After a dinner to mark the end of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Trump told, The New York Times “So, I was seated next to the wife of Prime Minister Abe [Shinzo Abe of Japan], who I think is a terrific guy, and she’s a terrific woman, but doesn’t speak English — like not ‘hello.’” Despite the language barrier, the two hour long dinner otherwise went well, Trump explained. “But I enjoyed the evening with her, and she’s really a lovely woman, and I enjoyed — the whole thing was good.”
So good in fact, during the same dinner, Trump was able to leave his chair, walk over to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and speak with him for a second time. “It was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes. Just talked about — things. Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption.”
But here is the gag: Madame Akie Abe does speak English.
Of course the internet “did their Googles” and a YouTube video has surfaced of Madame Akie Abe, in all her excellency, delivering her keynote address for R3ADY Asia-Pacific symposium on coastal resilience in New York back in 2014 for about 15 minutes... in English.
Brilliant. What better way to fulfill the obligations of a political leader’s wife and play into the ignorance of another political leader? Just act like you do not know the language. It worked, and Madame Akie Abe is everything. She went silent during a dinner that lasted almost two hours to avoid having to interact with one very irritating human. No one can blame her. Surely she did not forget the comments he made to France's First Lady, Brigitte Macron.
Tbqh, for English to be her second language, she articulates herself far better than Trump, whose only language is English, does.
Though we will never know what actually transpired during the dinner, Trump's allegation that Madame Akie Abe could not even say “hello” is rather strange. Especially because her husband speaks English. It is quite possible that Trump just assumed that she could not speak English. But it’s a good guess that Madame Akie Abe did not mind.
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports that Akie Abe speaks some English but is not fluent, and usually uses an interpreter.
PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore
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Bry'onna Mention is a wavvy womanist who is always ready to square up against misogynoir and respectability. Usually found running through the burbs with her ‘fro and woes, just #blackgirlmobbin. A mixed magical black girl—black, but mixed magically: ½ witch, ¼ gorgon and ¼ mermaid—curating peak blackness over here.