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Obama Repeatedly Mispronounces Aung San Suu Kyi

by Keith Koffler on November 19, 2012, 9:43 am

During his stop in Burma earlier today, President Obama repeatedly mispronounced the name of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and former political prisoner who has led the struggle for a free and democratic Burma.

From the Associated Press:

As Obama stood next to the world’s most recognized democracy icon, he mispronounced her name repeatedly.

Ever gracious, Suu Kyi did not correct her American guest for calling her Aung YAN Suu Kyi multiple times during his statement to reporters after their meeting.

Proper pronunciation for the Nobel laureate’s name is Ahng Sahn Soo Chee.

What’s more, Obama also botched the name of his official host, Burma’s reformist new president, Thein Sein.

As the two addressed the media, Obama called his counterpart “President Sein,” an awkward, slightly affectionate reference that would make most Burmese cringe.

Note to presidential advisers: For future rounds of diplomacy, the president of Myanmar is President Thein Sein – on first and second reference.

Such diplomatic faux pas by George W. Bush would no doubt have sparked peals of outrage and ridicule back home.

The mistake by Obama is even more notable because he tries to please foreign audiences by correctly pronouncing words and names in their languages.

For example, uniquely among U.S. leaders, Obama refers to Pakistan as “Pahkeestahn,” which is closer to the way the country’s name is pronounced by native speakers.

Here is some video of today’s serial mispronunciations:

H/T to Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit.

{ 27 trackbacks }


Mark Carlton November 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

George Will said it best: A “floundering naif.”

Julie Brueckheimer November 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Her face says, “Eeeew!”

BigR2 November 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

LOL Yuuuuup.

Kate Hillier November 20, 2012 at 10:22 am


HL Mencken November 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm

This guy has not yet mastered the pronunciation of such tricky
words as “corpsman”, when referring to US Naval medical
personnel assigned to the Marine Corps. Is it a reflection on
all the classes he is alleged to have cut when advancing through
the education system? Apparently the omnipresent, but mute
teleprompters are little help on these formal occasions.
HL Mencken

BigR2 November 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

And to think that good ol target GW was nowhere to blame. Oh wait, Obama still thinks he’s cool. He really hides his fascination for things ASIAN does he not? Hopefully he can pull his purpose off (for the trip) and get back home with out causing a regional war somewhere.
Meanwhile , FEMA is failing Sandy’s victims in record ways even as Katrina’s victims still await some federal assistance. Support for Katrina victims fell by the wayside as George Bush left office. Asia trip that important NOW?

BuffersT November 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Well what did you expect without his Teleprompter! LOL He is such a stupid idiot! Almost makes Jimmy Carter look smart.

Rushisright November 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Dear Asia,
On behalf of the USA, I want to apologize for that fool we have sent to visit you this week. He is truely an embarassment to us and we wish we could keep him home but then he does us great damage when he is here. Uh, you know, uh, do you think you could find a way to keep him over there? We would be forever your friend.


regina November 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

love it.

Kate Hillier November 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

Truly* (fool)

paperpushermj November 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

So What they are just props for his Photo Ops anyway

Stephen Leonard November 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

This ignorant fool is an embarrassment every time he sets foot in another country. He doesn’t know how to say things in “Austrian” (uhh, Barry, they speak GERMAN in Austria!), doesn’t know that the word for a US Navy medic (corpsman) is pronounced “kor-man,” not “corpse-man,” in fact doesn’t seem to know much of anything except how to strut and preen.

That nearly 2/3 of the country was either too apathetic to vote against him or so besotted as to vote for him again suggests that the United States of America is no longer a viable entity. Horrifying! Tragic! But apparently true.

Jackson November 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Oh, but he is soooooooooooooooo brilliant……he’s nothing but a stupid idiot.

cincycinco November 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Does he put his feet on every darn thing in the room like he does with the taxpayer-owned antiques at the White House? Facing the sole of your shoe towards people is a pretty serious insult in Asia generally and Burma specifically, but I would not expect an arrogant amateur like him to know that.

Actually, it’s a pretty strong insult to the taxpayer too, but THERE’S someone he’ll NEVER worry about.

Salharmonic November 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

He just gets better every day

biggoofer November 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Two Nobel laureate together.

One earned her prize.
The other was given his prize – on HOPE.

World’s Affirmative Action on display!

splooker November 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Meanwhile he is letting skinks, skanks and skunks into our house. They followed him there like he is “The Claw”

Doug November 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm

At least he didn’t call her “Long Time No See”.

beelza November 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Obama is a very, very smart man. His repeated “accidental” mispronunciations is a way of telling parties involved, interested that Obama does not support Aung San Suu Kyi, in principle or individually. Chinese are very concerned over this guys ties to Chinese dissidents. 1.3 trillion buys one just about anything, including an American air base in the Atlantic, extremely close to the American east coastline. When the Chinese come calling for payment on the American debt, just how do they get paid? China has about 400 million people in poverty and the US has a lot of empty homes.

ploome November 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

you are probably right

it is the equivalent of giving the finger, as he has repeatedly done while speaking on camera

he is what he is-an ignorant thug

StaticKlingon November 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

They can have what’s left after the secessions sort themselves out. We won’t notice much difference in management style.

Dave November 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Utter nonsense. Almost all Burmese are utterly delighted that President Obama came to their country, they really don’t care at all how he pronounces names, and if anything they’d think it’s cute that he used “President Sein” — as Americans might, if say the Dalai Lama called him “President Barack” — it is not the slightest bit of any issue, let alone cringe-worthy.

But, nice try.

> that would make most Burmese cringe.

FedUpinUSA November 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Goes to show you just how distant he’s been with his duties and how much he really doesn’t care about his job as POTUS. I wonder why Hillary didn’t correct him?

ploome November 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm

he is an ignorant phoney

Barry O'Doofus November 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Those one syllable words are tough.

sue gonzalez November 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

So, he thinks there are 57 states in the county he “runs,” thinks Hawaii is part of Asia, doesn’t know how to pronounce “corpseman” and now can’t pronounce the name of his host, BUT he DOES know that Myanmar is the politically correct name for Burma, and obviously doesn’t care that AMERICA refers to the country as Burma. Pretty amazing guy, that.

Kimbly November 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm

The big question is – does she punch above her weight?

StaticKlingon November 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Burma being a critical ally in the president’s war on…………boredom?????

Dennis November 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Exactly! What does Burman have to do with our interests? We have Hamas attacking Israel, Iran arming Hamas and steadily getting closer to the bomb, we have Benghazi questions still not answered & a “fiscal cliff” at home; not to mention mounting lay-offs every week. Obama is taking this trip to places where he figures he’ll worshiped and it will take attention off the troubles he faces…

Jim November 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm

This is what happens when tele prompters dont have Huked on fonics

redbloodedxy November 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Acts like an equal opportunity dope in either hemisphere.

RussRamey6 November 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Another sad day for “the Ugly American” image. Who does this man think he is? Lord preserve us, we get the elected officials we deserve…for pity’s sake someone take charge of this man-boy on his world tour… the narcissist in chief often makes GW dialed in and effective…

ebenezer scrooge November 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Who was that vice president who was excoriated was days, weeks, months on end for not spelling potato correctly? How the liberal media and democrat low life pounced on him, thoroughly defaming and insulting the poor guy without once letting up or letting go. I forget his name (Dan something or other); but I’ll always remember how thoroughly he was ridiculed, while Obat and Biden can say and do whatever they wish, never taken to task, always protected by their MSM brethren. Ah, it’s good to be the king!

eah November 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm

He can pronounce Jay-Z and Beyonce though. They’ll probably win a Nobel Prize someday.

Dave Fredericks November 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm

The part I like the best? You have 4 more years to bludgeon Obama with such significant matters as mispronouncing someone’s name. Isn’t that great? 4 more years of opportunity. This must make you ecstatic- what a gift 4 more years of an Obama presidency is for you.

It’s like Christmas before Thanksgiving, isn’t it?

Susan November 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm

There will be no Christmas gifts for those of us who work to pay for all the goodies Barackoclaus dangled in front of the takers to win this election. Enjoy the fruits of others labors…it will be short-lived.

Dave Fredericks November 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I think I’ll just enjoy the fruits of my own labor. Looking forward to seeing those without insurance purchasing from the new and not having to worry about being turned down for pre-existing disorders or experience caps on yearly benefits. And, of course, no doughnut hole on meds. I understand the health insurance companies’ obscene profit margins will be slightly impacted, and I can’t tell you how much I look forward to hearing them whine.

Susan November 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Open up your horizons and do a little research. You have swallowed the regime’s lies about Obamacare hook, line, and sinker. Mandatory purchase of the regime’s health insurance will not guarantee health care for anyone. As a matter of fact, the panel of 15 unelected bureaucrats on the IPAB will determine whether you, your parents, your grandparents, your children, your grandchildren, ad infinitum are worthy of the expense it will cost the state to keep you alive. Enjoy the hell you have created for us all. Hope your liberty is worth the pleasure you derive from the envy and hatred instilled by your messiah.

charles Hanes November 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Mr. Koffler

Get a life! Fixating on other people errors is no way to try to build a career. It’s a lazy man’s way of gaining notoriety and quite frankly is disgusting!

Reading many of the disappointing comments, it is not hard to understand why the U.S.A has lost it’s luster.

Dennis November 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm

BS! You liberals were always talking about how “dumb” Bush was and pointing out every little misstep he made in speeches. Obama is supposed to be the “greatest speaker ever” so why does he flub up so much?

Dennis November 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm

WTH is the matter with this so-called “gifted speaker and orator”? We get Navy “corpsemen” and “57 states” and so on. Does he grab the speech seconds before he reads from it? Any speaker knows to get names rights before tackling the speech (remember Les Nessman on WKRP?)…

Tim Crowley November 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Election or no. You still hate our President. Why do you even choose to live in our Country. Just get out.

regina November 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

now she know what it’s like to be kissed by the devil.

Jeffrey W. Griffith November 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Gee, Keith, is this “holding the White House to account” or nit-picking? Okay, his staff muffed the name pronunciations for him, which reflects badly on the staff discipline that he enforces. On the other hand, President Bush could not even get through a cogent sentence in his native language, with his off the cuff remarks entangling him in a thicket of malapropisms, mispronunciations, non-words and fragments. Whatever Obama’s shortcomings in this regard, they are dwarfed by those of his predecessor. What is important about this trip is that he is showing support for the forces of reform and democracy in the region, to the extent that they exist. By focusing on a petite faux pas, you only make yourself seem smaller.

Al Sheeber November 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm

He is a certified moron, he could not give a damn about anything, for him it is all a game and he is on top! Pass the bowl of cocaine…buddy!

redbloodedxy November 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

No worries — he can always save face and blame the tumult on G.W. Bush.

Danny November 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Four more long years of audio idiocy from the Annointed One and dumbass Biden….greaaaaaaaaat.

bob November 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Why is he kissing her on the cheek? Do Asians do that? Do Americans do that? What a dumbass this clown is. I love how the stupid obama supporters think they actually won something. Like they are on the winning team. Guess what? the house always wins and you always lose. The trash needs to be taken out it’s smelling up the whole house.

AARACH November 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm


Randy November 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Obozo 2.0 continues to be an embarrassment to everyone. This is what happens when he doesn’t have is tele-prompter, uh, well I guess it still happens then too. But at least they could have written it out as it sounds. Obama never has learned that when you go to other countries, you find out what their customs are, how to pronounce their names, and other important information before you go, ESPECIALLY if you’re the US president. If you don’t it just shows you don’t care.

Keith November 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Also peculiar is how the President pronounces Pakistan (like the natives and the man of the world he is, who once visited there) versus how he pronounces it’s neighbor Afganistan (like the rest of us simple Americans).

marie November 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

If a powerful boss lays hands on an employee, it is sexual harrassment. How does the “most powerful” leader in the world get away with groping women in these other countries. Frankly, it is disgusting to watch women being treated this way. There is no way for them to protest without making a scene.

This man is a mess, but then again – IT IS GEORGE BUSH who put him up to it, so let’s give him a pass again.

splooker November 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I dont feel bad about saying this but I do feel this is a nation of division and retribution anymore. I will never give up my free speech, of course hoping that this does not mean I will soon have my teeth beat in with the butt of a federal rifle by a crowd of panic inspired deceived politically useful idiots..
Obama appears to be for the little guy and the protester if they are against the constitution and for socialism and communism and the tyranny of an everywhere and all imposing government. It is SO ODD if I didnt know his real background that he would not be full of reverence for this woman who stands against a tyranny..
Is that because she is a protester protesting the kind of government he likes and wants everywhere? The tyrannical and all imposing government everywhere in your life limiting this and ordering that and prescribing this and passing legislation you have to vote for to read?
We are experiencing the maniacal behavior of subversives in positions obtained through deception deliberately breaking what they hate with wrong turns and crippling legislation as rapidly as can be accomplished. This is a “turn it all upside down, inside out and bottom up revolution” being staged by a political trojan horse the US was never taught to identify on the horizon before it came too close. This mock administration of extremely dedicated and well trained socialist scholars and useful idiots breaking things as fast as possible to cause a great nations “Breaking Bad” reality is an inspiration to those who like sneak attack stories. The show is evil trying to look good, thats what I see in Baracks regime. Just saying what impressions I have of all these things going on these days. God Bless the United States of America and stand for the US in the face of tyranny and in the face of good old fashioned USSR communism. WE are bent to the point of damage and we will be broken by these suppressive and arrogant childish tyrannists soon if an awakening doesnt occur rapidly. WE are experiencing a coup Hugo style and it is un American and brought in with massive deception and coverup about the background of this Presidents inner desires. I mean how much policy can you read into the phrase “Hope and Change”? All this is JMHO or IMHO

Conrad Baylor November 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

All is forgiven, for He is The One. He who is ordained The One can do no wrong, can speak no wrong, can think no wrong. He is The Perfection, the Alpha and Omega of of all Presidents. He is our Dear Leader. Let us fall to our knees and thank God for sending us The One.

Mmm, mmm, mmm … Barack Hussein Obama.

DaMan November 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm

George Bush never fumbled with words… always had proper diction and pronunciation. He was one of the great orators….. NOT

Michael Gibson November 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Isn’t hard to believe. He thinks Corpsman is pronounced corpseman.

Noma November 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Bottom Line: He is un-trainable since he truly believes he can do no wrong. I’ll bet he doesn’t listen to anyone. Didn’t he once state he knows more than his cabinet? He is an embarrassment. And just b/c the masses of non-English speaking peoples and angry black folk think he’s wise doesn’t make it so. Once a choom head, always a choom head. Hang loose, bro.

deedeemao November 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Yo, Barack, referring to someone of this woma’s stature as, “Ms Sushi” or “Madame Sukiyaki” does not reflect well on the office of the US presidency, but as far as that goes, neither do you.

Bill G November 20, 2012 at 6:00 am

It’s not surprising about his failing to get the ladies name correctly, she fights against a dictatorial regime. It’s shocking he messed up addressing the despot.

Kate Hillier November 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

Not really comparable to the indelibly brainless G W Bush…

neverforget2012 November 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm

He shames America and it goes right over his head, we know he failed basic english, but to be the smartest man alive according to him, this is awful

Michael November 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Typical of brick obuma. Just goes to show what an idiot he is.