Information & Opinion

Why I don’t understand what President Donald Trump says? – PART 1

The language that Trump uses is English, my first language, but the similarity ends there. He arranges the words to make sentences in a way I have never seen before, often using one word or two only in a sentence. At first I wondered if it was an initiative test to see if the listener was able to fill in the missing words. I’m not so sure about that now.

On 26 January 2017 Donald Trump gave his first interview ,after becoming president, to ABC News.

When I listened to the interview I was confused. So, in a quiet moment, I decided to analyse the transcript to see if I could understand exactly what his responses to the questions posed by David Muir, the interviewer, meant. I have to admit that it proved to be a rather difficult task and I am left just as confused now as I was then.

He used GOOD, GREAT and TREMENDOUS approximately 50 times. Yet seldom did he say what or why something was GOOD, GREAT or TREMENDOUS.

He used GONNA/GOING, WANNA/WANT and THINK approximately 200 times, tempting the listener into believing that something had actually happened when it hadn’t. If I’m GOING to do something I haven’t done it. If I WANT to do something I haven’t done it. If I think of doing something I haven’t done it.

Trump paints with a very broad brush, is vague in the extreme and uses incomplete sentences time and time again. When I’d finished I fully understood why I don’t understand what the American President says. I would be very surprised if I am the only one.

I have broken ABC’s transcript of the interview down into separate posts. Here is my analysis of the first question only of the lengthy interview which may give you some idea as to my confusion and what to expect in subsequent posts in more detail.

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, it’s an honor to be here at the White House.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, David.

Q1. DAVID MUIR: Let me ask you, has the magnitude of this job hit you yet?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It has periodically hit me. And it is a tremendous magnitude. And where you really see it is when you’re talking to the generals about problems in the world. And we do have problems in the world. Big problems. The business also hits because the — the size of it. The size.

COMMENT: By tremendous magnitude I can only assume he means ‘enormous’ and his generals agree. When he says “…we do have problems…” I assume he means Americans have problems because I know other people have problems. So now I want to know what those problems are!! Will he tell us? The penultimate and last sentences, although made up of English words, are completely incomprehensible to me.

I was with the Ford yesterday. And with General Motors yesterday. The top representatives, great people. And they’re gonna do some tremendous work in the United States. They’re gonna build plants back in the United States. But when you see the size, even as a businessman, the size of the investment that these big companies are gonna make, it hits you even in that regard. But we’re gonna bring jobs back to America, like I promised on the campaign trail.

COMMENT: Great people at Ford and GM who are “….gonna do some tremendous work….gonna build plants…gonna bring jobs back to America” (Is that from some other country who stole them?) There is no indication as to how or when all these great people, whoever they are, are gonna do these things.

CONCLUSION: I can only conclude from the verbiage that the answer to Q1 is YES.  But I can’t be sure.

Read Part 2 – Why I don’t understand what President Donald Trump says? 

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