September 16, 2017 6:09 pm
Updated: September 16, 2017 6:27 pm

Melania Trump featured on billboards promoting English language school in Croatia

The American Institute, an association for promoting American culture and English language, invites people to learn English with a photo of First Lady Melania Trump, who was born in Slovenia.

EPA/ANTONIO BAT
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How far can you get with a little bit of a foreign language? According to billboards in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, just ask Melania Trump.

A private language school in Zagreb is trying to persuade people to learn English by reminding them of the U.S. first lady’s personal experience.

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Five billboards that emerged Friday show the first lady standing before a fluttering American flag and delivering a speech, presumably during President Donald Trump’s election campaign.

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The text reads: “Just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English.”

Ivis Buric, a spokeswoman for the American Institute in Zagreb — the local language school that posted the billboards — says the advertising campaign was not intended to mock the U.S. first lady in any way.

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“There are different opinions about Melania Trump, but the fact is that she is the first lady,” Buric said. “She had to do a lot, including delivering speeches in English and addressing huge crowds in a foreign language.”

Melania Trump was born in neighboring Slovenia under the name of Melanija Knavs. She left Slovenia in her 20s to pursue an international modeling career before meeting Donald Trump at a Fashion Week party in 1998.

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According to her resume, in addition to her native Slovenian, Melania Trump also speaks English, French, Serbian and German.

Melania Trump has hired a law firm in Slovenia to protect her image, which has appeared on different products there, including cakes, underwear and tourist billboards.

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Yet Buric says she is not afraid that her billboard campaign could backfire.

“It is a positive campaign, nothing negative,” Buric said.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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