• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Madrid mayor's 'café con leche' goes viral

AFP · 9 Sep 2013, 15:10

Published: 09 Sep 2013 15:10 GMT+02:00

Despite her apparent linguistic difficulties, Botella made the effort of delivering her speech in English to Olympic chiefs in Buenos Aires on Saturday night.

But the Madrid mayor's unmistakable Spanish accent and some surprising phrases set off a storm of mostly light-hearted criticism, in particular her assertion: "There is nothing quite like a relaxing cup of café con leche (coffee with milk) in Plaza Mayor".

By Monday, T-shirts were on sale at 18 euros ($24) each with a parody of the Starbucks logo, featuring a profile of Botella and the logo: "Relaxing Cup of Cafe Con Leché in Plaza Mayor".

On YouTube, a video of the mayor's speech with mocking, phonetic subtitles of her English drew tens of thousands of views. Her first words "Dear IOC (International Olympic Committee) members, ladies and gentlemen", for example, were subtitled: "Diar Allosi Menbers, Leidisan yentelman".

On Twitter, hashtags that identify conversation topics such as #relaxingcup or #AnaBotella, drew huge numbers of comments.

A fake Twitter account, @Relaxingcup had more than 11,000 followers by midday Monday.

Some videos on YouTube had mixed the speech with music into "dance" or "dubstep" songs.

But among the jokes, some commentators criticized the linguistic abilities of Spanish leaders in a country with a 26.26 percent unemployment rate.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy spoke to the Olympic chiefs in Spanish. Only Prince Felipe addressed the Olympic committee in English, French and Spanish.

Click here to read The Local's opinion piece on the language abilities of Spain's politicians.

Story continues below…

Botella, 59, was appointed mayor of Madrid by the city councillors without the need for an election in December 2011 after her predecessor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon left to become justice minister.

The mayor, who has been  married since 1977 to former right-leaning prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, has been subject to criticism before for apparent linguistic gaffes.

She famously declared in 2004: "Homosexual marriage will never be equal to heterosexual marriage in the same way that two apples produce another apple, but an apple and a pear will never produce another apple."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spanish economy continues to grow despite lack of govt
Photo: Contando Estrelas/Flickr

Spain's economic growth continued in the second quarter even as the country remains mired in political limbo after two inconclusive general elections.

Shocking video shows torture of young calf during fiesta
Cruelty in the name of fun? Photo: Pacma

Bullfighting fiestas reached a new low with the torture of a young calf.

Ethan Hawkes to be honoured with San Sebastián award
Ethan Hawke in the Magnificent Seven

The Hollywood actor will be given the Donastia lifetime achievement at the 64th San Sebastián Film Festival.

Gallery
The ten most weird (and wonderful) museums in Spain
Photo: Courtesy of the Museum of Funeral Carriages.

Spain is home to some of the finest museums in the world, but it also boasts some of the most bizarre.

Spanish court bars top Eta figure from Basque elections
The Basque separatist leader in San Sebastian. Photo: AFP

Arnaldo Otegi, once jailed for terrorism charges, has been barred from standing in Basque elections.

Spanish town warns against texting while crossing roads
The warnings now appear at crossings in Talavera de la Reina in Spain.

It might seem entirely obvious to most, but it seems some people need to be told that looking at your phone while crossing a busy road can prove dangerous.

Police launch appeal for Costa Blanca hit and run driver
Photo: N332 /@drivingSpain/facebook

Do you recognise this car?

What political deadlock? Spain economy forges ahead
Rajoy is struggling to form a government. Photo: AFP

Eight months without a government but is Spain really the worse for it?

Ten fascinating museums in Spain you REALLY must visit
The innovative NMAC foundation in southern Spain's Cádiz province features contemporay art in a former military installation. Photo: Guillermo Varela

To mark International Museum Day, The Local takes a look at ten museums in Spain, you may not have visited. But should.

True cost of Spain's balcony-jumping craze revealed
A tourist leaping into a swimming pool. Screen grab: YouTube

They're young, on holiday, drunk and sometimes high, and they decide to jump from their hotel or apartment balcony into the pool. But some miss and end up in hospital... or worse, dead.

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
International
'We won't ban burqinis on our beaches' insists Barcelona
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
British dad drowns saving daughter on red flagged beach
National
11 Spanish words that English must adopt right now
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Lifestyle
Justin Bieber just bought an amazing new pad in Lanzarote
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Lifestyle
Recipe: How to make Andalusian Ajo Blanco soup
Travel
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Travel
Ten touristy types you'll meet in Spain: Which one are you?
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Lifestyle
Ten top tips to avoid looking like a guiri when in Spain
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
International
Don't miss this spectacular meteor shower over Spain
Travel
Desperate Ryanair passenger chases after missed flight
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Travel
What's on in Spain: August 2016
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
National
German firestarter blames blaze on 'toilet paper mishap'
National
Flashmob prank sparks 'terror attack' panic in Spanish resort
Culture
Croquemon Go: Spain invents twist on game to 'eat 'em all'
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
National
Spanish parents fight for right to name their son 'Wolf'
National
Beach closed after shark attack in southern Spain
National
Spain ups security at tourist spots as terrorism fears grow
National
Ten great reasons to discover the real Malaga right now
Lifestyle
The good, bad and the ugly of long distance relationships
National
7 reasons why grandparents in Spain are simply the best
Travel
Barcelona bans Segways from tourist clogged waterfront
3,287
jobs available