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Russian Sports Minister Won't Let His English Skills Be Trolled

© AFP 2022 / FABRICE COFFRINIRussia’s Minister of Sport Vitaliy Mutko, a legend among internet trolls for his less-than-perfect knowledge of English, recently held a press conference on the opening of a new information and tourism portal devoted to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but shied away from using its English name, possibly as an homage to his detractors.
Russia’s Minister of Sport Vitaliy Mutko, a legend among internet trolls for his less-than-perfect knowledge of English, recently held a press conference on the opening of a new information and tourism portal devoted to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but shied away from using its English name, possibly as an homage to his detractors. - Sputnik International
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Russia’s Minister of Sport Vitaliy Mutko, a legend among internet trolls for his less-than-perfect knowledge of English, recently held a press conference on the opening of a new information and tourism portal devoted to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but shied away from using its English name, possibly as an homage to his detractors.

In a press conference devoted to the opening of the new portal, which features information about the upcoming World Cup, including news and a host of useful information for tourists about how best to plan to enjoy the Cup's venues and activities, Mutko shied away from using the English name of the portal: Welcome2018.com.

"It will be called…Well I will not demonstrate my knowledge of English here, and will simply say that the name of the site is 'DobroPozhalovat'2018.com –you all know how it's translated," Mutko explained, speaking before reporters eager to find out the new portal's name.

Mutko first came to prominence among internet trolls back in 2010, when he gave a prepared speech "speaking from my heart, in English" during the bidding process for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The minister's stereotypically thick Russian accent caused plenty of English-speaking Russians to laugh out loud, and became an instant meme among Russian-language internet users.

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Earlier this year, when asked by reporters about Russia's ongoing preparations for the global football tournament, Mutko's poor English skills couldn't help but get the better of him once again, prompting chuckles and jeers among detractors, including the foreign press, who recalled with glee that the minister's broken English eventually gave way to an incomprehensible mish-mash of English and Russian. The affair left English-speaking observers and even some of their Russian colleagues struggling to figure out what it was that the minister had said.

As far as the new portal is concerned, it does not share the minister's poor knowledge of foreign languages. In addition to providing information in Russian and English, developers are planning to activate French, Spanish, Arabic and Japanese versions of the site in the near future.

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