(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry is known for his grasp of many languages and on Monday, during a photo op with the Angolan vice president, he had to put those skills to work.
Angolan Vice President Manuel Vicente opted to speak in his native Portuguese in his appearance with Kerry before their meeting at the State Department, which took Kerry by surprise.
They both looked around for a translator, but there was none.
Instead, after Vicente spoke, Kerry delivered an abbreviated version of what was said.
“The quickest summary in the world is that he said he’s very happy to be here in Washington with the Secretary of State, he’s very happy to be here as part of this conference, that he looks forward to working with us in the continued stabilization of the continent of Africa,” Kerry said.
As he completed his summary, he looked at his counterpart for approval.
“Is that fair?” Kerry asked.
Kerry’s wife Teresa, the daughter of a Portuguese doctor, is fluent in the language.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Dan Merica and Jeff Simon, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Julia Manchester, CNN