“Covfefe” Explained! (Well, not Really)
RedStateWatcher proclaims: BREAKING! “Covfefe” Mystery Solved! President Trump Wins Again!
After doing some research and using Google Translate, we found “Cov fe’fe” in Arabic means “I will stand up.”
Except, the NYT reports: No, ‘Covfefe’ Was Not Trump Speaking Arabic
“Covfefe,” these people on the internet insist, is Arabic for “I will stand up.” That is not even close to true. We asked Ali Adeeb Alnaemi, a professor of Arabic at New York University, what he thought of this translation, which has been falsely spread online by anonymous Reddit users with screen names like “PepeTheRacistFrog.”
Mr. Alnaemi, who previously worked for The New York Times in Baghdad, made a good-faith effort to see where this mistranslation may have come from. In a phone interview, he repeated the word “covfefe” several times before finally laughing. “Come on,” he said. “I’m sorry. No.”
There is no standardized method for rendering Arabic words in Latin script, but the professor said if Mr. Trump had wanted to write “I will stand up” in Arabic he would have written something like “saqef” or “sawfa aqef.”
“Honestly when I heard that some writers thought Trump was speaking Arabic I said to myself, ‘Wow, they know Arabic more than I do,'” Mr. Alnaemi, who was born and raised in Iraq, said. “Because I cannot think of a word that would mean the equivalent of ‘covfefe.'”
But, of course, what would a professor of Arabic know?
The notion that this was a secret Arabic message is hilarious for at least two reasons:
- Mr. Trump is not known for his English skills, so branching out into a foreign language seems unlikely, if not more than a tad laughable.
- Of all languages, the notion that his supporters would cleave to an Arabic message as a means of defending the President is beyond ironic, especially given many of their attacks on the alleged secret Muslim-ness of the previous President (not to mention their general phobia on this general topic).