the primary language, I would try to learn the new language. I would not expect everyone there to speak my language nor would I demand that the government produce signs and pamphlets in English just for me.

    Obama was dismissive to the many US citizens with concerns that after years of living in the US, many immigrants are still not versed in the basics of English. It’s a strain on the US. It impacts emergency services like 911, hospitals, and public school districts.

    Instead of speaking to how we can help people learn English easier – so they can navigate the US and be successful here- Obama questioned why more US citizens do not speak their languages within the US.

    That’s why people are upset and calling him an elitist.

  10. Sowaco Sybil July 11, 2008 at 5:36 pm #

    I have taught for the past 8 years under Dubya’s No Child Left Behind hoax .The next president of the USA would do well to read the writing portion of Texas 11th grade high school exit interview. In my experience, our children are not competent in reading, writng, and speaking English. Incompetence in one’s primary languae, makes it difficult to comprehend and master a second or susequent languages.
    Once again, the so called ‘free press’ missed an opportuntiy to do it’s job. Who asked Barack what languages his children are learning?

  11. David July 11, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    Ophie it is amazing to me how much bloggers think they can discern from a one sentence “sound bite”. Obviously, tourists, as Obama so kindly refers to in that one-liner are NOT “blue collar”. It’s semantics of class comparison really. The average middle-class tourist from the US when compared to their european counterparts–know less outside of the bubble that is America, and yes, typically only know one language. I believe what he was suggesting is that we have become so comfortable and enveloped with ourselves and our status that we lack the motivation to understand and become involved with world events. Naturally, that is a generalization, but it generally tends to hold true. It’s that simple really.

    Spare me with the “blue collar” spin already. As Americans when are we going to become humble enough to acknowledge and take criticism? This is not a BO statement–I have lived abroad–everyone is dying to know the same thing.

  12. David July 11, 2008 at 6:48 pm #

    Sorry Alex,

    No one can possibly understand what he was really trying to say–at best we can glean. Again I see no problem with his statement. The average middle-class individual in the developed world is at least bilingual–hardly the same can be said for Americans. Quite frankly it is embarrassing, there’s no getting around that. I have lived abroad, in the developing world no less, and the question of American arrogance and ignorance when it comes to the world was a common theme. I am not suggesting that other nations do not possess their multitudes of the ignorant–I have seem them.

    But as a premiere world power we can do better. If that’s “talking down” then we’re in for a rude wake up call. The EU and China are knocking at our door.

  13. peg July 11, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    How about we encourage more people to learn to speak English properly, instead of pandering to the Europeans? We should be worried about our public education system. How about working on reading, math and science instead of Spanish Obama.

    There are many immigrants in the U.S., from a number of different countries, who lock themselves within their own communities and do not bother to learn our language. Have you been to Miami lately?

    If I moved to France, you’d better believe I’d need to put all my years of school French to work toute de suite. I would never expect them to know English.

  14. shelly July 11, 2008 at 7:26 pm #

    I am a frequent traveler to Europe, France and Italy mostly. In the tourist areas, the merchants and hoteliers are usually multi-lingual since it helps them with their businesses. As you go farther from the main cities and tourist attractions, fewer speak English. In fact, they are more likely to have the language of a neighboring country as their second tongue than English. Obama’s assertion that Americans need to speak more languages at home because Europeans can is both inaccurate and silly.

  15. Candoo July 11, 2008 at 7:35 pm #

    How many languages does obama speak? I can think of three: english, jive and thug.

  16. Bizmark July 11, 2008 at 7:35 pm #

    My first language was not English. My parents came to the US when I was 5. Upon their arrival, they made it a priority to learn English. They never expected anyone in their new country to speak their language to accommodate them.

  17. Ernie Rokose July 11, 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    Lou Dobbs is HAMMERING his Dumbazzz right now. Ilove Lou!

  18. Data July 11, 2008 at 8:11 pm #

    But how many of those Europeans can speak Klingon?

    tlhIngan maH! Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam
    Hab SoSlI’ Quch! bIjatlh ‘e’ yImev

    More people now speak Klingon than Esperanto.

  19. goesdownbitter July 11, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    While y’all are arguing over how many languages you speak, you might want to poke your heads out of the sand and take a look at the real world. Besides WWIII about to kick off over Iran and make oil climb over $200 a barrel, the Federal Reserve is systematically destroying the value of the dollar and when they step in to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae, the markets will collapse.

    The United States of America is bankrupt and owned by foreign governments. I suggest that instead of French and Spanish, y’all start learning Mandarin Chinese, because when the Chinese call in the notes the Fed has been issuing, it will be over. It may have escaped your attention, but the only reason the economy is still staggering along is because China, Japan, OPEC and Brazil among others are still willing to finance our national debt.

    The American Century is over and the crash is coming.

  20. Jack July 11, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    Obama is not addressing the elephant in the room. It is about assimilation into America, as a melting pot.

    Today, illegal immigrants do not melt into the English speaking population like they once did.

    Our leaders have failed (on both sides) to address one of the largest problems for American society today.

    The last thing we need as a society is to become like Canada with bilingual enforcement. Therefore, common sense people understand the need for one common language. If Obama understands that “legal” immigrants must learn English, then how can he be against a law for it?

  21. David July 11, 2008 at 8:23 pm #


    I think you’re missing the point. There is no doubt that obama is for educating Americans, but I don’t think that was the question he was being asked or the context in which he made his comment.

    I have listened to Obama address those very issues you are saying he should have addressed: poverty, education, etc. Because he didn’t mention it in the above “two liner” does that take away from the comments candidness?

    Anyone who has lived abroad (and I’m not just talking about Europe here…..I have lived in Latin America) and not as a tourist, will honestly tell you that this is what the whole world is wondering! His ability to express humility in the international realm is why the international community (not just Europe or the middle east) loves him–though ironically, he is an “elitist” in the US–go figure.

    I haven’t agreed with everything Obama has done in the last few weeks, but on this he’s right.

  22. Jason July 11, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    I happen to agree that learning one or more foreign languages is good, for a variety of reasons. But this attitude that not doing so equals ignorance and arrogance is typical Euro-elite B.S.

    Most educated Europeans know another European language. So, of course, speaking a European language becomes enshrined as a virtue. And more importantly, it becomes a virtue with which they can judge and snivel at Americans. I have never, in my whole life, heard Asians or Africans complaining about how Americans are monoglots. Maybe they do, but I’ve never heard or read anything suggesting so.

    It’s just Europeans and now Obama.

  23. Angela July 11, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    How many more Americans has Obama insulted by mocking us yet again- this time for speaking only one language. Who knows what it will be next week?

    What does he care though. His campaign tells us we have no alternative but to vote for him, or we’ll lose Roe v. Wade and have another Bush term with McCain.

    We need another alternative. I can’t vote Obama and I don’t want McCain. We need to get Hillary back. Super-delegates, please save us from 4 years of Obama gaffes like this one. Vote for Hillary at the convention. She’s our best hope. 🙂

  24. Jean July 11, 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    This is ridiculous. Should I learn every language of every country I would like to visit so I don’t embarrass Barack Obama? I learned French in high school however that was a very long time ago, I don’t think I remember much of it, but since I have to spend all of my money on food, clothing and shelter oh and gas, I can’t afford to go to any European countries anyway. How fortunate!

  25. Kate July 11, 2008 at 9:15 pm #

    Yes, we need Hillary back. Denver! Denver! Denver! We’ll settle it there.

  26. totaltransformation July 11, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    “Learning another language has wonderful benefits. Unfortunately, not every American has the opportunity to study a second language”

    Not to mention that most Americans don’t have a need for a second language. Smaller nation states and more flexible borders- not to mention a roughly shared cultural heritage as Europeans for more than 5 centuries- have made it essential that Europeans to learn multiple languages. The need is not nearly so great for Americans thanks to plentiful land and a very large majority of English speakers.

  27. Andrea K. in FL. July 11, 2008 at 10:26 pm #

    I have to tell you, I live in S. Fl. and my day to day life would be much easier if I were bilingual. I have some high school Spanish (and was fluent in French, but it’s not used here much). I sometimes have to find someone to translate just to get an errand done.

    After Wilma, people were in and out of my house working. They’d speak Spanish or Creole. I just would have felt much better about the whole thing if I could’ve communicated with them on my own.

    Anyway, that’s what it’s like in Broward County, Land of Chad.

  28. jwrjr July 12, 2008 at 2:22 am #

    “Torihiki nai” dake iimasu! Just say “no deal” in Japanese (although the phrase doesn’t translate exactly).

  29. Alecki July 12, 2008 at 5:54 am #

    This is a short synopsis of how my community feels about Senator Obama. We are so sick and tired of not having our voices heard. So here goes……..

    Obama, the new guy in town, is a con, a Chicago politician: Obama lacks high morals and will stop at nothing when it comes to further his ambition. He’s a fast talker speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    He bragged about his church. He would never leave the “black” community.
    Then threw them under the bus

    Bragged about his pastor. He could never leave Reverend Wright, he’s like an old uncle.
    Then threw him under the bus

    Bragged about his grandmother then called her a “typical white person”
    She then went under the bus.

    He wrote a book about his father but now that he has been found to be a “non practicing” Muslim
    He threw his dad under the bus. Definitely had to disown him.

    His Chicago supporters consist of anti Semitics, racists, anti Americans, criminals and far left liberals.
    Farrakhan, Rezko, Ayers and Father Pflaeger are all under the bus too

    When it comes to Obama’s associates he has figured out that all he has to do, is either denounce or reject them and then it’s okay. Sometimes he just doesn’t discuss them at all.

    He had a coworker that was a domestic terrorist, William Ayer. Obama laughed about it when asked about his involvement.

    Barack Hussein Obama is a fast talker that knows Chicago politics. He will do anything and destroy anyone to win this election.

    When the heat is on, he avoids debates, changes his mind, defends his thinking with speeches and runs from the press.

    Obama will speak few words without a script. He is poor, at best, in debates and he knows that an open speech might divulge his true character.

    The icing on the cake was to change his mind on public financing.
    Barack Obama has worked on the issue of political reform for years.
    On Larry King in Jan. 2007, he told Mr. King that the public-financing system works.

    He challenged the Republicans since Feb 2007 to limit their spending. He vowed to do so along with them if he were the Democratic nominee. In fact, a majority of his career was spent talking about how much he believed in public financing.

    He speaks so calmly to avoid any disagreements as Obama has the “President” title in mind. Obama’s ambition is to win, cheat and lie if he has to. This is democracy?

    Senator Obama will say whatever he has to in order to convince the public and the Democratic Party that he’s the nominee of “change”, a uniter, a man of the future. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    A naïve politician? We think not.

  30. VA PUMA July 12, 2008 at 6:26 am #

    Obama is new to this. He doesn’t yet know that English has been declared an international language of negotiation. While I think it is good to learn another language, I dare say there are millions in indivivual countries that do not speak English (ie Mexico.)

    When he can show me how to stop millions from dropping out of school right now, I might listen to his sorry, elitist
    rhetoric, but this just shows how out of touch with anything but himself he is.

  31. Janice Stokes July 12, 2008 at 10:18 am #

    I guess when he was out singing his one hit single “Change” he wasn’t talking about problems that face Americans today he was talking about problems with Americans today. I speak one language English and I was born and raised deep in the heart of Texas. If I move to another part of the world I will then adapt to their way of living and learn their language, but until that happens the english lauguage is all I need to know. Vote American, Vote McCain

  32. pew July 12, 2008 at 10:44 am #

    Well once a second language is brought into the picture, like French in Canada. It gets added on to a job asset,and the rolling begins. They’ll start hiring the person with the more languages,and have it in the job description to be bilingual. Than they make you change all signs for French and English.Than they make it mandatory in the schools. I had one language and I made out okay. I don’t care if there biligual signs, because I can read one language.It just costs more money for nothing. imo. Our ancestors did okay before they brought in the second language. English should be the main Language, in Canada and USA. imo,That’s what Hillary wanted,for the usa is English the main language.

  33. HILLARY2008 July 12, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    He is a con, a liar, a user. I cannot believe that people could not see this before. Hopefully the dems will wake up before Denver and put BHO under the bus with the rest of his crowd.

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  1. Web Sites of Interest » links for 2008-07-13 - July 13, 2008

    […] Americans, You’re Embarrassing Obama « Heroes for Hillary It is really fun when the Democrats go after him (tags: politics) steve on July 12th, 2008 | Filed under 15 | […]

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