VIDEO: US Ambassador shows off Danish 'skills'
The Local · 4 Dec 2014, 10:17
Published: 04 Dec 2014 10:17 GMT+01:00
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The American ambassador to Denmark is no stranger to the camera. Before becoming known as President Obama's money man by raising upwards of $1 billion for the president's 2012 re-election, Rufus Gifford had a short-lived career in Hollywood where he worked on films like 'Dr. Dolittle 2' and even appeared on screen as a dog owner in the 2004 'Garfield' film.
Gifford has achieved near-celebrity status since arriving in Denmark in August 2013, thanks in part to being just the second openly gay US ambassador to a Nato country. He is currently starring in a six-part miniseries on DR3 that gives an inside, and very personal, look into his duties as ambassador and his attempts to balance his busy schedule with his relationship with his partner Steven DeVincent.
The series has caught on with viewers. The show, 'Jeg er ambassadøren fra Amerika' (I am the ambassador from America), has been seen by as many as 100,000 viewers per week and is one of the most successful shows on DR3. The series can be viewed here.
The programmes are largely in English, but Gifford is often shown gamely trying his hand at the tricky Danish language. Now, the ambassador has decided to step up his Danish game by inviting viewers to send in questions in Danish that Gifford has promised to answer via a Danish-language video response.
See Gifford practice his Danish in the video below (you need to be logged in to Facebook to view it) and if your Danish skills are up to the challenge, send him a question yourself.
Gifford is hardly the first US ambassador brave enough to display his fledgling language skills. The US ambassador to Italy, John R. Phillips, impressed Italians with his video message and staffers at the US consulate in Milan even took language videos to new heights (or lows, we're not quite sure) by teaching Americans how to use Italian hand gestures via a rap song.
Nor is Gifford alone as a gay US ambassador in Europe. In August, the US ambassador to the OSCE, Daniel Baer, married his long-term partner in a ceremony in Vienna. The US ambassador to Spain, James Costos, is also gay but we must say that his first video attempt at Spanish is pretty weak.