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Video: Bono speaking French

Jul 23

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Thursday, July 23, 2009  RssIcon

No doubt you’re all giddy with excitement about this weekend’s U2 concerts at Croke Park. Whatever about the quality (or lack thereof) of their new material, you have to admit that the show looks bloody impressive as a live spectacle.

The Biggest Band In The World™ played two nights at the Stade de France in Paris a few weekends ago, before heading down to Nice for a gig near their Riviera base.

They have a chequered relationship, U2 and France. You may remember the 1995 MTV Europe Music Awards in Paris, when Bono dismantled the atomic bomber and French president Jacques Chirac by calling him a ‘wanker’. Since then, though, he has settled into a holiday home on the Cote d’Azur and even written (with Simon Carmody!) a song for Johnny Hallyday.

And Bono can now speak French, sort of.

French pop radio station NRJ (pronounced ‘NRG’/‘energy’) has an annual awards ceremony, much like the MTV bashes, which takes place every January in Cannes as a curtain-raiser to the annual MIDEM conference. Cannes is close to chez Bono. In 2005 U2 were busy trying to shift units of ‘How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb’ and tickets for the Vertigo tour.

And so, in what was no doubt a coincidence, at the 2005 ceremony NRJ gave Bono a lifetime achievement gong – and the man himself drove down the road to collect the award in person.

Having accepted the mantelpiece bauble from Naomi Campbell (above right), Bono then pulled out a sheet of paper and began delivering a speech in French (at 4 mins 30 sec of the video below).

What Bono says is that he… well, actually, we’re not going to translate. You can try to figure it out yourself, what with the Leaving Cert French you no doubt still remember perfectly and practice fluently. If you have any witty suggestions, post them below:

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5 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Video: Bono speaking French

The man's linguistic skills know no bounds. I saw them play Amsterdam on Tuesday night (a stunning set I might add) and he with the one inch soles on his feet thanked the local audience in Dutch ("Dank U well", tough one that). This however was not greeted with any approval from the 60,000 local Dutchies as - according to my Flemish concert going mate - he pronounced it the way a Belgian Flemish person would. Ahhh, the nuanced traps that await "pint-sized world leaders in waiting" (Copyright 2009, A. Curran Esq.)

By eoghan on   Thursday, July 23, 2009
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Re: Video: Bono speaking French

Oh dear. I bet some hired lackey got horsewhipped for that.

By aidan on   Thursday, July 23, 2009
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Re: Video: Bono speaking French

I love the way Bono expresses his sincerity by plugging upcoming shows. Hmmm. Of course, if only one carried a script around, being understood in French would always be simple, non?

By Mike on   Saturday, July 25, 2009
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Re: Video: Bono speaking French

At least he made the effort - that was sincere!

By aidan on   Monday, July 27, 2009
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Re: Video: Bono speaking French

Fair point.

By Mike on   Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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Aidan Curran, based in Paris, has been writing for CLUAS since 2004. More info about Aidan...

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