Just A Question But Why Did Not Obama Speak In German?

@gewcew23 (8011)
United States
July 25, 2008 10:24am CST
What country was Obama in, Germany. What language do German's speak, German. What language was Obama speaking over in Germany, English. Obama makes fun of his fellow man because they go over to a foreign country and cannot speak the language, right. Have we forgotten that little speech? The truth is Obama cannot speak a foreign language, not Spanish, not French, and not German. Even though he cannot you should, because you are an embarrassment to him. No Obama I am embarrassed of you, because you are a hypocrite.
2 people like this
17 responses
@spalladino (17923)
• United States
25 Jul 08
I believe it was a political decision that Obama not speak German while in Germany because John Kennedy did when he made his famous speech from that same location and they have to be very careful not to overstep the bounds of respect. Obama is not the president, he is a candidate, so he can't come across as presidential at this point and really shouldn't do anything that too closely mimics anything a former president did.
4 people like this
26 Jul 08
but i think obama can speak indonesia. he was ever there, not everyone could speak indonesia. its another complicated language. there no future, past, or present tense in indonesia
• United States
26 Jul 08
I don't think it was the Kennedy thing... he made references to speeches from Kennedy and Reagen. And how does speaking German to Germany insult a former president because he spoke German to Germany? That doesn't make sense. However, I can see that speaking English was a decision. The reason being that people are making enough Hitler references over the speech as it is. Imagine if he spoke charismatic German to a crowd of 75,000. I don't care if he was talking about how pretty the sun and flowers are. Heck, he could be saying the neoCon talking points. Saying abortion is a sin. That we should keep Bush's policies... the right-winged side of the media would have cried Hitler harder and faster then when he did it in English...
@academic2 (7009)
• Uganda
25 Jul 08
I dont see that as a really serious issue-when Putin visits America, does he speak in American English? When Bush visted China or Japan, did he speak in Chiinese or Japanese? I think lets not blot the visit of Obama to Berlin with non issues-the guy was well received and Iam sure he scored some political points among his supporters both at home and abroad
3 people like this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
25 Jul 08
The issue at hand is that Obama said he was embarrassed by Americans who go overseas and only speak English. Bush has never said that of Americans and I doubt that Putin has ever said anything like that about Russians. People are bringing this up due to Obama's hypocrisy, not his inability to speak German.
1 person likes this
@ElaanR2 (277)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Taskr, I think it's about time somebody started a discussion about your hypocrisy too. I will do that. It's long overdue.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
26 Jul 08
At what point have I demonstrated any hypocrisy Elaan? Do tell. Inquiring minds want to know. Don't worry about the fact that you can't win an argument. Not everyone is cut out for that. It was an uphill battle the moment you criticized my understanding of the English language. True, English is only my first of five or so languages I've studied, but I've still got a pretty good handle on it.
1 person likes this
• Kottayam, India
25 Jul 08
In this universe there are different languages and we cannot compel anybody to speak in any language, it is the people of US he is responsible and he can talk in English(US)and we should not be one sided.
3 people like this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
25 Jul 08
I think there's a difference between not speaking the language of a country you visit and not speaking the language of the country you choose to live in. He was just visiting Germany not deciding to live there.
2 people like this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
26 Jul 08
But in his earlier speech he said he was embarrassed by Americans who went to other countries and couldn't speak the languages there. Now he's gone to another country and made no attempt to speak a single word of their language when making a speech. Hypocrisy is the issue foxy.
1 person likes this
@ElaanR2 (277)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Like the hypocrisy that you, Taskr, have so amply demonstrated on mylot?
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Geesh...sorry I said anything. I didn't catch whatever speech was actually referred to and apparently misunderstood the question. Just forget I was here and please don't argue on my response. Just go somewhere else and forget I said anything.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
25 Jul 08
How dare you Gewcew? How dare you even begin to imply that the messiah has even a shred of hypocrisy within him? You are just running a smear campaign for McCain and that's all republican's do. Obviously you don't even speak English or you would have realized that Obama simply said he was embarrassed by Americans who can't speak the languages of other countries. He never implied that he himself could, or should be able to speak another language. You know full well that what he expects from Americans isn't even remotely similar to what he demands of himself. I am truly offended that you would think he should hold himself to the same standards he would hold us to. [/sarcasm] Ok, I was afraid the minions of Obama would hide and ignore your post so I put in the Obama defense for them. Aren't I thoughtful?
1 person likes this
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
25 Jul 08
Oh Takr you truly are a facetious one. You do deserve a best response!
1 person likes this
@ElaanR2 (277)
• United States
25 Jul 08
Obama did not speak in German for two reasons; 1. The German people know the importance of learning a second language so most of them speak English and 2. Obama's second language is Swahili, not German. The Republicans feel like they are the smartest people on this earth yet they hardly manage to put two and two together. What a waste!
1 person likes this
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
25 Jul 08
Yet Republicans are smarter than you
1 person likes this
@movicont (495)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Can we look at Obama's speech in context and actually understand the point he was making? To quote from it: You know, 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." Right? Notice how he said "we". How is he being a hypocrite? He is saying that American politicians (a group that is a part of) are incapable of speaking foreign languages when they go to make speeches in those countries. Considering he did exactly what he predicted he would do, how does that make him hypocritical? Secondly, you need to realize that speech was about empowering our youth. It was about making sure that our children are educated just like children in other countries are--so that they can speak in more than one language. His use of politicians was merely an example.
1 person likes this
@movicont (495)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Crap, I can't type today: "...a group that *he* is a part of..."
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
26 Jul 08
"embarrassing when Europeans come over here" Notice he said "Europeans". He didn't say "European politicians". When he then said "we", there was no reason to assume he was limiting himself to speaking about politicians. If there is more from his speech that I haven't read where he provides context that would make it obvious that he could only be speaking about politicians and not Americans in general, please let me know and provide a link. I'm not asking for a link to a speech he might have made a week later though. I want words from that specific speech that would show how he is only referring to politicians.
@movicont (495)
• United States
26 Jul 08
So what? Even if he is referring to Americans, are you seriously trying to argue that Obama isn't an American? He's an American too, so he is basically criticizing himself for being unable to speak in another language and use it as effectively as many Europeans do. Also, as I was saying, the main point of the speech was not to point out that oftentimes Americans don't speak foreign languages--the main point was to encourage American youth to learn to speak other languages. I still fail to see how his statement was hypocritical. Mind explaining?
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
25 Jul 08
The World's business is conducted in English! Like it or not, English is the universal Language. When an American Presidential Hopeful is touring the world he should be speaking English. The Pope spoke English when he toured Australia. If English had not been proper, the Pope would have spoken Australian! Stick this in your Pipe and Smoke it!
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
26 Jul 08
I agree with you to some extent, but Obama does not. He specifically said he was embarrassed by Americans that went to other countries and couldn't speak their languages. So when he went to Germany, he made no attempt to speak their language. If it had been anyone else it wouldn't have been an issue. With Obama however, it's hypocrisy because of his earlier statements.
1 person likes this
@ElaanR2 (277)
• United States
26 Jul 08
If the person is a diplomat, of course it should be an issue. A diplomat is supposed to know the language and the culture of the place he's posted to. Obama is not a diplomat so you still will have to stick it in your pipe and smoke it, Taskr.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
26 Jul 08
I'll gladly stick that in my pipe and smoke it when you show me exactly where in his speech he mentioned diplomats as the group he was referring to.
1 person likes this
@fiona08 (454)
• United States
26 Jul 08
When you include yourself in a statement you make, by saying "we", it means that you are not pointing fingers at everyone else. Obama is not being hypocritical by not speaking German. There are many people here on mylot that love to throw logic out the window, where Obama is concerned, just for the sake of fanning the flames. If you go back and read the transcript, or even part of the transcript, you can easily see that Obama meant that it is embarrassing that so many of us speak only one language, and the rest of the world speak at least two. He is encouraging us to teach our YOUNG people a second language so that the next generation are better educated than the majority of Americans are now. Educating our young is an improvement. Many people have stated that Obama implied that the many Spanish speaking immigrants living here do not have to learn English, because we should be teaching our kids to speak Spanish. He did not further explain his feelings about immigrants learning English, because that was not the point he was trying to make. He DID, however, say. . . "they will learn English..." If the young Spanish speakers attend schools here, they will indeed learn English. That is his point. And people keep talking about the foreign language credits already required in our high schools. It is 2 credits. Two 1/4 year credits. I took a whopping 2 1/2 months of Spanish as a ninth grader, and then another stunning 2 1/2 months of German, as a sophomore. All of you high school graduates out there, think back honestly, did you become even semi-proficient in the foreign language of your choice? That is why it is important to make foreign language a part of our elementary school curriculum. The younger kids are when they take on foreign language study, the more naturally it is absorbed into their workable vocabularies. The benefits are immeasurable. We as adults should be thrilled to give our children the advantages of being truly proficient in multiple languages. Advantages include a better understanding of their own native languages, and an overall improvement of academic abilities. To imply that Obama meant each and every one of us should be able to speak the language of any country we visit, even for a day or two, is absolutely without merit. To call him a hypocrite for not speaking German is an attempt to draw attention away from issues that really matter.
1 person likes this
@Kowgirl (3490)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Well if Obama gets in the White House we may be teaching our own children because of his stand on schools. How can you expect a better education without schools or teachers? I'm sure his children will go to a private school while ours are sitting in a classroom of 30 or more with a teacher who doesn't care if they learn anything or not. Why should they when the pay is so low and they get no respect from parents or their own leader? As one teacher once said to his class of teenagers..."I'm just an underpaid babysitter" How can we expect our children to learn another language when most of them haven't managed to learn or be taught how to use proper English? Just read some of the post here and read a few websites and/or blogs and you will understand what I am saying. How can we be an embarrassment to him when it is he who is visiting these other countries and do not know how to converse with them, he should be embarrassed for himself. Our children's education is a great issue that should matter to all USA citizens. Yes, he is a hypocrite hypocrite...fraud, deceiver, pretender, charlatan, impostor, pharisee, dissembler, Tartuffe,
1 person likes this
@fiona08 (454)
• United States
27 Jul 08
What exactly do think his stance on education is? He has a very good stance on education. He wants to over-hall NCLB, which is absolutely essential. He wants to get better pay for teachers, and he wants teacher unions to have some say in the accountability measures they would be subjected to, to decide if they are doing their jobs proficiently. He wants to increase funding for pell grants. The current administration has already seen to the classrooms of 30 or more. I am a teacher, of third grade. Let me assure you, I am no underpaid babysitter. I went to college at the ripe old age of 37, because I WANT to make a difference in the lives of young people. I will have 30 students this year, which will be difficult, but I guarantee you they will learn. Underpaid? Yes. Don't care whether your child learns anything? Absolutely not true. While there are some teachers who picked their careers for the wrong reasons, I believe I stand in the majority. I would rather see Barack Obama be in charge of the nations education policies than John McCain, or any other republican, any day. Obama is an advocate for people who are underprivileged, in many areas. www.9news.com/news/elections/article.aspx?storyid=85464
@Kowgirl (3490)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Ooops! the puppet has made yet another blunder. What is his excuse this time? He should be the one learning to speak other languages. I too am embarassed for our country. So many can not see the trees for the forrest and this is what the people who are paying for him a seat in the White House have been counting on. When you get right down to it it's not the one most qualified to run this country who wins the presidential race, it's the one who has the most money to spend to dupe the people.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jul 08
Obama has raked English-speaking Americans over the coals for not speaking Spanish but also indicated that it is not a problem for immigrants not learning English. He said, "Instead of worrying whether immigrants can speak English--they'll learn English--you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. Then he went on to scold Americans for their lack of multi-lingual skills. He said that it was embarrassing when Europeans come over here and they all speak English, French, and German...and then we go to Europe and all we can say is merci beaucoup. It obvious what he is trying to do. He just wants the minority vote...especially the Hispanic vote...but all immigrants. On top of that, he knows he will be visiting these countries and he wants to make sure he gets a warm welcome. He thinks that will do it. But why the double standard for the Hispanics? They don't have to learn English...but we have to learn Spanish. You say they will learn English? Why should they? Everything is in Spanish...no need to. Unless, of course, you move into an apt and your stove is panel is in English and you don't want to set place on fire, you might want to learn a few words. Obama goes around kissing everyone's butt just to get their vote. They are either uninformed or very ignorant because so many cannot see it. He does not care about Spanish people...he is using them. He does not care about the French or the Germans...he is using them. Just like he uses everyone else. Never in my life have I seen so many ignorant people in American until this election. The information is right in front of them. The man with the double standards..and they think he is going to save the world. I do have a feeling somewhere underneath his skin that he does know a little Arabic. What do you say Obama? Speak a little for me....just a few words...come on!
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jul 08
Obama is a "Do as I say, not as I do" person. He should be rejected out of hand, just like Al Gore.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
25 Jul 08
I've been trying to find the transcript of the entire speech Obama gave when this issue was raised but so far this is all I've found: "You know, I don't understand when people are going around worrying about, "We need to have English- only." They want to pass a law, "We want English-only." Now, I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English — they'll learn English — you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual? We should have every child speaking more than one language. You know, 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." Right? You know, no, I'm serious about this. We should understand that our young people, if you have a foreign language, that is a powerful tool to get a job. You are so much more employable." Here's where I found the above excerpt: http://www.ask500people.com/questions/obama-says-americans-should-teach-their-children-spanish-to-accomodate-illegal-immigrants-do-you-agree From what I recall and from other bits and pieces I've been able to find online he was speaking about "No Child Left Behind" and how in its concentration on standardized test scores the opportunity for children to learn foreign languages has been taken away. I personally don't know what's available or what's required in school districts across the country but I do know way back when, when I was in school we had to have at least one foreign language, two credits in total, to graduate from high school. Anyway, Obama's speech wasn't the first time I'd heard someone say that Americans are less likely to know more than one language than Europeans and that when Americans visit European countries they tend to expect their hosts to speak English. I don't mean this as criticism of anyone, it's just an observation I've seen that others have had. I know some really took Obama's words as an insult and that's fine, we all have a right to our own opinion. My take on Obama speaking English in Germany, doing what most officials from around the world do when visiting another country which is speak their own native language, is that he proved his own theory. He has said, "I know because I don’t speak a foreign language. It’s embarrassing!", so from that I take that he's including himself in any criticism. Annie
@ElaanR2 (277)
• United States
25 Jul 08
No, Annie, it's not necessary to encourage our children to speak Spanish. We need to prove that the English Language is ours since we were ruled for so long by the British. The English Language should be the only language we know. We must also begin to tell the British to stop using the language as they know it and begin to learn it the way it is spoken in America. Mind you, we love the fact that the British are being imported here to host all the reality shows because of their 'cute' accent. We want the immigrants to learn English, add it to their own languages and take all the jobs that should be meant for our children. O, no, actually we'll erect a two hundred mile high wall to prevent immigrants from coming here. That way, nobody would suggest to us to learn a second language. That will show them that we're the smartest people on earth.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
25 Jul 08
"I know because I don’t speak a foreign language. It’s embarrassing!" That line was said in a later speech after some fallout by people who were offended. Naturally it's true that Americans are less likely to be multilingual. The reason is simply geography. If people in Georgia spoke a different language from Florida, and Alabama had its own language then Americans would need to know multiple languages to get by. That's the way it is in Europe. In Europe the countries are all close to Britain so English is a close and important language as are French, German, etc. The big issue with his statement was that he said he was embarrassed by Americans who went to other countries and couldn't speak the language. I don't feel like going into the same post that I made last time his speech was brought up. The fact is that after saying that he's gone to another country and made a speech without even attempting their language. It rings of hypocrisy.
1 person likes this
@ElaanR2 (277)
• United States
26 Jul 08
Taskr, he was referring to diplomats. He wasn't referring to presidential aspirants or the majority of Americans. A diplomat is supposed to know the language of the place he's posted to but many American diplomats don't bother to.
1 person likes this
@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
29 Jul 08
I'm going to ACTUALY (*gag) defend Obama on this one, he didn't give the speach in German because he doesn't speak German. He could have had his speach translated in to german but this would present 2 major problems. first, his pronounciation would be fodder for anyone including the germans to pick apart and second, many things could be lost in an inacurate and not munutely detailed translation
• Alexandria, Virginia
26 Jul 08
Obama is american americans speak english in their public speeches
@jstaubin (423)
• United States
26 Jul 08
My only question is what in the world was he doing speaking in Germany in the first place. He is not president and it is not the Germans who are going to get him that position. He should be over here speaking to us. For it is the American people that are going to hire him to be our president not the Germans, or the French or any other country that is visiting on his little tour of Europe.
@MaeTsuen (257)
• Philippines
26 Jul 08
lol are you nuts? why are you criticising obamafor speaking english? are you that dumb already? even though he is in germany does it mean 100% of the people in germany are germans rather are all the audience there germans? and aren't you criticising germans for not being able to understand english... like they are dumber than you? because OBAma needs to speaks in german because germans can't understand english. DID YOU FORGET THAT ENGLISH IS THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE? MIND YOU I AM NOT AMERICAN BY THE WAY. I DON'T LIVE IN USA.
@alindahaw (1219)
• Philippines
26 Jul 08
obama speaks in English because he does not really know how to speak German. If he knew a few German words, he would have used all of them already! I really think that Obama talks too much and he says a lot of things which haunt him later on. That little speech about learning languages made a lot of waves a few weeks back and a lot of people felt that what he said then was was really uncalled for.