Téléphone arabe


“In France, we say ‘an angel passes by;’ in Spain, ‘a Bishop is born;’ in Portugal, ‘a poet is dead.’ I’m glad that I could place a long silence in one of my films.”

– Raoul Ruiz


In French, the expression “téléphone arabe” has two meanings: 1) An oral communication and, furthermore, a rumor or unreliable information; 2) A kid’s game which consists of whispering a word to one another in a circle: the first person whispers a phrase in the ear of the second, the second tells the heard phrase to the third, and so on until the last player says it out loud, usually giving way to a collective frenzy due to the – voluntary or involuntary – deformations the initial phrase has undergone through its multiple repetitions.

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