During a press conference in Tanzania today, President Obama made the (dubious) assertion that the NSA doesn’t need to spy on America’s allies because Obama can just call up his European friends and ask them questions that they will then answer with complete honesty. “If I want to know what President Hollande is thinking on a particular issue,” Obama said, “I’ll call President Hollande.”
This was hardly the first time Obama has publicly uttered the name of France’s president. So perhaps it was the two Hollandes in succession that alerted us to the fact that Obama, despite what appears to be a concerted effort on his part, is not pronouncing it correctly.
Though Obama’s pronunciation sounds like oo-LAWN, François’s last name is really more like oh-LOND. A slow, correct pronunciation can be heard on these two random pronunciation sites. Actual French newscasters can be heard saying the name Hollande in the clips below:
We point this out not to embarrass or nitpick, but because Obama seems to want to say the name of France’s president accurately, and it seems like nobody else was going to tell him that he’s not.