[Marxism] On CNN's "mistranslation" of the Iranian president

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Tue Jan 17 08:13:46 MST 2006

cnn.com is reporting the following:

*  *  *

The dispute arises from a moment of simultaneous translation Saturday.

As Ahmadinejad was speaking, an interpreter working for a translation
company hired by CNN misquoted him as having said Iran has the right to
build nuclear weapons. In fact, he said Iran has the right to nuclear
energy, and that "a nation that has civilization does not need nuclear
weapons." He added, "our nation does not need them."

The incorrect translation was re-broadcast on CNN later Saturday.

As soon as it was alerted to the error Sunday, CNN corrected the
translation and clarified Ahmadinejad's remarks, and the network

In a written statement, CNN said it "apologized on all its platforms
which included the translation error, including CNN International,
CNN/USA and CNN.com, and also expressed its regrets to the Iranian
government and the Iranian ambassador to the U.N."

But the Iranian government, in the IRNA report, said it took a punitive
measure against CNN, invalidating press cards of CNN journalists in

CNN, in its statement, said, "CNN is very disappointed that this action
has been taken."

The translation company, Lesley Howard Languages, apologized to CNN.

"Obviously, we're taking it very, very seriously. We will never use him
again," owner Lesley Howard said, referring to the interpreter.

She said the same interpreter, who like other interpreters is contracted
for individual projects, has done good work in the past, including for

She added that there is no reason to believe the interpreter purposely
gave the wrong translation.

"We pride ourselves on having incredibly high standards," Howard said.

*  *  *

This "mistranslation" shouldn't have surprised anyone. The
English-language CNN services have long shunned the exacting standards
and norms of the interpreting profession, in particular, that
interpreters work in *teams,* and it has preferred working through
socalled language companies instead of hiring conference interpreters
directly, doing its own screening.

What is even *more* striking is that CNN International could broadcast
such a thing, and no one at CNN noticed that what was said was directly
100% *contrary* to everything else Iran has been saying. Thus the false
report was not only carried live on CNN's international feeds, repeated
on those feeds, placed on the CNN domestic service, and carried on its
web page, and it was only when Iran clubbed CNN over the head by banning
the network did CNN take a second look at its false report.

What this shows is how thoroughly "the world's most important news
source" has assimilated and internalized Washington's lying propaganda
against Iran. 

CNN no longer has the kind of staff or culture that would question even
such an obviously false report.


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