Abu Dhabi, UAE (CNN)-- France's new Socialist government is already causing ripples throughout a Europe struggling to balance government budgets without making ordinary people's lives miserable, but it has created a completely different problem in the Middle East.
The prime minister's last name, it turns out, sounds like an Arabic slang word for penis.
His name is Jean-Marc Ayrault.
Pronounced properly in French, the last name is very much like a moderately rude Lebanese and Palestinian term that is widely understood in the Arabic world.
The name has left broadcasters trying to determine if they should pronounce it as the prime minister does -- "ai-roh" -- or if they should resort to voicing the "L" and "T" in the written word.
An editor at the pan-Arabic network Al-Arabiya said the network would pronounce the name in the French way.
"We cannot change names, so we have to deal with it and live with it. We have to be professional," said the editor, who asked not to be named because of the subject matter...
The story echoes reports that two years ago, Pakistan wanted to appoint an ambassador to Saudi Arabia whose name sounds like an even more offensive word for penis in Arabic...How many offensive ways are there to say penis in Arabic? More than the Inuit have words for "snow"?