DIE WELT (Germany)

Worldcrunch

TRIPOLI - Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been dead since Oct. 2011, but Libyans are still faced with his image daily on their one, 20 and 50 dinar notes.

Photo Hakeem.gadi

However on Feb. 17 – the second anniversary of the start of the revolution – the Libyan National Bank put new notes into circulation, reports Die Welt.

Instead of Gaddafi’s image on the one dinar note there is a now revolutionary scene, while the 50 dinar note features a Benghazi lighthouse instead of the former despot. Benghazi, in eastern Libya, is Libya’s second largest city and was a hotbed of the uprising.

New one dinar note, Photo Smurfy

The image showing Gaddafi with African leaders on the 20 dinar note has been replaced by a building important to the country’s cultural heritage: the Atiq mosque in Awjila, the oldest mosque in North Africa.

Other Libyan bills were changed only slightly. The 10 dinar note still features Omar al-Mukhtar, who fought against the Italian colonialists and was executed by the Italians in 1931. He was and is considered a national hero – by Gaddafi, even though he was from Benghazi – and particularly by the revolutionaries who named a brigade after him.

The old Libyan bank notes are to be gradually pulled from circulation.

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Boris Johnson tells France — not so eloquently — to prenez un grip

Bertrand Hauger


-Essay-

PARIS — I'll admit it straight away: As a bilingual journalist, the growing use of Franglais by French politicians makes my skin crawl.

Not because I think this blend of French and English is a bad thing in and of itself (it is!), or because the purity of the French language should be preserved at all costs (it should!) — but because in a serious context, it is — at best — a distraction from the substance at hand. And at worst, well …

But in France, where more and more people speak decent English, Anglo-Saxon terms are creeping in everywhere, and increasingly in the mouths of politicians who think they're being cool or smart.

Not that long ago, Emmanuel Macron was dubbed "the Franglais president" after tweeting "La démocratie est le système le plus bottom up de la terre" ...

Oh mon dieu

They call it Frenglish

It is much rarer when the linguistic invasion goes in the other direction, with far fewer English-speaking elected officials, or their electors, knowing more than a couple of words of French. (The few Brits who use it call it Frenglish)

Imagine then my horror last night watching British Prime Minister Boris Johnson berating France over the recent diplomatic clash surrounding the AUKUS submarine deal, cheekily telling UK media from Washington: "I just think it's time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip about this and donnez-moi un break."

Cringe. Eye roll. Facepalm.
Here's the clip, in case you haven't had your morning cup of awkward.
Grincement de dents. Yeux au ciel. Tête entre les mains.

First, let me offer a quick French lesson: Sorry, BoJo, you needed the "infinitif" form here: "It's time for [us] to prendre un grip about this and me donner un break."

But that, of course (bien sûr), is not the point in this particular moment. Instead, this would-be bon mot is not just sloppy and silly, it is incredibly patronizing, particularly when discussing a multi-billion deal that sparked a deep diplomatic crisis in the Western alliance.

The colorful British politician is, alas, no stranger to verbal miscalculations and linguistic gaffes. He's also (Brexit, anyone?) not necessarily one who cares about preserving relationships with longstanding partners. This time, combining the two, even for such a shameless figure as Mr. Johnson, only one word came to my bilingual brain: Vraiment?

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