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Off topic: Interpreting in Iraq // Use of idioms
Thread poster: José Luis Villanueva-Senchuk
José Luis Villanueva-Senchuk  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 26, 2003

Interpreting in Iraq

This is from a BBC story today about misunderstandings between the US
officials and Iraqis. The incident occurred at a press conference led by a
US Marine spokesperson with Iraqi journalists regarding changes in the
"coalition provisional administration" (CPA) :

**********
The US Marine explained to the local journalists that ...if an Iraqi
interim governor appointed by the CPA was found to be corrupt, incompetent
or to have a past that made them unacceptable, he or she would be fired.
The interpreter translated this as officials who were found wanting "would
be fired upon".
The translator and the Iraqi journalists didn't bat an eyelid at this -
there seemed nothing strange to them in shooting an official who'd fallen
out of favour.
When the US Marine had the mistranslation pointed out to him, he repeated
several times that nobody would be shot, though they would be out of a job.
**********

What a difference an idiom makes...

[Edited at 2003-06-26 12:51]


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:35
German to Italian
+ ...
?? Jun 26, 2003

sorry, I don't get it... something's missing, isnt' it?


OK, thanks

[Edited at 2003-06-26 14:24]


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Valentina Pecchiar  Identity Verified
Italy
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Lorenzo: licenziato o fucilato? Jun 26, 2003

Hi Lorenzo:

to be fired > to be sacked (licenziato)
to be fired upon > to be shot at (fucilato)

Quite a difference, hu?
Ehm, I'd better go and review the text in article 18, Italian Labor Act, just in case...

Lorenzo Lilli wrote:

sorry, I don't get it... something's missing, isnt' it?


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Sandra Bonilla
Local time: 19:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
¡qué barbaridad!! Jun 26, 2003

Lo pero es que los tíos ni siquiera parpadearan ante el anuncio.
Claro que... a lo peor eso era la solución. ¿Te imaginas? Corruptos y,mangantes e incompetentes: ¡al paredón!
El planeta como la seda y todos felices en menos que canta un gallo (¡qué miedo!)
Y sí, parece mentira (y nunca dejará de sorprenderme) el poder de una pequeña partícula añadida a un verbo inglés...
(entre tú y yo... ahora que no nos oye nadie...;) prefiero los nuestros, qué quieres que te diga; cuesta un poco aprender a conjugarlos, cierto, pero al menos sabes lo que estás haciendo).
Un saludo


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Abdul Mukhid  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 01:35
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Nice Joke Jun 27, 2003

The Iraqis must have thought that "to be fired" only has one meaning "to be shot". A nice joke, really. Thanks

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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:35
German to Italian
+ ...
explanation for Muja Jun 29, 2003

Muja wrote:

Hi Lorenzo:

to be fired > to be sacked (licenziato)
to be fired upon > to be shot at (fucilato)

Quite a difference, hu?
Ehm, I'd better go and review the text in article 18, Italian Labor Act, just in case...

Lorenzo Lilli wrote:

sorry, I don't get it... something's missing, isnt' it?


Hi Muja,
I had written "sorry, I don't get it ecc." as the very first post was incomplete, that is only a couple of letters, apart from the title, were visible. That's why I had thought something was missing (and of course it was). And later the post was edited, that's why I added "ok". Thanks all the same


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Valentina Pecchiar  Identity Verified
Italy
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Apologies for Lorenzo Jun 30, 2003

Sorry if I sounded patronizing - I must have read your post after the original joke was edited ('cause it was all there when I read it) but before you added the OK (in facts, I don't remember seeing it).

And I thought it was so good that I felt sorry for you 'cause you missed it... Now I feel sorry for myself ;-(

Please do accept my apologies


Lorenzo Lilli wrote:
Hi Muja,
I had written "sorry, I don't get it ecc." as the very first post was incomplete, that is only a couple of letters, apart from the title, were visible. That's why I had thought something was missing (and of course it was). And later the post was edited, that's why I added "ok". Thanks all the same


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:35
German to Italian
+ ...
no problem Muja Jun 30, 2003

you don't have to apologize

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