The appointment of new French Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault created chaos amongst Arabic-language news networks on Wednesday, several media have reported.
Only minutes after François Hollande appointed Ayrault as his Prime Minister, Arab-speaking media realized that the Arabic transcription of Ayrault as it is pronounced in French (“aero”) is a synonym of "penis" in several Arabic-speaking countries.
Aware that it might cause offence, many Arab journalists tried to adapt the translation. For several hours, they tried different pronunciations to name the head of the French government. Some changed his name to "aro" whilst others added an “h” sound at the beginning of the word.
Finally, aware of the problems caused by the pronunciation of the Prime Minister's name, the French foreign ministry issued an official statement which allowed his name to be transcribed as it is written.