White House translates Obama’s speech into 13 languages

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In a speech that took almost an hour and gracefully highlighted the major tensions between Muslim countries and the West, President Obama reached out for what he called ‘a new beginning’ with Islamic countries.

And the White House made sure that the speech was widely disseminated -- sent out via text message in four languages, translated into 13 languages, and broadcast on social media sites from Google’s Orkut to Facebook, which has 20 million users in Muslim countries. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called it a ‘far broader’ than any past effort by a White House much touted for its tech savvy, including live streaming at

One fascinating aspect of the speech was the president’s outreach to young Muslims, urging them to shed the old prejudices of their cultures. ‘There’s so much fear, so much mistrust that has built up over the years,’ he said. ‘But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith, in every country -- you, more than anyone, have the ability to reimagine the world, to remake this world.’

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