Hillary Gets It 'Wrong'

You got it wrong. -Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov on the Russian translation on a gift given to him by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

(Getty Images | Inset Illustration)

A thoughtful gift can make a world of difference in a strained friendship, but there's nothing worse than sending the wrong message.
Artist's conception (because couldn't find a picture of the real thing).

That's just what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did in Geneva Friday when she offered a gift to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov. Playing on a speech Joe Biden gave where he said we need to push the "reset button" on Russian foreign relations, Hillary presented a big red reset button to Lavrov.

On the top it said "Reset," and on the bottom, what she thought was the Russian equivalent: "Peregruzka."

“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” she asked.

“You got it wrong,” he said. Lavrov informed Clinton that peregruzka means "overcharged."

The two laughed and joked about it in a moment of levity, but it's hard not to be a little insulted when an entire American diplomatic team can't get a simple translation right. Lavrov later told reporters that the incident underscored the need for teaching Russian in the United States and teaching English in Russia.

Hillary Clinton visits foreign leaders in Geneva
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I write about movies for Zimbio.com, which means I spend way too much time thinking about the geekiest possible ways to approach the cineplex. I'm also hopelessly addicted to audio books. Follow me: Google
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