French inflection

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The piece you ran in the international section (14 November) concerning the cover picture of French justice minister Christiane Taubira on the far right publication Minute has left out half the story.

Malin comme un singe does indeed means “crafty as a monkey”, but the rest of the headline, Taubira retrouve la banane, translates literally as: “finds her banana”, or as an expression meaning: “makes a smiling face”.

On the same day, employing considerably less cynical innuendo, the mayor of Cholet in western France, after taking issue with a group of squatting gypsies, suggested that Adolf Hitler could have done a better job of exterminating them during the German occupation of France.

I don’t imagine that the French word polemique needs any translation at all.

Iain Marin

Calton Road

Edinburgh

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