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Off topic: Radio Show Story of an Iraqi Interpreter
Thread poster: sarahjeanne
Local time: 17:46
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Mar 14, 2007

I heard this story on last week's This American Life public radio show. The theme was By Proxy, people who stand in for others. It's an interesting and quite moving portrait of an interpreter who worked in probably one of the most dangerous places possible. Not to mention the huge cultural differences, etc. Check it out if you have time. It's available for download or streaming here:

the interpreter story starts 21 min. 30 sec. into the show.

[Edited at 2007-03-14 21:08]

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Heard part of it Mar 15, 2007

As I was driving along last Sunday afternoon I happened to catch part of this on the radio. A very dangerous job indeed, they are marked men. Apparently for the same reason they are becoming harder to recruit.

One day the US will have practically no one who can communicate with the Iraquis because there are practically no Americans who speak their language.

As if any communication was possible anyway... it was a good place to have stayed away from.

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Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:46
French to English
Price on their heads Mar 27, 2007

They are indeed marked men. They are targeted sometime more than the soldiers are because they're seen as traitors. Last week as I was reading through the job offerings on USAJobs, the DC-based federal job bank, the starting salary for an interpreter speaking Farsi, Pashto, etc. was $176 K (going up to $235 K per annum). But I can't imagine a worse job.

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